Here are books I’ve read, or mostly read. I’ll put up a 2021 reading plan soon.
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch—what made this sci-fi interesting is the exploration of happiness, success, dissatisfaction. Do you look back on your life and wonder what it would have been if you made different decisions? In an alternate universe, is “more successful” you wondering the same thing?
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee—Picked up for two reasons: 1) wanted to read another female author, and 2) the premise of following a family through generations was intriguing. It gave me The Good Earth vibes; I think it has the potential to become a classic.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline—Read it in preparation for the movie.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo—A good read on a valuable process for elimination physical, mental, and emotional clutter from one’s life.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng—Recognizing that I typically read fiction by male authors, I decided to seek out a novel by a female author. I finished the book with the impression that the central conflict was cultural collectivism versus individualism, with individualism favored by the author—whereas I tend to view hyper-individualism and selfishness as plagues on humankind.
Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull—Much like Pixar, Ed is skilled at sharing lessons through stories. This book is a fun history of the animation studio, but also contains valuable lessons on business and management.
Thieves Emporium by Max Hernandez—”a technically-accurate novel that uses fast-paced fiction to examine the fight for liberty in the age of the surveillance state.”
1984 by George Orwell—Attempted in high school, gave up, tried again 10 years later and made it 2/3 through. Not inclined to try again.
The Martian by Andy Weir—Bought it in August and devoured it, not knowing about the upcoming October movie release. Enjoyable, believable sci-fi. The movie was good, too. Tried starting Artemis, couldn’t get into it.
Ender’s Game—Read it in preparation for the movie.
The Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov—Originally read these in middle school, but it felt like time for another reading.
- Foundation and Empire
- Second Foundation
- Foundation’s Edge
- Foundation and Earth
Note: Most of these I chose to read, but I have included a couple works that I enjoyed despite their being required reading.
Timeline by Michael Crichton—my favorite book during high school. I might have read Andromeda Strain, as well, but I’m not confident enough to give it its own line.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown—A book that feels like its movie version would include Nicolas Cage; and yet the movie starred … Tom Hanks?!
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie—Required reading, but fell right into my love of mysteries. I haven’t bothered watching the 2017 movie.
1776 by David McCullough—Read it for a high school extracurricular. McCullough brought research and historical documents to life in this book; I didn’t feel that way when I tried to read his book The Great Bridge.
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde—This would probably be good to re-read. I just remember it being humorous, and being disappointed in the movie version with Reese Witherspoon.
Holes by Louis Sachar
7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey—Even today, I find it so much more readable than the original.
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams—I’m pretty sure I read this around 2004, and vaguely remember watching the 2005 movie with Martin Freeman. This has been an attempted re-read over the years, without success.
Various Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys and Sherlock Holmes