My Non-Fiction Reading List for 2015


I already have so many books that I want to read, it’s difficult to justify adding new books to the list in 2015.  Instead I’ve decided to work though my library and pick ones that I already have.  This is nicely in keeping with the new found joy that I’ve found in not buying things.  Why keep torturing myself with the ever growing pile of books to read; why keep struggling to choose the next book from the list; why not decide up front; choose books I already have; and read the books in alphabetical order.  Now I’m a realist, some new books are bound to get published that I really must read in 2015, but I will try and keep those for holiday reading.  In fact I’m such a realist that only one day after I published this list I ended up adding 10 books to it that I’d somehow missed!

I’m working hard to simplify my life, so I’m focusing in on only a few categories this year:

  1. Inspirational, books about inspirational people and their lives
  2. Understanding people, books that give me insights into people, my therapy for Aspersers
  3. Understanding the future, books that help me ‘predict’ the future at work and in life
  4. Understanding the body, books that help me heal my body
  5. Living well, books that help me live a rich and balanced life
  6. Understanding the mind, books that help me understand how the mind works, build my resilience, avoid age related decline, keep positive and also a bit of therapy for Aspersers
  7. The future of work, books that help me ‘predict’ the future at work
  8. Understanding the universe, books that help me understand and enjoy the wonder of nature
  9. Understanding how the world works, I live a sheltered, newspaper and TV news free life, I need a read a few books about how the world really works each year

Here’s the book list in the order I intend to read them, I have about 20 of these as audio books, I’m crossing out books as I read them, books I fail to read I’ve removed from the list and added to a new list at the end of this post.

Books I added that I didn’t plan to read:

  1. Creation: How Science Is Reinventing Life Itself, Adam Rutherford (ph. D.)
  2. Future Crimes: A journey to the dark side of technology – and how to survive it,  Marc Goodman
  3. The City Homesteader: Self-Sufficiency on Any Square Footage, Scott Meyer
  4. The Brain That Changes Itself, Norman Doidge
  5. The Incredible Human Journey, Dr. Alice Roberts

My original book list:

  1. A Life Decoded: My Genome: My Life,J. Craig Venter
  2. A New Pair of Glasses,Ken D. White
  3. Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think,Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler
  4. An Epidemic of Absence: A New Way of Understanding Allergies and Autoimmune Diseases,Moises Velasquez-Manoff 
  5. Antidote to Ageing, Muir Gray
  6. Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation,Tyler Cowen
  7. Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales From the World of Wall Street,John Brooks
  8. Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All,Tom Kelley, David Kelley
  9. Darwin’s Island,Steve Jones
  10. Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day,Todd Henry
  11. Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd,Youngme Moon
  12. Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations,David R. Montgomery
  13. Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions,Guy Kawasaki
  14. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, Greg McKeown
  15. Exponential Organizations: Why New Organizations Are Ten Times Better, Faster, and Cheaper Than Yours,Salim Ismail, Michael S. Malone, Yuri van Geest, Peter H. Diamandis
  16. Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman,James Gleick
  17. Happiness: Lessons from a New Science, Richard Layard
  18. Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design,Charles Montgomery
  19. HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Strategy
  20. How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness,Russ Roberts
  21. How Buildings Work: The Natural Order of Architecture,Edward Allen, David Swoboda
  22. How Google Works,Eric Schmidt
  23. How to Get People to Do Stuff: Master the Art and Science of Persuasion and Motivation,Susan Weinschenk
  24. Killing Jesus,Bill O’Reilly, Martin Dugard
  25. Magnificent Mind at Any Age: Natural Ways to Unleash Your Brain’s Maximum Potential,Daniel G. Amen, M. D.
  26. Mastering the Complex Sale: How to Compete and Win When the Stakes Are High!,Jeff Thull
  27. Mastery,Robert Greene
  28. Mind Wide Open: Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life,Steven Johnson
  29. Relaxation and Stress Reduction Through Home Maintenance: How to Maintain a Clean and Tidy House to Eliminate Unnecessary Stress From Your Life,Karen Leeds
  30. Smarter Than Us: The Rise of Machine Intelligence, Stuart Armstrong
  31. Stuff Matters,Mark Miodownik
  32. Superhuman by Habit: A Guide to Becoming the Best Possible Version of Yourself, One Tiny Habit at a Time, Tynan
  33. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln,Doris Kearns Goodwin
  34. The Accidental Universe: The World You Thought You Knew,Alan Lightman
  35. The Art of Intelligence: Lessons From a Life in the CIA’s Clandestine Service,Henry A. Crumpton
  36. The Art Of Stillness, Pico Iyer
  37. The Art of Strategy: A Game Theorist’s Guide to Success in Business and Life,Avinash K. Dixit, Barry J. Nalebuff
  38. The Best Place To Work, Ron Friedman PhD
  39. The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger,Marc Levinson
  40. The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature,David George Haskell
  41. The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life,Chris Guillebeau
  42. The Human Race to the Future: What Could Happen – and What to Do, Daniel Berleant
  43. The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World From Scratch,Lewis Dartnell
  44. The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution, Walter Isaacson
  45. Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History: Boris Johnson
  46. The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future , Martin Ford
  47. The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman,Richard P. Feynman, Jeffrey Robbins
  48. The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt,Edmund Morris
  49. The Science of Success: How Market-Based Management Built the World’s Largest Private Company,Charles G. Koch
  50. The Victorian Internet: The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the Nineteenth Century’s On-Line Pioneers,Tom Standage
  51. The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn From Traditional Societies?,Jared Diamond
  52. The Year Without Pants: and the Future of Work,Scott Berkun
  53. Think Like a Freak: How to Think Smarter about Almost Everything, Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt
  54. Think Smarter: Critical Thinking to Improve Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Skills,Michael Kallet
  55. Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power,Jon Meacham
  56. Tilt: Shifting Your Strategy From Products to Customers,Niraj Dawar
  57. Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier, Edward L. Glaeser
  58. Upstream Doctors, Rishi Manchanda
  59. What Is Strategy?,Michael E. Porter
  60. What Makes a Hero?: The Surprising Science of Selflessness,Elizabeth Svoboda
  61. What Technology Wants,Kevin Kelly
  62. Why Does E=MC2?, Professor Brian Cox, Jeff Foreshaw
  63. Wonders of Life,Professor Brian Cox, Andrew Cohen
  64. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future,Peter Thiel, Blake Masters

Books I didn’t read for a variety of reasons, mostly because they duplicated other books that I felt covered the material well enough:

  1. Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace, Nikil Saval
  2. Easy Learning Grammar and Punctuation (Collins Easy Learning English),Penny Hands
  3. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption,Laura Hillenbrand
  4. The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey,Candice Millard
  5. The 33 Strategies of War,Robert Greene
  6. Death by Food Pyramid,Denise Minger

There are some books I’m currently reading in 2014 that are not on this list that might spill into 2015 and one book that I might start early.  I intend to read a handful of the books on paper, most of them on my new Kindle Voyage (Christmas present) and the rest I will be listening to.

I’m not afraid to stop reading a book if I don’t get on with it after a few days, so probably 20% won’t get read, leaving me the challenge of reading over one book a week, a lot more than this year, it’s going to be fun!

I’ve read over 60 books this year, here’s a sample of them:

I do a lot of my reading while lying in the bath or lounging on the sofa, but I also do a lot while out walking and cycling thanks to audio books.  The picture illustrating this post is of the sun setting over Cleveley’s beach, one of my favourite cycling destinations.

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

2 Responses

  1. Scott Berkun says:

    Do you take bribes to get a book moved up earlier in the order? 🙂

  2. Mike Kallet says:

    Hi Steve,
    Saw that Think Smarter is number 60 are your to read list for 2015. Since you read “over 60 books” in 2014, looks like Think Smarter will make the cut. Enjoy.

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