2015 Reading

In December 2014, I vowed to read 15 books this year. As I post updates, they’ll collect here so you can see how I’m doing.

Reading List 2015 - Amber wrote on her blog about how we both see ourselves as readers, but when you look at how many books we've read this year-- we're not really readers. We just see ourselves that way and we should better strive to meet that expectation. I'm pledging to finish 15 books between now and the end of 2015.
The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb - When I started reading this book, I didn't think I'd have to be smart to talk about it. Turns out, you kinda have to be smart to talk about this book -- at least to do so without being called an idiot by its author, Nassim Nicholas Taleb (also known as NNT). But then, he's likely to call you an idiot regardless.
The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons - I loved every second of Hyperion, and the only note of disappointment I have with it was how unresolved it was at its end. Thankfully I'm a lucky reader who knew full well more content was to follow. I pity the science fiction fans of 1989 who had to wait for this sequel to become available.
The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories - A fail for 2015. I’m tapping out on the book The Call of Cthulu and Other Weird Stories. The tough thing is that of what I read, I really did enjoy. It creeped me out in a good way. In particular, I told like 500 people they need to read the story “The Picture in the […]
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho - When you need to teach or explain an idea, you may find greater success by using examples, imagery, and stories rather than defining the idea explicitly. It’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting to be right – using just the right words to make everything accurate. While correct, those words may be lost […]
Endgame: The Calling by James Frey - The book is far less intriguing than the real-world game that stems from it. It’s clearly created in the same thinking of young adult thrillers like Hunger Games and The Maze Runner. That’s not inherently a bad thing, but the book is so blandly following that formula that I really couldn’t care less about what […]
Old Man’s War by John Scalzi - My friend Will, the same guy who recommended Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion to me, told me to read Old Man’s War at about the same time. I had read the Amazon Kindle sample of Red Shirts a while back, and seen Scalzi on the Forbidden Island episode of Tabletop, but that’s all I […]
The Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman - “Turns out Neil Gaiman accidentally wrote Harry Potter in 1990.” That’s how my friend Peter introduced this comic book mini-series to me. I’ve never really been into comic books, but occasionally I feel like I should be. Peter is my best enabler on that front. He recommends to me the ‘what you should read next’ and […]
The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi - I enjoyed Old Man’s War so much, I immediately requested the sequel from my local library. The Ghost Brigades did not disappoint. And while so many franchises will rely on its charismatic main character, Scalzi didn’t feel the need to do so – it’s a credit to the wonderful universe he’s created. We take on this adventure from […]
Taking People With You by David Novak - Business non-fiction is one of my favorite pastimes. Reading the advice of successful people always feels like time well spent. Taking People With You leaves me with a great respect for David Novak, the Executive Chairman of YUM! brands here in Louisville. He was CEO at the time of the book’s publication. It’s a public version of the […]
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield - The Domino Project was a publishing experiment run by Seth Godin and Amazon.com back in 2011. They released several small books aimed at business readers. The book equivalent of a TED talk, they could be consumed quickly (about an hour) and had a mission of spreading ideas quickly. Occasionally Seth still publishes blog posts for Domino, […]
The Last Colony by John Scalzi - It’s good to hear from John Perry again. I missed his presence in The Ghost Brigades. But even better is to meet Jane Sagan again. After listening to “The Sagan Diary” I started to really appreciate her character and the decisions she made between book 2 and book 3. The Last Colony features Jane as […]
The Postmortal by Drew Magary - With a great premise and a recommendation from a trusted friend, I had high hopes for this book. In the near-future a ‘cure for aging’ is found and the world faces never-before-considered problems associated with rapid population growth. Kind of like the Torchwood series Miracle Day, except people still die. Murders and cancer still happen, but […]
Quiet by Susan Cain - In college I first started reading self-help books. Classic stuff like Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. It was also during this time that I became a little obsessed with success. I still focus a lot on how to live a successful life […]
You're Never Weird on the Internet hardcover with dog You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day - I’m usually not much for biographies or memoirs. Normally with non-fiction I tend to read business books, or books for helping me learn a skill. But I love everything Felicia Day creates so I needed to read this one. More accurately, I needed to read this one after Amber finished it. While I wanted to […]
Zero to One by Peter Thiel - Most people that don’t work in technology probably know the name Peter Thiel from watching The Social Network. Or maybe from when the Thiel Fellowship started, asking talented young technologists to put off college for a couple years and build startups instead. But if you work in tech you probably know that he’s a vocal […]
Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt by Mark Will-Weber - Some people have favorite presidents. I’ve never been much for politics, but this book has helped me start picking some favorites. Truman, FDR, and Obama being the first that come to mind. Not because of their political actions, but because their feelings on drinking seem to match my own. This was a fun a little […]
Work Rules! by Laszlo Bock - My team lead, Simon, and I have a one-on-one chat every week. It’s typically casual in tone but big picture in topic. At some point in an August chat, we hit the topic of managing people. Recently this book has been read by several Automatticians and Simon is one of them. He recommended I read […]
Art Before Breakfast by Danny Gregory - When my mother got word that I was getting into drawing, she supported it whole-heartedly. For my birthday, she got me a sketchpad, art pencils, and Art Before Breakfast by Danny Gregory. Not only does the book exude a can-do attitude that everyone is capable of making art, but it excites the reader into doing […]
The Martian by Andy Weir - Some books just grab you and don’t let go. I wasn’t even expecting to read this book last weekend. On Friday I got an email saying my library’s ebook version of The Martian was now available and was automatically checked out for my account. All I had to do was open up my Kindle and let […]