I checked out over 40 books from the New York Public Library in 2013, and I bought a dozen on my Kindle. These were my favorites.
Ready Player One
Good book. Must read if you liked Ender’s Game or Daemon.
The Power of Habit
Inspiring for anyone interested in self improvement or social science. A bunch of different friends recommended or mentioned it recently. One of my favorite non-fiction books of the year. Read my friend Mamie Rheingold’s review for more info. I also read Willpower (twice!), but I felt that The Power of Habit was more interesting and a better read.
City of Thieves
Great, fun fiction. Check it out. Recommended to me by my friend Tynan.
Tiny Beautiful Things
Cheryl Strayed gives straight-talk advice. Thanks Jack Cheng for the tip. I liked this book. It’s a collection of advice columns (short vignettes). Great bedside reading. Reading this book made me thankful for the privileged life that I have. It made me feel that I don’t have enough deep relationships, crazy breakup stories, knock-out fights, drug addictions, or poverty woes as most Americans.
When I have a serious inter-personal problem, I should come back to this book and find a letter that relates to my situation. I can imagine her advice would be something like this: Don’t settle for less than the best. But own up to your faults, and be willing to compromise in the short-term for long-term happiness. Have fun, but not at the expense of your health or integrity.
Duct Tape Parenting
I read a lot of this book and liked it. Suggested to me by my friend Tynan. Interesting to think about in terms of managing people and some day starting a family.
Masters of Doom
Highly recommended if you played computer games in 1995-2002 like Doom, Doom II, or Wolfenstein 3D. Before Goldeneye 007 on the N64, the absolute best multiplayer first person shooter games were on the PC. I played my fair share of Doom II and Duke Nukem in middle school and high school. I enjoyed setting up the networks and building the PCs almost as much as the game play. I haven’t touched video games in many years, but reading this book was an awesome look behind the scenes of those early years at id. Much respect for John Carmack, who I heard is now CTO at Oculus Rift.
The Checklist Manifesto
I cheated here: instead of reading the whole book, I bought the summary. Really enjoyed it. Inspired me to write up more checklists for our museum tours.
The Fault in Our Stars
I liked this book enough to read another book by the author (Finding Alaska) immediately after I finished it.
The Everything Store
Yes! I will tell anyone who will listen that I am a long-time Amazon fan. The book paints a picture of Jeff Bezos as a business visionary. For the rebuttal, don’t miss Bezos’s wife review of the book. I found inspiration in Jeff’s dedication to a mission and his ultimate focus on the customer. I didn’t like the part about his history and where the author tracked down Jeff’s biological father. Everything else was a very fascinating look at how one of today’s most awesome companies was founded.
The Great Gatsby
Ashamed to admit that I had never read it. Fun.
With all due respect to the Aaron Swartz method of book tracking, I’ve decided to only list my favorites. Cheers to a book-filled 2014.
Aaron Swartz 1986 – 2013 … I consider him a friend and dedicate my readings of 2013 in his memory.
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