Thursday, January 4, 2018

Books in Review - 2017

Image by Negative Space via Pexels

One of my personal goal for 2017 was to read more books. I was gunning to read 2 books a month. In 2017, I read 25 books (1 more book than the yearly target goal). I am not a fast reader. Normally, I read books when I commute to and from work. Most of the books were rented from local library. I used to prefer hard copy books than digital books. However, a couple of years ago, for non technical books, I made the transition to get digital (Kindle) books whenever possible. It felt awkward at first, but after reading several books on my kindle, I am starting to get used to it. The good thing is that my local library also has a good selection of books in digital format. Since 2017 has just ended, I think it would be good to inventory the books that I've read in 2017. It seems that I read various genres of books from fiction, self-help, autobiography, etc.

The Complete List

Below are the complete list of books that I've read in 2017:

  1. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't. Jim Collins. HarperBusiness. Business & Money. 400 pages.
  2. Brain Rules (Updated and Expanded): 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School. John Medina. Pear Press. Self Help. 306 pages.
  3. Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win. Jocko Willink & Leif Babin. St. Martin's Press. Self Help. 317 pages.
  4. The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector's Story. Hyeonseo Lee & David John. HarperCollins Publishers. Autobiography. 320 pages.
  5. Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide: Advice, Plans, and Programs for Half and Full Marathons. Hal Higdon. Rodale. Health, Fitness & Dieting. 306 pages.
  6. Confessions of an Unlikely Runner: A Guide to Racing and Obstacle Courses for the Averagely Fit and Halfway Dedicated. Dana Ayers. GP Press. Health, Fitness & Dieting. 169 pages.
  7. Night School: A Jack Reacher Novel. Lee Child. Delacorte Press. Fiction. 498 pages.
  8. The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future. Chris Guillebeau. Currency. Business & Money. 304 pages.
  9. Bringing Home the Birkin: My Life in Hot Pursuit of the World's Most Coveted Handbag. Michael Tonello. HarperCollins Publisher. Autobiography. 275 pages.
  10. Bright Line Eating: The Science of Living Happy, Thin & Free. Susan Peirce Thompson Ph.D. Hay House. Health, Fitness & Dieting. 325 pages.
  11. Eleven Seconds: A Story of Tragedy, Courage & Triumph. Travis Roy & E. M. Swift. Grand Central Publishing. Autobiography. 226 pages.
  12. The Universe Has Your Back: Transform Fear to Faith. Gabrielle Bernstein. Hay House, Inc. Self Help. 205 pages.
  13. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. J.K. Rowling. Pottermore from J.K. Rowling. Fiction. 322 pages.
  14. Abraham Lincoln: Lessons in Spiritual Leadership. Elton Trueblood . HarperOne. Autobiography. 195 pages.
  15. Titan's Curse, The (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 3). Rick Riordan. Disney Hyperion. Fiction. 322 pages.
  16. The Whistler. John Grisham. Doubleday. Fiction. 386 pages.
  17. You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life. Jen Sincero. Running Press. Self Help. 258 pages.
  18. When Breath Becomes Air. Paul Kalanithi & Abraham Verghese. Random House. Autobiography. 258 pages.
  19. The Art Of Saying NO: How To Stand Your Ground, Reclaim Your Time And Energy, And Refuse To Be Taken For Granted (Without Feeling Guilty!). Damon Zahariades. Amazon Digital Services LLC. Self Help. 172 pages.
  20. How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life. Scott Adams. Portfolio. Autobiography. 247 pages.
  21. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. Marie Kondo. Ten Speed Press. Self Help. 226 pages.
  22. The Art of Communicating. Thich Nhat Hanh. HarperOne. Self Help. 179 pages.
  23. Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy. Sheryl Sandberg & Adam Grant. Knopf. Self Help. 242 pages.
  24. The Hobbit (Lord of the Rings). J.R.R. Tolkien. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Fiction. 235 pages.
  25. Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future. Ashlee Vance. Ecco. Autobiography. 374 pages.

Fave Five

Here are the five memorable books:

  • The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector's Story. Hyeonseo Lee & David John. HarperCollins Publishers. Autobiography. 320 pages. - The book provides some insights on what it was like living in North Korea. It also tells the story of Hyeonseo Lee's amazing journey and struggles to get out of North Korea into China and then South Korea. Once out of North Korea, she has to conceal her identity that she was a North Korean, since she could be arrested and deported back to North Korea and possibly executed in North Korea. In addition, she has to worried about her mother and her brother in North Korea as well, since if the North Korean government knew that a family member has defected, the rest of the family that are still in North Korea could experience hardship. Even with the possibility of hardship, leaving North Korea was a hard decision since they would leave their home, family and friend behind onto a new uncertain future. It is a great read.
  • Eleven Seconds: A Story of Tragedy, Courage & Triumph. Travis Roy & E. M. Swift. Grand Central Publishing. Autobiography. 226 pages. - This is a very inspirational book. It is the life story of Travis Roy. He was an ice hockey player. He got a chance to realize his dream of playing for Boston University (Division I Hockey Club). However, 11 seconds into his first shift on his first game as a Terriers, he fell head first to the boards. The impact left him quadriplegic. In just a moment's time, he went from living his dream to life altering moment. The book provides insights on Roy's struggles and emotions. I am amazed on how he used his unfortunate experience to inspire others.
  • Abraham Lincoln: Lessons in Spiritual Leadership. Elton Trueblood . HarperOne. Autobiography. 195 pages. - Many people consider Abraham Lincoln was the best US president. Many noted his leadership skills. Found it interesting that he did not get a lot of formal schooling and the two books that he read the most were the bible and Robinson Crusoe. Not a surprise that bible helped to shape his belief. The book goes into some details on how his spiritual belief lead him to be the leader that he was.
  • When Breath Becomes Air. Paul Kalanithi & Abraham Verghese. Random House. Autobiography. 258 pages. - A very touching book. Paul Kalanithi was a neurosurgeon in training when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. In the book, Kalanithi tried to answer some of the philosophical questions, such as "what makes life meaningful enough to go on living?" Kalanithi had a passion for literature. He wrote the book eloquently. When reading the book, I feel like I can understand his feelings and train of thoughts.
  • The Hobbit (Lord of the Rings). J.R.R. Tolkien. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Fiction. 235 pages. - I've watched the movie before. Enjoyed watching the movie very much. Heard from many people that the book is also good. Got the opportunity to read it last month. I enjoyed reading the book as well.

Disclaimer: The links above include some referral links to Amazon.com

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