Life gets busy, and reading always seems to be one of those things we push to the side. But we (the Millennial Planners) have always connected on the books we read and the takeaways we get from them. I went an entire year thinking I didn’t read much, but after Regan asked us to share our favorite books, I was pleasantly surprised how much we all read collectively.
Keeping up with an old tradition, we decided to pass along our favorite books that we read in 2018.
[Taken from our email exchanges a few weeks back. No filter.]
The Stormlight Archive (Books 1-3 of a fantasy series)
Game of Thrones level hype
Pet Sematary - Stephen King
Truly skin-crawling first person. My favorite King ending so far.
Misery - Stephen King
The Outsider - Stephen King
Slaugterhouse-Five - Kurt Vonnegut
Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
Gunslinger: The Remarkable, Improbable, Iconic Life of Brett Favre - Jeff Pearlman
Nothing I knew as a child was true! A very adult perspective on one of my childhood heroes.
Meditations - Marcus Aurelius
Unbroken - Laura Hillenbrand
The Compound Effect - Darren Hardy (reread)
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success - Carol S. Dweck
Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams - Matthew Walker
Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! - Richard P. Feynman
Running Man: A Memoir, by Charlie Engle - A story of a crack-addict turned ultra marathon runner. Very inspiring, but it is one of those stories where nothing ever seems to go right for someone.
Kafka on the Shore, by Haruki Murakami - This was my fifth or sixth time reading this book. It was originally my first Murakami novel. It never fails to bring me back to that magical place I entered the first time I read it.
Foundation, by Issac Asimov - This was my favorite of the several Sci-Fi novels I read this year. It was also on Elon Musk's list...but I am not going to let him take credit for popularizing an author who has written 500 books and is published in 9 out of the 10 Dewey categories.
The Martian, by Andy Weir - I know I am late to the game on this one but it was amazing. I was impressed at the author's attention to detail when it comes to scientific principles. This was by far the book I most recommended.
The Giver, by Lois Lowry - A childhood favorite. One of my favorite dystopian novels.
Manhood: How to Be a Better Man-or Just Live with One - Terry Crews (the old spice guy, and actor)
easy read, his first book. shared his bio and rough childhood. It opened me up to a powerful concept I've embraced in 2018 - being vulnerable and recognizing who you are, what your issues are, and accepting their impact on your daily behavior.
Your Money and Your Brain - Jason Zweig
super fascinating stuff and it felt like a way more tangible version of "thinking fast and slow" (which 99% of ppl don't actually finish, bc boring). Jason did all these studies on himself to see how humans are wired and how much of our programming contradicts being good with money.
Barking Up The Wrong Tree - Eric Barker
Eric writes a blog about a concept I love - what popular culture says it takes to be successful is wrong a lot of the time. I love counter-culture stuff in general. I did not finish this book, probably made it halfway through. I had high hopes, but something about the writing style didn't make me want to continue on. That said, I could pick up at any random Chapter and it would read well.
Atomic Habits - James Clear
another blogger, which I actually recommend you sign up for if you like the concept (2x week emails). I appreciate James' concise writing style too. Perhaps Recency Bias is at play, but I feel this concept has impacted me the most this year. "we don't rise to the level of our goals, we fall to the level of our systems." "atomic" meaning small things, over and over, matter. Goals are useful, but not the measure - habits (daily behavior) are what create progress and nothing happens overnight. It's a double-edged sword - habits multiply in both directions. Lifting weights weekly creates positive effects that compound. Similarly, 1 cigarette per day will compound negatively. The book also describes how to create positive systems. One major one? Tribes (Millennial Planners, anyone? ;) ). Note: I'm only on Ch. 5 of this book, and it's clearly already impacting me greatly.
Principles - Ray Dalio
There are actually 2 books in the edition i have - that's why it's physically huge. I read the first half- Life Principles - and appreciated Dalio’s mindset towards making rules and creating systems that allowed Bridgewater to grow and how he learned from his mistakes. Dalio is a bit dry, but his takeaways are quite interesting. So it's good for those who want no-nonsense and straight to the point advice on life and business.
I read blogs more than anything and am on Twitter more often. I'm an official Ritholz fanboy, and mostly read posts from their newest addition, Nick Magguili (https://ofdollarsanddata.com/).
Happy reading, everyone!