On the previous New Year’s Eve, I wrote a post (How Many Books Did You Read This Year?) that detailed the number of books I read (30) in 2017. This was in follow-up to an earlier post, You Are What You Read. Personally, the latter article is one of my favorites and in it I shared my personal reading plan.
With both of those articles in my mind, I started 2018 fresh and set a reading goal for myself. I would read 52 books over the year. For those terrible with math or a calendar, that’s one book a week.
If you haven’t read the previous articles (or you just need a reminder), half the reading population in America is reading less than four books a year. That’s a sad statistic. What’s worse is that twenty-seven percent of the population admitted to not even reading one book a year. Those statistics are from a 2015 survey from the Pew Research Center.
There is a very famous quote from motivational speaker Jim Rohn that I think is appropriate here – “Education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”
If you never pick up a book, you’re not taking advantage of the opportunities to educate yourself. Even fiction books can be educational as you can familiarize yourself with new words, concepts, and perhaps even philosophies. I remember being challenged as a young man by some of the societal concepts put forward in the science fiction writings of Robert A. Heinlein.
In Stephen King’s fantastic On Writing, King mentions that he reads 70-80 books a year. Author Anthony Scarmucci (Trump: The Blue-Collar President) talks about the importance of books and admits to reading nearly sixty books a year. To get to this level, he uses audio books and listens while working out or driving.
The use of audio books has been a blind spot for me as of late. Last year, I started listening to non-fiction books and loved it. They were great and really helped accelerate my learning while I drove to/from the office. I tried a fiction book but disliked that. Non-fiction was where it was at for me. Everyone has their particular tastes, right?
Anyway, I clicked off books by reading while at home and listening to books while I drove. It was a perfect system. Then I started listening to podcasts. Oh, there are some entertaining podcasts and I quickly got distracted. I’m not kidding when I say this, but I spent weeks listening to a podcast that was dedicated to retro/vintage video gaming (The Retro Hour Podcast). After that, I got really interested with the podcast, Serial. Before I knew it, I’d forgotten all about listening to books. I’ve decided that podcasts are like TV for the ears. Greatly entertaining, but certainly distracting and not the most fulfilling.
I tracked my reading on Goodreads this year. It has a great goal feature that will update your progress. I was doing well for the first half of the year then slipped through the summer and never caught up at year’s end.
Some of my loss of reading (and blog) momentum was admittedly due to my involvement with some writing projects that took a considerable amount of my free time. The Side Hustle (which I’ll discuss in an upcoming post) is due out January 4th, Lost in Middle America and Charlie-316 are both due out later this year through Down & Out Books.
All of that sounds like an excuse, though, and I need to take full responsibility for missing my goal. I read 44 books this year. Fourteen more than last year, but eight shy of my goal.
I will reset that goal for 2019. One book a week. Fifty-two books.
With that said, here is my list of books for the year.
2018 Reading List
Books are listed in no particular order.
1. Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House – Omarosa Manigault Newman
2. Fear: Trump in the White House – Bob Woodward
3. Me, Inc: Build an Army of One, Unleash Your Inner Rock God, Win in Life and Business – Gene Simmons
4. Soul of America, The – Jon Meacham
5. Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue – Ryan Holiday
6. Trust Me, I’m Lying – Ryan Holiday
7. White Devil: The True Story of the First White Asian Crime Boss – Bob Halloran
8. Sell or Be Sold: How to Get Your Way in Business and in Life* – Grant Cardone
9. Higher Loyalty, A: Truth, Lies, and Leadership – James Comey
10. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis – J.D. Vance
11. Don’t Bullshi*t Yourself: Crush the Excuses That Are Holding You Back – John Taffer
12. The 4-Hour Workweek* – Timothy Ferriss
13. Tattoos & Tequila: To Hell and Back with One of Rock’s Most Notorious Frontmen – Vince Neil
14. Not Only Women Bleed: Vignettes from the Heart of a Rock Musician – Dick Wagner
15. Obstacle is the Way, The: The Timeless Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage – Ryan Holiday
16. 10X Rule, The: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure* – Grant Cardone
17. Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House – Michael Wolff
18. Pimp: The Story of My Life – Iceberg Slim
19. Richest Man in Babylon, The – George S. Clason
20. Elements of Style, The – William Strunk and E.B. White
1. Citizen Vince – Jess Walter
2. Backlist, The* – Frank Zafiro/Eric Beetner
3. Menace of the Years, The – Frank Zafiro
4. First Blood – David Morrell
5. Negro and an Ofay, A – Danny Gardner
6. Over Tumbled Graves – Jess Walter
7. She Rides Shotgun – Jordan Harper
8. Exit Strategy – Steve Hamilton
9. Way Some People Die, The – Ross Macdonald
10. Force, The – Don Winslow
11. Six Days of the Condor – James Grady
12. No Offense Intended – Barbara Seranella
13. Grave Peril (The Dresden Files #3) – Jim Butcher
14. Bad Citizen Corporation (Greg Salem #1) – S.W. Lauden
15. Farewell, My Lovely – Raymond Chandler
16. Be Obsessed or Be Average – Grant Cardone
17. An Unlikely Phoenix – Frank Zafiro
18. Rumrunners (A McGraw Crime Novel – Book 1) – Eric Beetner
19. No Human Involved – Barbara Seranella
20. Twilight – Stephenie Meyer
21. You Were Never Really Here – Jonathan Ames
22. Healer – F. Paul Wilson
23. Killing Them Softly – George V. Higgins
24. Beneath a Weeping Sky* – Frank Zafiro
* indicates a multiple reading of the book (I had read previously in another year).
So there it is, my 2018 reading list.
I'd love to know what you read this year.
Do you have any thoughts/questions on the selections I chose to read.
How about a book recommendation for this year?