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Books I’ve Read (2019)

Only the ones I remember. The sands of time, have claimed the rest.

Wanted all my stuff down here, since I haven’t used Library Thing or Goodreads in a long, long, while.

They’re in no particular order, and not all good.
Just that I read them.
I’ll start putting the new ones, up top, with links to the book-notes if I write them.

October

  • Can’t Hurt Me, David Goggins
    (absolutely must read. Lindy read.
    My second Lindy read in a month! I must be really lucky.
    I’ve been fascinated by David, ever since I read Living with a Seal.
    This book reveals the mental mindset behind his superhuman feats.
    If you’re wondering who David is, this will help.)

  • The 33 Marks of Maturity, Brett & Kate McKay
    (absolutely must read. Lindy read.
    this book is short and packed with wisdom, about what it takes to be, well, mature.
    in the real adult mature sense.
    it reads like your dad or your older brother talking you through life’s truths)

  • The Revelation Space Omnibus, Alastair Reynolds
    (fun read. this kept me good company as I lie in bed sick.
    it’s an awesome world to lose yourself in, taking you as it does across thousands of years of space and time.)

    • Chasm City
    • Redemption Ark
    • Absolution Gap
    • Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days
    • The Prefect
  • Retire Inspired, Chris Hogan
    (good read. another Dave Ramsey title.
    I reread this just to keep myself on track.
    i may not have money now, but i know what to do once I reinvent myself)

September

  • Everyday Millionaires, Chris Hogan
    (must read. but only for folks like me who are a little slow with money.
    it’s a typical Dave Ramsey book. short. to the point. all meat, no bones. lots of stories.
    the book itself is an exploration of their study of 10,000 millionaires in the USA. no, she does not own a fancy penthouse. she is more likely to be a high school teacher in her early to mid fifties.)

  • The Veteran, Frederick Forsyth
    (must read. found my old copy and reread it.
    this is a collection of 5 novellas of varying lengths, each with a twist you don’t see coming.
    The Veteran is classic Forsyth.
    My favourite, Whispering Wind, is Forsyth trying to do a L’Amour and coming within striking distance. Old western, time travel and reincarnation; this one has it all)

  • Our Magnificient Bastard Tongue, John McWhorter

  • Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths of Language Usage, John McWhorter

  • The Revelation Space Omnibus, Alastair Reynolds

    • Galactic North
    • Revelation Space

August

  • Ultralearning, Scott H Young
    (must read.
    if you are looking to tackle something foundationally important, this book gives you one solid approach.
    it’s mostly common sense.
    but common sense that is laid out in a really logical manner.
    i learnt to plan my project, that hard learning is normal, that failure is normal, and that persistence is a prerequisite.
    all critical things, since learning no longer “comes naturally” to me.)

  • Memories, Lang Leav
    (must read.)

  • The Universe of Us, Lang Leav
    (must read. Leav writes beautifully haunting poetry)

  • Dissent on Aadhaar, compilation, Reetika Khera (editor)
    (must read. this insightful, erudite read, tackles the various issues of Aadhaar on multiple levels, with multiple experts from various fields, voicing their concern.
    if you want to know, why Big Brother is Bad Business, why Aadhaar is a bad idea and what its fallout c(w)ould be, this is the book to read)

July

  • Love Looks Pretty on You, Lang Leav
    (must read. in my imagination, leav is a talented younger sister, who has been through a lot more and writes her advice just for me, in her poems)

  • Working, Robert Caro
    (if you haven’t read the Power Broker, you should
    if you haven’t read the Lyndon volumes, you should
    this book is Caro’s account of the work, that went into those works.
    the ceaseless toil, the thankless years, the people and their stories
    Caro is Caro, master of the craft.
    There are only a few explicit lessons here.
    but plenty if you care enough to read between the lines
    plenty if you make this an annual read, like i will)

  • The Broken Earth Trilogy, N. K. Jemisin
    (if you love fantasy, this is an absolute read.
    world building at its finest.
    The journey she takes me on! The magic she creates! The world she imagines!
    It’s such a harsh world, but gosh darn it, I want to live there.
    Jemisin’s awesome.)

    • The Fifth Season
    • The Obelisk Gate
    • The Stone Sky
  • The Inheritance Trilogy, N. K. Jemisin
    (This was Jemisin’s older trilogy and it shows.
    The language is rougher and the characters drag on a bit
    Minor quibbles though. It was a really good read)

    • The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
    • The Broken Kingdoms
    • The Kingdom of Gods

June

  • The Song of the Bird, Anthony de Mello
    (absolutely read. buy and give people copies.
    this book for me, goes beyond a quake book.
    it has shaped my life, and thoughts, since boyhood, subconsciously then and with intent now.)

  • The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Poirot #1), Agatha Christie
    (re-reading my way through the Poirot canon.
    these books take me to the age I think I belong to, the late 1800s, early 1900s
    absolutely delightful)

  • Epigrams on Men, Women and Love, Honoré de Balzac
    (beautiful set of quotes)

  • Mother American Night, John Perry Barlow
    (a man who lived life. founder of the EFF and the FSF.
    and more importantly (to me), lyricist for the Grateful Dead)

  • Word by Word, Anne Lamott
    (must listen (it’s an old audiobook.)
    excellent companion to Bird by Bird.
    imagine Anne teaching you how to write using BbB as a text book.
    she’s awesome.
    the book’s awesome.)

  • Indian Love Poems, Peter Pauper Press
    (absolutely loved it)

  • Love Poems and Love Letters for All the Year, Peter Pauper Press

  • Flower Thoughts, Peter Pauper Press

  • Thoughts for a Good Life, Peter Pauper Press

  • Epigrams by Oscar Wilde, Peter Pauper Press

  • Murder on the Links (Poirot #2), Agatha Christie
    (need i say, you ought to read it :))

May

  • The Great Mental Models, Shane Parrish
    (the first of a soon to be multivolume work.
    must read times a hundred.
    this book teaches you how to think.
    and how to do it well.
    have i said it’s a must read? you must read it.)

  • Coraline, Neil Gaiman (must read. scarily charming.)

April

  • Keep Going, Austin Kleon
    (must read. new annual read. timely. beautiful quotes. hugely inspirational)

  • Chocolate Wars, Deborah Cadbury
    (must read. as a child growing up in the shadow of the large Cadbury factory, near home, Cadbury has always fascinated me. i still remember their school tours where we could go see how the chocolate was made and come home with a couple of bars of Dairy Milk. the factory is now shutdown, and the tempting aroma of chocolate no longer fills the air. this book delves into nearly 200 years of Cadbury’s (as well as its contemporaries) history. a lovely nostalgic throwback to a more innocent, more generous age.)

March

  • Titan’s Wrath, Rhett C Bruno

  • Never Grow Up, Jackie Chan
    (charmingly mistitled, because it is all about Jackie growing up, albeit a little too late. beautiful notes of apology and gratitude to the people in his life and of course, being Jackie, loads of hilarious stories)

  • Company of One, Paul Jarvis

  • Titan’s Son, Rhett C Bruno
    (something to get my mind off studies. the series is still fun)

  • Digital Minimalism, Cal Newport
    (must read. short. an in-depth practical treatise on getting out of the clicky, clicky, swipe, swipe circle of digital death i was in. found it really helpful)

  • Never Eat Alone, Keith Ferrazzi & Tal Raz
    (good read. if you’re an introvert like me, this is a good stepping stone to help you get out there.)

  • Thinking in Bets, Annie Duke
    (must read. short treatise on how you need to think probabilistically and divorce your efforts and your work, Arjun-like, from their results)

  • Titanborn, Rhett C Bruno
    (short fun read. in the vein of Asimov’s detective stories)

January & February

  • The City & The City, China Miéville
    (slow burn, good read)

  • Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder, Nassim Nicholas Taleb
    (my annual read, of one the few books that changed my life … and made me fall in love with reading all over again)

  • Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott
    (new annual perennial read)

  • The Warren Buffett Shareholder, compilation, Lawrence Cunningham & Stephanie Cuba, editors
    (annual read, short, fun and total catnip to me)

  • How To Become a Straight-A Student, Cal Newport
    (must read. if you are a school or college student or learning something new)

  • The Broken Spears: The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico, Miguel León-Portilla
    (must read. beautiful literature. reads like the book of Lamentations, with the Aztecs as the Jews and Cortés as Nebuchadnezzar II)

  • Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget It, Gabriel Wyner
    (must read. amazing book. ties up everything i learnt about learning (spaced repetition, mind maps, immersion) into an amazing, fun process with a neat little bow. will use what i learnt to learn french later in the year)

  • Boundaries, Henry Cloud & John Townsend
    (must read, with the caveat that it has a really strong conservative christian bent)

  • The Walking Drum, Louis L’Amour

  • Last of the Breed, Louis L’Amour

  • Education of a Wandering Man, Louis L’Amour

  • The Swerve: How the World Became Modern, Stephen Greenblatt
    (must read)

  • I’ll Be There for You, Kelsey Miller

  • Playing with FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early), Scott Rieckens
    (must read)

  • Meet the Frugalwoods, Elizabeth Willard Thames
    (must read)

  • The Three Secret Cities, Matthew Reilly
    (fast paced fun)


Want more? Here’s what I read in 2020, 2018, and older.