2021 Reading Review

Unlike 2020 I didn’t have any goals around reading, but I did try to keep books around as much as possible. I listened to some audiobooks while running, always had a book in progress on my phone, and since we take our daughter to the library all the time I’d make sure to pick a book for myself each time too. In the end I read more than 2020, so there ya go: habits beat goals again.

Young Guns: Obsession, Overwatch, and the Future of Gaming by Austin Moorhead

Probably says a lot about me that I’d read a book about video games just as soon as play one. To be honest though I did play a lot more video games in 2021 too.

The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu

Real trip of a story. Tough to read through translation at times but loved thinking through it. First of a trilogy so will plan to hit the 2nd book in 2022.

Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh

So so funny. Hilarious even. Get a taste here:

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

Another one of these books that gets referenced a lot in other books I read… fits in with Talent is Overrated, Triggers, Atomic Habits… Worth the read. Since I take in so many books, podcasts, etc on this topic I felt like I had already heard all the ideas and advice it provided but I could see where for some people this would be the book that clicks for a better life.

Lives of the Stoics by Ryan Holiday

A survey history of stoicism, told as the biographies of the school’s leaders and best-known practitioners. Really well put together: enough narrative to keep it from feeling dry, and plenty of great “Holiday-isms” like we’re used to from his previous books.

The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi

Book 1 of the trilogy. Listened on Audible while training for half marathon. I bought this when it was on sale at some point and never got around to listening, but then the other two books came out and I had a half marathon to train for so figured I’d listen to all three while I was running. It was a good idea because I enjoyed the story (over-the-top space opera) so I told myself I was only allowed to listen to it while running. Made me run, made the running fun, which made a good feedback loop.

The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi

Book 2 of the trilogy. Listened on Audible while training for half marathon.

The Last Emperox by John Scalzi

Book 3 of the trilogy. Listened on Audible while training for half marathon. My favorite one of the three.

The Call of the Wild by Jack London

First read this in junior high and it sticks in my mind as the first book I actually tried to interpret past the story itself. Where it’s obviously not just about a dog, even if you like the story about the dog. I liked it even better this time and felt it timely to my season of life.

Love People, Use Things by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus

The Minimalists are guilty-pleasure self-help and I’m here for it.

The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Galloway

I started playing tennis this fall for the first time in decades. Read this book three times and really helped me enjoy taking up the game.

Beyond Laravel: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Building Effective Software by Michael Akopov

Quick read for the people who’d want it.

12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson

Enough people talked about Jordan Peterson I’d figured I’d at least read his book. I disagree with him on a lot but respect his willingness to think through difficult topics and stand by his own opinions. But by the end I was pretty sick of him; the kind of person I’d meet at a party, recall it as good conversation, then hope I never run into again.

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

Great story to end my year. I use a rowing machine a lot, and while I’d never try to compare myself with Olympians it was helpful to remember some of my more painful rows while taking in this story. Makes me thankful for my loving upbringing.

Honorable mentions

These books were either partially read, or perhaps are the kind of book you don’t read all the way through… but were considered enough to be worth mentioning.

  • A Journey Through Philosophy in 101 Anecdotes by Nicholas Rescher
  • How to Solve It by George Pólya
  • Walkaway by Cory Doctorow
  • How to Live by Derek Sivers
  • Rebuilding Milo by Aaron Horschig


I read too many comic books to list but wanted to mention a few of my favorites this year:

By Alex

Web Developer and Fitness Coach in Louisville, KY