I’m not one for New Year’s Resolutions. Yet at the start of 2014 I decided to do my best to always be reading a book or novel. It’s not as if I had not read much in 2013 and the years prior. It’s more a case of my reading newspapers, magazines and the sea of what I hope is relevant business information on the Internet as opposed to reading literature.
It’s easy to get lost reading and learning about so many different and interesting things. But I felt I was missing out on the joys of reading literature and books as opposed to articles. So I made a conscious decision to keep track of all the books I finished in 2014. I note ‘finished’ as there are books that I start and just don’t finish. I‘m betting you know what I mean.
So I finished 24 books in 2014. And in no way do I wish to be seen as showing off – my friend Pete read 75 books in 2014 and yes he is both employed and has a family. I had no particular total number in mind when I started 2014 but it quickly worked out to about two books per month. I was tempted to re-read George Orwell’s Animal Farm (really short) after reading Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch (really long) but since there was no total number in mind that was only a passing thought.
My point is that if you want to read more literature you have to make the time available. It can be done. I’ve offered a ten word mini-review of each if you care to read. Happy New Year! My best wishes to all for health and happiness in 2015.
The Fault in Our Stars – John Green – Surprising, engaging, endearing. Didn’t and won’t ever watch the movie.
One Summer – America 1927 – Bill Bryson – Lindbergh, Ruth, Yankees, Capone, Coolidge, great stuff from a favorite.
Tech and the City – Maria Teresa Cometto and Alessandro Pio – 20 year journey of NYC’s Silicon Alley startup community. Interesting.
Timebound – Rysa Walker – Time travel story echoing Jack Finney’s Time and Again. Entertaining.
The Hundred Foot Journey – Richard Morais – Fun and quick read. Made me hungry. Will see movie.
Essentialism – The Disciplined Pursuit of Less – Greg McKeown – Doing more by doing less. Easier said. Ironically somewhat long.
On China – Henry Kissenger – China geeks only. Fascinating history and Dr. K’s frequent pomposity.
The Four-Hour Work Week – Tim Ferriss – Explored possibilities. He’s a direct marketer at heart. Worth reading.
Zorba the Greek – Nikos Kazantankis – Amusing, dated, at times sagacious. Glad I stumbled upon it.
China Goes West – Joel Backaler – Smart, insightful, relevant to my interests. Hope to meet Joel.
80/20 Sales and Marketing – Perry Marshall – Another direct marketer as self-help artist. Better than expected.
Medium Raw – Anthony Bourdain – Love Bourdain. Always makes me laugh. Happy to finally read.
Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products– Nir Eyal – All marketers should read this short important behavioral science book.
The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt – Pulitzer Prize winner. Great narrative. Very long but worth it.
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Reviews – Daniel Pink – Provacative, “Carrots and sticks are so last century.” Love that.
The One Hour China Book – Jonathan Woertzel and Jeffrey Towson – Took longer. Cool and interesting guys. Great overview for newbies.
Fluency – Jennifer Foehner Wells – Sci-Fi. Technical. Different. Great refreshing heroine. Plot somewhat formulaic.
Thinking Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahanamen – Brilliant, long, challenging. Read slowly. Changed the way I think.
End of Copycat China – Shaun Rein – Intelligent, Influential American Shanghai-based researcher tops his first book.
To Sell is Human – Daniel Pink – Not equal to Drive, good writing style, easy, quick read.
Influence – Robert Cialdini – Art of persuasion, why people say “yes”. Marketers should read.
Age of Ambition – Chasing Fortune, Truth & Faith – New China – Evan Osmos. Terrific read from a terrific New Yorker magazine writer.
The Martian – Andrew Weir – Great debut novel. Engineer stranded on Red planet. Loved it.
China’s Superconsumers – Savio Chan & Michael Zakkour – Good foundation for China business strategy, interesting corporate case studies
In reading through the list it’s apparent that I have segmented my reading into three primary pools – Behavioral Science, China, Science Fiction. I need to work on expanding those pools in 2015, but if you want to end 2015 having read more books, I’m living proof that it can be done.