2017 Reading List

roughly in order of rating

I ended up reading 18 of my 26 book goal this year. I chalk this up to listening to too many podcasts and being in business school where we read portions of many books and tons of articles. I will try to get back to the books in 2018 and listen to fewer Pocket articles and podcasts.

I have written notes on some of my favorites below.

American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road by Nick Bilton

My favorite book of 2017. Amazing and well told entrepreneurial story. More non-ficiton writers should copy Nick Bilton’s style. It is as entertaining as reading any fiction.

Lying by Sam Harris

Nice quick read on the value of being honest. Wish more people operated this way.

The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made by Greg Sestero

A bizarre and entertaining story. In a weird way I admire the drive and boldness of Tommy Wiseau. He brought his vision to life when no one believed in him.

Artemis by Andy Weir

Nowhere near as good as The Martian, but still entertaining and original.

Angel: How to Invest in Technology Startups — Timeless Advice from an Angel Investor Who Turned $100,000 into $100,000,000 by Jason Calacanis

Great actionable advice on angel investing and a pretty entertaining read. I hope to put it to use in the future.

What Happened by Hilary Rodham Clinton

I was curious to hear how HRC reacted on the night of her loss and I couldn’t help reading this. I have spent way too much time reading articles about Trump and election this year. It is a guilty pleasure. I suggest the audiobook where she reads it herself. It feels like an extended podcast.

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E Gerber

Great concepts around thinking of a business as a series of processes. Small business owners that believe their business wouldn’t survive without them should read this immediately. The made up stories are kind of annoying though.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

I generally avoid self-help books, but I do think decluttering can dramatically improve your life. Choose what to keep, not what to get rid of. +1 star for being short.

Rework by Jason Fried

Nice actionable business tips in an appropriately short book.

Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande

About as interesting as a book on checklists can be. Takeaways: checklists are a great compliment to the falliable human brain, don’t get surgery unless you absolutely have to.

Getting to Yes: Negotiating an Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher

Great primer on negotiations. Covers many of the topics we discussed in class.

Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal by Nick Bilton

I read this immediately after finishing Nick’s American Kingpin. He is a fantastic writer of non-fiction. A good read on the dysfuntional company and amazing creation that is Twitter.

The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley Are Changing the World by Brad Stone

I thought I knew these stories pretty well, but this goes to another level of detail. It is an inspiring read and feels like the first chapter for these companies.

The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth’s Past, #1) by Cixin Liu

The Dark Forest (Remembrance of Earth’s Past, #2) by Cixin Liu

Much better than the first book. Some very clever future inventions.

Death’s End (Remembrance of Earth’s Past, #3) by Cixin Liu

Annihilation (Southern Reach, #1) by Jeff VanderMeer

Authority (Southern Reach #2) by Jeff VanderMeer

After watching the trailer I had high hopes for the trilogy, but I was dissapointed. The first book was pretty good and the second was pretty horrible. I am still looking forward to the film.