Each year I try to set a goal to read a certain number of books. In 2016, I read 100 books for the year. You can see my Goodreads Challenge for 2016 here. In this post, I’ll be giving a one sentence description of the books that I’ve read in 2017, and a symbol after the sentence to give an indication as to what I thought of the book. Namely:
- Good :
- Okay :
- Meh :
These books are in no particular order and the release dates of the books are not restricted to 2017. The best book I read this year is: “A Confession” by Leo Tolstoy.
So without further ado:
1) Quantum Proofs by Thomas Vidick and John Watrous
An excellent overview of the landscape of quantum interactive proofs.
2) Frog and Toad Book Set by Arnold Lobel
I grew up reading this series of books and the stories are just as charming as when I initially read them.
3) Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss
A distillation of wisdom from many of the Tim Ferriss podcasts, lots of highlights in this book for me
4) The Meaning of it All by Richard Feynman
5) The (Honest) Truth about Dishonesty
I liked it, but I found Sam Harris’s “Lying” to be a preferable book about dishonesty
6) Physics and Philosophy: The Revolution in Modern Science by Werner Heisenberg
A bit rudimentary, but it’s written by one of the greats.
7) Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss
Great negotiation book that gives specific advice backed by experience the author has as an FBI negotiator.
8) The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
The title is super gimmicky, but just read the first 20 pages or so and see if you’re still not interest.
9) Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School by Andrew Hallam
Should be required reading for high school students to prevent them from going into extreme debt.
10) Birth of a Theorem: A Mathematical Adventure by Cédric Villani
The author obviously knows his stuff, but man, this guy came up as so pompous to make the book unreadable.
11)The Smartest Investment Book You’ll Ever Read: The Simple, Stress-Free Way to Reach Your Investment Goals by Daniel R. Solin
Great investment book, especially if you live in Canada (which I do now).
12) Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed
There were some really beautiful and emotionally compelling stories, but other times I felt the exact opposite.
13) Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Heartbreaking essays to his son about what he can expect growing up as a black man in America.
14) The Giver by Lois Lowry
It reads like a more PG version of George Orwell’s 1984.
15) The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
First Hemingway book I’ve read that had very quaint and scenic visual passages.
16) Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport
A well-formed argument on the importance of working deeply on a topic to produce valuable results.
17) Early Retirement Extreme: A Philosphical and Practical Guide to Financial Independence by Jacob Lund Fisker
The best financial book I’ve read which is written by a nuclear physics PhD.
18) The Simple Path to Wealth: Your road map to financial independence and a rich, free life by J.L. Colins
Letters to the authors daughter on how to live a fiscally responsible life.
19) Passive Income: Your Complete Guide to Building Multiple Streams of Passive Income
Seems rushed but did have a couple good tips
20) The Curse of Madame “C” by Gary Larson
Charming and humorous collection of one of my favorite comic strips
21) Last Chapter and Worse by Gary Larson
More Far Side, more awesomeness.
22) The 10% Entrepreneur: Live Your Startup Dream Without Quitting Your Day Job by Patrick J. McGinnis
Practical advice for someone looking to add a touch of entrepreneurship to their life.
23) The Far Side Gallery 2 by Gary Larson
What can I say, I fell into a Far Side kick.
24) The Dilbert Principle: A Cubicle’s-Eye View of Bosses, Meetings, Management Fads & Other Workplace Afflictions by Scott Adams
Hilarious office humor and spot on technology predictions.
25) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gabbing is more like it, people in this book just don’t shut up.
26) Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence by Vicki Robin
Some gimmicky points, but overall solid advice to becoming financially independent.
27) Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance
Spot on portrayal of the rust belt of America that came out at a very critical time in the United States.
28) Living off the Grid by Dave Black
I liked that this book gives a sensible overview of what going off the grid actually means.
29) In Praise of Idleness by Bertrand Russel
Suggested to me on the financialindependence subreddit and is a short but illuminating piece on why idleness is not to be disregarded as “non-work”.
30) Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau
HDT talks about being locked in jail for not paying his taxes and sticking it to the man.
31) Brain Droppings by George Carlin
The perfect mix of apathy and humor.
32) Armageddon in Retrospect by Kurt Vonnegut
Various dark short stories on World War II.
33) Technical Blogging by Antonio Cangiano
Too focused on WordPress, despite the title.
34) The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Miguel Ruiz
Too new-agey for me.
35) The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey
Not bad, but there are better books on the subject.
36) Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy Seals Leadn and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
Better for people in managerial positions; anecdotes on early 2000s Iraq and how to apply to business and leadership.
37) A Happy Death by Albert Camus
Wouldn’t recommend as a first book to read by Camus, but still very good.
38) The Daily Stoic: 364 Meditations on Wisdom, Perserverence, and The Art of Living by Ryan Holiday
Stoic wisdom modernized and distilled for daily consumption.
39) The Existentialist Cafe by Sarah Baker
Lots of really interesting historical tidbits of existentialist philosophers that put their writings in historical context.
40) A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
An excellent account of human history that destorys the ego.
41) Fragments by Heraclitus
Nuggets of wisdom and witticisms.
42) Average is Over: Powering American Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation by Tyler Cowen
This guy is sounding alarm bells over things that are incredibly self-evident.
43) 1984 by George Orwell
Most things in 1984 I’ve already absorbed through other mediums, but it was nice to hear it straight from the source.
44) North of Boston by Robert Frost
Rustic poetry with a very outdoorsy feel.
45) A Confession by Leo Tolstoy
This book changed my life.
46) Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
Why the fuck did I read this garbage?
47) Creativity Inc. by Ed Campbell
Interesting stories about Pixar with a bent on how to be a good project leader.
48) The Plant Paradox by Steven R. Grundy
Eat plants, but avoid lectins.
49) Joel on Software by Joel Spoelsky
A bit dated, but still surprisingly relevant.
50) The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
Might not have been the ideal audience for this book, but it did have some interesting tidbits on working at a startup.
51) The Dilbert Future by Scott Adams
It’s Dilbert, it’s amazing.
52) Losing the Signal by Jacquie McNish
Working in Waterloo, it was interesting to learn about the internals of Blackberry during their hayday.
53) Practical Vim by Drew Neil
Started learning Vim this year, and this book was an excellent companion to have.
54) Magic Mushrooms Around the World by Joshen Gartz
Not scientific enough to be science and not new agey enough to be utter bullshit.
55) Introduction to Graph Theory by Richard J. Trudeau
Very well written, and written in a way to be accessible to the novice reader.
56) Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
Lots of words of wisdom that I should revisit from time to time.
57) Beowulf by Unknown
Wasn’t a huge fan, but I have to give this one credit for being one of the earliest books of this complexity to be written.
58) Pro Git by Scott Chacon
Felt like I needed to step some of my Git knowledge up a level, and this book did the trick.
59) A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William B. Irvine
Modernized Stoicism that I found a pleasure to read.
60) Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World by Timothy Ferriss
Some guests were skippable, but the majority were outstanding.