2016 Reading List

2015 was a haphazard reading year for me, with a number of partially-read books at the beginning of the year, squeezing in a few pages in my tent while roadtripping across the western U.S., and then finally powering through a few more books once life settled down a bit. Eleven books finished in total, assuming I’m not missing anything.

This year I’m going to try being a bit more structured (in the spirit of Mark Zuckerberg), and lay out a schedule of what I will definitely be reading. With my current workload that’s going to be a modest one-book-per-month pace, but additional reading is of course welcome. A schedule will allow me to clear my plate of a few lingering items, establish some higher-level reading themes, and have some idea of when I’ll actually get to one book or another.

Here’s the list:

  • January: The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius ✅ (notes) I’m already reading this so I’m adding it to January’s schedule.
  • January: Just Fucking Ship, Amy Hoy ✅ (notes) Time-appropriate wisdom for someone who needs to ship. From someone who has.
  • February: Letters from A Stoic, Seneca ✅ Word on the street is that Seneca is the best entry point to Stoicism after Marcus. If this goes well then the next stop might be Epictetus.
  • March: Growing Object-Oriented Software Guided by Tests, Pryce & Freeman ✅ I’ve read the first half of this book twice and feel that it has the most practical advice on testing that I’ve ever read, but it’s not exactly a page-turner. It’s about time I powered through.
  • April: Wind / Pinball, Murakami ✅ I thought Hard-Boiled Wonderland was an absolute gem; I put down Norwegian Wood partway through, so my exposure to Murakami is still a bit limited. Reading this with a friend who is a big fan but hasn’t yet touched these early works.
  • May: On Language, Chomsky ✅ Chomsky is a living legend in both pure linguistics and computer science and a tremendously-informed political commentator, though I’m not always sure I agree with him. Reading this, supposed to be a good introduction to his thinking, with a friend.
  • June: Shantaram, Roberts ✅️ One of three novels on this list, this book seems to come up again and again in reading lists from people I admire.
  • July: The Power of Habit, Duhigg ✅
  • August: Thinking, Fast and Slow, Kahneman ✅️
  • September: It’s Not All About Me, Dreeke ✅
  • October: Influence, Cialdini ✅️ Pretty sure I bought a copy of this in college after hearing it recommended, never got around to reading it. A good follow-up to the previous book on rapport and human interaction.
  • November: The Pillars of the Earth, Follett ✅
  • December: The Importance of Living, Yutang ✅️ I’ve been slowly progressing through this for the last couple years. Time to go the distance.

⚡️ = reading, ✅ = read

I’m also really itching to read the following books, so there’s a pretty good chance I’ll work them into the schedule as well: