My 10 favorite books from 2018

One of my goals in 2018 was to build a habit of reading 10 minutes a day. With the help of the streaks app, I managed to do it. In total, I read somewhere between 35–40 books. Here are my favorites.

1. Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones

At OliveX, we’re trying to help people build a habit of exercising through games. I love the idea of habit stacking. It’s hard to create a new habit but easy to add on to an existing one. For example, I read a book after I brush my teeth. Since I already brush my teeth daily, this is easy.

2. AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order

I’m in the A.I. business and this opened my eyes about how China will be the next great A.I. superpower. Having been to developer conferences both in the USA and China, I have a feeling this is true.

3. Organizational Physics | The Science of Growing a Business

I’m really into systemizing things this year and taking a scientific approach to things that most people consider an art. The author does a great job explaining why I’m terrible at working with certain people. I’m an “innovator” and I don’t work well with “stabilizers”. At different stages of a business, you need different people.

The author does a great job of using physics to describe businesses and explains success using entropy.

4. 騰訊傳 (Legend of tencent)

One of my goals was to read more chinese books to understand the China market. Fascinating look at how Pony Ma is so product focused.

5. The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science

Again, I’m into systemizing things. This is a scientific approach to cooking. Did you know that for baking if you ask 5 people to measure a cup of flour, you would get 5 different amounts? You should be using weight instead. Lots of fascinating myths debunked. I have high hopes I will become a better chef through this.

6. Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day

I noticed I was seriously addicted to my phone this past year and this book helped me take a whole new approach to cut this addiction. Still a work in progress though.

7. The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well

Being glued to my phone is actually a symptom of stress. I was really into minimalism for a while but I realize that doesn’t make me happy. Hygge is all about having a cup of hot coffee in a wooden cabin next to a fireplace, after a long day of snowboarding with the snow falling outside. I’ll be buying lots of candles and blankets in 2019.

8. Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

I’m starting to get less and less out of business books. So I’ve started reading more history books and this is a great one. Genghis Khan is a BEAST.

9. Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility

Super awesome book on hiring and company culture written by head of HR at netflix. I really like the idea of radical candor and not being afraid of confrontation.

10. Save the Cat: The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever

I got really into learning about writing stories because I learned that humans love stories. Whether it’d be a speech, a pitch or our games. Turns out, there’s a formula to writing good stories. People just want the same thing but different. After you read this book, you won’t be able to enjoy movies the same way anymore. I started noticing the patterns in the plot and anticipating what will happen next.

I hope this list inspired you to check out some of the books. If it did, give me a clap!