2021 (& 2020) Reading List

We can all agree that 2020 and 2021 have been strange. To me, the years blended together. I especially recognized this once I noticed that my 2020 book reading list was never published!

I know hardly anyone sees my annual reading list, but it’s not really about anyone else. To me, cronicalling my list of reading is one of my annual traditions to look back and reminance on all the good books and ideas I soaked in through the year.

Since we all feel like 2020 and 2021 were one blended year, that is how my reading list will be presented. 🙂

Here is the list:


  • Unfollow: A Memoir of Loving and Leaving the Westboro Baptist Church
    By: Megan Phelps-Roper
  • The Templars: The Rise and Spectacular Fall of God’s Holy Warriors
    By: Dan Jones
  • Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders
    By: Vincent Bugliosi , Curt Gentry
  • How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships
    By: Leil Lowndes
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Book 7
    By: J.K. Rowling
  • The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism
    By: Katherine Stewart
  • Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.
    By: Ron Chernow
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Book 5
    By: J.K. Rowling
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Book 6
    By: J.K. Rowling
  • Snow Crash
    By: Neal Stephenson
  • The Diamond Age
    By: Neal Stephenson
  • The Founding Fathers: Biographies of George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin
    By: Shane Costello
  • Attachments: A Novel
    By: Rainbow Rowell
  • The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win
    By: Maria Konnikova
  • A Very Punchable Face: A Memoir
    By: Colin Jost
  • The Great Agnostic: Robert Ingersoll and American Freethought
    By: Susan Jacoby
  • Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism
    By: Susan Jacoby
  • The Kite Runner
    By: Khaled Hosseini
  • Catch-22
    By: Joseph Heller
  • A Promised Land
    By: Barack Obama
  • Brave New World
    By: Aldous Huxley


  • Cyberspies: The Secret History of Surveillance, Hacking, and Digital Espionage
    By: Gordon Coreraa
  • Infinite
    By: Jeremy Robinson
  • The God Delusion
    By: Richard Dawkins
  • The Handmaid’s Tale
    By: Margaret Atwood
  • The Death of Democracy: Hitler’s Rise to Power and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic
    By: Benjamin Carter Hett
  • A Devil in the Valley
    By: Paul Holes , Peter McDonnell
  • The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever
    Michael Bungay Stanier
  • Heaven’s River
    Dennis E. Taylor
  • Billy Summers
    By: Stephen King
  • The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music
    By: Dave Grohl
  • The Stand
    By: Stephen King
  • The Grand Design
    by Stephen Hawking

2019 Book list

Once again, I am publishing my reading list from the past year.

It’s been a good year and I’ve learned a lot.

As a family, we’ve been working through the Harry Potter series, so that has eaten up a lot of reading time. Even with that slight distraction, I’ve read a lot of good material. A few key highlights include “Say Nothing”, “Talking to Strangers” and “Code Girls”.

The list:

  • Talk Triggers: The Complete Guide to Creating Customers with Word-of-Mouth – Jay Baer
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – J.K. Rowling
  • Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It – Chris Voss
  • Al Franken, Giant of the Senate – Al Franken
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – J.K. Rowling
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – J.K. Rowling
  • Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? – Seth Godin
  • The Industries of the Future – Alec Ross
  • This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See – Seth Godin
  • Origin: A Novel – Dan Brown
  • Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II – Liza Mundy
  • The Lost Art of Listening, Second Edition: How Learning to Listen Can Improve Relationships – Michael P. Nichols
  • Six Wakes – Mur Lafferty
  • The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream – Paulo Coelho
  • The Last Mrs. Parrish: A Novel – Liv Constantine
  • Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World – David Epstein
  • Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant – W. Chan Kim, Renee Mauborgne
  • Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know – Malcolm Gladwell
  • Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead – Jim Mattis, Bing West
  • Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland – Patrick Radden Keefe
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J.K. Rowling
  • Disney War – James B. Stewart

Here’s to a great 2020!

My 2018 Book List

In nearing the end of 2018, it is time to list all the books I’ve consumed this year.

It’s been another great year for books! I’ve learned so much. I’ve also been able to indulge in a few guilty pleasures along the way, including fiction action thrillers such as Back Blast by Mark Greaney and The President Is Missing by Bill Clinton & James Patterson.

Notably, it was fun to read Ready Player One by Ernest Cline and compare the release of the movie, directed by Steven Spielberg. As is commonly said, the book was better than the movie, but only slightly.

As ususal, I’ve spent a lot of time studying interesting historical characters / stories. Some notable include Leonardo daVinci in Walter Isaacson’s biography, Ron Stallworth in his story of being a black man and acting as a Klansman, and two Chicago based frightening personalities of H. H. Holmes and Al Caponi in The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson and Al Capone by Deirdre Bair.

The other category of my focus has been on science and analysis. My introduction to Stephen Pinker (thanks to recommendations from Bill Gates) has been a great way to become grounded in the amazing reality of our time and the pace of postitive improvement in life for humans. Notable are also Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Astrophysics for People in a Hurry and Lying by Sam Harris.

Of course, I’ve been also keeping up on many podcasts in addition to all the books & audiobooks. Here is a quick listing of my current favorites:

  • Reply All
  • Radiolab
  • Revisionist History – Malcolm Gladwell
  • The Marketing Companion
  • Waking Up with Sam Harris

Now, without further adieu… my 2018 Reading / Listening Book List (listed in my reading order starting from most recently completed):

  • Enlightenment Now – Steven Pinker
  • Stealing God’s Thunder – Philip Dray
  • A Thousand Pounds of Dynamite – Adam Higginbotham
  • Sapiens – Yuval Noah Harari
  • Back Blast – Mark Greaney
  • Black Klansman – Ron Stallworth
  • The President Is Missing – Bill Clinton, James Patterson
  • Al Capone: His Life, Legacy, and Legend – Deirdre Bair
  • The Theater of War – Bryan Doerries
  • Dopesick – Beth Macy
  • The Devil in the White City – Erik Larson
  • Salvage the Bones – Jesmyn Ward
  • A Life in Parts – Bryan Cranston
  • Rise and Grind – Daymond John, Daniel Paisner
  • Lying – Sam Harris
  • Beartown – Fredrik Backman
  • All Joy and No Fun – Jennifer Senior
  • The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell – Robert Dugoni
  • Leonardo da Vinci – Walter Isaacson
  • The Psychopath Test – Jon Ronson
  • The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss
  • Modern Romance – Aziz Ansari, Eric Klinenberg
  • The Culture Code – Daniel Coyle
  • Julius Caesar – Willam Shakespeare
  • Tin Can Titans – John Wukovits
  • The Better Angels of Our Nature – Steven Pinker
  • Cat’s Cradle – Kurt Vonnegut
  • Ready Player One – Ernest Cline
  • Hug Your Haters – Jay Baer
  • Content Machine – Dan Norris
  • Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis – J. D. Vance
  • Astrophysics for People in a Hurry – Neil deGrasse Tyson
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen R. Covey

My 2017 Reading List

Throughout the year, I made my way through a great collection of books on Audible. It is way too hard to pick out my favorites. Always looking for recommendations. The following list is in my reading order starting from most recently completed:

  • Into Thin Air – Jon Krakauer
  • All These Worlds: Bobiverse, Book 3 – Dennis E. Taylor
  • A Gentleman in Moscow – Amor Towles
  • For We Are Many: Bobiverse, Book 2 – Dennis E. Taylor
  • The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference – Malcolm Gladwell
  • We Are Legion (We Are Bob): Bobiverse, Book 1 – Dennis E. Taylor
  • Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead – Laszlo Bock
  • The Android’s Dream – John Scalzi
  • The Butterfly Effect – Jon Ronson
  • 1984 – George Orwell
  • Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America – Gilbert King
  • The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger – Stephen King
  • The Gene: An Intimate History – Siddhartha Mukherjee
  • The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life – Alice Schroeder
  • Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe – Mike Massimino
  • Not My Father’s Son: A Memoir – Alan Cumming
  • Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built – Duncan Clark
  • Freakonomics – Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner
  • Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike – Phil Knight
  • Digging Up Mother: A Love Story – Doug Stanhope
  • A Cold Day for Murder: A Kate Shugak Mystery – Dana Stabenow
  • How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life – Scott Adams
  • Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood – Trevor Noah
  • Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA – Tim Weiner