Below is the full list of books that held my interest long enough to finish over the last nine months. If you want to take a look at previous years, you can click "Books" on the navigation bar or access them here: 2013-2014 and 2014-2015. You may also want to check out my list of Top 12 Life-Enhancing Books, as well as the top lessons learned from reading over 100 books.
The past few months have taken me in a number of directions, from philosophy and health, to economics and consumerism to learning and career management. The topics do vary a good deal but I find they complement each other nicely, similar to the multiple examples Steven Johnson (How We Got to Now) presents of how many of the great ideas come from multi-disciplinarians.
As was the case in a number of previous quarters, I abandoned a number of books without finishing them (these books don't make the list). I think this "book sampling" helps me better understand where my interests lie and what type of writer I most enjoy.
I read a good deal again this quarter, despite the fact that my life got more hectic with multiple trips, new projects and family matters. I think my continued focus on reading, despite a very full life was fuelled by some great recommendations, by the need for inspiration in my own life, and by the need to research posts I've been working on for this blog and other writing.
The 61 books I did manage to finish (23 in Q1, 19 in Q2 and 19 in Q3) varied a good deal. I read quite a bit about money (finance, investing, economics, the wealth gap), health and wellness (food and exercise), and philosophy and psychology (happiness, culture, and shopping vs minimalism). I also took a deeper dive in trying to understand how we learn about ourselves and others.
Sources of Inspiration
I have the following people/sources to thank for suggestions that made it on the list below: Eric Barker, Raptitude, Stacking Benjamins, Austin Kleon. I also tend to follow the book recommendations of authors whose books I enjoyed, so many of those listed early in the year lead me to books later in the year. Other sources of inspiration include Ted, documentaries available on Netflix and Vimeo, and a conference I attended in September.
The desire to research a topic I want to write about on this blog also drives my reading choices. My eagerness to attempt to offer well-informed commentary lead me to read and write about pharmaceuticals, urban living, balance, investing, thinking and the impact of lifestyle.
I do also appreciate the suggestions I receive from family, friends and F2P readers. (Though I admit that I've learned the hard way to ask what else someone has read and enjoyed when they choose to recommend a book. Context is everything.
Here's Q1, Q2 & Q3. If I've posted the book cover, it means it was a favourite, either because of the writing, the subject matter, or both.
- The Power of Patience by M. J. Ryan
- Man's Search For Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
- Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert
- A Million Bucks by 30 by Alan Corey
- Learning to Breathe Fire: The Rise of CrossFit and the Primal Future of Fitness by J. C. Herz
- The Behavior Gap: Simple Ways to Stop Doing Dumb Things With Money by Carl Richards
- Why Am I Always Broke? How To Be Sane About Money by Albert Ellis and Patricia A. Hunter
- Born Standing Up by Steve Martin
- Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
- The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere by Pico Iyer
- The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work by Shawn Achor
- Spring Chicken: Stay Young Forever (or Die Trying) by Bill Gifford
- A Life at Work: The Joy of Discovering What You Were Born to Do by Thomas Moore
- When The Sleeper Wakes by H. G. Wells
- Show Your Work by Austin Kleon
- Click: The Magic of Instant Connections by Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman
- Overdosed America: The Broken Promise of American Medicine by John Abrasion, M.D.
- The Human Zoo by Desmond Morris
- Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich
- Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries by Peter Sims
- How to Be Free by Tom Hodgkinson
- Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline
- The End of Education: Redefining the Value of School by Neil Postman
- Strategic Intuition: The Creative Spark In Human Achievement by William Duggan
- The Big Fix: How the Pharmaceutical Industry Rips Off American Consumers by Katharine Greider
- How to Watch TV News by Neil Postman and Steve Powers
- Dietland by Sarai Walker
- Tiny House Living: Ideas For Building and Living Well In Less than 400 Square Feet by Ryan Mitchell
- A Little House of My Own: 47 Grand Designs for 47 Tiny Houses by Lester Walker
- Jay Shafer's DIY Book of Backyard Sheds & Tiny Houses by Jay Shafer
- The Moneyless Man: A Year of Freeconomic Living by Mark Boyle
- Skipping Towards Gomorrah: The Seven Deadly Sins and the Pursuit of Happiness in America by Dan Savage
- Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence by Esther Perel
- The High Price of Materialism by Tim Kasser
- First: What It Takes to Win by Rich Froning with David Thomas
- The Overspent American: Why We Want What We Don't Need by Juliet B. Schor
- Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman
- More Than Money: Questions Every MBA Needs to Answer by Mark Albion
- Stop Chasing Influencers by Kimanzi Constable and Jared Easley
- That Sugar Book by Damon Gameau
- The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking by Oliver Burkeman
- Affluenza by Oliver James
- Leap by Tesa Vigeland
- Microshelters by Derek Diedricksen
- The Art of Work by Jeff Goins
- The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women by Valerie Young
- Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping by Paco Underhill
- On Bullshit by Harry G. Frankfurt
- The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die by John Izzo, PhD
- Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values by Robert M. Pirsig
- BAD Or, the Dumbing of America by Paul Fussell
- Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
- The Ultimate Gift by Jim Stovall
- Off the Ropes: My Story by Roland Vandal
- The Invisible Thread by Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski
- Mistakes Were Made (but Not By Me) by Carol Tavris
- The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
What's Up Next?
This time, I won't offer predictions about what I'll read next. I'm finding myself freer to change my mind on a whim. I'll follow my interests and see where they lead. Sometimes it's research, sometimes it's for the pure joy of reading and learning. We'll see what 2016 has in store. No matter what the list will include, I'm excited to get started.
What about you? Anything in the list above you loved? Hated? I'd appreciate hearing what you've found to be some worthwhile reads...and what to avoid!
And, if you have any questions about the titles above, drop me a line or leave a comment and I'll be sure to respond.
This post contains affiliate links to amazon.com. Purchases made via these links help support the F2P blog. It doesn't cost you anything and helps cover ongoing expenses associated with maintaining this blog. Thank you for your support.