Note: I understand that it’s not actually 20 books – a lot of that had to do with trading books in and out 🙂


Red text = not started
Green text = finished
Purple, italicized text = in progress and still on the list
Orange, italicized text = in progress but holding off on finishing

  1. Louder Than Words, Todd Henry
  2. Resilience: Hard Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life, Eric Greitens
  3. The Score Takes Care of Itself, Bill Walsh
  4. Focus, Daniel Goleman
  5. Zero to One, Peter Thiel
  6. How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life, Russ Roberts
  7. Winning the Long Game, Steven Krupp, Paul J. H. Schoemaker
  8. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert M. Pirsig
  9. Don’t Make Me Think, Steve Krug
  10. Show Me, Don’t Tell Me, Dave Holston
  11. Idea Selling, Sam Harrison
  12. Idea Spotting, Sam Harrison
  13. Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson
  14. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
  15. One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  16. The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway
  17. Daring Greatly, Brene Brown
  18. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, Charles Duhigg
  19. The Art of Racing in the Rain, Garth Stein
  20. All The Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
  21. Meditations, Marcus Aurelius
  22. The Design of Everyday Things, Donald Norman

How’d I do? Here’s the breakdown:

Louder Than Words, The Power of Habit

I’m still working through this one – I made it through part one. It’s too impactful to speed read.
Speaking of speed read, The Power of Habit was an impulse airport buy last April. Such a good impulse.


It took me at least a year and a half to read this book. I ended up buying the Kindle version to help, on lunch breaks. It had literally infinite quotables. I also included two such quotables in letters to my mom. It was and is an incredibly powerful read.

The Score Takes Care of Itself

Like Resilience, it took me a little bit longer to read and had a lot of quotable nuggets. It’s that good. It also acted as a catalyst for my job shift in August, and helped me frame what to look for in a new employer.


Honestly, it’s just dense. It stays on the back-burner list. I’ll pick it up again once I both finish the other dense books, and also have a lighter read to mix it up with.

Zero to One

I need to read this if I ever want my copy of Thinking Fast And Slow Back. But, given the election and our new president, I’m struggling with it. The first three chapters even before all that made me go “…Meh…”

How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life

This guy stays for 2017.

Winning the Long Game

Initially, I thought it was just another business fluff book that had the same advice as everyone else. I bought it initially because the title is a phrase Nate uses consistently with me and business strategy. When I picked it up in early 2017, I realized that the profiles match up to customers of my company, so that may end up back in the rotation at some point.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

This one had a stupid long foreword. And I forgot about it after I initially got annoyed by it. I apparently got a revised edition, where the author openly admits when he first published it that it had logical flaws that he’s since tried to address. Not a great way to get me to keep reading.

It came highly recommended, and for the most part, people either seemed to absolutely love it, or absolutely hate it. I opted out of the debate.

Don’t Make Me Think

I left this one unstarted and it probably won’t be on a “to read” list in the foreseeable future. It’s one that every time I pick it up, I want a user experience project alongside me to work on so I can directly apply what I learn from the book to real life.

Idea Spotting, Idea Selling, Show Me Don’t Tell Me

These were quick reads. They were loaded with immediately applicable takeaways for my day-to-day work life.

Steve Jobs

I still want to read this before I see the movie by Aaron Sorkin. But damn, it’s thick. Hard to read at night too.

The Alchemist

I absorbed this one right before a drive to Oregon with Nate (and also made him read it right before this drive). We disagreed with our opinion on how it ends.

One Hundred Years of Solitude

I’m like twenty pages from finishing this one. It’s definitely a powerful book, but honestly, kind of a downer to read – intentionally so. It’s a realism story, to its core. I’m trying to avoid it at night.

The Old Man and the Sea

Honestly, I forgot to pick this up and time slipped away. I started it at the end of the year and ended the year less than a chapter in.

Daring Greatly

Wow, was it powerful. This was a furlough binge, cover-to-cover read. I ended up leaving it with my mom; it’s something I believe she’d benefit greatly from reading.

The Art of Racing in The Rain

This one made me bawl my eyes out. Lara Golden, a colleague at CallidusCloud recommended it when I told her I had decided to put in my two week notice there, and join another company. When chatting, she learned my dog’s name is Enzo. It’s so good, I made Nate read it right away, and bought a copy for my mom for her birthday. Aubrey, my sister’s dog, loved it so much she ate the cover off my version.