A Running List of Books I’ve Read in 2017

Earlier this year I set a goal to read 100 books by the end of 2017. Now you can track my progress and see an abbreviated selection of what I’ve been digging into this year so far. For a very good reason why you shouldn’t set a goal to finish 100 books, read this.

You can assume that I will recommend all of these, unless I explicitly say so. These aren’t necessarily in any particular order of completion.


  1. The Dragon Reborn, Robert Jordan – book three of the Wheel of Time series, which has become one of my favorite fantasy series yet. Truly remarkable sequence of books which probes at your philosophy of history, time, and the purpose of human life.
  2. The Fires of Heaven, Robert Jordan – book four of the Wheel of Time series
  3. The Shadow Rising, Robert Jordan – book five of the Wheel of Time series
  4. The Lord of Chaos, Robert Jordan – book six of the Wheel of Time series
  5. Crown of Swords, Robert Jordan – book seven of the Wheel of Time series
  6. The Path of Daggers, Robert Jordan – book eight of the Wheel of Time series
  7. Winter’s Heart, Robert Jordan – book nine of the Wheel of Time series
  8. Crossroads of Twilight, Robert Jordan – book ten of the Wheel of Time series
  9. Knife of Dreams, Robert Jordan – book eleven of the Wheel of Time series
  10. The Gathering Storm, Robert Jordan – book twelve of the Wheel of Time series
  11. Towers of Midnight, Robert Jordan – book thirteen of the Wheel of Time series
  12. A Memory of Light, Robert Jordan – the magnificent final book of the Wheel of Time series, and well worth the work.
  13. Lying, Sam Harris – Sam Harris’s short essay on the ethics of lying. Summary: don’t do it.
  14. Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand – my third readthrough of this philosophical epic
  15. Adam’s Return, Richard Rohr – an exploration of male initiation, manhood, and male spirituality
  16. The Naked Now, Richard Rohr – a great dive into Christian mysticism from my favorite Catholic writer.
  17. The Divine Dance, Richard Rohr – Rohr’s exploration of the power of the Christian idea of trinity
  18. How to Be Here, Rob Bell – Rob Bell’s exploration of creative calling and living with it
  19. The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoevsky – a novel of responsibility set in a highly dysfunctional Russian family
  20. The Education of Millionaires, Michael Ellsberg – a primer on life and success skills I would recommend to most other young people
  21. The 2AM Principle, Jon Levy – a book on how to create adventures
  22. Hiroshima, John Hersey – one of the first journalistic explorations of the aftermath of the Hiroshima bombing of 1945
  23. The Complete Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi – a graphic autobiographical novel detailing the life of a young Iranian girl from the fall of the Shah to the 1990s.
  24. Maus, Art Spiegelman – a graphic autobiographical novel detailing the stories of an older Jewish man who survived the concentration camps of Nazi Europe
  25. A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle – a children’s story about a young girl who must save her father and her brother from central planners (essentially).
  26. I Will Bear Witness: A Diary of the Nazi Years, 1933-1941, Victor Klemperer* – gripping near-daily journal entries of a Jewish man living under the Nazi regime as it reached its apex.
  27. How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life, Russ Roberts – EconTalk host Russ Robert explores the relevance of the lesser-known Adam Smith work A Theory of Moral Sentiments for our ethical behaviors in everyday life.

Currently Reading

  1. Game of Thrones, George R.R. Marin – book one of A Song of Ice and Fire, which you know as the HBO series Game of Thrones. I’m enchanted by this world and all its Shakespearean complexity and pathos.
  2. Getting to Yes, Roger Fisher and William Ury – the classic work on negotiation.
  3. Mastery, Robert Greene – an exploration of what conditions and routines allow a rare few people to make outsized impacts in their fields.

Started, Currently On Hold

  1. The Moral Case of Fossil Fuels, Alex Epstein – A defense of fossil fuels on the moral standard of human life. Will need to get a paperback edition so I can make all the notes I want to make.
  2. The Myth of Sisyphus, Albert Camus – Existentialist Camus’s attempt to answer the problem of meaning in a meaningless universe
  3. The Hero With a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell – great information and stories illustrating Campbell’s monomyth/hero’s journey concept; harder to absorb in audiobook format.
  4. Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator, Ryan Holliday – a useful well of information on how many journalists operate today. Useful for PR professionals
  5. The Righteous Mind, Jonathan Haidt – an examination of the sources of our moral judgments and our own blind spots to the moral frameworks of others
  6. The Road to Serfdom, Friedrich Hayek – Hayek’s argument against democratic socialism as a viable alternative to fascism/communism
  7. Daring Greatly, Brene Brown – one of Brene Brown’s main works on the power of vulnerability
  8. The Guns of August, Barbara Tuchman – spellbinding work on the history of World War One
  9. Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari – an anthropological history of humankind

*Practically finished, some entries/pages missed for sure

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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