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 the full list of books I read here., on Goodreads. In this post, I’ll be giving a one sentence description of the books that I’ve read and a symbol after the sentence to give an indication as to what I thought of the book. Namely:

  • Good : :+1:
  • Okay : :ok_hand:
  • Meh : :shit:

These books are in no particular order and the release dates of the books are not restricted to 2016. So without further ado:

The books:

1) The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need by Daniel H. Pink

Good gift to give a graduating student, most likely someone who is graduating from either high school or undergrad. :ok_hand:

2) When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Incredibly well-written and heart-wrenching content that had me chopping numerous and enormous onions. :+1:

3) Poems and Fragments by Sappho

Old poems that are still relevant after thousands of years along with an outstanding translation. :+1:

4) Herakleitos and Diogenes by Diogenes of Sinope

So many hilarious burns against Plato from Diogenes and Herakleitos didn’t give a shit about petty social constructs. :+1:

5) Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

Weird and seemingly pointless narrative that goes into some strange places. :+1:

6) Selected Poems of Oscar Wilde by Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde is always a pleasure to read, but his poems are a bit less pleasurable than his plays or one novel. :ok_hand:

7) Basic Spanish in 10 days: for Beginners by David Byron

A bit too basic and a bit too short, but not a bad supplement. :ok_hand:

8) How to Finish Your Dissertation in Six Months, Even if You Don’t Know What to Write by Scott Rank

Mundane and obvious advice that doesn’t hurt to have shoved into your mind again to keep you on track. :ok_hand:

9) Spanish One Week Spanish Mastery: The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Learning Spanish in just 1 Week! Detailed Step by Step Process to Understand the Basics. by Erica Stewart

Not a bad language learning supplement, but not as grandiose as the title claims. :ok_hand:

10) Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman

I laughed, I cried, I read it in Spanish, and I thought a construction crane was my mother. :+1:

11) On the Shortness of Life: Life Is Long if You Know How to Use It by Seneca

Don’t spend your time or energy on petty people or bullshit activities. :+1:

12) Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur by Derek Sivers

Just listen to the Tim Ferriss podcast with Derek Sivers instead as it’s exactly the same content in this book. :ok_hand:

13) What is Life?: With Mind and Matter and Autobiographical Sketches by Erwin Schrodinger

Schodinger’s attempt at connecting biology and physics starts off okay, but then gets a bit dry and scattered toward the end. :ok_hand:

14) How to Live: Or A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer by Sarah Bakewell

Montaigne used to be terrified of death, then had an accident where he almost died and started living like a badass. :+1:

15) The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays by Albert Camus

Camus argues against suicide since existing and creating art is the largest and most prominent middle finger we can give to the pointlessness of the universe. :+1:

16) The Trial by Franz Kafka

My least favorite Kafka book. :ok_hand:

17) Automate This: How Algorithms Took Over Our Markets, Our Jobs, and the World by Christopher Steiner

Kinda meh with not-so-surprising conclusions drawn from automation in technology. :ok_hand:

18) Writing Habit Mastery: How to Write 2,000 Words a Day and Forever Cure Writer’s Block by S.J. Scott

Blah book with a gimmicky title. :shit:

19) Spanish: Short Stories For Beginners - 9 Captivating Short Stories to Learn Spanish and Expand Your Vocabulary While Having Fun by Olly Richards

Since these stories are for people learning Spanish, I’m sure a native Spanish speaker would find these stories mind numbingly boring, yet they are effective for learning. :+1:

20) Soft Skills: The software developer’s life manual by John Sonmez

All of the non-technical skills you need to be an outstanding software developer. :+1:

21) How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Gimmicky title but solid content on the inside for daily social and business interactions. :+1:

22) The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick) by Seth Godin

Know when to hold em’ and know when to fold em’. :+1”

23) The Google Resume: How to Prepare for a Career and Land a Job at Apple, Microsoft, Google, or any Top Tech Company by Gayle Mcdowell

Geared more toward the undergraduate aspiring to work at one of the big three :ok_hand:

24) The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone

Jeff Bezos, his quirks, and how he turned Amazon into Amazon. :ok_hand:

25) We Are All Weird: The Myth of Mass and the End of Compliance by Seth Godin

Weird is good. :+1:

26) Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data by Charles Wheelan

A basic but entertaining popular book on statistics. :ok_hand:

27) The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield

Platitudes and cliches galore. :ok_hand:

28) Screw It, Let’s Do It: Lessons In Life (Quick Reads) by Richard Branson

Richard Branson seems like a great guy, but he’s an awful writer. :ok_hand:

29) Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think by Brian Wansink

Eating larger portions of food is affected by serving size, even if you already know it’s affected by serving size. :+1:

30) What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe

Hypothetical and ridiculous questions answered in a scientific and logical manner. :+1:

31) The Golden Ticket: P, NP, and the Search for the Impossible by Lance Fortnow

A good introduction to someone who doesn’t know anything about P or NP. :ok_hand:

32) How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed by Ray Kurzweil

Transhumanism with respect to the brain. :+1:

33) The Elements of Data Analytic Style by Jeff Leek

A few useful tips for clearly conveying scientific findings through graphs. :ok_hand:

34) How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life by Scott Adams

The story of the Dilbert guy with emphasis on following systems and not setting goals. :+1:

35) The Art of Data Science by Roger Peng

Quick and simple read, but nothing that different. :ok_hand:

36) Gorilla Mindset by Mike Cernovich

Alpha male idiot mentality. :shit:

37) The Warrior Ethos by Steven Pressfield

Short book on the warrior mentality in various military campaigns. :ok_hand:

38) Humans Need Not Apply: A Guide to Wealth and Work in the Age of Artificial Intelligence by Jerry Kaplan

Fragmented and at some point he starts talking about how he’s better than people because he makes more money. :shit:

39) Doing Data Science: Straight Talk from the Frontline by Rachel Schutt

Somewhat remedial book that was written by two authors who didn’t appear to have much communication between them. :ok_hand:

40) So, Anyway… by John Cleese

If you like John Cleese or you like Monty Python, might be worth a read, although quite dry at some points. :ok_hand:

41) Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericsson

A follow-up to deliberate practice and the so-called 1,000 hour rule, now with even more examples! :+1:

42) 2 B R 0 2 B by Kurt Vonnegut

Aging is no longer a problem in this dystopian short story. :+1:

43) The Big Trip Up Yonder by Kurt Vonnegut

Nothing too memorable here, but it could be that I just read it a while ago and it was particularly short. :ok_hand:

44) The Way to Wealth (Little Books of Wisdom) by Benjamin Franklin

Ben Franklin’s advice on wealth and finances is timeless as is this book. :+1:

45) Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution by Terrance McKenna

A bit too new-agey for my taste, but there were some nuggets of wisdom tucked away in his ramblings. :ok_hand:

46) In Defense of Evil by T.J. Kirk

Ramblings of one of my favorite YouTubers, TheAmazingAtheist. :+1:

47) Everything Under the Sun: Toward a Brighter Future on a Small Blue Planet by David Suzuki

Climate change is a serious problem that deserves serious solutions. :+1:

48) Neckbeard Uprising by T.J. Kirk

More ramblings from TheAmazingAtheist. :+1:

49) Who Rules the World? by Noam Chomsky

The world is fucked and Chomsky acts as Dr. Seuss’s Lorax as he takes us on a whirlwind tour of just how bad it is. :+1:

50) Occupy by Noam Chomsky

Various excerpts of Chomsky speaking on the “Occupy Wall Street” movement. :+1:

51) 9-11: Was There an Alternative? by Noam Chomsky

Chomsky’s critical take on the incompetence of the Bush regime. :+1:

52) Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday

Oodles of examples in history where ego got the better of various historical figures, and how it led to their downfall. :+1:

53) Hitch-22: A Memoir by Christoper Hitchens

Hitch-22 is a long memoir, but Hitch’s writing style is an absolute pleasure to read. :+1:

54) The Joyous Cosmology: Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness by Alan Watts

Manages to side step a lot of the new age BS with some good overall philosophical principles. :+1:

55) Free Will by Sam Harris

Sam Harris doesn’t believe in free will. :+1:

56) Adulthood is a Myth: A Sarah’s Scribbles Collection by Sarah Anderson

Adorable and funny comics where the target audience is most likely not me, but still enjoyed it. :+1:

57) Free Comic Book Day 2015: Fight Club (Dark Horse FCBD) by Chuck Palahniuk

Shorter and not as memorable as the Fight Club book. :ok_hand:

58) Neural Networks and Deep Learning by Michael Nielson

Michael Nielsen guided me through quantum computing with his awesome textbook and is now guiding the path down neural networks. :+1:

59) Maus: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman

Mice version of World War II where a survivor sets the historical stage for the second book. :+1:

60) Maus: A Survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman

My favorite of the two Maus books as this one is particularly dark. :+1:

61) My Life as a Quant: Reflections on Physics and Finance by Emanuel Derman

Typical path for many-a-physicist is over to the shady world of Wall Street. :ok_hand:

62) A Man Without a Country by Kurt Vonnegut

Crotchety old man humor at its best and most pristine. :+1:

63) Ape and Essence by Aldous Huxley

Interesting concept but poor execution in writing which is surprising from Huxley. :ok_hand:

64) You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times by Howard Zinn

Necessary supplemental reading for any high school history class that elaborates on how many devious things America has taken part in.

65) Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Waterson

My childhood relived through these page. :+1:

66) On Certainty by Ludwig Wittgenstein

Dense and linguistically rich but equally hard to parse and understand. :+1:

67) David Suzuki’s Green Guide by David Suzuki

Action items for people to take part in to optimistically curve climate change.

68) Getting Started with TensorFlow by Giancarlo Zaccone

A book that is only slightly better than the official TensorFlow documentation. :ok_hand:

69) TensorFlow for Machine Intelligence: A Hands-On Introduction to Learning Algorithms by Sam Abrahams

This was even worse than the TensorFlow documentation as it is riddled with spelling and grammatical errors. :shit:

70) The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Is it bad that I obtained most of my knowledge of Iran during the 1980s from a comic book? :+1:

71) Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue by Sam Harris

Sam Harris and a previous Jihad extremist sit down and hash out a plan for normalizing Islam. :+1:

72) The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Didn’t think this was as great as people say, but it did have certain poignant passages. :+1:

73) George’s Marvelous Medicine by Roald Dahl

Good bedtime reading. :+1:

74) How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer

Nothing new in terms of pop psychology, but the latter part of the book did have some examples I hadn’t heard of before. :ok_hand:

75) Library Book: Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl

The book was different than the movie, but still good. :+1:

76) How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You (The Oatmeal) by Matthew Inman

Funny short book in “The Oatmeal’s” typical style. :+1:

77) The Douchebag Bible by TJ Kirk

More from TheAmazingAtheist with lots on the pointlessness of life and other musings. :+1:

78) The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

While I didn’t care so much for the ending, the entire book was engaging and written well. :+1:

79) Writing Idiomatic Python 3.3 by Jeff Knupp

Tips and tricks for writing smart and clean Python. :+1:

80) An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything by Chris Hadfield

Basically an autobiography of Chris Hadwell and how to apply the discipline he obtained as an astronaut to life on Earth. :+1:

81) Lying by Sam Harris

Tell the truth, always, especially if you hate that sweater you got for Christmas. :+1:

82) Madeleine’s A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Charming science fiction story. :+1:

83) Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

An interesting and strange graphic novel that follows a girl who had a strange relationship with her father who loved the book Ulysses. :+1:

84) The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World by Alison Bechdel

Primarily hogwash. :shit:

85) The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book About Relationships by Neil Strauss

I felt dirty reading this, but I have to give it to Neil and say that he is an entertaining writer. :ok_hand:

86) Letters from a Stoic by Seneca

Refer back periodically for daily snippets of wisdom :+1:

87) The Algorithm Design Manual by Steven S. Skiena

The classic red book has practical examples with entertaining software related anecdotes. :+1:

88) Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World by Mark Williams

Good overall philosophy for reminding one to be mindfull of their surroundings and experience. :+1:

89) Beginning Data Science with R by Manas A Pathak

Why is the interesting subject of data science always combined with the uninteresting subject of sports? :ok_hand:

90) The Long Hard Road Out of Hell by Neil Strauss

While an entertaining read on one of my musical heroes, a bit of a fluff piece as well :ok_hand:

91) Irrationally Yours: On Missing Socks, Pickup Lines, and Other Existential Puzzles by Dan Areily

Letters-to-the-editor style book where Dan Areily answers various relationship and socially based questions. :ok_hand:

92) Another Day In Cubicle Paradise: A Dilbert Book by Scott Adams

Typical Dilbert humor with a slight update on the technology. :+1:

93) In the Dust of This Planet: Horror of Philosophy vol. 1 by Eugene Thacker

This will turn you into a narcissist and a pessimist. :+1:

94) The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving

I’ve been familiar with the story of Rip Van Winkle since I was child, but this is the first time I’ve read the book. :+1:

95) The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein

Politicians are more corrupt than you could possibly imagine. :+1:

96) Sappho by Sappho

Poetry from one of the oldest known poets that is still relevant. :+1:

97) All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Excellent character development and heart wrenching scenes. :+1:

98) How to Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method by George Pólya

The purpose of the book is ambitious and I just wasn’t crazy with how it was written. :ok_hand:

99) Become What You Are by Alan Watts

Alan Watts philosophy tends to be somewhat too new age themed for me, but this was toned down enough to enjoy it. :+1:

100) Neuromancer by William Gibson

While this book is a crucial influence for dystopian themed science fiction, I enjoy the work that has been inspired from this more than the work itself. :ok_hand: