Full disclosure: The links to the books mentioned in this post are Amazon affiliate links. Should you use the link to purchase one of these books, then I’ll get a little bit of money to build my own library (as my Amazon earnings are used to buy more books). I’ve also placed Blinkist links to these books where applicable if you would like to learn more about the book without dedicating time and money to the full text.
I read 53 books in total during the year and I learned a couple of things during that process:
- I really like reading books more than anything else, especially print books.
- There is great value in reading books deeply instead of just reading as many as you can (especially when it comes to non-fiction works).
With that in mind, I’m going to tackle my reading workflow differently going forward.
I’m going to read fewer books in 2017. However, I’ll spend more time reading by intentionally reflecting on what I’ve read.
I received How to Read a Book as a gift in a book exchange this year, and it is the first book on my reading list starting January 1. I want to read deeper, and I figure this book is one that can help me do that.
I’ve also suspended my Audible account for 90 days. I have more than enough books in my Audible library to tide me over until the 90 days are up (probably more than enough) and I’m really going to try to do most of my reading of print books going forward. (I also have fallen behind in keeping up with podcasts, so that’s what I’ll listen to once I’ve made it through my library.)
The only books I’ll consider from Audible anytime soon are memoirs and autobiographies read by those who wrote them. Books by Martin Short and Dick Van Dyke have been among my favourites from Audible in recent years. They’re good books, and they are made even better because the author is reading them to me.
Now I’d like to share with you the 10 best books I read in 2016.
This is one of the most valuable books I have ever read. The lessons that are shared through the storytelling are phenomenal. I have to say that there was a lot of validation I found in the book as well. It was well narrated and well assembled. It is just an overall great piece of work.
Immediately after finishing this book, I bought the hardcover copy to keep on my bookshelf. It’s that important of a read to me. (Get The Go-Giver on Blinkist)
This is another fantastic book by Ryan Holiday. I started reading this book after reading The Go-Giver and it was the perfect companion piece. There’s something about Ryan’s writing — especially in his last two books (this one and The Obstacle is The Way) — that really resonates with me.
It was an engrossing read that made me pause to think about my own ego. The book also made me think about how ego ties into many other things I never thought of in the first place. This book is definitely worth the read.
Deep Work is an incredibly well researched and insightful book. Cal Newport has upped his game as an author – which is no small feat considering his past work has been phenomenal – with this latest effort.
The practical insights and thought that has gone into this book make it well worth your time and energy. Newport has painstakingly crafted a tremendous argument that propose we spend more time on work that has a greater impact on our lives (and in the lives of others). Newport also offers some tactical ways to make that happen
As expected, this is a deep read. It’s not something that you can just cruise through in one sitting. It requires a lot of thought and mindfulness — it took me almost a month to get through it – but it was well worth the time spent.
I highly recommend Deep Work. It’s a monumental book that will really help change the way people work…and live. (Get Deep Work on Blinkist)
A short and impactful read. I love Derek’s work. While I’d heard several of these stories (or part of them) at World Domination Summit, I really enjoyed hearing Derek tell them again. I highly recommend this book if you’re looking to forge your own path in business and in life. (Get Anything You want on Blinkist)
I dove into this book and thoroughly enjoyed it. The author presented his findings and expertise in a way that was engaging and accessible. I like how it was arranged so that you didn’t have to read the book from cover to cover. You can read the first part of the book and then cherry pick the middle section to determine what you’d really like to work on. I really enjoyed that.
This area of research is fascinating to me, so I’m probably a bit biased in my review, but I felt that the overall structure and cadence of the book was great. If you are looking to feel good about how your body clock is wired and want practical and tactical ways to adhere to what your body is telling you, then give this book a read. This book will encourage you to think about making changes that are sensible and best suited for your lifestyle.
This is a book that is long overdue and I’m glad that I read it.
A great leadership book that I’m glad I took the recommendation on. It somewhat pained me to read it as the late author was the legendary coach of the San Francisco 49ers — a team that beat my Cincinnati Bengals in two Super Bowls — but he also did coach for the Bengals, so I kept that in mind as I poured over the pages. (Now that I think about it, if he’d only stayed with the Bengals maybe we would’ve won if you already…)
There were plenty of takeaways I got from Bill Walsh’s book. He praises the virtues of creating frameworks and boundaries. Walsh also talks about “scripting”, which is the idea of setting things up in advance to improve your odds of success. Walsh also focused on the importance of being consistent. This is definitely something to keep in mind when you look at your tasks, projects, and goals.
If you want to learn from a tremendous leader on how to lead….get this book.
A truly wonderful book. A quick read – I devoured it in less than an hour – but it is by no means and ‘easy’ read. What I mean by that is the book compels you to be introspective and dig deep. You need to make decisions regarding the things you “should do” and “must do”. I highly recommend this book.
It took me longer to actually read this book than I originally anticipated, and that’s a shame. Once I sat down to read this book, I couldn’t stop.
I devoured this entire book on a two-hour flight from San Francisco to Seattle and gained a ton of practical knowledge along the way. Justin is an authority on creativity and marketing. His writing style really spoke to me. It’s almost as if he was sitting next to me on the airplane.
Whether you’re just starting out with an online business or are already running one that is looking for a bit of an extra edge, this book is for you.
This is a phenomenal piece of work. Srinivas Rao drives the point home of how being unmistakeable is the path to better work and a better life. Through the sharing his own story as well as the stories of others, this book will inspire you to be “only” in your field – because only is better than best.
If you’re looking for something to act as a catalyst to bring your great work to life or if you need a reminder of why it is that you do what you do in the first place, then this book is for you.
Incredibly inspiring. The More of Less has not only inspired me, it inspired me to take action. The ideas and thoughts presented in this book are delivered in a direct and yet personal tone. Joshua has a way of delivering his words that really makes you think. I’ve read several books on this topic but no others have pushed me forward to take action.
If you are looking to start a journey to a more minimalist life (and minimalism may not be quite what you think), then pick up this book. It is suitable for anyone at any phase of their lives.
What books did you read in 2016? Which were your favourites? Share them in the comments below.
Do you want 7 days of ideas, insights, and information on how to craft your time in just 1 weekly email?
Then you want The Dailies.
The Dailies is a weekly digest from Productivityist that delivers a week's worth of content in a nice little package directly to your inbox. Just enter your email to subscribe.