The reading list has been one of my annual rituals since I started blogging back in 2013. There were 60 books on my “want to read” list at that time. Twenty made the cut. This year, according to Goodreads, I have 218 books queued up. Needless to say, prioritizing the list takes a little longer than it used to.
Last year, I read 34 books, surpassing my goal of 30 for the year. For the coming year, my goal is to read 30 books, not including the re-reads. I’m also hoping to be as disciplined as I was last year adding new titles. I only added 21 last year, so my overall list got a little shorter. With any luck, maybe I can get it under 200 this year, or next.
To make things easier, there are some basic rules I follow to organize my reading list:
- I am typically reading multiple books at once. I have a couple of daily readers, a non-fiction book about personal development, business, or health that I read in the morning, and a recreational book that I like to read in the evening. Therefore, my first task is to split the list into two, my fun reads and my morning reads.
- I also keep a short third list of personal development books to reread. The goal is to revisit and reinforce concepts that I want to incorporate into my day-to-day living.
- Recommendations from trusted sources get highest priority.
- Books from authors I like receive preferential treatment. A few of my current favorites are Blake Crouch, A.G. Riddle, Eliot Peper, Daniel Suarez, and Ryan Holiday.
- If I’ve already purchased the book, I make an effort to prioritize it. I made good progress on this list last year and hope to reduce the backlog further in 2022.
- I like to include a few books by new authors. It’s fun discovering up-and coming talents.
- Books still on the 2021 list got moved to the 2022 list. If it was on last year’s list, it should be on this year’s list.
- My fictional preference is primarily science fiction, but I will venture outside of this genre if provided with a good recommendation. My science fiction books tend more towards books that explore hard science fiction or plausible ideas such as artificial intelligence, human augmentation, or robotics. I’m not one for space operas, although I will dabble here and there if the first book in a series looks interesting.
- I always save room on my list for “classic” science fiction. It fascinates me how authors have foreshadowed or predicted the future in their books, some which were written well over 50 years ago.
- My non-fiction reads center around self-learning, business learning, founder/company stories, and health and nutrition. I do my best to include books from each of these categories every year to stay current on the latest findings.
The fun list
- AI 2014: Ten Visions for Our Future – Kai Fu Lee
- After On: A Novel of Silicon Valley – Rob Reid
- The Silent Patient – Alex Michaelides
- Uncanny Valley – Anna Weiner
- QualityLand – Marc-Uwe Kling
- Project Hail Mary – Andy Weir
- Extracted – RR Haywood
- The Naturalist – Andrew Mayne
- Way Station – Clifford Simak
- The Extinction Trials – A.G. Riddle
- Code Breakers – Colin Barnes
- The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August – Claire North
- Interference – Brad Parks
- The Every – Dave Eggers
- The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue – V.E. Schwab
- Infinite – Brian Freeman
- Constance – Matthew Fitzsimmons
- Cryptonomicron – Neal Stephenson
- Machines Like Me – Ian McEwan
- Home – Matt Dunn
- Amped – Daniel H. Wilson
- Six Wakes – Mur Lefferty
- Pandora’s Brain – Calum Chace
- The Water Knife – Paolo Bacigalupi
- When She Woke – Hillary Jordan
- The Man in the High Castle – Philip K. Dick
- The Dog Stars – Peter Heller
- 14 – Peter Clines
- Colony One Mars – Gerald M. Kilby
- Keep Mars Weird – Neal Pollack
- The Quantum Thief – Hannu Rajaniemi
- Interface – Tony Batton
- Cipher – Sean Jenan
- The Peripheral – William Gibson
- Three Laws Lethal – David Walton
The morning reads
- Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting – Robert McKee
- Metabolical: The Lure and the Lies of Processed Food, Nutrition, and Modern Medicine – Robert H. Lustig
- Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything – BJ Fogg
- Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World – Dr. Danny Penman
- The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True – Richard Dawkins
- The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter and Miracles – Bruce Lipton
- The Cancer Code – Jason Fung
- The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods – Antonin Sertillanges
- Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams – Matthew Walker
- Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals – Oliver Burkeman
- The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow’s World – Charles C. Mann
- Privacy is Power: Reclaiming Democracy in the Digital Age – Carissa Veliz
- Stoicism and the Art of Happiness – Donald J. Robertson
- The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself – Michael A. Singer
- Infinite Powers: How Calculus Reveals the Secrets of the Universe – Steven H. Strogatz
The revisit list
- The Go-Giver – Bob Burg and John David Mann
- The Happiness Advantage – Shawn Achor
- The Power of Positive Thinking – Dr. Norman Vincent Peale
The daily readers
- Stand Strong: 365 Devotions for Men by Men – Our Daily Bread Ministries
- The Maxwell Daily Reader: 365 Days of Insight to Develop the Leader Within You and Influence Those Around You – John C. Maxwell
- The Entrepreneur’s Weekly Nietzsche: A Book for Disruptors – Brad Feld and Dave Jilk
No matter how much time and effort I spend organizing my reading list, there’s always room for more, and they might even jump the queue. Feel free to leave recommendations in the comments as I’m always on the lookout for new additions!
If you’re interested in the lists from years past, you can find them here.