52 Books In One Year

This is not a new concept, but 2021 is the year that I am committing to making this happen. With so many ways to consume books, there’s not much of an excuse anymore, so I’m documenting it here to hold myself accountable.

This includes physical books as well as audiobooks, the latter being something I can also do while I work out, walk the dogs, deliver hot sauce, etc.

What am I hoping to get out of this? More knowledge, broader understanding of how folks think, more resources to share with others, some fun thrown in as well. Most of the list will be non-fiction, but I’ve sprinkled some fiction in to make sure I’m not taking things too seriously overall. For each I plan on doing some version of a write-up to put my thoughts somewhere. I have a terrible habit of reading and remembering very little after a few months.

Below is the current list and while it’s completely filled out, I reserve the right to change things up. After all, there could be additional items that spike my curiosity or take precedence over what lies below.

  1. The 48 Laws of Power – Robert Greene
  2. The Energy Bus – Jon Gordon
  3. The Stranger – Albert Camus
  4. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck – Mark Manson
  5. The Likeability Trap – Alicia Menendez
  6. Rewire – Richard O’Connor
  7. Brotopia – Emily Chang
  8. Sacred Cow: The Case For Better Meat – Diana Rodgers and Robb Wolf
  9. Escaping the Build Trap – Melissa Perri
  10. The Year Without Pants: WordPress.com and the Future of Work – Scott Berkun
  11. Outcomes Over Output – Josh Seiden
  12. Inspired: How To Create Tech Products Customers Love – Marty Cagan
  13. Think on Your Feet: Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Impromptu Communication Skills On the Job – Jen Oleniczak Brown
  14. Bored and Brilliant – Manoush Zomorodi
  15. The Politics of Coaching – Carl J. Pierson
  16. Will Write For Food – Dianne Jacob
  17. McIlhenny’s Gold: How a Louisiana Family Built the Tabasco Empire – Jeffrey Rothfelder
  18. HBR Leading Virtual Teams
  19. HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Strategy (including featured article “What Is Strategy?” by Michael E. Porter)
  20. The Empowered Manager: Positive Political Skills at Work – Peter Block
  21. Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence – Daniel Goleman
  22. What You Do Is Who You Are – Ben Horowitz
  23. Smartcuts – Shane Snow
  24. The Making of a Manager – Julie Zhuo
  25. Browns Town 1964 – Terry Pluto
  26. The Art of Sportscasting – Tom Hedrick
  27. Bossypants – Tina Fey
  28. Humanocracy: Creating Organizations as Amazing as the People Inside Them – Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini
  29. Work Disrupted: Opportunity, Resilience, and Growth in the Accelerated Future of Work – Jeff Schwartz
  30. Delivering Happiness – Tony Hsieh
  31. The Talent Code – Daniel Coyle
  32. The Icarus Deception – Seth Godin
  33. Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage – Alfred Lansing
  34. Foundation – Isaac Asimov
  35. Siddhartha – Hermann Hesse
  36. You Win In the Locker Room First – Jon Gordon and Mike Smith
  37. Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe
  38. The Education of a Coach – David Halberstam
  39. Execution: The Discipline of Getting Thi1ngs Done – Lawrence Bossidy and Ram Charan
  40. Thinking, Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman
  41. Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us – Seth Godin
  42. Liar’s Poker – Michael Lewis
  43. A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
  44. The Caine Mutiny – Herman Woulk
  45. Lead From The Outside – Stacey Abrams
  46. Lincoln on Leadership – Donald T. Phillips
  47. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk – Ben Fountain
  48. A Thinking Man’s Guide To Pro Football – Paul Zimmerman
  49. Finding the Winning Edge – Bill Walsh, Brian Billick, James A Peterson
  50. Above the Line – Urban Meye and Wayne R Coffey
  51. Chop Wood Carry Water – Joshua Medcalf
  52. Eleven Rings – Hugh Delehanty and Phil Jackson

Have other thoughts on what I should read? Feel free to send me a note or add a comment below!

Other Books I’ve Heard About Over The Year

  1. Out of The Crisis – W. Edwards Deming
  2. The Procrastinator’s Handbook: Mastering the Art of Doing It Now – Rita Emmett
  3. Point B – Drew Magary
  4. Think Like a Monk – Jay Shetty
  5. Rework – David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried
  6. No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention –  Erin Meyer and Reed Hastings
  7. Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell
  8. The Go-Giver – Bob Burg
  9. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance – Angela Duckworth
  10. Leadership Is Language – L. David Marquet’
  11. Laziness Does Not Exist – Devon Price
  12. An Elegant Puzzle: Systems of Engineering Management – Will Larson
  13. The Culture Code – Daniel Coyle
  14. Every Tool’s a Hammer (Savage)
  15. An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth (Hadfield)
  16. The Design of Every Day Things (Norman)
  17. How to be an Antiracist (Kendi)
  18. The Color of Law (Rothstein)
  19. The Ghost Map (Johnson)
  20. The Visual MBA (Barron)
  21. The Art of Doing Science and Engineering: Learning to Learn (Hamming)
  22. Think Again (Grant)
  23. The Little Book of Talent (Coyle)
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Mark Holtman
Mark Holtman
2 years ago

If you’re gonna read the Talent Code, you should also read The Little Book of Talent.


The former is the what where as the latter is about the how

John Hartley is a Director of Product Engineering at Beam Dental in Columbus, OH. With 7+ years of leadership experience he has worked in startups, agencies, and began his career as a freelance Front End Developer. Always looking to iterate, this blog is a place for him to share his knowledge as well as hone his craft, challenge assumptions, and build a strong base of leadership and management knowledge. Connect with him on LinkedIn

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