I can only recall reading one book cover to cover before I turned 25 years old. It was the book Flowers for Algernon written by Daniel Keyes, in the seventh grade. I was never diagnosed with dyslexia, but I am convinced I struggled with it for most of my childhood. Reading was something that was shameful for me because I wasn’t very good at it.
I have vivid memories of slowly reading out loud in class trying my hardest not to shake while I was holding whatever book we were reading at the time. I hate it and I hated the way I felt as I stood there being corrected by the teacher or another student when I would misread or misunderstand the passage.
This all meant that I hated reading and I hated books.
It wasn’t until a few years ago when I friend pointed out that I enjoyed learning so much, but they were surprised that I wasn’t interested in reading. I told them that I was a slow reader, and I struggled to finish books.
They gave me a simple strategy that I still use to this day: Only read books that you like, and if you don’t enjoy them put them down without any guilt for not finishing them.
Since then I’ve read more, but it’s still a struggle.
However, in 2018 I made a commitment to finish 25 books, (this is a big deal for me. no shame.) and I wanted to keep track of that goal publicly.
Below is a list of books I’ve read, am reading, have abandoned and plan to read. If the books are linked, I recommend them strongly.
The Books I’ve Read
The Four Tendencies — Gretchen Rubin
The Post Office — Charles Bukowski
Running Down A Dream — Tim Grahl
Lying — Sam Harris
The Paradox of Love — Pittman McGehee
The Big Leap — Gay Hendricks
Profit First — Mike Michalowicz
Free Will — Sam Harris
It All Turns On Affection — Wendell Berry
Turning Pro — Steven Pressfield
Better Than Before — Gretchen Rubin
Waking Up — Sam Harris
The Books I’m Currently Reading
Radical Candor — Kim Scott
The Artists Way — Julia Cameron
The Obstacle Is The Way — Ryan Holiday
Improv Wisdom — Patricia Ryan Madson
48 Laws of Power — Robert Greene
Win Bigly — Scott Adams
Why We Get Fat — Gary Taubes
Hooked — Nir Eyal
The Books On My Reading List
But What If We’re Chuck Klosterman
The Art of Learning — Joshua Waitzkin
Are You Fully Charged? — Tom Rath
Becoming Spiritual — Dr. Joe Dispenza
The Creative Brain — Nancy C. Andreasen
How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big — Scott Adams
So Good They Can’t Ignore You — Cal Newport
The Hard Thing About Hard Things — Ben Horowitz
Zero to One — Peter Thiel
The Accidental Life — Terry McDonell
Antifragile — Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Learning to Love Yourself — Gay Hendricks
Deep Work — Cal Newport
Extreme Ownership — Jocko Willink, Leif Babin