This may or may not be a complete list as I did not keep perfect track of my reading last year but I will definitely highlight some of my favorites and add to the list as I remember them.
This is mostly in order of the ones I remembered strongly and that had an impact on me.
Not only is this book an entertaining read, it contains solid practical advice as well. Scott Adams breaks down some of his personal beliefs and habits that have led to his success. The main theme being, your goal should actually be to build systems that will guarantee success over and over rather than some end result (like a million dollars). He has an interesting point that often you can combine enough skills you are just OK at to make a powerful skill stack, in his example writing, drawing, humor, and knowledge of the corporate world.
To give you a sense of how good this book was, I got it for Christmas and finished it in less than a week. Win Bigly is a dive into persuasion, primarily the persuasion used during the recent election. If you are still scratching your head as to how someone so socially unpopular became elected president, this is definitely worth a read. It will arm you with a new perspective about the way people act.
If you have more than one priority, then you have no priorities. The ONE Thing gives a simple but powerful question to help determine what that priority should be. The question is “What is the ONE thing that by doing it, make everything else easier or unnecessary?” When you answer this, you have your very next action to take. Then ask the question again. You may be thinking, “Why do you need a whole book about that sentence? Seems pretty straightforward.” I might agree but I read the book and it contains a lot of other valuable information to go along with this powerful principle to help you answer that question. It also provides 7 different areas of life in which to apply the question. If you only read one book this year, I can recommend it be the ONE Thing.
While it is definitely directed toward salespeople and the sales profession, this book has a great foundation in a positive and empowering life philosophy. Grant’s theory is that just about everything is sales and we are always selling, so why not be good at it. Whether you are selling yourself to your boss for a promotion, to a new company to hire you, looking for a spouse, or actually selling a product to a customer, the principles and ideas in this book will help you get there.
If you are a software developer, are in school for anything related to software, or even considering going into any computer related field, you should read this book. Stuffed with valuable advice and information about basically everything you need to know when getting into software development. The title says it all. Might recommend this on on kindle though as it is incredibly thick (796 pages). Could also recommend the audio version that John narrates himself.
I always enjoy a good story and as someone who is aspiring to be a great game designer, I think a good fiction base is essential for world building in games. If you are looking to become a game designer, make sure to include some good stories in your reading to help you become a better story teller.
The Tawny Man Trilogy – Robin Hobb
I was introduced to Robin Hobb’s books by a friend several years ago and enjoyed them immensely. So when I spotted the first 2 books of this trilogy on the shelf at my local goodwill I grabbed them to see if they were any good. Turns out they were and I bought the final part of the trilogy on Amazon to finish it up. This set ties up the story began in the Farseer Trilogy also by Robin Hobb. If you are looking for a fun little fantasy adventure, look no further.
The Silmarillion – J. R. R. Tolkien
To be perfectly honest, my bookmark is only halfway through this one. It is a tough read. For perspective there is a 40 page list of names at the back for reference. But for world building, it is an excellent source as Tolkien draws on the mythology of countless cultures to piece together the creation of Middle Earth and the beloved realm of Lord of the Rings.
The Year’s Best Science Fiction – Seventeenth Annual Collection
I found an anthology of curated science fiction at a Goodwill a few years ago and really enjoyed the odd and entertaining short stories in it. I found another one last year and picked it up as well. Ton of good stories in it.
Again this is not a complete list of everything I read but definitely some of the better stuff, and any of them would make a great read. There are at least 5 books sitting nearby with bookmarks partially the way through them that I will ideally finish this year.
Keep getting wiser, stronger, and better.