Happy New Year, and new decade!
I started last year with many ambitious goals, and I failed most of them. I intended to read at least 36 books in 2019 and only completed 14, oh well. For those interested these are the books I read over 2019:
Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media
by Noam Chomsky, Edward S. Herman
I didn’t write a full review of this book, but I mention it frequently. I highly recommend taking the time to read Manufacturing Consent, even if you expect to dislike it. You don’t have to start with an open mind or end up changed by the author’s views for this to be well worth your time.
Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything
by Joshua Foer
I loved this book and wrote a full glowing review. Moonwalking with Einstein is one of the best nonfiction books I have read. Foer has a sort of effortless writing style, and the topic is fascinating.
Play Bigger: How Pirates, Dreamers, and Innovators Create and Dominate Markets
by Al Ramadan, Dave Peterson, Christopher Lochhead, Kevin Maney
Play Bigger is the only book I read to completion this year that I hated. I wrote a review of this absolute dumpster fire of a cash grab marketing book to sell consulting. I called Play Bigger an archetype of a bad marketing book, and I still maintain that sentiment. I read this book, so you don’t have to waste your time.
The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google
by Scott Galloway
The Four is a marketing book I consider to be worth reading. I reviewed this book, glowingly. Not everyone will be a fan of Galloway’s writing style, and if you aren’t interested in marketing and entrepreneurship, this may not be your cup of tea.
The Design of Everyday Things
by Donald A. Norman
I didn’t review the book, but The Design of Everyday Things is one of the books I recommend most. If you are interested in design or work in UX, this is a must-read.
Stephen Fry Presents A Selection of Anton Chekhov’s Short Stories
by Anton Chekhov, Stephen Fry (Narrator), Constance Garnett (translator)
I listened to an excellent audiobook of a collection of Anton Chekhov’s Short Stories read by Stephen Fry. I didn’t write a review, but it was an enjoyable listen, and Chekhov is a fantastic writer.
A Tale of Two Cities
by Charles Dickens
Dickens is one of my favorite authors, and I’ve read Great Expectations at least seven times. I enjoyed A Tale of Two Cities, but I don’t honestly know if I would reread it. It’s a great work of historical fiction, and while I am glad I read it, I don’t know if I will ever recommend the book to anyone else.
A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens
Dickens is as always a fantastic writer. My review of A Christmas Carol is, however, a bit contrarian. I feel Dickens indebted to his publisher, wrote this book in six weeks solely to pander to the impoverished masses who would buy books. I also think this book is propaganda o the sort the keeps the poor feeling content in their poverty.
For Whom the Bell Tolls
by Ernest Hemingway
The Old Man and the Sea is still my favorite Hemingway novel. However, For Whom the Bell Tolls is a phenomenal story. I generally enjoy historical fiction, and I think the story falls into a category of lie that is truer than truth. Hemingway’s time as a reporter for the Spanish Civil War gave the book a flavor that, like Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, feels like a fictional work processing an emotional truth.
The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy
by Thomas J. Stanley, William D. Danko
I don’t plan on reviewing this book, but I recommend it often. It’s well written full of data and spurs a lot of discussions.
10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works
by Dan Harris
I loved this book; I enjoyed reviewing this book. From my review:
“I want to call this book ‘life-changing,’ but I’m not going to because reading it didn’t change my life. What I’m trying to say is, the book has the capacity to be life-changing. If someone handed me this book five years ago, for example, I think it would have changed my life.”
Beowulf & The Epic of Gilgamesh
I recognize the importance of these stories… That is all I will say.
Becoming Mrs. Lewis
by Patti Callahan
The story shows a fictionalized depiction of the lives of Joy and Jack (C.S.) Lewis. I’m a big C.S. Lewis fan, and that, along with my mother’s recommendation, is why I read this book. I didn’t write a review but I give the book a solid 4-star rating.
Article by Mason Pelt of Push ROI. First published in MasonPelt.com on January 2, 2020. Photo: “2018-06-27_Daunt Books” by Ungry Young Man