I’m currently reading three books. As I was thinking about which one I wanted to read last night I realized that I am reading each of the books in different formats. And not just in different formats, but from different sources.Continue reading
I have started on my 2018 reading adventure with Walter Isaacson’s new biography of Leonardo da Vinci (who, as readers of this blog will know, is a bit of a role model for me). I hope to do better this year at sharing my thoughts as I go. Because last year I barely did that at all, I thought I would go ahead and just share my list from 2017. It is a shorter list than some years, longer than others, surprisingly light on fiction this year. This does not, of course, include any of my “short form” readings online and elsewhere.
Would love to hear your thoughts on any of these books, and any recommendations from your own 2017 list that you think I should add to my 2018 list.
George Lucas: A Life by Brian Jay Jones
The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures by Library of Congress
Reformations: The Early Modern World, 1450-1650 by Carlos M.N. Eire
Some Remarks: Essays and Other Writings by Neal Stephenson
The Glass Cage: Automation and Us by Nicholas Carr
Faraday, Maxwell, and the Electromagnetic Field by Nancy Forbes
Alone on the Wall by Alex Honnold, with David Roberts
Reinventing the Sacred: A new view of science, reason, and religion by Stuart Kauffman
Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Jeff Sutherland
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People : Power Lessons in Personal Change by Steven R. Covey
Small Arcs of Larger Circles: Framing through other patterns by Nora Bateson
Hymns for the Fallen: Combat Movie Music and Sound after Vietnam by Todd R. Decker
Anathem by Neal Stephenson
Returning to Zero (Mick O’Malley #2) by Alan B. Johnston
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carre
The Spy Who Came In From the Cold by John le Carre
The Tomorrow Code by Brian Falkner
The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O by Neal Stephenson, Nicole Galland
(Note: the links to books on this page point to Amazon so that you can buy them if you’d like; if you do purchase a book by following one of these links, I will get a small percentage of the transaction. This will not increase your cost for the book, but will let me take Julie out for a nice meal once in a while.)
“The problem with being too busy to read is that you learn by experience (or by your men’s experience), i.e. the hard way. By reading, you learn through others’ experiences, generally a better way to do business, especially in our line of work where the consequences of incompetence are so final for young men.
Thanks to my reading, I have never been caught flat-footed by any situation, never at a loss for how any problem has been addressed (successfully or unsuccessfully) before. It doesn’t give me all the answers, but it lights what is often a dark path ahead.”
Categories or tags. Browse or search. Parent-child pages with one level of sibling pages, or parent-child-child(-child) with multiple level of sibling pages. Trying to figure out the best way to layout and implement an online commonplace book using WordPress pages. At least that’s my current approach.
As reading leads to broader thinking, writing leads to clearer thinking. If you have not written much, I urge you to get started. A sharp pen reflects a sharp mind. But writing is not for the weak. The writer must form and then expose his or her ideas to public scrutiny. That takes confidence.
I enjoy reading, so like many people I have set a goal for myself to read at least 50 books a year for the last couple of years. I read 45 last year, you can see my list on GoodReads. As I was getting ready to publicly commit to another year of 50-in-52, though, I realized that I’m not really ready to move on from the books I read in 2011 2010.
It’s not that I don’t want to read anything new, I do. I’ve got several new books on my list, including David Siteman Garland’s Smarter, Faster, Cheaper, Neal Bascomb’s story of FIRST Robotics, The New Cool, and Hal Needham’s Stuntman! I’m also looking at some older books that I’ve never read.
But well over half of the books I read last year are still bouncing around inside my head.
In a blog post last October, Harold Jarche expressed a similar sentiment in the context of conferences that he attends:
One thing missing in these discrete time-based events is that there is little time for reflection. … This presentation is followed by some immediate questions & discussions and a coffee break. Then it’s off to see the next presentation. Reflection, if it occurs, comes much later, and usually after the participants have gone home.
Replace “presentation” with “book”, and that his how I am feeling about the books I read last year.
Bill Gates takes a “reading vacation” to read. Ray Ozzie does the same thing. A very interesting strategy; usually when we read it is at night, when we are tired and have 20-30 minutes before we go to bed. Takes a couple of weeks to read, you lose the possible connections between the books you read.
All of this is my overly long way of saying that I’m not committing to 50-in-52 this year. Instead of moving on to the next conference, in my case a new year of reading only new books, I’m also going to spend some time quality time reflecting on the books I read last year.
What are your reading plans for 2011?
Update: Check out my 2010 Reading List lens on Squidoo.