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

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:

The books:

1) Quantum Proofs by Thomas Vidick and John Watrous

An excellent overview of the landscape of quantum interactive proofs. :+1:

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. :+1:

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 :+1:

4) The Meaning of it All by Richard Feynman

Classic Feynman. :+1:

5) The (Honest) Truth about Dishonesty

I liked it, but I found Sam Harris’s “Lying” to be a preferable book about dishonesty :ok_hand:

6) Physics and Philosophy: The Revolution in Modern Science by Werner Heisenberg

A bit rudimentary, but it’s written by one of the greats. :ok_hand:

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. :+1:

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. :+1:

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. :+1:

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. :shit:

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). :+1:

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. :ok_hand:

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. :+1:

14) The Giver by Lois Lowry

It reads like a more PG version of George Orwell’s 1984. :ok_hand:

15) The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

First Hemingway book I’ve read that had very quaint and scenic visual passages. :+1:

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. :+1:

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. :+1:

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. :+1:

19) Passive Income: Your Complete Guide to Building Multiple Streams of Passive Income

Seems rushed but did have a couple good tips :ok_hand:

20) The Curse of Madame “C” by Gary Larson

Charming and humorous collection of one of my favorite comic strips :+1:

21) Last Chapter and Worse by Gary Larson

More Far Side, more awesomeness. :+1:

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. :+1:

What can I say, I fell into a Far Side kick. :+1:

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. :+1:

25) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gabbing is more like it, people in this book just don’t shut up. :shit:

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. :+1:

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. :+1:

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. :ok_hand:

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”. :+1:

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. :+1:

31) Brain Droppings by George Carlin

The perfect mix of apathy and humor. :+1:

32) Armageddon in Retrospect by Kurt Vonnegut

Various dark short stories on World War II. :+1:

33) Technical Blogging by Antonio Cangiano

Too focused on WordPress, despite the title. :ok_hand:

34) The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Miguel Ruiz

Too new-agey for me. :shit:

35) The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey

Not bad, but there are better books on the subject. :ok_hand:

Better for people in managerial positions; anecdotes on early 2000s Iraq and how to apply to business and leadership. :ok_hand:

37) A Happy Death by Albert Camus

Wouldn’t recommend as a first book to read by Camus, but still very good. :+1:

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. :+1:

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. :+1:

41) Fragments by Heraclitus

Nuggets of wisdom and witticisms. :+1:

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. :ok_hand:

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. :+1:

44) North of Boston by Robert Frost

Rustic poetry with a very outdoorsy feel. :+1:

45) A Confession by Leo Tolstoy

This book changed my life. :+1: :+1: :+1:

46) Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

Why the fuck did I read this garbage? :shit:

47) Creativity Inc. by Ed Campbell

Interesting stories about Pixar with a bent on how to be a good project leader. :ok_hand:

48) The Plant Paradox by Steven R. Grundy

Eat plants, but avoid lectins. :+1:

49) Joel on Software by Joel Spoelsky

A bit dated, but still surprisingly relevant. :+1:

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. :ok_hand:

51) The Dilbert Future by Scott Adams

It’s Dilbert, it’s amazing. :+1:

52) Losing the Signal by Jacquie McNish

Working in Waterloo, it was interesting to learn about the internals of Blackberry during their hayday. :+1:

53) Practical Vim by Drew Neil

Started learning Vim this year, and this book was an excellent companion to have. :+1:

54) Magic Mushrooms Around the World by Joshen Gartz

Not scientific enough to be science and not new agey enough to be utter bullshit. :ok_hand:

55) Introduction to Graph Theory by Richard J. Trudeau

Very well written, and written in a way to be accessible to the novice reader. :+1:

56) Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

Lots of words of wisdom that I should revisit from time to time. :+1:

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. :ok_hand:

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. :+1:

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. :+1:

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. :+1: