My 2015 reading list

Last year (2015) was a surprisingly busy year for reading – 75 books?  I’m not sure why my list is so long compared to previous years as nothing really changed including my usual late-summer slump where I suffer a reading burn-out and read practically nothing for around 5-6 weeks.

I did keep up the habit that I started in 2014 of re-reading something from a previous list every tenth book. This is working out really well for me and I will definitely continue as a lot of the non-fiction books – mindfulness, business, psychology, etc – really need revisiting to increase understanding and help to internalise the information being presented.  In fact this year, I took it a step further and repeated the same book several times and seemed to get more out of it by doing so.

Last year was also heavily focussed on mindfulness and meditation.  I started meditating at the end of 2014 and it is now a daily habit that I honestly believe has changed my life in a [slightly] profound way. As a beginner, I wanted to learn as much as I could early in the year and so there’s a heavy concentration of these types of books in my list – and I suspect more will appear in my 2016 list too.

The full list for 2015 is listed at the end of this post, but here are some highlights:

Business

  1. The Progress Principle by Teresa Amiable and Steven Kramer (amazon link). This is an excellent book on management and I have recommended it numerous times since reading it.  Yes, it is one of those books where the whole principle is revealed and complete in the first chapter, but the rest of the book provides the evidence proving the theory and offers some practical advice on how to better manage people by understanding their need to achieve a sense of progress.
  2. The One Thing by Gary Keller (amazon link). As a believer in focus, this book was “preaching to the choir” for me but it explores the concept in a more practical and personal development way – by looking at habit creation, the myth of multitasking, prioritisation and of course the power of narrowing your focus.

Mindfulness and Meditation

  1. The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer (amazon link). This probably one of the most profound books that I have ever read and resonated with me so much – that I reread it three times.  It is written in a practical, layman’s, non-spiritual manner that makes sense and inspires at the same time.  I got something new from this book each time and I plan to read it again and again.  If you are in the right state of mind – open, interested in mindfulness, perhaps have read some other similar books such a 10% Happier, Eckhardt Tolle, etc – then this is the best book on the subject you could ever hope to find.
  2. Thoughts without a Thinker by Mark Epstein (amazon link). This is more of a psychology book and explains how mindfulness, meditation and buddhism have a foundation in psychoanalysis beyond the spiritual.  It can be a bit heavy at times with a practising therapist as the target audience, but it is well-written and worth it.  The book and an author mentioned in 10% Happier by Dan Harris.

Non-fiction

  1. Panzer Commander: The Memoirs of Hans von Luck by Hans von Luck (amazon link). What an amazing story.  Growing up the in the USA when I did, we rarely had a chance to view World War II from the other side – Das Boot?  This book is the autobiography of a Panzer Commander and provides an incredible insight into life in the German tank regiments during the war.  It is well written and very entertaining.
  2. The Future of the Mind by Michio Kaku (amazon link). This book was fascinating.  It describes what we currently know about the brain – how it works, intelligence, etc and goes on to explore how our understanding will lead to amazing breakthroughs when combined with emerging (and some far-fetched) technological advances.  I really enjoyed it.
  3. Move your DNA by Katy Bowman (amazon link). I really enjoyed this book – it is well written and packed with new insight on movement, physiology and exercise.  The author explains how our movements have an effect on our bodies at a cellular level and not just with muscles, tendons, bones and cartilage.  She describes how our environment (sitting in a chair at a desk for 8-10 hours a day for dozens of years) can take its toll on our bodies and how going to the gym a few times a week will never offset the damage we do.  It discusses the power of movement and how it trumps exercise.

Fiction

  1. The Martian by Andy Weir (amazon link). The best book I have read for some time. I haven’t yet seen the movie and if you haven’t either – then read the book first.  It is excellent and although it is about space, it is not a sci-fi.  Its hard to believe that the author had to self-publish this book at first.  Highly, highly recommended.
  2. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (amazon link).  I did get nervous during the first couple of chapters that this was going to be “chick lit” but it all turned out ok and is a great thriller.
  3. I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes (amazon link).  This is a classic, modern day spy / crime thriller.  A real page-turner which is lucky because at 600 pages, it can be a bit intimidating if you are looking for a quick holiday read.  Great book.

2015 Reading List

  1. Thoughts without a Thinker (Mark Epstein)
  2. The Martian (Andy Weir)
  3. Hurry Up and Meditate (David Michie)
  4. The Master Switch (Tim Wu)
  5. Meditation in Action (Chögyam Trungpa)
  6. Choose Yourself (James Altucher)
  7. Hello, My Name is Awesome (Alexandra Watkins)
  8. The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive (Patrick M. Lencioni)
  9. Seeing What Others Don’t (Gary Klein)
  10. Thinking, Fast and Slow (Daniel Kahneman) [R]
  11. The Art of War (Sun Tzu)
  12. The Supernova Advisor (Robert D. Knapp)
  13. The Art of Exceptional Living (Jim Rohn)
  14. Street Smarts (Norm Brodsky, Bo Burlingham)
  15. The Alliance (Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha)
  16. I’m Feeling Lucky (Douglas Edwards)
  17. The Power of Vulnerability (Brené Brown)
  18. Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind (Al Ries, Jack Trout)
  19. The Power of Habit (Charles Duhigg)
  20. Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work and Think (Viktor Mayer-Schonberger, Kenneth Cukier) [R]
  21. The Practicing Mind (Thomas M. Sterner)
  22. The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself (Michael A. Singer)
  23. Panzer Commander: The Memoirs of Hans von Luck (Hans von Luck)
  24. No Self, No Problem Paperback (Anam Thubten)
  25. Decision Maker (Dennis Bakke)
  26. Without Fail (Lee Child)
  27. Mindful Work (David Gelles)
  28. The Progress Principle (Teresa Amabile, Steven Kramer)
  29. The Magic of Awareness (Anam Thubten)
  30. The Girl on the Train (Paula Hawkins)
  31. Converge: Transforming Business at the Intersection of Marketing and Technology (Bob Lord, Ray Velez)
  32. The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself (Michael A. Singer) [R]
  33. The Gifts of Imperfection (Brené Brown)
  34. Standout (Marcus Buckingham)
  35. The Future of the Mind (Michio Kaku)
  36. Living with Your Heart Wide Open (Steve Flowers, Bob Stahl)
  37. No Place to Hide (Glenn Greenwald)
  38. The Voice of Knowledge (Don Miguel Ruiz)
  39. Smartcuts (Shane Snow)
  40. The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself (Michael A. Singer) [R]
  41. Tilt: Shifting Your Strategy from Products to Customers (Niraj Dawar)
  42. Breakpoint (Jeff Stibel)
  43. The Chess Men (Peter May)
  44. Sycamore Row (John Grisham)
  45. Alice in Wonderland Through the Looking Glass (Lewis Carroll)
  46. Remains of the Day (Kazuo Ishiguro)
  47. Virtual Freedom (Chris Ducker)
  48. Visioneering (Andy Stanley)
  49. Think and Grow Rich (Napoleon Hill)
  50. Different (Youngme Moon) [R]
  51. What Great Brands Do (Denise Lee Yohn)
  52. Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury)
  53. Me, Inc. (Gene Simmons)
  54. How to Train a Wild Elephant (Jan Chozen Bays)
  55. Get Abundance (Peter Diamandis)
  56. The One Thing (Gary Keller)
  57. The Soft Edge (Rich Karlgaard)
  58. The Trusted Advisor (David H. Maister, Robert Galford, Charles W Green)
  59. Mistakes Were Made – but Not by Me (Carol Tavris, Elliot Aronson)
  60. Automate This: How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World (Christopher Steiner) [R]
  61. Bringing Out the Best in People (Aubrey C. Daniels)
  62. Overworked and Overwhelmed (Scott Eblin)
  63. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
  64. Go Put Your Strengths to Work (Marcus Buckingham)
  65. The Cluetrain Manifesto Paperback (Christopher Locke, Doc Searls, David Weinberger)
  66. Persuader (Lee Child)
  67. Triggers (Marshall Goldsmith)
  68. Move your DNA (Katy Bowman)
  69. Does it work? (Shane Atchison, Jason Burby)
  70. The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself (Michael A. Singer) [R]
  71. The Partly Cloudy Patriot (Sarah Vowell)
  72. A Moveable Feast (Ernest Hemmingway)
  73. Smart Thinking (Art Markman)
  74. Our Final Invention (James Barrat)
  75. I Am Pilgrim (Terry Hayes)
 [R] = Reread. A book that I have read previously.

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