Reading List: January – March 2024

For the last few years I have expanded the number of books I consume incrementally. Normally, I take in 2-3 month depending on what the rest of my life looks like. Rarely ever do I talk about them though. Occasionally I will bring up a book if it fits into a conversation, but the discussion usually only last a few minutes. I want to change that and make a better repository of books I have read and what I think of them.

At any given time, I usually have three books going: one for self improvement/philosophy, one for pleasure, and one for learning a new skill. It is not always that way, but most of the time it is. The following is what I have read (or listened to) in the first quarter of 2024.

Good Inside by Dr. Becky Kennedy (ISBN: 978-0063159488)

This is an absolutely amazing book for parents. It digs deep into the parent/child dynamic and provides practical advice for how to raise and care for children. The subtitle says it all: A Guide to Becoming the Parent You Want To Be.

Murtagh by Christopher Paolini (ISBN: 978-0241651346)

I have been a fan of this series nearly since the beginning. I found a copy of Eragon on top of a bookshelf after I moved into a new house and read it on a whim. From then on, I was hooked. After the somewhat disappointing conclusion to the main story arc I was excited to see where the story would go now that the much of the publishing pressure had been removed. It is an excellent book and I enjoyed every bit of it.

Drop Dead Healthy by A. J. Jacobs (ISBN: 978-1416599081)

This is the fourth book by this author that I have read. All of them are entertaining in a whimsical bizarre way. There is a little practical information in here, but it is primarily about a guy trying anything and everything he comes across to live healthier. If you like memoirs, and people committing themselves to odd challenges for no discernible reason, this one will resonate.

The Fork, The Witch, and the Worm by Christopher Paolini (ISBN: 978-1984894861)

I had no idea this existed until I had started Murtagh. When I finished Murtagh, I dove directly into this. It was awesome to see what Eragon and Saphira were up to after the end of the original series.

Atomic Habits by James Clear (ISBN: 978-1847941848)

This is one of those books that shows up on nearly every must read list. There is a good reason for that. It provides clear practical information on the how and why of habit formation. The concept of establishing micro habits and attaching them to habits that already exist is so simple that it causes the “well yeah, I should have known that” response. the book is a quick read and well worth the time if you want improve any part of your life.

Let’s Talk by by Mudita Nisker, Dan Clurman (ISBN: 979-8985199505)

This was my second time around with this book. The first time I didn’t feel I got everything I could from the book so I read it again. It can be a bit dense and academic at time, but there is excellent information in there. If you read it, pay particular attention to the bits about reflective listening and the concept of a four-part message. Those two things will change the way you communicate for the better.

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman (ISBN: 978-0374533557)

This is the culmination of a life’s work by the author, who is a Nobel Laureate no less. If you want to know how to make decisions or are in a position where you have to make them anyway, this book is indispensable. It goes into the details of how humans make decisions, how we get them wrong, and ultimately how to attempt to make better ones. It is long, it is okay, keep reading it is worth it.

Paddle Your Own Canoe by Nick Offerman (ISBN: 978-0451467096)

This is basically the author’s memoir with a bit of manifesto mixed in for good measure. It is a bit crass from time to time, but that is part of what makes it funny. It is a great story, even the repetitive parts. This is one that I would highly recommend the audiobook. It is read by the author who is you know, an actor and is extremely well done.

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway (ISBN: 979-8869203090)

It is a classic for a reason, that is all there really is to say. I am trying to go back and read some classics I missed out on during school and this the first one I came across. It is just long enough to not be considered a short story and is a quick read. Both because of the length, and because it is Hemingway. Read it if you get a change, it is a great story.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (ISBN: 978-1472228420)

Gaiman is one of my favorite authors and this book has just been hanging out on my Kindle for far too long. I started reading it on a whim when the book I really wanted to read would not load and I was stuck on a long car ride. I am glad that happened, because it is great story. If you like sci-fi and fantasy this one is worth checking out. Now I need to go read the other books that are set in this universe.

Same as Ever by Morgan Housel (ISBN: 978-1804090633)

This is another one of those books where the whole concept is in the title/subtitle of the book. It tells multiple stories about everything is basically cyclical and what has happened before will happen again. I thought it was okay, on the whole. It reads like a high school commencement speech at times. The author is constantly saying “As <important person> once <wrote or said>” which can get tedious. It is a fine book, but time may be better spent just reading a summary.

Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert (ISBN: 978-1400077427)

It is a funny and relevant book about human psychology, which is a weird dynamic. The writing is fully of one liners and antidotes, but it is always tied to a profound point. This was my second time through this book as well. I read it when it first came out and enjoyed it back then. If you like authors like Bill Bryson, you should like this. The author does a great job of outlining what makes humans, humans and how our brains shape our views of reality.

That it is for now, I hope to do another one of these mid-year. I am not sure I will get as many books in that one though.