Reading List

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Now that I’m an adult and I don’t have to read, I actually do read. Funny how that works. Here’s a brief recap of what I read this past year, and why you should read them (or not).

The Best

Ready Player One – Ernest Cline

Ready Player OneI’ve been on a bit of a sci-fi kick lately. Last year I caught up on the classic: Slaughterhouse Five, Fahrenheit 451, Brave New World. Edge of Tomorrow1 was much better than I anticipated. Ready Player One was one of my favorite books I read in 2014. It’s set in a world where people spend more time in virtual reality than real life. Which we may be headed towards ourselves. It follows a group of players in the VR world trying to find the ultimate easter egg laid there by the world’s programmer. Who just so happens to be big into 80s gaming culture. If you’re reading some random guys WordPress / development blog, it’s safe to say you’d like it.

The Walking Dead: Compendium 1 – Robert Kirkman

Interesting read to see how it compares to the show.

A Walk in the WoodsA Walk in the Woods – Bill Bryson

The first of many of my adventuring books. I’ve been meaning to read Bill Bryson for awhile, and figured A Walk in the Woods would be a good start. Made me want to go on a hike. Except for the bears.

Things a Little Bird Told Me – Biz Stone

Things a Little Bird Told Me is Biz Stone’s recounting of the rise of Twitter. It’s worth a read to get an inside look at the beginnings of one of the tech world’s biggest startups. There’s a lot of good ideas on creativity and building apps that help people. This is the book that kind of kicked off my productivity push.

When they first built the University of California at Irvine they just put buildings in. They did not put any sidewalks; they just just planted grass. The next year, they came back and put sidewalks where the trails were in the grass.

And Then I Thought I Was a Fish – Peter Hunt Welch

I had no idea what I was getting into with this book. One developer’s retelling of the time he lost his mind on acid.

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth – Chris Hadfield

Even if you don’t ever want to go to space, Col. Chris Hadfield, who you may know as the astronaut that brought social media to space, will inspire you to work hard so you’re prepared when opportunity knocks.

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Getting Things Done – David Allen

Getting Things Done is a methodology for doing as it’s title says. I’d need a much longer post to get into details on this, but it’s worth reading even if you don’t fully implement the system2. The idea is to get everything out of your head by extending your mind into an actionable list of items

Born to Run – Christopher McDougall

If you want to run or you’re even interested in running, read this. I can’t say I agree with the entire barefoot craze, but this book does make some great arguments for it. Whether it’s the retelling of an endurance hunt with a small tribe or the 100 mile race through the Rockies with the super-runner Tarahumara tribe, it will get you motivated. It worked for me to get back into running and hit some new records for distance3.

Hey, if it’s supposed to be this way, let’s see if it really is.

One Last Strike – Tony La Russa

I’m a huge St. Louis Cardinals fan, and this book retells the 2011 playoff run that ended with one of the most exciting World Series of all time. And I was at Game 7. Birds.

Steal Like An Artist – Austin Kleon

It will only take you a few hours to read and it will inspire your creativity for considerably longer.

Into Thin Air – Jon Krakauer

I’ll tell you what this book didn’t make me want to do, climb Mount Everest. But it is an exciting tale of the hardship and struggles that go into climbing the world’s tallest peak.

Exploring the RockiesExploring the Rockies – Kevin Sweet

One of my good friend’s took 3 weeks off work and attempted to thru-hike almost 500 mile Colorado Trail. By himself. The camaraderie by hikers that are complete strangers makes it worth the read itself. But if you’ve ever thought about thru-hiking or even taking a day hike, check this out for sound advice from a real everyday person that’s done it himself.


I Wear the Black Hat – Chuck Klosterman

I keep going back to Chuck Klosterman. He’s an interesting author even if he does occasionally get a bit too into the rock scene for my taste. There’s plenty of other pop culture essays to digest here too. Although, I’d recommend Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs first.

Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

*Looks at shelf at Barnes & Noble. Sees Wild, Gone Girl, Unbroken, American Sniper, and Inherent Vice on shelf. I guess I’m not the only one that sees the movie and then wants to read the book. Worth the read if you liked the book. Finished most of this one on the plane to and from WordCamp San Francisco.

The 7 Day StartupThe 7 Day Startup: You Don’t Learn Until You Launch – Dan Norris

This was one of my favorites. There’s tons of great information in here that can be easily and quickly implemented in your day job or your entrepreneurial ventures. The concepts in this book got me from thinking about creating my own plugins to getting two out in the wild. Read it. Now.

The War of the Worlds – H.G. Wells

Another one of the classics I’ve wanted to catch up on for awhile.

The Side Hustle Blueprint – Lise Cartwright

Great, actionable ideas for getting your own “side hustle” going to start earning extra cash. This was my last book of the year. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Never Quite Finished

Blue Ocean Strategy – W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne

A look into the concept of using a blue ocean strategy4 rather than a red ocean strategy5. It’s an interesting book. I just haven’t gotten around to finishing it yet.

Tap Dancing to Work – Carol Loomis

Details the rise of Warren Buffet to power. It hasn’t made me rich yet.

Coming Up Next

The Doodle Revolution

What To Do When It’s Your Turn (and it’s always your turn)

Inherent Vice6

  1. Movie not book.
  2. I’m still working on it, but have benefited from the concepts I’ve pulled from it already.
  3. At least until it gets below freezing and you don’t want to run anymore
  4. Going out into open water to find an area that has little to no competition.
  5. A field with tons of competitors tearing each other apart
  6. I’ve meant to read this for awhile and now that the movie is out, I remembered that desire.

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