A look back at what I read in 2015, broken into fiction and non-fiction and ordered most recently finished first. Basically, this is my
Goodreads Year in Books 2015 list, but with a little more than ratings; also only a few people follow me there.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – A good psychological thriller, it was a good quick read. I didn’t expect much, and was pleasantly surprised. I was looking for a next book and it was already in our shared Kindle bookshelf since my wife read it for one of her book clubs.
Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut – A surprisingly look prescient story published in 1952 but good easily be adapted for today. The story is about a world which has been almost automated by machines which control and dictate everything; creating a two-class society of Engineers and Managers in charge of everything — and a lower class, whose skills and purpose have been replaced by machines.
A Feast for Crows and A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin – Books #3 and #4 of Game of Thrones series. The books are good but massive tomes to read and so. much. detail. After reading these two back to back, I got a\ bit tired of them and didn’t continue on to book #5. As of now, I’m not sure if I even will, between the show and books I’m getting a bit worn out.
The Martian by Andy Weir – My favorite book of the year, it was a great read. I loved the plausible sci-fi and the realism of what it must be like to be stranded and to try to survive on Mars. The book was so good, I haven’t felt the need to see the movie.
The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff – An attempt to explain Tao through the world of Winnie the Pooh. It illustrates some points well and intersting to think about the different personalities of each of the characters; but all in all I found it a bit annoying.
Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb – The concept of Antifragility is really interesting, that being the opposite of fragile, often people of something merely strong that won’t break. Taleb’s view takes it even more, Antifragile is something that not just perseveres under stress but something that gets stronger. Great concept and interesting examples throughout, but the book gets a bit repetitive.
The War of Art and Do the Work by Steven Pressfield – A good view of the resistance and battle it takes to be creative. I would recommend the shorter Do the Work book which is just \$5 for the Kindle edition and a very quick read, under 100 pages. The summary is there are a lot of pressures, many internal, that are working against you to be creative. The TLDR; just do the work.
Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes – A good view of the science and numerous anecdotes behind our nutrition and why we are getting fat. It highlights the mistakes that have been made with the low-fat diet plans that started in the 1960’s and created the current obesity epidemic. The TLDR; avoid sugar.
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson – I wasn’t too interested in the story behind Jobs, since I’ve lived most of the history especially post NeXT. However, since I started my Silicon Valley photo project, I figured reading more on the early history would be worthwhile and it was. The book seems to be a balanced and interesting read and not glorifying or vilifying Steve Jobs but presenting a better broader view of the man.
My 2016 To Read List
The books on my To Read list, I doubt I’ll get to them all in 2016, since I often change and add/subtract as the year goes on. I aim to read a little more, especially if I don’t read the giant tomes of Game of Thrones which sucked up a fair amount of time.
- Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
- The Circle by Dave Eggers
- Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
- Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull
- Mastery by Robert Greene
- The Road to Character by David Brooks
- Submission by Michel Houellebecq
- Villa Incognito by Tom Robbins
- Wild Ducks Flying Backward by Tom Robbins
- Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates by Tom Robbins
- Game of Shadows by Mark Fainaru-Wada
- The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
- Divergent by Veronica Roth