Another year into the books. Boy, was this year nuts. I’ll lay more of that out in a separate post but 2018 was by far the most intense year of my life.
For books, I didn’t get to sit down and physically read that many books but definitely got to spend time listening to them. 15 books in total; a mixture of sci-fi with philosophy and business. Here’s what I was able to plow through this year.
- 33 Strategies of War – Very interesting book and highly recommended not only for the interesting strategic content but the amazing historical lessons I learned.
Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing our Digital Future – Really average book if you’re in the field. I don’t think I learned a single interesting thing from this book and probably should have tossed it aside after 1/3 way through.
- Principle: Life and Work – This was an interesting read that had some thought-provoking content. My biggest take away was to let ego take the back seat and focus on meritocracy.
- Shoe Dog – Awesome and inspiring book about the creation of Nike. Especially interesting if you’re a founder building a business. It has helped me come closer to comfort as a bootstrapped business to how difficult it can be to pay the bills sometimes.
- Iron Gold – Another book in the action-packed series. It was a little slower with more plot creation but leads up to some exciting future plots in the next set of books.
- Never Split the Difference – This is a must read. Period. This book literally changed my life. I was able to negotiate $8k off a car purchase and $80k off a housing purchase after listening to this book. It has extremely practical examples and will help shape your mind around deal negotiating.
- The Millionaire Next Door – Good book but nothing riveting. Most of the financial content in here I already knew about, so it read more like a reminder rather than revelation. Worth reading if you desire more financial mastering.
- The Collapsing Empire: The Interdependency Book 1 – Action packed sci-fi book. It was pretty good but I don’t think I’ll be reading the rest in the series. It was more military focused rather than deep sci-fi with multiple interesting thoughts.
- Children of Time – I loved this book. It took a while to really get the plot going but it was extraordinarily thought-provoking. I found myself rethinking evolution and the exploration of these fields. It also gave a cool perspective as to how lucky we are that we, homo sapiens, have and experience what we do on a daily basis.
- Columbus Day: Expeditionary Force – Another military sci-fi battle book. It was fun and exciting. Definitely helped ease the morning commute. That said, it wasn’t a super high caliber sci-fi so I won’t be reading the rest in the series.
- The Republic – Dry read but highly philosophical and shed light on some extraordinary societal concepts that I hadn’t previously thought of. If there’s an abridged version of this, I would recommend it.
- Excelsior – Another military-
esquesci-fi book. This one had more of a plot with deeper character development. I enjoyed it while I went out running and would probably read further into the series if there was one. It’s short and fun so I’d recommend it.
- Constitution – Yes, another military sci-fi. This one was fun and focused primarily around a large battle with detailed sequences. I liked it a lot but it was a typical “underdog” plot.
- Extreme Ownership – Great book with exceptional principles worth learning. While I’m still putting into practice what I learned, I’ve seen early results that make me a believer. This is a great book for those who are looking to take a step upward.
- Bad Blood – Holy smokes… this read like a fictional novel. This was an amazing book to read and even more fascinating if you’re in the field (much like we are). The rise and fall of Theranos definitely eclipsed the silicon valley bullshit that frustrates me to no end. This book capture why you should focus on funding reality and diving to make sure that really is true.
In 2019, I plan on being much more open to throwing away books that don’t grip me within the first 1/3 of their writings. There’s only so many books that I can read in my lifetime and, for the most part, most books are pretty average. I plan on focusing on reading more industrialized books that dive into specifics around building rather than just concepts.