2015 — The year I started to enjoy reading.

I’ll be honest, up until late 2015 I hated reading. I was more of the type of person who enjoyed watching the occasional TV series once a week and spent most of my time learning the latest Javascript framework or other various programming related thing during the evenings.

As a husband, and father of three boys, my priorities are definitely laid out for me. Anything I consider doing I try to make sure it’s worth my time and energy before committing.

In the past I felt like reading anything non “tech” or “learning” related was impractical and a waste of time. That is until August of 2015 when I started reading “The Martian” by Andrew Weir. Now, if you’re familiar with the book you probably understand the appeal to someone like me who loves nerdy, sciency things, with lots of problem solving, and numbers, numbers everywhere. The book definitely put a hook in my mouth, not just for the technical aspects but for it’s ability to jump-start my imagination.

I love long continuous stories. One of my favorite TV shows of all time is LOST. Though the ending was less than favorable, the journey, mystery, and character development was intriguing. I think out of anything I’ve learned in 2015 is that books are so much better than TV. For the very reason that they’re more complete and tell a better, longer, and more fulfilling story.

Reading also stimulates portions of my brain that I don’t remember using since I was a kid. The opportunity for imagination to come alongside entertainment is very powerful. Everything is so spelled out for us nowadays that we no longer need to visualize. Things are visualized for us. I think reading books helps us be more creative in real life all aspects of life.

Books I’ve read this year (not in order):

The Martian by Andrew Weir

This book was pretty awesome. Very technical but also humorous. It had a straightforward plot. A little too much cussing for my taste but still very entertaining.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

This was one of my favs this year. I found the nerdy video game / 80's pop culture stuff very entertaining. It took me back! Loved the concept.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

This one is a classic. It’s a fairly short book and the first of 5 in a series. It kind of reminded me of a futuristic Narnia. There was definitely a lot of deep but subtle messages for the reader to chew on. I’ll probably read the rest of the series this year hopefully.

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicles #1) by Patrick Rothfuss

This book and the one below are part of a series called “The King Killer Chronicles”. They are long, rich books. It’s probably one of the most in-depth fantasy stories I’ve ever heard. The character development and unique way the story is told is really refreshing.

A Wise Man’s Fears (The Kingkiller Chronicles #2) by Patrick Rothfuss

Book Two — See above

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

This book was great fun. I recommend it to anyone who likes fast paced super hero stories with a lot of twists and surprises.

The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) by Brandon Sanderson

The Mistborn series was just plain awesome. A really rich world of magic, politics, leadership, and heroism. The series has 3 books. This one and the two below.

The Well of Ascension (Mistborn #2) by Brandon Sanderson

Book Two — See above.

The Hero of Ages (Mistborn #3) by Brandon Sanderson

Book Three — See above.

The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Okay this series is probably my all time favorite thus far, though I’d have to say the King Killer Chronicles is a close second. These books are gigantic and kind of intimidating at first (over 1k pages each). The character development is incredible and the story is hard to stop thinking about. It was a very hard book for me to put down. I definitely recommend checking this series out if you enjoy good fantasy.

Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive #2) by Brandon Sanderson

Book Two — See above.

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson

This book was life changing for me. As a Christian, I felt it was an incredible insight of how and why you should face your fears.

The Art of Being You by Bob Kilpatrick

Though I’m only about 75% through this one. I felt like mentioning it as it’s another great non-fiction Christian book that encourages you to be the masterpiece God has made you to be. It makes a lot of great points about the creative artistry of God by contrasting it with the mostly calculative thought process we tend to lean towards.

Any that’s it! What were some of your favorite books this year?

Thanks for reading,
Andrew Del Prete