My 2018 Reading List So Far – Q1

I’m anything but monogamous in my reading. And that hasn’t changed in 2018. I continue to read some (too many at once) great books in favorite topics like personal development, spirituality, or fantasy. I don’t expect that I’ll finish all of these, but right now they’re giving me a lot to work with. Here they are, in no particular order:

  • Getting Things Done by David Allen – IN PROGRESS – Allen’s well-known book on productivity is slow going on audio book, but I feel sure there are important gems for me to get out of this one before I drop the idea.
  • The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything by James Martin – IN PROGRESS – Started this one last year. I love the premise of applying Ignatian spiritual practices outside of the Jesuit tradition (this book is friendly to non-Christians), but I’ve only been reading this one in snatches here and there on my Scribd app.
  • Tools of Titans, by Tim Ferriss  – IN PROGRESS – I received this anthology of Tim Ferriss-curated advice, tools, and practices from people as varied as Arnold Schwarznegger, Seth Godin, Scott Adams, and Sam Harris. It’s more of a reference book than a linear read, but I hope to underline a lot more of it this year for use in the field.
  • 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson – IN PROGRESS  With a simple title and 12 simple rules, Peterson (so far) manages to bring a whole career in cognitive psychology toward with great personal stories, research, and literature to share life advice that works on multiple levels at once. “Stand up straight with your shoulders” (rule #1) has a lot more going to it than you might think.
  • The Shy Single by Bonnie Jacobsen  – IN PROGRESS – This book breaks down the dating challenges of the shy and suggests specific tactics for working through dating blockers.
  • The Very Good Gospel by Lisa Sharon Harper  – IN PROGRESS – Reading this one with my Eastside Church small. group. It makes the case (and lays out the steps) for a Christianity that restores “shalom” (deep peace and “forceful goodness”) to the physical, embodied world.
  • F*** Feelings by Michael Bennet and Sarah Bennet  – IN PROGRESS – This book takes a tough-minded (and what it would call “realistic”) approach to personal improvement that de-prioritizes wishful thinking for responsible action to improve. This was co-written with a comedian, so there is a lot of swearing and humor along the way.
  • Human Being and Becoming by David G. Benner – IN PROGRESS – Not very far into this one, but it seems to be exploring the tension and relationship we humans have to find between the processes of being and becoming. Yes, insightful, I know.
  • The Road Back To You, by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stablile – FINISHED – This is an excellent introduction to the Enneagram, a personality typing system which has actually been helpful for developing my self-awareness and identifying my areas for improvement.
  • Choose Yourself, by James Altucher – IN PROGRESS – This collection of essays from James Altucher is chock-full of good ideas in personal development, including a very interesting chapter on practices for purposefully boosting oxytocin.
  • Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer – IN PROGRESS – This book tells the story of Christopher McCandless, who in the 90s left a comfortable life and possessions to wander the United States. Excellent adventure storytelling here, so much so that Krakauer’s original writing on McCandless later became a movie.
  • Beowulf – IN PROGRESS – Picked up a Seamus Heaney’s translation of the Norse epic poem at a Goodwill near me, and now I’m into the world of the Danes and their enemy Grendel.
  • The Inevitable by Kevin Kelly – IN PROGRESS – Just started this one as an audiobook. Here Wired magazine founder and early Internet pioneer Kevin Kelly discusses the paths which technology inevitably tends (or will tend) to take.
  • The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman – FINISHED – Had heard chatter about this book for quite some time, and after a reference on the Tim Ferris Show I finally picked it up. The world-building in this book is great, and Lyra is a great child protagonist for this story about life, spirituality, multiple universes, love, fate, etc. etc.
  • Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek– FINISHED – Sinek makes the case that people in companies have a responsibility to exercise leadership that creates a “circle of safety” for employees/team. He makes a convincing case that this ensures healthy employees and a healthy company.
  • Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson– FINISHED – The guys over at Basecamp put together a very short book here with a laundry list of helpful unconventional thoughts on hiring, developing, marketing – just about everything you *think* you need to do as a company.
  • The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman – FINISHED – The second part to the His Dark Materials trilogy begun by The Golden Compass, this one introduces readers to another new character and a multi-verse of danger from the Magisterium (and worse).
  • The Amber Spyglass  by Philip Pullman – IN PROGRESS – I’m finishing the last book in the His Dark Materials trilogy now. There are so many great concepts here, but this ending book sadly feels rushed, and some of the messages inserted by the author feel like preaching against religious straw men.
James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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