Last year I tried out making a reading list in January, to keep myself reading at an acceptable pace, and to put a bit more foresight into what I would be reading. This worked out pretty well. Despite finishing a couple of my 2016 books in the first days of 2017, I largely stuck to my schedule, and I finished everything on my list, including a few rather lengthy items. I actually didn’t read a whole lot more than I had listed (to my surprise), which makes me even more confident that this is a good idea, since it sets a minimum reading curriculum.
Again this year, I’ve tried to establish some common themes to allow for comparative reading and amass some knowledge of a field. The stronger themes are decision-making (four books) and creativity (four books), and the remaining four books are loosely centered on self-improvement, though that’s more of a coincidence than a plan.
My interest in decision-making is more about practically-applicable techniques and heuristics, rather than the more-frequently studied fields of optimal decision-making (“normative decision theory”) and human reasoning failures (“descriptive decision theory” and cognitive biases).
On the topic of creativity, I’m interested in material that unravels the myth of the creative genius; the presentation of inspiration as divine gift. How can we tune the intuition that subconsciously delivers these gifts? How can we make the muse visit regularly?
After reading I can report back on how well I did picking books that actually supply this information.
Here’s my list:
- January: The Art of Learning, Waitzkin ✅
- February: Tools of Titans, Ferriss ⚡️
- March: Everything Has Two Handles: The Stoic’s Guide to the Art of Living, Pies
- April: How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading, Adler & Doren
- May: Thinking and Deciding, Baron
- June: Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work, Heath & Heath
- July: The Decision Book: 50 Models for Strategic Thinking, Krogerus & Tschäppeler
- August: Judgement in Managerial Decision Making, Bazerman & Moore
- September: Improvisation at the Speed of Life: The TJ and Dave Book, Jagodowski & Pasquesi
- October: Lateral Thinking: Creativity Step by Step, Bono
- November: Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Csikszentmihalyi
- December: The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Campbell
⚡️ = reading, ✅ = read