My 2018 reading list

I have a problem with my reading list – a big problem.

I organized my reading list over this past week for 2018. I was happy to learn that I read 28 books last year. Unfortunately, it didn’t even make a dent in my master wish list of books since I added 48 new books to my list during 2017. My wish list of books to read is sitting at over 200. Last year, I had 7 years of books on my list. This year it’s grown to 8.

I’ve resigned myself to the fact that my list will always grow. The trick is figuring out how to prioritize it. If you’re new to my reading list, here is the criteria that I’ve been using:

  • I put a lot of weight on books that come from trusted sources. These can be friends, family, and people I know. It can be blogs and websites that I follow where I have gotten good suggestions in the past. I’ll also put a little extra weight on books recommended by authors whom I’ve read and like.
  • There are authors that I like, a lot. I do my best to try and include at least one book of theirs on my reading list each year.
  • Purchased books that have been aging on my Kindle get preference points.
  • I like exploring new authors and try to fit a couple of those in each year, if there’s room.
  • For fictional works, I stick primarily to the sci-fi genre, but not exclusively. I especially like those books that are geared more towards near-term, hard science fiction topics and/or artificial intelligence. I like how these books expand your imagination and help you to envision what’s possible. These books also foreshadow a lot of what could and will happen in technology over the next 15-20 years.
  • Given my interest in sci-fi, I like including “classic” sci-fi works on my list. It’s fun reading books written 50 years ago and realizing that they are more relevant today than when they were written.
  • My non-fiction reads center around four categories. The first is self-learning. These are books that help me manage my personal development. The second is business learning. These are books about sales, marketing, software development, leadership and management that cover topics applicable to my professional development. The third is founder and company stories, especially those told my third parties. I’m not a big fan of autobiographical accounts. The fourth category is around health and nutrition. I’ve found it important to read a couple of books from this genre every year. It reinforces good habits, helps me to pick up new ones, and keeps me current on the latest findings.
  • I do my best to stay away from trilogies and book series. I like sampling different authors and stories. I don’t want one author to monopolize my reading time over the course of the year. However, I never say never. If a trilogy or book series is good, I’ll stick with it.

As I did last year, I’ve narrowed my master list of books to the top 50 (or so) that I’m going to target for 2018. There is a very low probability I will get through all of these. In 2017 I read 23 books from my list, and in 2016 I read 22. Most likely, I’ll read about 20-25 off of this list.

  1. Shoe Dog – Phil Knight (completed)
  2. Dark Matter – Blake Crouch (completed)
  3. As a Man Thinketh (21st Century Edition) – James Allen and Charles Conrad (completed)
  4. Stories of Your Life and Others – Ted Chiang (completed)
  5. A Dog’s Purpose: A Novel for Humans – W. Bruce Cameron (completed)
  6. The Go-Giver – Bob Burg and John David Mann (completed)
  7. All I Can Be: A Time Travel Story – Michael Bunker (completed)
  8. Armada – Ernest Cline (completed)
  9. Intel Trinity,The: How Robert Noyce, Gordon Moore, and Andy Grove Built the World’s Most Important Company – Michael S. Malone
  10. Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days – Jake Knapp (completed)
  11. Company (Vintage Contemporaries) – Max Barry (completed)
  12. The Stone Man – Luke Smitherd (completed)
  13. Deep Work: Riles for Focused Success in a Distracted World – Cal Newport (completed)
  14. Artemis – Any Weir (completed)
  15. Managing Humans: Biting and Humorous Tales of a Software Engineering Manager – Michael Lopp (completed)
  16. Orphan Train – Christina Baker Kline (completed)
  17. The Glass Cage: Automation and Us – Nicholas Carr
  18. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action – Simon Sinek (completed)
  19. Pandemic (The Extinction Files #1) – A.G. Riddle
  20. Zero Hour – A Short Story – Eamon Ambrose
  21. The Business Blockchain: Promise, Practice, and Application of the Next Internet Technology – William Mougayar
  22. The Subprimes – Karl Taro Greenfield
  23. The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself – Sean Carroll
  24. Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment – Tal Ben-Shahar (completed)
  25. Sourdough – Robin Sloan
  26. Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain – David Eagleman
  27. Get A Grip: An Entrepreneurial Fable . . . Your Journey to Get Real, Get Simple, and Get Results – Gino Wickman, Mike Paton
  28. A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles – Marianne Williamson (completed
  29. Silicon Dawn – William Massa
  30. Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable, and What We Can Do About It – Marc Goodman
  31. Silence – Shusaku Endo (completed)
  32. Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue – Hugh Howey
  33. Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt – Michael Lewis
  34. Company Town – Madeline Ashby
  35. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – Robert M. Pirsig (completed)
  36. The Jennifer Project – Larry Enright
  37. Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams – Tom DeMarco
  38. Everything We Keep – Kerry Lonsdale
  39. Mind Over Golf: How to Use Your Head to Lower Your Score – Richard H. Coop (completed)
  40. Aurora – Kim Stanley Robinson
  41. On Basilisk Station – David Weber
  42. The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less – Richard Koch
  43. Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth – Gabriel Weinberg
  44. Post-Human Omnibus Edition – David Simpson
  45. The Term Sheet – Lucas Carlson
  46. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success – Carol S. Dweck
  47. Pandora’s Star – Peter Hamilton
  48. Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley – Antonio Garcia Martinez
  49. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less – Greg McKeown
  50. Cryptonomicon – Neal Stephenson
  51. Hot Seat: The Startup CEO Guidebook – Dan Shapiro
  52. The God’s Eye View – Barry Eisler

So I ended up at 52 due to a couple of carry-overs from 2017. In any case, if there are any must reads that you think I should add to my list for 2018, feel free to add them in the comments. Even though my overall list is impossibly long, I’m always open to adding good suggestions regardless of how long my list is.

If you’re curious about my reading lists in years past, here are the lists for the last four years: