📚 Finished reading: Ruined by Design by Mike Monteiro, ISBN: 9781090532084

Opinionated, polarizing, challenging. Unfortunate that the people who could benefit most by reading this book are the people least likely to read it.

I. Loved. This. Book.

📚 Finished reading: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, ISBN: 9781781100486

I first read this three years ago, out loud, to my son, a dyslexic 2nd grader. Now that he’s closer to Harry Potter’s age we reread it together. In some ways it was more enjoyable this time (he frequently pointed out differences between the book and the movie). In other ways the book made me more sad before (did I just completely forget all the ways the Dursleys tortured a child?). It’s also interesting to ponder how much and how little Rowling had planned out the entire series at this point. Good book. Good read.

📚 Finished reading: Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin, ISBN: 9780385348621

This was good. Lots of entertaining anecdotes and (some) supporting data. In my opinion the most useful section of this book was her “four tendencies” framework, which the author later spun off into its own book (which I plan to read).

It’s hard not to compare this to James Clear’s Atomic Habits, which I read last May. I feel like Atomic Habits had more useful advice and had a cleaner, more methodical structure. However, Better Than Before made me laugh more. Both good. Both useful. Both recommended.

📚 Finished reading: The Road by Cormac McCarthy, ISBN: 9780307386458

What a fucking punch to the gut this was. I knew nothing about this book going into it and I had a more visceral reaction to it than I did to 1984 or Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Dolores Umbridge may be more evil than Voldemort). It didn’t help that the two main characters (The Man and The Boy) are roughly the same age as me and my son. This was a very, very tough read (emotionally). I’m glad I read it, but I’m probably not going to return to it in the future. Not fun.

📚 Finished reading: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, ISBN: 9781443418195

I enjoyed this. A lot of the specific advice from her project wouldn’t necessarily apply to me or lots of other people, but it’s useful to see this as one possible recipe.

📚 Finished reading: The Road to Sparta by Dean Karnazes, ISBN: 9781609614737

Great book. I read it last year, but I decided to read it again with The Boy when he chose this for his school book report. Dean sometimes takes shit from other ultra runners for self promotion, but we think he’s terrific. There’s a lot to like here.

📚 Finished reading: Everything That Remains by Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, ISBN: 9781938793196

I love this book. This was my fourth or fifth read through, which is probably more than any other book I’ve ever read.

📚 Finished reading: Allies by Alan Gratz, ISBN: 9781338245745

The Boy picked this one up at a school book fair and I read it with him. It was a bit gruesome and upsetting at times, but he didn’t seem to mind reading that kind of stuff right before bed. He enjoyed it and has since picked up another similar book by the same author. I thought it was fine.

📚 Finished reading: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, ISBN: 9780064401883

I read this one with The Boy as he was reading it in school. I didn’t love it, but it did have some good parts.

📚 Finished reading: How to Stop Feeling Like Sh*t by Andrea Owen, ISBN: 9781580056809

I didn’t get much from this one. Admittedly, I’m not the target audience of women with low self esteem, but this was heavy on anecdotes and light on science. Very life-coachy. Maybe it would have seemed better if I hadn’t just finished the amazing Lost Connections book.

📚 Finished reading: Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions by Johann Hari, ISBN: 9781632868329

Excellent book. So much new (to me) information in this book. Full of well cited scientific research. Audiobook read by the author was very moving at times.

📚 Finished reading: Natural Born Heroes: Mastering the Lost Secrets of Strength and Endurance by Christopher McDougall, ISBN: 9780307742223

Good, but not as good as Born to Run. The style of this book was nearly identical to Born to Run, though I found it much more difficult to follow the story this time. I did enjoy the story of Greek resistance fighters during World War II, it just didn’t seem very coherent.

📚 Finished reading: Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, ISBN: 9780307476869

Second time through. Great book. Great movie. I’m not sure which one I like more.

📚 Finished reading: The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss, ISBN: 9780307591166

Where do I begin with this one? The “lifestyle design” and travel parts of the book are actually pretty good. There’s a lot of interesting advice, and much of it is even somewhat useful. The business advice, though, is a mess. Most of it seems pretty sketchy (this guy comes from the infomercial world). If you have to follow up a piece of business advise with the disclaimer, “THIS IS LEGAL!”, then you may want to reconsider your life choices.

Audiobook from Apple Books.

📚 Finished reading: The Princess Bride by William Goldman, ISBN: 9780151015443

Yes, I read this twice in one week. This time I read it with The Boy and he seemed to enjoy it as much as I did. My wife was around for parts of it and laughed out loud several times.

Audiobook from Apple Books.

📚 Finished reading: The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, ISBN: 9781936891047

I have strong feelings about this book, both good and bad. The very loud orchestral music playing in the background through much of the audiobook didn’t do it any favors. Still, the author has some interesting ideas and I am probably going to read this one again. Very short.

Audiobook from Apple Books.

📚 Finished reading: The Princess Bride by William Goldman, ISBN: 9780151015443

This was great, though not as great as the movie. Short (must have been abridged).

Audiobook from Apple Books.

📚 Finished reading: Persuasion by Jane Austen, ISBN: 9780451526380

I love Jane Austen’s writing. The story was just a bit too similar to Pride and Prejudice, but not quite as entertaining. I found this one harder to stay focused on.

Audiobook checked out from public library.

📚 Finished reading: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith, ISBN: 9781594744495

Clever idea. I’m glad they sold a zillion copies of this book. I didn’t like it as much as the original. Most of the additions/modifications matched the original style and tone very well, with the notable exception of all the added sexual innuendo (too many jokes about “balls”). I’m glad this book exists.

I checked out the Audiobook on CDs from public library, converted to mp3, and listened in Overcast.

📚 Finished reading: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, ISBN: 9781853260001

Wow. I’ve never enjoyed a book so much I assumed I would find so incredibly boring. I doubt I could have gotten through it by reading, but in audiobook form (which I got free on Apple Books) it was fantastic.

📚 Well, that was most of the books I’ve read in the last 2-3 weeks. I cut back a bit on the podcasts I listen to, which freed up some listening time for audiobooks. I’ve been enjoying this.

📚 Finished reading: Rocket Boys by Homer Hickam, ISBN: 9780385333214

How could I not love non-fiction about winning the national science fair by blowing shit up? We watched October Sky many years ago. Apparently I liked it enough my wife bought me this (hardcover) book that was the basis for the movie. I never read it. A couple years ago I donated it to the public library. I came across the audiobook on Hoopla and finally read (listened to) it. Good stuff.