Below are the books I read in 2018. This list doesn’t include the titles I’m currently reading, nor does it include books I began and never finished. I believe it’s important to discard a book if it bores you, and I did that a few times over the past twelve months. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have been able to finish reading twenty-four books–all of which I enjoyed.
I added a little commentary below to the books I especially liked. I hope you find this list helpful; let me know if you have any questions!
One last thing… In 2018 I completed the first draft of a book entitled Rise and Converge, which you can access here: bit.ly/riseandconverge. I can’t say it’s better than the books you’ll find below, but I can say it was heavily influenced by many of the following titles.
1. Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Timothy Ferriss
I like to call Tim Ferriss my mentor, even though I’ve never met him. This book is a treasure trove of helpful information, and it encouraged me to do a lot of writing this year. You can’t go wrong with any of Ferriss’s books.
2. The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman
I started The Daily Stoic in October of 2017 and finished it a year later. I highly recommend reading a meditation a day if you’re interested in stoicism. The philosophy has helped me to live both a more peaceful and productive life.
3. A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 2) by George R.R. Martin
4. 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story by Dan Harris
5. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (Author) and Dave McKean (Illustrator)
I really enjoyed The Graveyard Book. Both devastating and hopeful, this story beautifully captures a good person not just surviving, but also loving others in a very dark world. I’ll definitely re-read this novel again.
6. Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Skin in the Game was the best nonfiction book I read this year. Like all of Taleb’s work, this tome will be remembered for years to come, and I will re-read it as I have his other books (i.e. Antifragile and The Bed of Procrustes). I can’t think of another nonfiction author who has influenced and challenged me as much as Taleb.
7. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey
8. Deep Learning: Engage the World Change the World by Michael Fullan, Joanne Quinn, and Joanne J. McEachen
9. 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson
My second favorite nonfiction book of the year. No doubt Peterson is a controversial figure in the media; don’t let this stop you from reading 12 Rules for Life. It contains a lot of wisdom.
10. The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi
11. Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue by Ryan Holiday
Super entertaining and informative–especially if you’re not familiar with how this true story played out.
12. What Made Maddy Run: The Secret Struggles and Tragic Death of an All-American Teen by Kate Fagen
Kate Fagen wrote a book that is difficult to read because of its subject matter, but I highly recommend it for teachers, coaches, and parents. Many important questions are raised, but I can’t help but think some stones were left unturned.
13. A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3) by George R.R. Martin
14. Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson
Excellent. Most of my books are in storage right now because my family and I are in the process of moving. This is one of the books I’m most interested in revisiting as soon as I can access my library once again.
15. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
Rowling completed an incredible feat in writing the seven Harry Potter books, and I will forever be thankful to her for the time my daughter and I have spent reading her wonderful tale.
16. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson
Walther Isaacson is currently my favorite biographer, and this might be my favorite biography. If there is one founding father I would most like to emulate, it’s Franklin.
17. The End of Diversity As We Know It: Why Diversity Efforts Fail and How Leveraging Difference Can Succeed by Martin N. Davidson
I enjoyed this book and learned a lot. As a matter of fact, I wrote a blog post about what I took away from Davidson here. To read all my thought from my visit to the University of Virginia, you can check this out.
18. City of Thieves by David Benioff
19. Poor Charlie’s Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger, Expanded Third Edition by Peter D. Kaufman, Ed Wexler (Illustrator), Warren E. Buffett (Foreword), and Charles T. Munger
Some people may not read this book due to its $61.92 price tag, and that would be a shame. This book was worth the cost and more.
20. Get Better Faster: A 90-Day Plan for Coaching New Teachers by Paul Bambrick-Santoyo
21. Culturize: Every Student. Every Day. Whatever It Takes. by Jimmy Casas
22. The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business by Patrick Lencioni
My team at work read through this book together, and it was a great help as we created our mission statement, vision statement, purpose, and core values.
23. Driven by Data: A Practical Guide to Improve Instruction by Paul Bambrick-Santoyo
24. Edward Hopper: Portraits of America by Wieland Schmied
Edward Hopper is my favorite painter. I viewed his painting Nighthawks in Chicago last spring and couldn’t stop staring. This book is a brief but satisfying summary of his work.
That’s it! I hope you found this list helpful. As always, let me know if you have any questions. Here’s to a great year of reading in 2019!