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.
Wow! You have such cultured tastes.
I enjoyed Tartt’s THE SECRET HISTORY. Dark & funny.
GOODREADS had a similar New Year’s resolution campaign, where each person commits him/herself to reading x books a year. I picked 24 (2 a month).
Wish me luck.
Yes Hallie I am interested in reading Tartt’s first book but at 952 pages it’s quite the task to take on! I had head of GOODREADS but did not realize what was the mission. Oh and thanks Hallie and good luck!