I always enjoy looking back over the books I’ve read through the year. It reminds me what was on my mind at the time. My favourite reads are marked with a ⭐️. This list is also on Goodreads.
- Angry White Pyjamas by Robert Twigger - The author decides to learn martial arts with the Tokyo riot police. The training sounds brutal. Interesting read.
- An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield - Lots of stories about being an astronaut.
- ⭐️ Life in the Fast Lane and The Mechanic’s Tale by Steve Matchett - A fascinating account of a year spent working in the pit for the Benetton Formula 1 team.
- Me by Elton John - This is a rollercoaster. It’s hard to believe one person can fit so much into one life.
- Run or Die: The Inspirational Memoir of the World’s Greatest Ultra-Runner by Kilian Jornet - Kilian Jornet’s achievements are amazing, but I didn’t enjoy the book very much.
- The Pants of Perspective: One Woman’s 3,000 Kilometre Running Adventure through the Wilds of New Zealand by Anna McNuff - I found this book touching and inspiring. I would like to read about the authors other adventures.
- The Penguin Lessons by Tom Michell - A tale of a time when the author accidentally found himself looking after a penguin. Enjoyable enough, but not very deep.
- The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music by Dave Grohl - An enjoyable read. As you can imagine Dave Grohl has had an eventful life. As someone who lived through the 90s, the parts about Nirvana were riveting.
- What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami - I read this because I run a fair amount. To be honest, I didn’t get much from it.
- Will by Will Smith - A fascinating read. While I knew Will Smith has been incredibly successful, I didn’t realise quite how successful.
- ⭐️ Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come: An Introvert’s Year of Living Dangerously by Jessica Pan - An introvert spends a year intentionally pushing themselves out of their comfort zone. For example, taking an inprov class and doing stand up comedy. I really enjoyed this book, probably because I could relate to it. For me it serves as a reminder and inspiration. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone can be scary but rewarding.
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson - Once you get past all the swearing, it contains some good advice.
- Leading with Questions: How Leaders Find the Right Solutions by Knowing What to Ask by Michael J. Marquardt - There is useful content in this book but I felt I would have been better off reading a summary. Everything, as far I remember is anecdotal, rather than based on research. The same messages are repeated many times in many ways. Repetition is a good way to learn but I it’s not what I was after. In hindsight I wanted a short guide to asking good questions.
- ⭐️ No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions at Work by Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy - Covers how emotions relate to health, motivation, decision making, teams, communication and more. Love, love, love this book. I’ve gone back to this repeatedly. It contains so many important lessons and it’s presented in such an digestible way.
- No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention by Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer - Fascinating and sometimes counter-intuitive insight into the culture at Netflix.
- ⭐️ Radical Candor: Be a Kickass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Malone Scott - My second read through. This is one of the books that made me want to be a manager.
- ⭐️ The Coaching Effect: What Great Leaders Do to Increase Sales, Enhance Performance, and Sustain Growth by Bill Eckstrom - The focus of this book is on the coaching aspect of management, so it’s particularly useful for new managers. I found it really resonated with me, particularly the research based approach. I’m fascinated by the idea of measuring management performance. It seems like an obvious and important way to measure improve management skills.
- On Fire: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal by Naomi Klein - A difficult read about environmental issues.
- ⭐️ Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America by Jeff Ryan - Fascinating if you have any interest in 80s and 90s consoles.
- The Ultimate Trail Running Handbook by Claire Maxted - Covers a lot of subjects at a high level. Well worth reading if you want to run longer distances off road.
- A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge - A bit sci-fi, a bit fantasy, very epic.
- A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin - Fantasy. The first in the Earthsea Cycle series. I wasn’t really sure what to make of it.
- Eon by Greg Bear - Epic sci-fi.
- ⭐️ Factory Girls by Michelle Gallen - A story about a girl living on the Irish border in the 90s. A brilliant read.
- Halo: The Flood and Halo: The Fall of Reach - I read these because I was a fan of the original Halo games. Enjoyable enough, but they are like the computer games, non stop.
- Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir - Kind of fantasy crossed with sci-fi. The end is brilliant, but getting there is hard work.
- ⭐️ Spellslinger series (6 books) by Sebastien de Castell - Light hearted fantasy fun.
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho - This book is really popular. To be honest it went over my head.
- ⭐️ The Great Schools of Dune trilogy by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson - An origin story of the Sisterhood, the Mentats and the Navigators. Brilliant. I love all the Dune books.
- The Last Continent by Terry Pratchett - Excellent. I’ve been a fan of the Discworld books as long as I can remember.
- The Murderbot Diaries books 1 and 2 by Martha Wells - An entertaining series of books about a rogue robot/human.