I’m not a reader. As a kid, my mom tried to instill a love of reading in my sister and me. I so deeply misunderstood books that during our “reading time”, I would reach for the biggest, heaviest book on our shelf, the yellow pages, and peruse the names and numbers of our neighbors. While my sister had to pay for all of her books, on the rare occasion that I showed interest in a book my parents jumped at the chance to buy it.

That changed this year, and I owe it to audiobooks. Well, audiobooks and distance running. The bulk of my running consists of easy miles jogging through Golden Gate Park, Lake Merced, and the streets of San Francisco. While previously I’d spent this time listening to podcasts, I switched to books this year, craving the longer narratives and depth that podcasts often lack.

This was the single most positive change to my life this year. I learned what it’s like to work on the ISS, how Silicon Valley evolved through the 90s and oughts, and what made homo sapiens the dominant species of our planet.

Here’s a list of books I read this year. For up-to-date book ratings, follow me on Goodreads.

  1. A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age, Jimmy Soni & Rob Goodman
  2. What Happened, Hillary Clinton
  3. Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery, Scott Kelly (Recommended)
  4. Walden, Henry David Thoreau
  5. Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life, William Finnegan
  6. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, Angela Duckworth
  7. Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, Sheryl Sandberg (Recommended)
  8. Travels with Charley, John Steinbeck (Recommended)
  9. Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance, Alex Hutchinson (Recommended)
  10. Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, Adam Grant
  11. For the Love of Money: A Memoir, Sam Polk
  12. Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Becky Albertalli (Recommended)
  13. Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi
  14. 10% Happier, Dan Harris (Recommended)
  15. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, Mark Manson
  16. Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, Shunryū Suzuki
  17. Search Inside Yourself, Chade-Meng Tan
  18. Wherever You Go, There You Are, Jon Kabat-Zinn
  19. Running with the Mind of Meditation, Sakyong Mipham
  20. The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern (Recommended)
  21. The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything … Fast, Josh Kaufman
  22. All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque (Recommended)
  23. Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari (Recommended)
  24. The Wisdom of Finance, Mihir A. Desai
  25. Troublemakers, Silicon Valley’s Coming of Age, Leslie Berlin
  26. Leonardo da Vinci, Walter Isaacson
  27. North: Finding My Way While Running the Appalachian Trail, Scott Jurek
  28. Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage, Alfred Lansing (Recommended)
  29. A Single Man, Christopher Isherwood
  30. Option B, Sheryl Sandbert
  31. What Doesn’t Kill Us: How Freezing Water, Extreme Altitude and Environmental Conditioning will Renew our Lost Evolutionary Strength, Scott Carney (Recommended)
  32. Chasing Daylight: How My Forthcoming Death Transformed by Life, Andrew Postman, Corinne O’Kelly, & Eugene O’Kelly
  33. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, Mark Haddon (Recommended)
  34. The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood (Recommended)
  35. Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, John Carreyrou (Recommended)
  36. Superhuman by Habit: A Guide to Becoming the Best Possible Version of Yourself, One Tiny Habit at a Time, Tynan
  37. What Do You Care What Other People Think, Richard Feynman
  38. How to Worry Less About Money, John Armstrong
  39. Ego is the Enemy, Ryan Holiday
  40. The Devil in the White City, Erik Larson
  41. Calypso, David Sedaris (Recommended)
  42. On the Road, Jack Kerouac
  43. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Carol Dweck
  44. The Perfect Mile, Neal Bascomb (Recommended)
  45. The Art of Racing in the Rain, Garth Stein (Recommended)
  46. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott (Recommended)
  47. The Three Languages of Politics, Arnold Kling (Recommended)
  48. Leah on the Offbeat, Becky Albertalli
  49. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
  50. Running & Being: The Total Experience, George A. Sheehan
  51. The Book of Strange New Things, Michel Faber (Recommended)
  52. Once a Runner, John L. Parker Jr. (Recommended)
  53. The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It, Kelly McGonigal (Recommended)
  54. The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor (Recommended)
  55. Running with the Kenyans: Passion, Adventure, and the Secrets of the Fastest People on Earth, Adharanand Finn
  56. Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance, Matt Fitzgerald
  57. Alan Turing: The Enigma, Andrew Hodges
  58. A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini (Recommended)
  59. Warcross, Marie Lu
  60. Beartown, Fredrik Backman (Recommended)
  61. The School of Greatness: A Real-World Guide to Living Bigger, Loving Deeper, and Leaving a Legacy, Lewis Howes
  62. Sweat Equity: Inside the New Economy of Mind and Body, Jason Kelly
  63. To Pixar and Beyond: My Unlikely Journey with Steve Jobs to Make Entertainment History, Lawrence Levy
  64. Us Against You, Fredrik Backman (Recommended)
  65. Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change, Ellen Pao
  66. Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng
  67. Sourdough, Robin Sloan (Recommended)
  68. Man’s Search For Meaning, Viktor Frankl (Recommended)
  69. Call Me By Your Name, André Aciman (Recommended)
  70. The Charisma Myth, Olivia Fox Cabane
  71. She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders, Jennifer Finney Boylan (Recommended)
  72. A Man Called Ove, Fredrik Backman
  73. Pre: The Story of America’s Greatest Running Legend, Steve Prefontaine, Tom Jordan
  74. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, Yuval Noah Harari (Recommended)
  75. No Shortcuts to the Top, David Roberts & Ed Viesturs (Recommended)
  76. My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, Fredrik Backman
  77. Educated, Tara Westover (Recommended)
  78. The Upside of Stress, Kelly McGonigal (Recommended)
  79. Last Chance to See, Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine
  80. Crazy Rich Asians, Kevin Kwan
  81. And the Mountains Echoed, Khaled Hosseini
  82. Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise, K. Anders Ericsson (Recommended)
  83. The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter — And How to Make the Most of Them Now, Meg Jay
  84. One Man’s Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey, Sam Keith
  85. Modern Romance, Aziz Ansari (Recommended)
  86. Grief is the Thing with Feathers, Max Porter (Recommended)
  87. Doing Good Better, William MacAskill (Recommended)
  88. The Big Short, Michael Lewis (Recommended)
  89. Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World — and Why Things Are Better Than You Think, Anna Rosling Rönnlund, Hans Rosling, & Ola Rosling
  90. The Fifth Risk, Michael Lewis
  91. Dopesick, Beth Macy (Recommended)
  92. Hits and Misses, Simon Rich
  93. The First 20 Minutes: Surprising Science Reveals How We Can: Exercise Better, Train Smarter, Live Longer, Gretchen Reynolds
  94. Born on a Blue Day, Daniel Tammet
  95. Homo Deus, Yuval Noah Harari (Recommended)
  96. A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson
  97. Bossypants, Tina Fey
  98. Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, David Sedaris
  99. Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone, Brené Brown
  100. Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk (Recommended)
  101. The Mountain Story, Lori Lansens (Recommended)
  102. How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence, Michael Pollan (Recommended)
  103. The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact, Chip Heath &Dan Heath

Software Engineer and Runner

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