Reflections on Reading in 2018

Developing a better reading practice was a huge accomplishment for me in 2016, and I’m happy to still be going strong two years later. I ended up reading 24 books this year (vs. 21 in 2017 and 37 in 2016). I know that counting books read is a silly metric, but there’s something satisfying in seeing proof that I’m still prioritizing reading in a meaningful way.

My note taking process didn’t evolve too much this year—I experimented with a new note-taking app, but ended up using Evernote again, writing up notes and sending them out to friends and family. My personal commonplace book is expanding nicely.

For 2019, I’d like to start a personal project around reading that doesn’t require me to read more to scale. This means no writing detailed reviews, posting things read to Instagram, or blogging. Ultimately this could look like some kind of app, focused on improving book discovery. I’ve got a couple of good domains sitting around, so my chronic domain hoarding may finally starting to pay off…

On to things I learned:

2018 Reading List

  1. The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr
  2. Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey
  3. Digital Gold by Nathaniel Popper
  4. The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
  5. Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker
  6. Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug
  7. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  8. When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink
  9. Only the Paranoid Survive by Andy Grove
  10. Conspiracy by Ryan Holiday
  11. 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan Peterson
  12. Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson
  13. Levels of the Game by John McPhee
  14. Red Notice by Bill Browder
  15. Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work by Matthew B. Crawford
  16. Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy
  17. Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond
  18. Measure What Matters by John Doerr
  19. Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
  20. Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age by Sherry Turkle
  21. Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck
  22. Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss and Tahl Raz
  23. Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler
  24. The Attention Merchants by Tim Wu