Here it is! The second summary edition of my year's worth of reading (for reference, here's the first year). From April 2014 to March 2015, I've managed to read, and learn from, a total of 76 books. That's 143 in total since becoming truly free to pursue.
I feel truly blessed to have the opportunity to dive into so many exciting topics that offer guidance on both a personal and professional level.
I've always considered myself a perpetual student, but now my curriculum is self-determined. I go where curiosity takes me next because I feel I get more out of material for which I have a keen interest. The information has a tendency to stick a great deal more, too, when we're deeply engaged. The last two years have certainly been an exciting time, and it's even more exciting to be able to share some of this information and related insights with you via this blog.
As an aside: If you want to get a sense of the insights I've gained from becoming an avid reader, you may want to check out this post.
The books below represent the full list of what piqued my interest sufficiently to read cover to cover over the past year. If they become favourites, then I'll eventually add them to my recommendations.*
Areas of focus this year have included adding more fiction—which I've been lousy at doing because I keep starting them and not finishing them, reading in my native tongue (French) and reading in the areas of philosophy, psychology, finance, economics, writing/presenting, entrepreneurship, travel hacking, technology and health. I managed to cover all except for travel hacking, probably because I don't expect to travel as much in the coming year (only two trips planned so far, both in the US: Charlotte, North Carolina and the second has yet to be determined at the time of this writing). I also read some reference books in preparation for trips I took during the summer of 2014: the World Domination Summit in July, an African Safari in August and FinCon14 in New Orleans in September.
Sources for My Ever-growing Wish List
A number of the books on my "read it" list were recommended by Chris Guillebeau, Eric Barker, J. Money, Mr. Grump, The Escape Artist, Raptitude, The Minimalists, and Flannel Guy ROI. As mentioned in an earlier version of this review, I also become aware of potential selections from sources such as Ted, documentaries available on Netflix and Vimeo, and "further reading" ideas within books I'm currently reading.
Sometimes, I feel I've struck a gold vein. I find a topic I'm excited about and follow the book recommendations from one author to the next. That happened in serious fashion this year with a slight obsession around the hot topics of happiness, income inequality and behavioural economics.
Another source of inspiration for what to read next is based on the need to research a topic I want to write about on this blog. This desire to offer well-informed commentary lead me to read books about the philosophy of The Matrix, anti-consumerism, motivation and happiness.
I do also appreciate the suggestions I receive from my beloved local library and from reader comments. Any way of narrowing down the myriad of reading options available is always helpful because, no matter how voracious one's appetite, there's simply no way to read it all.
I also had the pleasure of making an unexpected discovery by reviewing the book Gold Diggers and Deadbeat Dads by Valerie Rind. I appreciated having the opportunity to do my first draft book review and help out a great individual at the same time. I look forward to reading her next book, which she's already hard at work on.
A Year In Books
Without further ado, here's my year of reading in review, from least to most recent:
- The $100 Start Up: Reinvent the Way You Make A Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau
- Do Americans Shop Too Much? by Juliet Schor
- The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need by Andrew Tobias
- Things I've Learned from Dying: A Book About Life by David R. Dow
- The Automatic Millionaire: A Powerful One-Step Plan to Live and Finish Rich by David Bach
- The Art of Non-Conformity: Set up Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World by Chris Guillebeau
- The Book on Writing: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Well by Paula LaRocque
- Ces enfants de ma vie (English translation: Children of My Heart) by Gabrielle Roy
- The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason
- Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
- It's All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living A Richer Life With Less Stuff by Peter Walsh
- The War On Science by Chris Turner
- The Cheapskate Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of Americans Living Happily Below Their Means by Jeff Yeager
- The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches by Jeff Yeager
- The News: A User's Manual by Alain de Botton
- The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World by A. J. Jacobs
- Victoria Falls: One of the world's most spectacular waterfalls by Anna Rebus***
- Presentation Zen Design: Simple Design Principles and Techniques to Enhance Your Presentations by Garr Reynolds
- Persona Non Grata: The Death of Free Speech In The Internet Age by Tom Flanagan
- The Big Tiny: A Built-It-Myself Memoir by Dee Williams
- Every Day Is For The Thief by Teju Cole
- Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington
- Hungry Planet: What the World Eats by Peter Menzel
- Material World: A Global Family Portrait by Peter Menzel
- Platform: Get Noticed In A Noisy World by Michael Hyatt
- Confessions of a Public Speaker by Scott Berkun
- Think Like A Freak by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner
- iPad and iPhone Digital Photography Tips and Tricks by Jason R. Rich
- My iPhoto by Michael Grothaus
- Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has The Time by Brigid Schulte
- Bossypants by Tina Fey
- Start with WHY: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action by Simon Sinek
September (Can you tell I was exhausted after coming back from Africa?):
- The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph by Ryan Holiday
- Everything That Remains: A Memoir By The Minimalists by Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus
- Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart
- 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Withouth Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works--A True Story by Dan Harris
- After-shock: The Next Economy and America's Future by Robert B. Reich
- Like a Splinter In Your Mind: The Philosophy Behind The Matrix Trilogy by Matt Lawrence
- Exploring The Matrix: Visions Of The Cyber Present
- Gold Diggers and Deadbeat Dads: True Stories of Friends, Family, and Financial Ruin by Valerie Rind
- The Money Class: Learn to Create Your New American Dream by Suze Orman
- Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
- The Power of NO: Because One Little Word Can Bring Health, Abundance, and Happiness by James Altucher & Claudia Azula Altucher
- The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest that Will Bring Purpose to Your Life by Chris Guillebeau
- Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending by Elizabeth Dunn & Michael Norton
- Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping by Judith Levine
- The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey
- The Truth About Statins: A Comprehensive Guide from a Doctor on the Front Lines of the Struggle Against Heart Disease by Barbara H. Roberts, M.D.
- The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
- Give It Up: My Year of Learning to Live Better With Less by Mary Carlomagno
- The Small Big: Small Changes That Spark Big Influence by Steve J. Martin, Noah J. Goldstein and Robert B. Cialdini
- Spent: Exposing our Complicated Relationship with Shopping, edited by Kerry Cohen
- Zen Habits: Handbook for life by Leo Balboa
- How The Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In by Jim Collins
- The Martian by Andy Weir
- Crush It: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion by Gary Vanweiser
- On Writing - A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
- Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink
- Consumerology: The Truth about Consumers and the Psychology of Shopping by Philip Graves
- Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein
- The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents are Going Broke by Elizabeth Warren
- House of Cards by Michael Dobbs
- The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton
March (Apparently, I went on a reading rampage!):
- Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy by Martin Lindstrom
- Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior by Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman
- Selling Sickness: How the World's Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies Are Turning Us All Into Patients by Ray Moynihan
- Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto
- How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson
- The Great Cholesterol Myth: Why Lowering Your Cholesterol Won't Prevent Heart Disease by Jonny Bowden and Dr. Stephen Sinatra
- The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home
- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
- Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life by Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus
- So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work you Love by Cal Newport
- Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry by Helaine Olen
- Eat That Frog: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy
- The End of Memory: A Natural History of Aging and Alzheimer's by Jay Ingram
What's Up Next?
I'm going to maintain my interest in the topics of happiness, finance, education and philosophy for a while. I'm also keen on adding more fiction to my reading list because I'm realizing I've been giving fiction short shrift. I feel the lessons we can learn about what it means to live a good life often ooze out of many fictional stories and I appreciate feeling like I can get in a character's head. Finally, I'll be diving into more of the classics, such as Thoreau and Frankl.
Curious to Know What I'm Reading Now?
Also, you may have noticed the relatively recent addition of a "Currently Reading" and "Just Finished" sections in this blog's sidebar. I added these new sections based on the number of inquiries I was receiving. Peeking at this sidebar is the best way to see what I've recently read and where I'm headed next. I usually update it every week or so, depending on how many books I manage to devour. A word of caution though, some of my "Currently Reading" end up being trashed in favour of better selections if they can't keep my interest. I'd suggest going with "Just Finished" instead to know what I've enjoyed and likely what I'll be writing about next.
I've already managed to start off my third year of reading by indulging in four books this month. I guess it's true that the more we read, the more we want to read.
What about you? Anything in the list above you loved? Hated? Any recommendations you might have that I can add to my never-ending future reading list or that would help other visitors decide what to read next? 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.
*As mentioned in my previous updates, my recommendations list does need to be updated and a number of books from this year will undoubtedly make the list.
***This one is a children's book, but the pictures are spectacular. A delight to read.
The list above 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.