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.

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Book review: The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

Book cover for The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

Humans have an infatuation with time travel. How do I know? I’ve read my fair share of time travel stories, and I’m sure that I’ve just scratched the surface.

When I started The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North, I didn’t realize I was going to be reading yet another book around time travel. Fortunately, this version of the time travel story had an interesting twist to it.

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Books to read in 2023

Looking for a few books to add to your reading list in 2023? As I did last year, here are ten titles for your consideration. I’ve broken them down into three categories once again – General Recommendations, Personal Development, and Business. There’s also a few bonus reads at the end if my top 10 aren’t enough to fill your reading list.

My reading tends to lean towards science fiction, technology, self-management, and fitness & nutrition. Bear this in mind as you review the list.

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Book review: Code Breakers

Book cover for Code Breakers, The Complete Series, by Colin F. Barnes

For my reading list the last couple of years, I set a goal of reading books that I previously purchased. I discovered and bought most of the books through Amazon’s Kindle Daily Deals email, although I’m sure a couple came from the Amazon recommendation engine, which I consider my arch-nemesis.

Code Breakers by Colin F. Barnes, which I purchased in December 2016, was one of the last books on that list.

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A memory rekindled

A bit of misfortune struck our house recently. I was working in my home office when I heard a popping noise come from the family room where Lisa was watching television, followed by the words, “Something’s wrong with the television. The screen is blank, and nothing is happening when I hit the power button.” In other words, I’d received my cue to come take a look.

My initial reaction was it’s time for a new television. We really like the current set, but it is six years old. A new television would be a nice upgrade, but I wasn’t particularly excited about spending a thousand dollars or more around the holidays for a replacement.

I was just about ready to trash the old television and pull the trigger on a new one when a fond memory of me, my dad, and a washing machine hit me.

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Book review: The Intellectual Life

Book cover for The Intellectual Life by A.G. Sertillanges

I’ve read my fair share of personal development books over the years. What I’m finding is that the concepts of self management and character development have remained constant over time. You can read a book written 2,000 years ago like Meditations, and read a book written recently, such as Digital Minimalism, and you’ll find that there are a lot of common themes. Time has passed, societies have changed, technology has advanced, but at our core, we are still human beings. The principles that lead to being a person of good character haven’t changed.

It’s why I find it interesting to occasionally read personal development “classics”, and it’s what led me to read The Intellectual Life by A.G. Sertillanges.

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Lessons Learned from Agility Trials

Maverick with his title ribbon

A few months ago, Maverick started his agility journey. With Abbey handling him, he had two qualifying runs in his first two trial weekends. Things were going great. It felt like the sky was the limit for Maverick.

Then Abbey went back to school. I took over handling duties. It was up to me to keep the momentum going.

Well, it took almost three months and five trial weekends, but we did it. Maverick finally got his third qualifying run in Novice Jumpers With Weaves (JWW). With the third qualifying run, he got his first agility title.

Doing agility trials with Maverick the last few months has been quite the journey. I’ve learned a lot about doing agility and working with animals. Here’s a few of the lessons I’ve learned.

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Book review: The Cancer Code

Book cover for The Cancer Code: A Revolutionary New Understanding of a Medical Mystery by Dr. Jason Fung

Over the past few years, I’ve taken it upon myself to learn more about health, nutrition, and fitness. I’m not implying that I don’t trust my doctor, or the medical profession in general. However, if the information is out there, why shouldn’t I read it? There’s nothing wrong with a little knowledge, especially when it comes to our own body and health. It also leads to more productive conversations with my doctor during my annual check-up.

As part of my personal health education process, I recently read The Cancer Code: A Revolutionary New Understanding of a Medical Mystery by Dr. Jason Fung. Cancer has been one of the most lethal diseases of my lifetime, and I wanted to understand more about it, how it’s treated, and possibly how to prevent or delay its onset.

When I wanted to learn more about fasting, I read Dr. Fung’s The Complete Guide to Fasting which was very informative and a book I would highly recommend. Based on that experience, I had high expectations for The Cancer Code.

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Is the Metaverse the Future?

Read science fiction books, which I do a lot of, or watch science fiction movies, and the metaverse is the future. Ready Player One, both the book and the movie, certainly make it feel like it will be an incredible experience.

The way it’s portrayed in science fiction, the metaverse appears to be a foregone conclusion. The movies certainly make it look interesting and pretty cool. I get the attraction. It’s a digital playground where you get to be anything you want and do anything you want (for a price). As a software developer, the metaverse would be so much to fun to build. It would be a great project to be a part of.

Well, regardless of how cool it looks or how much fun it would be to build, if the metaverse is the future, then count me out. I don’t want to join it nor do I want to engage in it.

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Book review: Way Station

Book cover for Way Station by Clifford D. Simak

When reading for recreation, I primarily read science fiction for reasons I’ve previously documented. I particularly enjoy near-term, hard science fiction. It fascinates me to see how authors extrapolate current technology trends into believable stories. It’s amazing how many of the trends projected in these stories have come to pass.

I also enjoy classic science fiction. Authors such as Isaac Asimov, Philip K Dick, Kurt Vonnegut, and Ray Bradbury wrote books that were well ahead of their time. Some of their writings are just as applicable today, if not more so, than when they were written back in the day. That’s why I like to occasionally slip a classic author into my reading, which is how I happened upon Way Station by Clifford D. Simak.

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