My 2023 reading list

Welcome to the 10th edition of my annual reading list.

The list is a curated selection of titles from my want-to-read list, which has 231 books on it according to Goodreads. Since I read about 30 books a year (which is how many I read last year and how many I plan to read this year), narrowing the list can be a challenge. It’s especially challenging since I add about as many books to my list as I read. I added 37 books last year, so the list grew by a few titles from 2022.

To make the curation process a little easier, I’ve come up with a set of guidelines that help me build the reading list.

  • I read 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 keep a third, short 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 a book, I make an effort to prioritize it. In the past, this list was rather lengthy. I’ve made good progress the last couple of years and have just a handful of books on this list heading into 2023.
  • I like to include a few books by new authors. It’s fun reading books by authors I’m not familiar with and discovering up-and coming talents.
  • Books still on the 2022 list got moved to the 2023 list. If it was on last year’s list, it belongs on this year’s list. I do my best to put higher priority on books from the prior year’s list, but I’ll confess there is still one title on the list from 2020.
  • 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, neuroscience, 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 reads

  1. The Wandering Earth – Cixin Liu
  2. The Every – Dave Eggers
  3. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue – V.E. Schwab
  4. The Humans – Matt Haig
  5. Across the Sand – Hugh Howey
  6. Tomorrow, Tomorrow, Tomorrow – Gabrielle Zevin
  7. Infinite – Brian Freeman
  8. The Peripheral – William Gibson
  9. Lost in Time – A.G. Riddle
  10. Constance – Matthew Fitzsimmons
  11. Cryptonomicron – Neal Stephenson
  12. Home – Matt Dunn
  13. Colony One Mars – Gerald M. Kilby
  14. Machines Like Me – Ian McEwan
  15. Amped – Daniel H. Wilson
  16. Six Wakes – Mur Lefferty
  17. Pandora’s Brain – Calum Chace
  18. The Water Knife – Paolo Bacigalupi
  19. Before the Coffee Gets Cold: A Novel – Tashikazu Kawaguchi
  20. When She Woke – Hillary Jordan
  21. Reap3r – Eliot Peper
  22. The Man in the High Castle – Philip K. Dick
  23. The Dog Stars – Peter Heller
  24. 14 – Peter Clines
  25. Keep Mars Weird – Neal Pollack
  26. The Quantum Thief – Hannu Rajaniemi
  27. Interface – Tony Batton
  28. Cipher – Sean Jenan
  29. Three Laws Lethal – David Walton
  30. Eversion – Alistair Reynolds
  31. The Genius Plague – David Walton

The morning reads

  1. Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals – Oliver Burkeman
  2. Why We Get Sick: The Hidden Epidemic at the Root of Most Chronic Disease and How to Fight it – Benjamin Bikman, PhD
  3. The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow’s World – Charles C. Mann
  4. Atomic Habits – James Clear
  5. Privacy is Power: Reclaiming Democracy in the Digital Age – Carissa Veliz
  6. Go-Giver Influencer – Bog Burg and David Mann
  7. The Power of Marketing Channels – Jason Dhorajiwala
  8. The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself – Michael A. Singer
  9. Infinite Powers: How Calculus Reveals the Secrets of the Universe – Steven H. Strogatz
  10. Thinking, Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman
  11. Way of the Turtle – Curtis Faith
  12. You Are the Placebo – Joe Dispenza
  13. Internet for the People – Ben Tarnoff
  14. The Choice – Edith Enger
  15. Stoicism and the Art of Happiness – Donald J. Robertson

The revisit list

  1. The Slight Edge – Jeff Olson
  2. Ego Is the Enemy – Ryan Holiday
  3. The Power of Positive Thinking – Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

Even though I spend considerable effort arranging my reading list, there’s always room for more. Every year, a few books find a way to 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.

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