Here were my favorite books I read this year.

  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy – Lean, beautiful language tells a story of a father and son “carrying the fire” in a post-apocalyptic pilgrimage to the sea featuring retinues of cannibals and catamites.
  • Run Like a Pro (Even if You’re Slow) by Matt Fitzgerald – A practical book about how to get into distance running. I went from zero to running a marathon this year and 90% of what I learned, I learned from this book.
  • The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher – A great Halloween read—A young woman named Mouse is tasked by her father with cleaning out her hoarder grandmother’s house. While there, she stumbles upon ancient magic in the pages of her step-grandfather’s journal. T. Kingfisher is the nom de plume of Hugo-award-winning author Ursula Vernon who I first encountered reading the wonderful Digger webcomic.
  • The Sense of Style by Stephen Pinker – A text that teaches you how to write classic-style prose featuring a level of English grammar nuance that only a linguist could love (I also loved it).

I enjoyed exploring biography this year—I read biographies of both John Adams Theodore Roosevelt.

# Title Author Rating
1 The Great Railway Bazaar Paul Theroux ⭑⭑⭑½
2 How to Win Friends and Influence People Dale Carnegie ⭑⭑⭑⭑
3 Klara and the Sun Kazuo Ishiguro ⭑⭑⭑⭑½
4 How to Live on 24 Hours a Day Arnold Bennett ⭑⭑⭑½
5 The Road Cormac McCarthy ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
6 The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet Becky Chambers ⭑⭑⭑⭑½
7 So Good They Can’t Ignore You Cal Newport ⭑⭑⭑½
8 The Rise Theodore Roosevelt Edmund Morris ⭑⭑⭑⭑½
9 Hatchet Gary Paulsen ⭑⭑⭑½
10 Make Your Bed William H. McRaven ⭑⭑⭑⭑
11 How to Write a Sentence Stanley Fish ⭑⭑
12 What I Talk About When I Talk About Running Haruki Murakami ⭑⭑½
13 The Kaiju Preservation Society John Scalzi ⭑⭑⭑⭑
14 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing Gary Provost ⭑⭑⭑⭑
15 Moonwalking with Einstein Joshua Foer ⭑⭑⭑½
16 Personal Kanban Jim Benson and Tonianne DeMaria Barry ⭑⭑⭑
17 Masters of Doom David Kushner ⭑⭑⭑⭑
18 Looking for Alaska John Green ⭑⭑⭑⭑
19 Modern Technical Writing Andrew Etter
20 The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck Mark Manson
21 Breath James Nestor ⭑⭑⭑½
22 Snow Crash Neal Stephenson ⭑⭑⭑½
23 An Elegant Puzzle Will Larson ⭑⭑⭑⭑
24 Show Your Work! Austin Kleon ⭑⭑⭑⭑½
25 Ghost Jason Reynolds ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
26 The Sense of Style Steven Pinker ⭑⭑⭑⭑
27 Into the Wild Jon Krakauer ⭑⭑⭑½
28 Ultramarathon Man Dean Karnazes ⭑⭑⭑
29 Goosebumps: Welcome to Dead House R.L. Stine ⭑⭑½
30 Draft No. 4 John McPhee ⭑⭑⭑⭑
31 Little House in the Big Woods Laura Ingalls Wilder ⭑⭑⭑⭑
32 Killing Floor (Jack Reacher, Book 1) Lee Child ⭑⭑⭑
33 Run Like a Pro (Even If You’re Slow) Matt Fitzgerald ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
34 John Adams David McCullough ⭑⭑⭑⭑½
35 Happy-Go-Lucky David Sedaris ⭑⭑⭑⭑
36 Just Keep Buying Nick Maggiulli ⭑⭑⭑⭑
37 All Systems Red (Murderbot, Book 1) Martha Wells ⭑⭑⭑⭑
38 Artificial Condition (Murderbot, Book 2) Martha Wells ⭑⭑⭑⭑
39 Rouge Protocol (Murderbot, Book 3) Martha Wells ⭑⭑⭑⭑
40 Exit Strategy (Murderbot, Book 4) Martha Wells ⭑⭑⭑½
41 Network Effect (Murderbot, Book 5) Martha Wells ⭑⭑⭑
42 Writing That Works Kenneth Roman ⭑⭑⭑½
43 Treasure Island Robert Louis Stevenson ⭑⭑⭑⭑
44 The Twisted Ones T. Kingfisher ⭑⭑⭑⭑½
45 Style: The Basics of Clarity and Grace Williams and Colomb ⭑⭑⭑⭑½
46 Lincoln in the Bardo George Saunders ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
47 The Obstacle Is the Way Ryan Holiday ⭑⭑⭑½
48 Congo Michael Crichton ⭑⭑⭑½
49 The Spy Who Came in From the Cold John le Carré ⭑⭑⭑⭑
50 The Passenger Cormac McCarthy ⭑⭑⭑⭑
51 A Psalm for the Wild-Built Becky Chambers ⭑⭑⭑⭑
52 Liar’s Poker Michael Lewis ⭑⭑⭑½
53 Stella Maris Cormac McCarthy ⭑⭑⭑⭑½
54 The Art and Business of Writing Online Nicholas Cole ⭑⭑⭑½
55 The City We Became (reread) N.K. Jemisin ⭑⭑⭑⭑½