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What I'm Reading

A list of books at various stages of my pipeline: reading, read, next on the shelf.


Reading

The Running Man, Stephen King. Yes I know, I'm very late to the party.
How to Read a Book, Charles Van Doren. I wish I'd known about this 20 years ago.
Digital Minimalism, Cal Newport.
The Paper Menagerie, Ken Liu. A collection of short stories, originally in Chinese. Not many books have made me exclaim outloud before, but this one does.
Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott.


Next On The Shelf

I committed to reading more fiction this year. I have been... ambitious.

Non-Fiction

Atomic Habits, Systemantics, Contagious, Paid Attention, Agency, The Artful Edit, On Writing Well.

Fiction

Atonement, The Book Thief, 11/22/63, Deliverance, The Blind Assassin, Slaughterhouse 5, The Stranger, This is Water, Absolute Friends, Lord of the Flies (again), Jamaica Inn (again...), Water for Elephants, No Country for Old Men, As I Lay Dying, Revolutionary Road, Misery, The Stand, Salem's Lot, The Dead Zone.


Read

In reverse order, oldest to most recent. I'll organise these better ASAP.

2016

2017

2018

  • The Unpublished David Ogilvy, David Ogilvy. ⭐⭐⭐ (Interesting, but not as good as "the other one".)
  • On Advertising, David Ogilvy. Required reading for all. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Total Recall, Arnold Schwarzenegger. (It is outrageous that a peasant from post-war Austria became the Governor of fucking California. It loses steam towards the end, not unlike poor Arnie, but holy shit. Inspirational AF.) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Pride: The Secret of Success, Jessica Tracy. (Meh)

2019

  • Base Building, Paul Carter. (Fitness book. Very simple, very good no bullshit advice.) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • IT, Stephen King. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • The Daily Stoic, Ryan Holiday. (I know it's almost internetty heresy to not like this book, but... 😴 ⭐
  • A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens. (My personal favourite.) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • 🎧 March Violets, Philip Kerr. (I really like the Bernie Gunther series. This is one of the stronger onces.) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • 1984, George Orwell. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • 12 Rules for Life, Jordan B. Peterson. (I know I'm supposed to be all for this as an internetty aged male, and I like some of the ideas, but far out it drags on. I got to the sixth rule and mostly gave up. ⭐⭐⭐ Read my Book Notes
  • Neo Conservatism: Why We Need It, Douglas Murray. (A very UK focused political book on the future of conservatism with a younger population. ⭐⭐⭐
  • The Warrior Diet, Ori Hofmekler. (The only time as an adult where I had a solid 8-pack was following this diet.) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • As a Man Thinketh, James Allen. (Not for me.)
  • 🎧 On Photography, Susan Sontag. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • 🎧 Against Interpretation, Susan Sontag. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

2020

  • Think Straight, Darius Foroux. (Nice enough ideas, but could or should have been a blog post or two.) ⭐⭐
  • Growth Hacking, Raymond Fong. Another "should have been a blog post" offender. ⭐⭐
  • The Razor's Edge, W. Somerset Maugham. ⭐⭐⭐
  • 🎧 Deep Work, Cal Newport. Excellent insights, if occassionally a little "ministry of the bloody obvious" at times. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett. Beautiful. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • How to Take Smart Notes, Sonke Ahrens. Another one I wish I'd known about 20 years ago. Truly life changing. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • 🎧 So Good They Can't Ignore You, Cal Newport. Interesting, insightful and possibly more useful than Deep Work*.* ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • 🎧 Essentialism, Greg McKeown. Perhaps because I already live this way instinctively a lot of it was plainly obvious to me, but this didn't need to be a book. ⭐⭐
  • 🎧 Talking to Strangers, Malcolm Gladwell. Holy shit. His best work. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • 🎧 The One from the Other, Philip Kerr. My favourite of the series. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • 🎧 A German Requiem, Philp Kerr. The weakest, I fear. ⭐⭐⭐
  • 🎧 The Way of the Ice Man, Wim Hof. ⭐⭐⭐
  • 🎧 The Pale Criminal, Philip Kerr. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • 🎧 The Madness of Crowds, Douglas Murray. Required reading for all. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • 🎧 Regarding the Pain of Others, Susan Sontag. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • 🎧 Everything You Love Will Burn, Vegas Tenold. A journalist embedded with far right nationalists in the US. Truly fascinating report on a mindset I cannot fathom. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • 🎧 Born to Run, Christopher McDougall. Shaky bad-science aside, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • On Writing, Steven King. Required reading. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Being Mortal, Atul Gawande. Required reading. Possibly the most thought provoking work of non-fiction that has ever been written. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐