24 Books I’ve Read in the Past 12 Months

Plus 4 I’m enjoying now, and my top 6 out of all of them.

These are the 24 books I’ve read on my Kindle in the past 12 months.

  1. Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces by Radley Balko. Thorough and interesting, although the prose didn’t exactly sparkle. Purchased July 31, 2016. Read August 16, 2016.
  2. Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto. Excellent, but not as fascinating as Gatto’s Underground History. Purchased April 29, 2016. Read August 28, 2016.
  3. Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport. Hugely valuable. Purchased September 28, 2016. Read October 2, 2016
  4. How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World by Harry Browne. Life-changing and mind-altering. Inspired my article “Are You Not Selfish Enough?” published October 24, 2016 as well as the introduction to Your Life, Your Work, a book I edited which was published December 31, 2016. Purchased October 3, 2016. Read October 20, 2016
  5. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. Highly valuable book on writing. Purchased October 29, 2016.
  6. The Underground History of American Education: An Intimate Investigation Into the Prison of Modern Schooling by John Taylor Gatto. Fascinating, engrossing, and infuriating. Read November 2, 2016
  7. Uber-Positive: Why Americans Love the Sharing Economy (Encounter Intelligence) by Jared Meyer. Short but very interesting. Purchased November 5, 2016.
  8. The Virtue of Selfishness by Ayn Rand, Nathaniel Branden. Brilliant, penetrating. Purchased October 15, 2016. Read November 19, 2016
  9. The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career by Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha. Useful, but not as insightful or inspiring as Carnegie or as paradigm-shifting as Franklin/Ellsberg (see below). Purchased November 15, 2016. Read November 27, 2016.
  10. The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance by W. Timothy Gallwey. I don’t play tennis, but I found this book incredibly valuable and perceptive regarding performance in general. It inspired my article “Self-Discipline Must Be Selfish,” published December 7, 2016. Purchased November 16, 2016. Read November 21, 2016.
  11. The Inner Game of Work: Focus, Learning, Pleasure, and Mobility in the Workplace. W. Timothy Gallwey. Not as consistently valuable and perceptive as “Tennis,” but it has some gems. Purchased November 21, 2016
  12. Choose Yourself! by James Altucher. Inspiring with flashes of brilliance, if not rigorously presented. Purchased October 9, 2016. Read December 8, 2016.
  13. Better Off Free: A Collection on Liberty by Isaac Morehouse, Zak Slayback, and more. Excellent book for extending the freedom philosophy to your own life.
  14. Why Haven’t You Read This Book?: Flipping the burden of proof to open up a world of possibility by Isaac Morehouse, TK Coleman, Mitchell Earl, and more. Great book about big life decisions.
  15. Don’t Do Stuff You Hate by Isaac Morehouse, Mitchell Earl, Lacey Peace, and more. Valuable book full of professional advice.
  16. The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated by Timothy Ferriss. Interesting, but not as perceptive as I expected. Purchased December 11, 2016. Read January 7, 2017.
  17. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel, Blake Masters. Really interesting big ideas. Purchased January 27, 2017 Read January 29, 2017
  18. Forward Tilt: An Almanac for Personal Growth by Isaac Morehouse, Hannah Frankman, Lacey Peace, and more. Great collection of morsels of wisdom for professional life. Purchased February 23, 2017.
  19. Private Governance: Creating Order in Economic and Social Life by Edward Peter Stringham. A fascinating and informative resource. Purchased January 26, 2016. Read April 20, 2017.
  20. The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph by Ryan Holiday. Disappointing. Writing was too prosaic and the philosophical content was not presented very coherently. Purchased March 7, 2017. Read May 13, 2017.
  21. The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem by Nathaniel Branden. Life-changing and mind-altering. Highly recommended. Inspired several of my articles, including “Trump’s Ego Is Actually Too Small,” “What the Self-Esteem Movement Got Disastrously Wrong,” and “Stop Pushing Your Kids Into ‘Safe Spaces.’” Purchased October 27, 2016. Finally got around to starting it months later and finished reading May 30, 2017.
  22. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Profoundly life-changing and mind-altering. Cannot recommend enough. Informed part of my article “The Sweet Sociability of Self-Interest.” Purchased May 30, 2017. Read June 9, 2017.
  23. Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life by Peter Gray. Incredibly rich with truth and crucial insight. Extremely valuable to me as a parent. I wish everyone would read this book. Also informed “The Sweet Sociability of Self-Interest.” Purchased June 10, 2017. Read June 28, 2017.
  24. The Last Safe Investment: Spending Now to Increase Your True Wealth Forever by Bryan Franklin and Michael Ellsberg. Highly enlightening and paradigm-shifting. Purchased June 28, 2017.

What I’m reading now:

  1. Never Eat Alone, Expanded and Updated: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time by Keith Ferrazzi, Tahl Raz. So far very useful. Purchased July 9, 2017.
  2. The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley. Mind-blowing. A must-read. Purchased July 14, 2017.
  3. The Hero with a Thousand Faces (in audiobook) by Joseph Campbell. Great ideas with flashes of brilliance. But a bit meandering, and some places far-fetched.
  4. Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination by Neal Gabler. Beautiful, brilliant, engrossing, and inspiring. Highly recommended. Purchased July 20, 2017.

Out of all the above books, these are my top 6 recommendations.

  1. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
  2. The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem by Nathaniel Branden.
  3. Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life by Peter Gray.
  4. How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World by Harry Browne.
  5. The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley.
  6. The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance by W. Timothy Gallwey.