Since 2017 I’ve tried to read two books a month. That’s a lot for me. I’m a slow reader. That might be a lot for you, too, or it might seem like Sunday softball league. I don’t know.
What I do know is, if you’re an adult, you’re in charge of developing yourself. Sure, maybe your work has you doing some classes every now and again to make you a more valuable asset. That’s for them, though. What about you?
Pre-adult-you, think about how much money your parents, the government, your church spent on you? I bet it was a million dollars collectively, at least. And then—poof—they stopped putting time, money, and energy into you. You’re probably smart and realized this a long time ago. I feel like I realized this yesterday.
One way I was going to stop coasting was to read more books.
I love when people recommend books, because it’s a big insight into how they’ve spent a significant amount of their time. Reverse engineer what it takes for someone to recommend a book. It’s a lot. Minimum of a couple hours you know they’ve spent turning pages, thinking through things.
Here’s what I read this year. This isn’t to say I recommend them all. I’m just putting them all down because these are the ones I finished. And I don’t finish every book I start. I gave up on that a long time ago. So, the ones in bold are the ones that impacted me most.
- Your Music and People – Derek Sivers
- Watercolor – Tony Couch
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – J.K. Rowling
- Watercolor: Fast and Loose – Ron Ranson
- Painting Light and Shadow in Watercolor – William B. Lawrence
- Learn to Paint People Quickly – Hazel Sloan
- The Boys of Summer – Roger Kahn
- Waiting for Eden – Elliot Ackerman
- Beartown – Fredrik Backman
- Nobody Wants to Read Your Shit – Steven Pressfield
- The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing – Al Ries and Jack Trout
- Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim – David Sedaris
- Business Made Simple – Donald Miller
- Me Talk Pretty One Day – David Sedaris
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck – Mark Manson
- Silas Marner – George Eliot
- Never Split the Difference – Chris Voss
- Staggerford – Jon Hassler
- Holy the Firm – Annie Dillard
- ADHD 2.0 – Edward M. Hallowell M.D., and John J. Ratey, M.D.
- The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
- Permission Marketing – Seth Godin
- Thinking Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman
- All You Need Is Ears – George Martin