My 2021 Reading List

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.  

  1. Your Music and People – Derek Sivers
  2. Watercolor – Tony Couch
  3. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – J.K. Rowling
  4. Watercolor: Fast and Loose – Ron Ranson
  5. Painting Light and Shadow in Watercolor – William B. Lawrence 
  6. Learn to Paint People Quickly – Hazel Sloan
  7. The Boys of Summer – Roger Kahn
  8. Waiting for Eden – Elliot Ackerman
  9. Beartown – Fredrik Backman
  10. Nobody Wants to Read Your Shit – Steven Pressfield
  11. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing – Al Ries and Jack Trout
  12. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim – David Sedaris 
  13. Business Made Simple – Donald Miller
  14. Me Talk Pretty One Day – David Sedaris 
  15. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck – Mark Manson 
  16. Silas Marner – George Eliot
  17. Never Split the Difference – Chris Voss
  18. Staggerford – Jon Hassler
  19. Holy the Firm – Annie Dillard
  20. ADHD 2.0 – Edward M. Hallowell M.D., and John J. Ratey, M.D.
  21. The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
  22. Permission Marketing – Seth Godin
  23. Thinking Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman
  24. All You Need Is Ears – George Martin