One of the challenges I set myself in 2016 was to read and review an average of a book a week.
52 books read and reviewed throughout 2016.
As I write this (on the 30th of December) I’ve only gone and blooming done it!
You can find all of the detailed reviews on www.chrisdaems.com however I know you’re busy so here is the fifty three books (one over my target! Yay!) I’ve read and reviewed in 2016.
However I know you’re busy…so please see the books I’ve read in 2016 below with a brief synopsis and a link to the full review. I hope you find a book on this list which you fancy reading…
- Distrupt yourself (Jay Samit) – A useful book on how to disrupt existing markets containing practical tips as well as useful ways to test your business idea.
- Chavs (Owen Jones) – Some compelling arguments which whilst suffering from a few blind spots is still a compelling interesting and persuasive read.
- The Bees (Laline Paull) – A fresh take on the Dystopian novel…with Bees!
- The power of Habit (Charles Duhigg) – A fascinating and useful book highlighting how much habits have an impact in all of our lives.
- On the Road (Jack Karouac) – A romantic, honest tale of a life chaotically shambolically lived.
- Yes! – 50 ways to be scientifically persuasive (Goldstein, Martin, Cialdini) – A ‘tip book’ designed to provide you with tools so you can become more persuasive.
- Glass (Alex Christofi) – A comic tale set in London with some nice touches but seems to end too soon.
- Contagious (Jonah Berger) – Do you ever wonder how things catch on? This book will give you a decent insight.
- Lucky Jim (Kingsley Amis) – An articulate, amusing read about a man trying to do the right thing in the wrong place.
- The Husband (Dean Koontz) – Whilst not a Koontz classic…’the husband’ is still an entertaining page turner about a man called Mitch fighting for his life.
- The Tools (Stitz & Michaels) – A book which whilst interesting was a tad too reliant on spiritual explanations for my particular tastes.
- Ouch! (Paul Knott) – A well written, insightful and practical book about the world of money…although sometimes overly cynical in it’s nature.
- Made to Stick (Chip and Dan Heath) – A great insightful tome into why some ideas stick…and why many don’t.
- Kung Fu Trip (Benjamin Zephaniah) – A ‘short read’ tells the entertaining story of the poets journey to the far east.
- Reasons to stay alive (Matt Haig) – A candid insight into one mans mental health challenges…and what he does to cope…both a fascinating and incredible read!
- A god in ruins (Kate Atkinson) – A compelling novel which explores complex ideas (including playing with time) in an entertaining way.
- A Journey (Tony Blair) – A fascinating and at nearly 700 pages a very substantial insight into the life of one of the most popular and controversial political figures of the late 20th and early 21st century (so far).
- The Sandman (ETA Hoffman) – A 19th century take on an even older fable. Not one of my favourite books but worth 80p (it’s one of the ‘little black classics’ series) and an hour of your time.
- The tell tale heart (Edgar Allen Poe) – Three short stories from the troubled but talented mind of Edgar Allen Poe. Gothic fiction at it’s best.
- Good to great (Jim Collins) – A useful insight into what makes some businesses good and other great. It’s received some criticism in recent years but still some useful insights in the book.
- Ten days (Gillian Slovo) – A novel based around a fictional London riot with Machiavellian politicians, a protective mum and a policeman trying to cope with the chaos. Well worth a read.
- Hooked(Nir Eyal) – A fascinating insight into how to build make a businesses product and services more ‘addictive’…in an ethical way of course!
- London – a travel guide through time (Dr Matthew Green) – A journey through Victorian, Georgian, Medieval and Blitz Ridden London with fascinating insights into London of long ago.
- I am Pilgrim (Terry Hayes) – An epic, rip roaring, action packed novel about two opposing forces…The Saracen and The Pilgrim. One of my favourite novels of the year.
- How the Whale got his throat (Ruyard Kipling) – A short story full of colourful beautifully poetic language.
- Love of Live (Bert Wolfe) – A story of one mans battle against nature, the elements but most of all himself.
- The Bet (Anton Checkhov) – This story tries to answer a question…”Would you swap your freedom for a whole lot of money?”
- A curious man (Neal Thompson) – The fascinating story of adventurer, cartoonist and entrepreneur Mr Robert Ripley. A story of a life well lived.
- Social class in the 21st century (Mark Savage) – An interesting look at modern day class. A well researched insight into how we see class and how definitions have changed throughout the years.
- When to Rob a bank (Levitt & Dubner) – A selection of blogs from the writers of Freakanomics. An entertaining read…
- Mindware (Richard Nisbett) – A book which ‘does which it says on the tin’…provides a bunch of tools designed to help you ‘think smarter’.
- Bad Pharma (Ben Goldacre) – A book which shines a light on the questionable practices of the pharmaceutical industry. Well worth a read…
- Knife Edge (Malorie Blackman) – Alternative reality novel where white is black and black is white. A tragic tale of misunderstanding provides an interesting insight into the nature of race.
- The alchemist (Paulo Coelho) – A book with fans. I’m not one of them. I didn’t find it to be insightful even if on occasion it is well told.
- The girl who saved the kind of Sweeden (Jonas Jonasson) – A darkly funny, fantastically ridiculous book which is ambitious in scale and scope but with a laser sharp wit.
- Black box thinking (Matthew Syed) – A timely reminder of the importance of admitting to mistakes and constantly trying to improve.
- The financial wellbeing book (Chris Budd) – A book jam packed full of useful financial tips with a particular focus on using money to improve wellbeing.
- Gaudi biography – An interesting insight into the Catalonian Architect particular his work in Park Guell and on the building many consider his masterpiece…the Segrada Familia.
- Talking to strangers (Peter Rosengard) – The real life story of a ‘life insurance salesman’ like no other. From turning breakfast into a lifestyle, to managing bands and running the comedy store it’s far to say Peter Rosengard has had a life well lived.
- The Fog (James Herbert) – A book which starts with an Earthquake…and then gets more exciting! A fine piece of work from one of the UK’s greatest horror writers.
- Homo Deus (Yuval Noah Harari) – Full of facts (the ‘history of laws’ is a corker!) and the book makes a compelling argument for the importance of big data and how we will continue to ‘outsource’ so much of our lives. Almost as good as the authors first book…Sapiens.
- The Long Earth (Baxter and Pratchett) – Whilst this book should have been ideal for me with both an interesting concept and being half penned by discworld author Terry Pratchett…If I’m being frank I found it a little bit dull.
- Animal Farm (George Orwell) – Orwell writes simply and powerfully about communism using a fable about animals on a farm. An absolute classic.
- This is London (Ben Judah) – A fascinating insight into some of Londons most untold stories. From cleaners, builders and sex workers. Paints a dark picture of my home town with the odd glimmer of hope but is well worth reading.
- Scared of something different (Keith Churchouse) – A surprisingly honest book where Keith shares why and how he continues to innovate his business and the challenges he has faced in this journey.
- High Rise (J G Ballard) – A decent dystopian novel about an East London tower block where society breaks down bit by bit.
- The Paradox of choice (Barry Schwartz) – We all want choice but sometimes choice is overwhelming. Schwartz explores this paradox and some of the techniques you can use to cope with too much choice.
- On Writing (Stephen King) – It’s simple. If you write and you’re interested in writing you should read this book.
- Habit Stacking (SJ Scott) – It’s not a classic…but might be worth a read to improve on some of your habits
- The great fire of London (Samuel Pepys) – Excepts from the diary of Pepys which provides an interesting insight into both the Plague and the great fire of London.
- The automatic millionaire (David Bach) – A book which explains how building wealth over time is best done when many of the actions you need to take are done automatically.
- Socrates Defence (Plato) – When Socrates defends himself his words are an example of great oratory and an insight into the mind of one of the fathers of western philosophy.
- The Trial (Franz Kafka) – A darkly amusing book about a man who finds himself stuck in a world of bureaucratic confusion.
I’ve enjoyed reviewing every book I’ve read in 2016…it was an interesting experience which made me think about what I learned or gained from each book. In 2017, and as I write my 2nd book, I think I’m going to go back to the odd ad hoc review as appropriate with a recap on my favourites at the end of the year.
However what I’m interested in hearing is what you’ve read in 2016…and what you’re intending to read in 2017.
I look forward to hearing from you!