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2018 Books

My goal is to read 52 books in 2018. At the time of updating this list, we're 10 weeks in and I'm about 10.5 books in. And it's totally changed my life. Here are a list of the books I've read so far, in order, with a totally arbitrary ranking out of 5.

  1. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck - Mark Manson

I got this book as a Christmas present, and it was a good one. Written quite informally and reads quickly. Manson's main point is this: life is a constant struggle for everyone, and there is no such thing as a goal that will make you permanently happy. Instead, we should become happy in our struggle, and "choose the problems that will make us happy to solve". I get behind this message. I strongly recommend this book. 4.5/5

  1. Origin - Dan Brown

I read this book as an ebook on my iPad because I was looking for a nice light fiction book. It did the trick. Read a little more cumbersome than I remember Dan Brown reading. If you've read the other books in the Robert Langdon series, then I tentatively recommend it. 3.5/5

  1. Utopia - Thomas More

This was a pretty interesting read! It's definitely not something that you can just pick up and skim through, or at least I can't, but there's a lot of substance in those pages. I was inspired to pick up a copy of this book because I kept paging it from the library, and I'm glad I did. If you're interested in political systems or enjoy thinking about how the world could be run better (don't we all?) then I recommend this book. 4.25/5

  1. The Design of Everyday Things - Don Norman

If you're into design, or you think that you might be, this book has some awesome content. I found reading to be really slow at points, with Norman breaking systems down into minute detail. While this would have been super awesome if I was actively designing a project, I'm not, so I had nothing to relate this to and therefore found it a little boring. If you're working on design actively, it's a strong recommend. Otherwise, I think there's definitely enough value to tentatively recommend. 3.75/5

  1. Shoe Dog - Phil Knight

Another Christmas present... Wow, am I ever glad I didn't leave this one at home. This book was a page-turner from the very first page, touching on some of my biggest interests in running, business, and just life in general. Phil Knight has led such an incredible life, and this memoir reads exactly like a novel with incredibly important messages. Can't recommend this book enough. 5/5

  1. Life 3.0 - Max Tegmark

This was a pretty awesome book, definitely hitting one of my major interests: AI from an ethics perspective. If you're interested in this side of AI at all--what the future might hold and what we might want it to hold, Tegmark explores potential scenarios in awesome detail and breaks down quite complicated concepts into easy-to-parse bits and pieces. Strongly recommend. 4.5/5

  1. 10% Happier - Dan Harris

Wow. This was one of the books that really changed my life as I was reading it. I got into meditation a little while back, and then took a Zen Buddhism course here at Harvard, but I've struggled to apply it in my daily life. Harris gives a brilliant explanation on how you can still be sharp and ambitious while gaining the benefits from mindfulness meditation. Short read, too. Can't recommend enough. 5/5

  1. The Signal and the Noise - Nate Silver

Nate Silver is somewhat of a cultural icon at this point. If you're interested in probably the most interesting read on Bayesian statistics that exists, I highly recommend you pick up this book. Silver looks at real data, interesting data at that, to prove his points about how the world works from a statistical perspective. Pretty awesome read. A little long compared to some of the books on this lost though, be warned. 4.5/5

  1. Drive - Daniel Pink

This book, by Pink, really opened my eyes to the truth behind motivational structures and how flawed they can be. I guess I never really considered why we use carrot/stick rewards as opposed to intrinsic motivation, but as soon as I read that it completely clicked. Of course you have to be internally motivated to be successful! Pink does a pretty good job overall of expressing how to run your life and your company in such a way that it encourages this intrinsic motivation. Definitely a good read. 4.75/5

  1. New and Selected Poems, Volume One - Mary Oliver

I have never really read an entire poetry anthology before. I've always had a sweet spot for poems and poetry but there has never been a poet that captivated me as Mary Oliver has. I read through this anthology in a few days, rarely putting it down, returning time and time again to the poems that made me feel amazingly alive. Honestly, a truly inspirational artistic work. 5/5

  1. Outliers - Malcolm Gladwell 4.25/5

  2. Buffetology - Mary Buffett

In progress...3.25/5 so far 13. flow 14. good to great 15. pitch anything 16. jonathan livingston seagull