I like to read books. A lot. Over the years, it’s become a consistent talking point. So instead of asking “Read anything good lately?” you can reference this page.
Below are all the books I’ve read since my “52 in 52” goal in 2015. Books are ordered alphabetically by star rating.
5-star novels are those I think everyone should read. 5 stars for non-fiction means I think everyone with an interest in this topic should read it. 1 star means you should avoid it like roadkill. Most fall somewhere in between.
And Then There Were None – Agatha Christie
Gripping. I couldn’t sleep, but I couldn’t put it down.
Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life – Henry Cloud, John Townsend
Necessary steps to lead a stress free and fulfilling life.
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking – Malcolm Gladwell
Sometimes first impressions are better than thorough study. Why? Gladwell explains in this captivating read.
Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness – Susannah Cahalan
Wonderful writing on a unique (and terrible) experience.
Cold Hard Truth on Men, Women and Money – Kevin O’Leary
The best primer on personal finance I’ve read. Applicable tips for all life stages.
Contagious: Why Things Catch On – Jonah Berger
Enthralling. Inspiring for marketers. The practical companion to Gladwell’s The Tipping Point.
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God – Franchis Chan, Danae Yankoski
Drinking in America: Our Secret History – Susan Cheever
Totally fascinating. True stories of U.S. history you won’t find in textbooks.
Thorough and enlightening. A great reference for all business leaders.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts One and Two – John Tiffany & Jack Thorne, J. K. Rowling
Fast-paced and unexpected – in the best way.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J. K. Rowling
A mind-blowing conclusion to a spellbinding series.
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince – J. K. Rowling
Perhaps Rowling’s best storytelling.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – J. K. Rowling
A fun read with captivating dialogue.
In the Name of Gucci: A Memoir – Patricia Gucci
A nearly unbelievable true story that could only be told by the one person who wrote it.
Liar’s Poker – Michael Lewis
Excellent storytelling on life inside Wall Street during the late ’80s. Shocking.
Mere Christianity – C. S. Lewis
Required reading for all interested in the Christian faith.
Modern Romance – Aziz Ansari
A surprisingly well done sociological read on today’s relationship dynamics and how they compare to past generations.
Murder on the Orient Express – Agatha Christie
The ultimate who-done-it.
Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography – Neil Patrick Harris
Artfully creative. Fast and funny. A journey of a read.
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft – Stephen King
A backstage pass to one of the all-time great authors life and tips for success.
Outliers: The Story of Success – Malcolm Gladwell
The (in)famous book that popularized the concept of “10,000 hours.” Gladwell creates a fascinating narrative on how the world’s best succeed.
Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise – K. Anders Ericsson
Takes world-leading research to turn the standard “expert” narrative on its head. Great read for all those wanting to get better (at anything).
Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less – Alex Soojung Kim Pang
Imperative to 21st century America. How to use “active rest” to live your best.
Insights necessary to any successful and creative career.
Screenwriting’s best tips, straight from the horse’s mouth. Applies to more than just screenwriting.
The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine – Michael Lewis
Should be required reading. Perhaps the only full account of how and why the housing and stock market crashes of ’08-’09 occurred.
The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto – Mitch Albom
I couldn’t put it down. You will feel every emotion – genuinely – and be disappointed there aren’t more stories like this published.
The Magnolia Story – Chip and Joanna Gaines with Mark Dagostino
A wonderful little book, The Magnolia Story is a mini memoir of Chip and Joanna meeting, falling in love, starting businesses, and eventually turning shiplap into a commonly used word. It reads the same way the couple interacts with each other on Fixer Upper – complete with them finishing each other’s sentences from time to time. I read the book in one Saturday, and I don’t know if they meant for this to happen, but I felt both inspired and joyous for having read it. Highly recommend.
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd – Agatha Christie
The Queen of Mystery does it again. I was spellbound and could not put it down until the last page was read.
The Quantum Spy – David Ignatius
Terrifyingly well-told story of espionage, quantum computing, and international intelligence.
The Question of God: C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud Debate God, Love, Sex, and the Meaning of Life – Armand M. Nicholi Jr.
I’m consistently enraged by how much influence Freud has had on modern thought. His psychology has been thoroughly debunked, and his philosophy has too many holes and inconsistencies to be taken seriously. That said, Nicholi does a wonderful job of portraying both Freud and Lewis in their most neutral light so readers can make up their own minds on each point.
The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism – Timothy Keller
Level-headed, well-reasoned objections to “God doesn’t exist.” Imperative to anyone searching for answers on the topic.
The Screwtape Letters – C. S. Lewis
Insightful. Convicting. A breathtaking and creative read.
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference – Malcolm Gladwell
Phenomenal storytelling on the shaping of popular ideas. There’s a reason Gladwell’s published four #1 national best-sellers and been a staff writer for The New Yorker for over 20 years.
The Wizard of Lies – Diana B. Henriques
Enthralling and in-depth. The most complete account of how Bernie Madoff built and destroyed his financial empire – and ruined countless people’s lives in the process.
Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth – Gabriel Weinberg, Just Mares
A step-by-step, channel-by-channel guide to growing your new business from zero to one to 100.
Bossypants – Tina Fey
Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Truman Capote
Broken Eyes, Unbroken Spirit – David Meador
Cold Sassy Tree – Olive Ann Burns
David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants – Malcolm Gladwell
Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Startup Bubble – Dan Lyons
Lyons makes himself seem like a pompous jerk, but it’s wonderful and entertaining storytelling.
Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery – Henry Marsh
Gunn’s Golden Rules: Life’s Little Lessons for Making It Work – Tim Gunn, Ada Calhoun
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – J. K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J. K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – J. K. Rowling
How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
In Cold Blood – Truman Capote
Captivating. Creative. A little dense.
In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership – Henri J. M. Nouwen
On Bowie – Rob Sheffield
Orange is the New Black – Piper Kerman
Romeo and Juliet – William Shakespeare
Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
Sick in the Head: Conversations About Life and Comedy – Judd Apatow
Changed my life. The writing is par at best, but the advice – and the idea of thinking in skills to learn instead of jobs to get – are solid for anyone considering entrepreneurship.
The Director – David Ignatius
Enjoyable novel on CIA leaks, cyber security, and sabotage.
The Giggler Treatment – Roddy Doyle
Hilarious. The perfect children’s book.
The Hobbit – J. R. R. Tolkein
The Fellowship of the Ring – J. R. R. Tolkien
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott. Fitzgerald
The Little Red Book of Wisdom – Mark DeMoss
The Miserable Mill – Lemony Snicket
The Paris Wife – Paula McLain
The Return of the King – J. R. R. Tolkien
The Time Keeper – Mitch Albom
The Two-Second Advantage: How We Succeed by Anticipating the Future – Just Enough – Vivek Ranadive, Kevin Maney
The Two Towers – J. R. R. Tolkien
The Virgin Way: If It’s Not Fun, It’s Not Worth Doing – Richard Branson
The World According to Karl – Sandrine Gulbenkian, Jean-Christophe Napias, Patrick Mauries
Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible: The Fascinating History of Everything in Your Closet – Tim Gunn, Ada Calhoun
Turn Around Bright Eyes – Rob Sheffield
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption – Laura Hillenbrand
Watership Down – Richard Adams
7 Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness – Eric Metaxas
Adulting: How to Become a Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps – Kelly Williams Brown
Blind Spot: Why We Fail to See the Solution Right in Front of Us – Gordon Rugg, Joseph D’Agnese
Creating Unforgettable Characters – Linda Seger
Death on the Nile – Agatha Christie
Empathy: Why It Matters, and How to Get It – Roman Krznaric
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – J. K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – J. K. Rowling
I Am America (And So Can You) – Stephen Colbert
Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples – Francis Chan
Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World – Michael Horton
Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World – Adam Grant
Pygmalion – George Bernard Shaw
Quidditch Through the Ages – J. K. Rowling
Spark: Igniting a Culture of Multiplication – Todd Wilson
The Bad Beginning – Lemony Snicket
The Go-Getter – Peter B. Kyne
The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory – John Seabrook
The Tales of Beedle the Bard – J. K. Rowling
The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles – Steven Pressfield
The Wide Window – Lemony Snicket
Why Does God Allow War? – Martin Lloyd-Jones
Wise Words and Quotes – Vern McLellan
The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk – Al Ries, Jack Trout
The House of the Seven Gables – Nathaniel Hawthorne
Real Artists Have Day Jobs – Sara Benincasa