2019 Reading So Far - What Mattered

https://youtu.be/HIPoFjEYa5k

I saw Jamie Todd Rubin give a short update on what he read this year so far and I realized that it's about time for me to share some of my favourites too.

Yup most of these are going to be Amazon links and I get about .0000001 cent if you purchase, well maybe a bit more than that.

These are in no particular order outside of how Goodreads showed them to me.

Non-Fiction

Quiet: I've been an introvert...forever and I shouldn't have waited to read this book. It's helped me ask myself why I feel terrible about not going to conferences, betause I hate them. Even thinking about going to them makes me feel terrible. Having coffee regurlarly with a few friends or new people in town sounds great. I'm going to focus on my strengths of sitting quietly and focusing instead of striving to hit some ideas of being an extrovert.

I wrote about Quiet here.

Being Dad is Wierd: This short memoire was on my list for a while, specifically after finding this quote somewhere about a Dad sending his kid outside and he'd come out "later" only to not quite make it.

He’d gotten some quiet time with his book, and I’d gone outside and pretended I was Han Solo, counted pine needles, or eaten dirt. I’d done the kind of imaginary play that is good for kids that I wouldn’t have done if I’d immediately been able to force my dad to use his imagination instead of using mine. Kids need to make up their own games and worlds; it’s how they learn how to be creative.

Over and over I laughed at the author's Dad, particularly when he'd get caught doing something like eating all the kid's chocolate. To the accusation of "you ate all the chocolate" he'd simply say "that appears to be correct" and move on. I hope that I can be as calm as this Dad is.

Kids These Days: I finished this in the middle of holidays in early July, so no review as of this writing. Overall, this felt like a good examination of the extra issues that Millenial's have to deal with. They spend more time working and get accused of being less committed, or less educated even though they have years more education than previous generations. They have this extra committment and education with more debt than previous years, and get paid less for their higher levels of training.

I do think that it does the easy part of examining the problems, and is so light on any solutions that Harris should have simply cut the discussion on solutions. In short, all the available solutions won't work anyways so Millenials are screwed and are going to have to figure it out.

Zucked: This is about the train wreck that is Facebook and some of what got it there from the perspective of an early investor and advisor. This early investor says stay away from Facebook because it's the devil, if I was to put it in a single sentence.

Educated: Like a slow motion train wreck you assume will stop, but nope the author keeps heading back to her abusive family. For some this will be a tough memoire to read because there is emotional and physical abuse from a family towards the author Tara Westover.

Start Love Repeat I read a few other books on being an entrepreneur and married, but this was the most recent and the best of the bunch. If you're looking for some advice on navigating running a business without ruining your marriage, this is the best book I've read so far as I look to write something about it myself.

Irresistible This book was referenced in my next choice so I read it because it sounded interesting. It's a look at how the technology we use daily hijacks us through behavioural addiction techniques. If you're feeling like your devices might be too much, this is going to convince you that much of the convienence they provide is pretty bad for you.

Digital Minimalism: The latest book from Cal Newport is all about taking the next step if you loved his previous book Deep Work like I did. It starts with a 30-day media detox plan, and then helps you build new practices around going device free, or at least negotiating better terms with your devices.

I wrote about Digital Minimalism

Let my People Go Surfing I may have enough Patagonia gear to get asked occasionally if I'm the sales rep, and the author of this book founded Patagonia. This is a good look at how a business owner spends time searching for ways to improve his business in an ethical manner all the time. From charging more so that farming can be sustainable, to making sure that they're taking care of the people that they employ. Plus you get some fun climbing stories from the early days of Yosemite.

Fiction

I'm almost finished Wildwood and it may be meant for my 8-year-old it's still a fun read. I borrowed it from a local coffee shop with a "take a book" shelf so I'll return this copy but I'll be purchasing my own hardcover copy. If you're into a bit of magic and talking animals then Wildwood might be up your alley.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane I do like Neil Gaiman so when my local used book store said they had this in stock from him I just bought it. It's a shortish story about a family of...witches I guess...and how the youngest one that's been 11 for an undisclosed number of years, deals with a malevolent presence. I'm reading it to my daughter now as we take a break in the middle of our third reading of Harry Potter. I like Harry Potter, but I've been reading it to her for three years and that's enough for me right now.

The Fall of Shannara is comprised of three books so far and at least one more to come. Overall I enjoyed the reads but something kept nagging at me that seemed wrong with them. As I finished the last one I realized what it was, some parts are crazily rushed.

The Steihl Assassin attempts to end on a cliffhanger as three of our heros go to confront a bad Druid. Even after acknowledging a trap the confrontation amounts to a few pages and the three other magic wielding heros are utterly decimated without much of a fight. It's simply unbelievable given their skill so far that they wouldn't at least be able to fight better.

Other parts of the books have felt the same, and yet I'll be purchasing the next book because it's a fun series.

The Priory of the Orange Tree When this came in I accused my wife of ordering it, but it was me because someone recommended it as a pre-release. If you like dragons, a bit of magic, and big battles with some politicing in the middle this book is for you. I found the ending a bit rushed though.

Frontier Saga all of and I'm consuming it slowly because I want to savour it. I most recently finished For The Triumph of Evil in a weekend. They're short and fun and it's more about the characters than the science in this sci-fi.

As I look back at the year I realize that I've enjoyed the recent books I'm reading much more than the ones that started the year.

Upcoming Reads

In the upcoming vien I know I'll read Tipping Point after I finish with The Revenge of Analog because it's the book choice for my coaching program currently. After that, here is a short list of what interests my on my shelf.

I don't promise that these are what I'll read outside of the top two, but that's what interests me right now. What's on your reading list.