My 2015 reading list and goals

I had a goal last year to read 25 books, 20 of which were supposed to come off my 2014 reading list. As far as number of books went, I succeeded and read 27. Unfortunately, I only got through 19 on my list. I was halfway through book number 20 when the ball dropped.

Still, it was a good year for reading. I’ve enjoyed it so much the last two years, that I decided to up the level of difficulty this year. I’m going to make an effort to read 35 books, which equates to about 3 per month. I’ve also upped my reading list from 20 to 33 books.

Since my wish list of books has ballooned to over 100, I had to set some guidelines in choosing the 33 books for 2015. Here are the ones I tried to use:

  • I leaned towards authors that I like. So books by Hugh Howey, A.G. Riddle and Daniel Suarez got prioritized. I’m also waiting on a fourth book in the Singularity Series by William Hertling which will certainly jump the queue when it becomes available.
  • Recommendations from trusted sources, such as friends, got special priority. That also includes a couple of blogs I follow that have consistently delivered above average recommendations.
  • I did my best to avoid book series. One or two may creep in, but I like variety in my reading, especially when it comes to fiction. Plus, it’s hard to commit to a lot of books from one series when the goal is to read 35 books for the year.
  • I decided to sample some “classic” sci-fi authors and have included books from Isaac Asimov, William Gibson, Cory Doctorow, and Peter Hamilton on this year’s list.
  • Last year, my list was 50% business, 50% fiction. I find that I can read the fictional books faster, and I enjoy them more. Therefore, this year’s list is 2/3 play and 1/3 work.
  • I tried to make the business books more of the biography and story type than the educational/learning variety. I’m not saying I don’t like the learning ones, but the bios and stories are more entertaining. I’ve also found that I learn and retain more from the stories than from the straight-up educational ones. I’m sure there’s a scientific reason behind why this happens, but I’m not going to over think it. I’m just going to run with it.

Using those guidelines, here’s my 2015 reading list.

  1. Fifty Quick Ideas to Improve Your User Stories – Gojko Adzic, David Evans, Nikola Korac (completed – review posted)
  2. Red Rising – Pierce Brown (completed – review posted)
  3. Departure – A.G. Riddle (completed – review posted)
  4. The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon – Brad Stone (completed – review posted)
  5. Uncommon Stock: Version 1.0 – Eliot Peper (completed – review posted)
  6. Resurrection – Arwen Elys Dayton (completed – review posted)
  7. Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind – Al Ries, Jack Trout (completed – review posted)
  8. Sand – Hugh Howey (completed – review posted)
  9. Little Brother – Cory Doctorow (completed – review posted)
  10. Same Side Selling: A Radical Approach to Break Through Sales Barriers – Ian Altman (completed – review posted)
  11. Fluency – Jennifer Foehner Wells (completed – review posted)
  12. Off to Be the Wizard – Scott Meyer (completed – review posted)
  13. The Image: A Guide to Pseudo Events in America – Daniel J. Boorstein (completed – review posted)
  14. Brave New World Revisited – Aldous Huxley (completed – review posted)
  15. Influx – Daniel Suarez (completed – review posted)
  16. Leadership Transformed – Peter Fuda (completed – review posted)
  17. Neuromancer – William Gibson (completed – review posted)
  18. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot – David Shafer
  19. Nuts – Kevin Freiberg, Jackie Freiberg
  20. The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion
  21. The Forge of God – Greg Bear
  22. The Hard Thing About Hard Things – Ben Horowitz
  23. Babel-17 – Samuel R. Delany
  24. Q – Ben Mezrich
  25. Things a Little Bird Told Me: Confessions of the Creative Mind – Biz Stone
  26. I, Robot – Isaac Asimov
  27. The Gift – Dave Donovan
  28. No Better Time: The Brief, Remarkable Life of Danny Lewin, the Genius Who Transformed the Internet – Molly Knight Raskin
  29. The Wayward Pines – Blake Crouch
  30. On Baselik Station – David Weber
  31. Startup Growth Engines: Case Studies of How Today’s Most Successful Startups Unlock Extraordinary Growth – Sean Ellis, Morgan Brown
  32. Pandora’s Star – Peter Hamilton
  33. Universal Principles of Design, Revised and Updated: 125 to Enhance Usability, Influence Perception, Increase Appeal, Make Better Design Decisions – William Lidwell, Kritina Holden, Jill Butler

It’s going to be a challenge, but one I accept. The key will be trying to stick to this list of 33. I’m sure, just like last year, at least one or two (or many more) will jump the queue during the year.

If you have any recommendations for my 2015 list based on what you see above, please leave them in the comments. Thanks!

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