100 Book Goal For 2011

January1

January 2011
*131 for the year!

1. Travels in Siberia by Ian Frazier. A very interesting and very long book about a writer’s obsession with all things Siberia. Pretty interesting book, not quite as exciting as most travel books I read but very descriptively written!

2. Elantris by Brandon Sanderson. Brandon is a great writer and I believe this is his first published book, an entertaining story, and you can see some raw writing that has become a lot more polished. Good read.

3. The Way Of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. I’ve read a lot of books by Brandon Sanderson, in fact I read his first published book prior to this one and it is amazing, absolutely amazing, how much better he has gotten considering how great he was to start. The Way of Kings is his latest book and it is mind blowingly awesome, it starts a little slow and disjointed as it introduces a wide range of characters in different areas but by halfway it is flowing, building the characters up and keeping you on the edge of your seat with political intrigue, war, and internal strife. I was so sad when I finished and realized that this 10 part series has just began and I’m going to have to wait another year for the next one, but I’m so excited to have 9 more to look forward too over the next 10 years. Plus give that the first one is 1,344 pages, I’m hoping that means the others will be as full of life!

4. The Crown Conspiracy by Michael Sullivan. This was a nice 99 cent book for my Kindle and it wasn’t too bad, it was kinda a buddy cop movie but fantasy based. Not good enough for me to buy the next one, but I think if you are younger its a good one.

5. Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson. Man he is such a genius at interesting systems of power and stories around those. This was a good book, the one thing I didn’t like is that it felt like it ended too soon, maybe he got tired of it. Still a fantastic read! I also felt a little betrayed, as I really liked the two merc characters…

6. Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie – I was a big fan of his First Law trilogy, it was just so different in terms of being very dark with no happy endings. Unfortunately this book is way too dark, and impossible to enjoy, the entire story is about vengeance and people who make mistakes and never learn. In fact the thesis of the entire book seems to be that people are always the same, and just when you think they are a better person they stab you in the back. Finished it but I wouldn’t recommend this one.

February 2011

7. At Home: A Short History Of Private Life by Bill Bryson. This was an amazing amazing book and I need to read every book by Bill Bryson. Ever wondered how the modern house came to be? Read this, plus a ton of other amazing little sub stories. Learned so much!

8. Gardens of the Moon – Malazan Book Of the Fallen Book 1 – I wanted to love this book but I cold not and that makes me sad. Even at 70% of completion of a 600+ page book I was confused about characters, it finally came together at the end but it was still confusing. The universe was just too foreign. Sad too as I really need a fantasy series that is long running to burn through. Some people might like this one so if you like lord of the rings, or authors who can’t write you might check this out.

9. Medici Effect: What Elephants and Epidemics Can Teach Us About Innovation – A really interesting book but a lot of stuff I’ve already heard about because of TED talks and startup news. Basically covers a lot of topics on how we generate ideas, why intersections among fields are so important, and a lot more. Good book for those interested in how ideas and businesses are born and how they can learn to be a better brain stormer.

10. Zodiac by Neal Stephenson. A book about environmental action and a new chemical that is appearing in Boston harbor. Not bad, basically just a well written thriller.

11. Omnitopia Dawn: Omnitopia #1 by Diane Duane. An awesome awesome book and one of my favorites this year. It is all about a massive online game in the near future, some corporate espionage, and just a great story. Highly recommended! Especially for people who want to know why so many people play massive online games.

12. The Elephant and the Dragon: The Rise Of India and China and what it means for all of us. A good book that did a good job of balancing both opinions and showing both the bad and the good. I’m pretty familiar with a lot of the growth story behind China and found the info on Inda very useful. I see a lot of possibilities for India and I think long term it might grow faster then China as a lot of instability starts to hit China.

13. 14. Quarter Share and Half Share by Nathan Lowell. I think these are great books for younger people but I got a bit tired and called it quits on the series after two. They are just a bit two happy without any real strife. Plus it seems like this guy is a genius even though they go to great links to make him seem normal. Not bad though and I’d recommend them to 10 to 16 year olds.

15. Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China by Leslie T. Chang. – This book is a must read for those interested in China and what competition the USA faces down the road. The story is just amazing of what these girls are doing on their own, it is creating a generation of hustler entrepeneurs out of framers. I can’t wait to see what they do next as more opportunities become available to them and what happens with their children. A huge cultural and economic shift, just a crazy story, I wonder if India has similar going on or more constrained due to the culture. Props to Peter Hessler for finding someone who writes as well as him too.

March

16. Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay. An ok book but not great, interesting idea and maybe aimed at a younger audience. I loved his other book Under Heaven, so I’ll have to try another one at some point.

17. The Wise Man’s Fear: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day Two by Patrick Rothfuss – Book 2 of a series I’ve been waiting on, just amazing story telling and a great story. One of my favorite series thus far and I can’t wait for the next one. Highly recommended!

18. Blind Descent: The Quest to Discover the Deepest Place on Earth. An awesome book about extreme caving, I love caving and although I only get to do it every few years it was a great read.

19. The Mesh: Why The Future Of Business Is Sharing. A bit overrated but interesting read, sometimes I think people write as if they want a revolution when its just an avenue for some businesses that is now possible.

20. Bitten By Spain: Renovating a Finca in Murcia. A very interesting read with a lot of local exp of Spain.

21. The Miracle Great overview of the Asian economic miracle during the 1980s, and comparing that to India/China and others today. Lot’s of case studies and good stuff. Recommended.

22. The Six-Month Fix: Adventures in Rescuing Failing Companies – An awesome book that I highly recommend, might be the best business book I’ve read in at least 6 months. I might read this one once a year to keep on track of the fundamentals.

23. Sailing to Sarantium: Book One of the Sarantine Mosaic – A good book written by an author who did another book I loved. This one is far better then his last I read. It is basically a Roman history story with a new history and some alchemy. I’m going to read the next one too. The main character has red hair so I have to love that!

24. The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie. I didn’t like the last book he wrote as it was just too dark but this one was amazing! The entire book is one huge battle and just really well done, dark as always!

25. A Dead Bat In Paraguay: One Man’s Peculiar Journey Through South America – Ok read but kinda sad, guy was so focused on sex it’s just sad. There are other things in life, kinda a depressing read as guy doesn’t seem to enjoy any of his travels

26. Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools – A really entertaining book about two British people retiring to a small village in Spain. It made me laugh out loud several times, great read!

27. Lord of Emperors: Book Two of the Sarantine Moasiac – A pretty good series but not one I would strongly recommend. Guy Kay is good but for some reason after the first book I read of his the rest didn’t seem as good. The characters are just a little too flat for my liking. Beautiful story though.

28. The Passage: A Novel – The author has written a pretty cool sci fi book that makes vampires real through a gentic mutation found in the amazon etc. Not a bad story but I hated the ending.

29. The Second Ship – The Rho Agenda Book 1 – Entertaining but I’m not going to continue this series as it was just a little too kiddish. Good for boys and girls who like sci fi and are under 16 though. Short summary is the kids get super human abilities through a crashed space ship while another crashed ship does the same but to what appear to be bad guys. NSA is involved, area 51, etc.

April

30. A Discovery of Witches – Blah, not great but long. Started cool and then turned bogus.

31. Me, Myself, and Paris – Total waste of time, super short, stupid stories and just really bad. I don’t know how this got such good ratings!

32. I’ll Never Be French (no matter what I do) – This was a great book and cool to learn about the coast of Brittany. Just a nice fun travel/memoir book.

33. Darkfever – Book 1 in a series that starts with a murder in Ireland and has all this mythology pulled in from the wee island. Think Harry Potter but a bit older and more drama, I’m going to stick with the series because its fun.

34. 35. 36. 37. Bloodfever, Faefever, Dreamfever, and Shadowfever. I read these so quick it was scary, they were fun and a great read. The ending was absolutely fantastic, and although I guessed a key plot turn it was fantastic. I highly recommend them!

38. I’m a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After 20 Years Away – Another fantastic book from Bill Bryson, it basically is a bunch of columns he wrote about coming back to live in the USA after living in England. As hilarious as always.

39. The Search for God and Guinness – An interesting book on the history of the Guinness family. Great story!

40. Mediterranean Summer: A Season on France’s Cote d’Azur and Italy’s Costa Bella – The story of a cook/chef and his 5 year journey cooking for a super rich couple on a yacht. Interesting read and well written.

41. A Castle in the Backyard: The Dream of a House in France – A great book, if not a little dated, about living in france.

42. French Lessons: Adventures with Knife, Fork, and Corkscrew – An awesome book about traveling around and living in France and going to all these different food festivals! I highly recommend it, covered things like eating truffles, cheeses, a wine marathon, and a lot more!

May

43. Girls of Riyadh – Amazing book and one of the best so far this year. Reveals what it is like for 4 girls/women living in Saudia Arabia. What a fucked up place to be human.

44. The Thank You Economy – Another great book by Gary V, one of my favs! Talks about the importance of good customer support and being active in social media!

45. The Wall: Rome’s Greatest Frontier – This was the first non kindle book I’ve read in a while, it reminded me why I like the kindle :). Great book about Hadrian’s Wall and the history of why it got built, and all sorts of historical tips. Great read! I’m thinking of doing a walk along this at some point!

46. A Dance of Cloaks – Pretty solid fantasy book, but just not feeling it. So skipping sequels or others by the author for now.

47. Courage and Croissants – A great book about a family moving to France, I liked this one as talks about a lot of the problems in the USA in terms of time/money.

48. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms – Good fantasy book, basically about a trinity of gods who are trapped by one of them and their desire to escape. Easy to read, but characters feel a bit flat. Probably won’t read the next one.

49. The Adamantine Palace: The Memory of Flames, Book I – A good fantasy book, but not sure I’ll read the next one, maybe at another time. Basically it’s about the politics of a group of kingdoms, and the overall plot involving dragons and alchemists gaining control over them. Good story.

50. Origins – Spinward Fringe – A solid sci fi book at a great price (free). Its the first in a big series but I just can’t get past some of the bad dialogue, don’t let that dissuade you. It’s a fantastic book and well written, just not for me.

51. The Half Made World – A weird world about a wild west populated by giant steam powered demon machines fighting against cowboys with weapons powered by demons. Pretty cool but the ending absolutely sucked! I’ve been on a bad non-fiction run.

52. The Faraway Horses – An amazing book about a “horse whisperer”, really amazing guy and great story about his life.

53. Born to Run – One of the best book’s I’ve read this year! About running barefoot, a tribe in Mexico and so on. I highly recommend it, written very well!

54. A Walk In The Woods Another awesome book by Bill Bryson, hilarious laugh out loud as the author and a friend hike the Appalachian trail.

June

55. The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir – Bill Bryson’s store of his child hood, hilarious as always!

56. The Numerati – A very interesting book on how much data is being collected on us, how it’s being used, concerns, and so on.

57. SuperVirus – The first 80% of the book is an awesome cyber theory and pretty entertaining, then it goes bat shit insane with talking apes, and other craziness. Decent read, highly recommend if you tend to do shrooms during the last 40 pages of a book.

58. Committed – The follow up to Eat, Pray, Love. I really liked this book, good read!

59. The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry – A very interesting book I read in one night. Learn how to test for psychopaths and why they might be some of the leaders in the business and political community. Fun read by the same guy that wrote Men Who Stare at Goats. Fascinating!

60. The Monk and the Riddle: The Art of Creating a Life While Making a Living – Fantastic book, highly recommended.

61. The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World by Niall Ferguson. A great book with a lot of great examples, I learned a lot!

62. Super Crunchers – A decent book about all the metrics and crunching we are doing now.

63. Corporate Canaries: Avoid Business Disasters with a Coal Miner’s Secrets – A fantastic book by a guy I like, good stuff.

July

64. 65. 66. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest – I started reading these on Friday at the beach, it is now Sunday and I’m done with all 3. They are fucking fantastic, it is like someone combined the best of Law and Order SVU with hacking. Just fantastic writing, great plot lines, and the best thrillers I’ve read in a really long time. Usually I find books this popular suspect but awesome to see people appreciating something so good.

67. Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All Night Runner – Awesome book that I read in a few hours cause I just couldn’t put it down!

68. Rule 34 by Charles Stross – I was really looking forward to this one as one of his past books was just amazing. This one was absolute suck though. No central characters, and most of the characters were just depressing hunks of skin. Plus it seemed to even lack a central theme. Super super disappointed.

69. Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy: Heir to the Empire: Star Wars Volume 1 – The gold standard of star wars books, I’ve read it before but decided to exp the books again. As awesome as always, highly recommended.

70. Robopocalypse – Awesome book! All told from a survivor of the robot wars of the future, destined to be shot into a movie, highly entertaining and an interesting look at everything.

71. 72. 73. Heir to the Empire, Star Wars: The Thawn Trilogy: Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command. The best of the series that follows what happens after Return of the Jedi. Amazing amazing books that need to be movies, and not the shit they made with 1, 2, and 3.

74. Spin – A solid science fiction book about a mysterious enclosure that sets upon earth and regulates our planet’s eco system. But also speeds up time space around earth… Great book! I’m not sure if I will read the sequel but I might.

75. The Lies of Locke Lamora – An awesome book and one of the best fantasy books this year. It basically tells the story of a thief and how he came to be, while telling the story of their current planned heist. Really well done and on my way to order the sequel.

76. Red Seas Under Red Skies – The sequel to number 75 and a great book. It was a little weird that he used the same story telling method of intertwining stories from different times in the story but oh well. I’ll probably pick up the next one when it comes out.

77. Leviathan Wakes – A scifi mystery, very good and I’m looking for the sequel now. It’s about a et intelligience that was meant to be sent to earth billions of years ago but got stuck on Saturn, and then earth/mars finding it… Space opera genre.

78. Odyssey One – A classic huge space opera book, good stuff, a little slow at times and cliche but still enjoyable. I’ll probably pick up the sequel when it comes out later. Basic premise is that faster then light travel is discovered, they build one ship, and on their first mission find human colonies other places…

79. Giants Lost Civilizations: 1 – An interesting book about some of the stories about fallen angels, their children, and the men who roamed the lands at that time. Biblical based, I think I’ll grab the next one but I’m not sure as it was pretty short and basic.

80. 2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America. Not a bad book, some interesting stuff but also pretty out there. Just to give you a glimpse, part of the book is about the USA selling China LA.

81. The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean. This was an awesome awesome book and one of the best so far this year. This is about big wave surfing and big big wave surfing, amazing amazing read and loved it!

August

82. Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows – I reread this in one day, just amazing amazing books, some of the best I’ve ever read. I’m so sad the story is over.

83. Run!: 26.2 Stories of Blisters and Bliss – Not a bad book but kinda weird, just some random stories and I don’t think I knew what I was getting into. I wouldn’t recommend, only about 4 to 10 of the stories were of use unless you just wanted to learn about Dean. I was more looking for training and running stories.

84. Machine Man – A great sci fi book about a person trying to become a machine. Entertaining read!

September

85. Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life – A very interesting book by an awesome writer. Hard to put down while at the same time annoying because he is afraid of everything. Basically about Neil’s 7 year quest to get a second passport and survive if society breaks down. It has a great ending though, and I really like what he ended up becoming.

86. 87. and 88. Hounded, Hexed, and Hammered. Awesome fun books I highly recommend! Basically imagine all the religions and gods of the world do exist, on multiple planes, with earth being a place they can all jump into. This follow a very cool 1000 year old Druid character living in Arizona and having gods mess with him.

89. and 90. Siege of Titan – Star Crusaders Book 1 and Tears of Kerberos. Books 1 and 2, they were ok but couldn’t go further as just were not good enough.

91. Wired – An ok book about splicing stuff into your DNA to live forever, or get super smart. Really really stupid frustrating ending, why do people think you can just have a complete 180 and the lead character realizes everything in one moment. Stupid.

92. Washington: The Making of the American Capital – Good book, very very interesting especially how the decision to put DC where it is was because of slavery.

92. The Plain Man – I loved the previous 2 books but this one was just not great, I couldn’t visualize anything, the writing was hectic, and the characters not reintroduced very well. Plus just a very hectic confusing plot that wasn’t laid out well.

October

93. The Forever War – A decent read and good sci fi book. About a war between planets, some cool time concepts and so on.

94. Horns: A Novel – This was a horror book and I tried it as I heard good thing but it sucked. Just a long horrific story with a shitty ending. Avoid.

95. Vampires, Werewolves, Zombies: Compendium Monstrum – Short and fun!

96, 97, 98, 99. The Sharing Knife Beguilement, Legacy, Sharing Knife, and Horizon. An amazing fantasy series that is heavy on the romance that I highly recommend. Best thing I’ve read in a while.

100. Good to Great: Why some companies make the leap… and others don’t. I’m glad this book was my 100th book this year, it was fantastic and I’m a huge fan of Jim Collins (read his last book last year). This stuff is pure gold in what it makes you think about. Highly recommended.

101. The Spirit Ring – A good book by an author I like, a short one and not too bad, if you only read 10 books this year skip this one as the sharing knife series was better. Fantasy, some cool concepts.

102. The Hallowed Hunt – Another book by Lois, unfortuntly I didn’t know this one was 3 in a series of 3, which explains why I felt lost. Seems decent but still couldn’t get a clear vision of it all. Fantasy with some very cool concepts.

103. Reamde: A Novel – Not a bad cyber thriller, fun read but only if you like some weak hacking/mmopg gold smuggle stuff.

Went on vacation so read all the below on a beach!

104. The Black Prism – A great fantasy book with a light based magic system, highly recommended and one of the best I’ve read this year. I can’t wait for the next one to come out.

105. Camoflage – This was a really cool science fiction book about two aliens that landed here, are immortal basically and how they view humanity and proceed through time. Good read and very different from anything else I’ve ever read.

106. The Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope – What an amazing man with the luck of timing, this book was fantastic and I hope we get another FDR soon so we can rewrite the social contract a bit more.

107. Declare – A religious thriller involving fallen angels which I find fascinating. This book was decent, a little too much jump but still very entertaining.

108. Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World – A good book but a bit too full of fear for me.

109. In Great Waters – A book about merman, mer people, and so on. Not too bad but wouldn’t recommend it.

110. Brazil on the Rise – Fantastic book that covered a wide range of the growth Brazil has exp, as well as history. Well written.

111. Travels in a Thin Country: A Journey Through Chile – I’ve been picking up books on Latin American when I can as I plan my trip. This was an interesting one, I leaned a lot about Chile!

112. Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men – Wow! Super super interesting, I’m going to write a full post on this one.

113. The Gunslinger – Book 1 of the Dark Tower – Unfortunately I didn’t like it, couldn’t get a clear view of what was going on from the writing.

114. Taming Fire Just couldn’t get into it, not reading the sequel. It was just a plain fantasy book and didn’t feel like much really happened. Plus if anyone can get strong by infusing themselves with Dragon Blood why wouldn’t it sell like hot cakes on the market.

115. Moneyball – The movie is fantastic too and I highly recommend this book to anyone, even if you don’t care about baseball. Just a really interesting approach to solving a problem.

116. Africa Rising: How 900 Million African Consumers Offer More Than You Think – A thought provoking book but one that I think skipped a lot of huge problems. I also didn’t mesh with the writing style, I think this type of book is better left to an expat who has lived in the country and has real examples and not case study bits of wisdom…

117. The Kinshield Legacy Book 1 – A fantasy book, it was fun but also frustrating. Not reading the next one.

118. Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big – An awesome book!

119. Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries – Another good one, bit wordy with some weird examples but still solid.

120. Sun of Suns – A cool concept for a steampunk style universe but the writing style was not clear enough. Was like trying to watch a movie with everything blurry.

121. Just Run – A short incredibly simple thriller. No point in reading it, they survive. And they don’t seem to run much, mostly driving. Tons of plot holes too.

122. The Turnaround Kid: What I Learned Rescuing America’s Most Troubled Companies – A good read about an interesting man.

123. The Corner Office: Indispensable and Unexpected Lessons from CEOs on How to Lead and Succeed – An awesome book and one I hope to read again in a few years, very helpful!

124. Blood of Requiem – A cool concept, I mean who doesn’t want to turn into a dragon? That said it was not a great book and frustrating with plot holes or lack of explanation on why Dragons can kill so many griffins. Not reading the sequel.

*Vacation over here. So I managed to read a lot of books!

November
*None, was slowly reading a few and just taking a break after the crazy last month. Plus spent some time on video games and traveling.

December

125. Freedom from Command and Control: Rethinking Management for Lean Service – Interesting book on a management though, how to delivery service, and loads of other stuff. More a text book, learned a lot, lots of great ideas, and need to read it 3 or 4 more times over the next couple years.

126. Business Model Generation – I’ve been working on this book for the last 8 weeks on and off, love it and one of the best business oriented books this year. A lot of this I’ve learned to do myself but the book is great in sparking new ideas, reading studies of how others have applied different business models, etc. Huge fan of what they are doing.

127. First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently – Another of the best business books I have read this year, learned a lot and will reread it often over the coming years. Super valuable!

128. Eyewitness Travel Argentina – I grab these as they have great pictures and big picture views of the countries. Plus I can usually make a list of 20 to 40 things that sound super interesting in those areas and then research them future. Good reads before you get somewhere, but not useful when you are there too much.

129. Eyewitness Travel Chile/Easter Island – Ditto on above.

130. Machu My Picchu – A short travelogue about Peru and some other places by this crazy Israeli girl. Fun read but not what I was expecting.

131. Out of Mao’s Shadow – An amazing book that I highly recommend that gives a full complete picture of China and their government, both the pros and a lot of cons. It shows how terrible corruption is, problem with rural, movements to change internal policy, and highlights a lot of amazing people who stood up to the government.

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This is bwb’s personal blog so he can share his thoughts with the world, however scary or silly they might be. Plus family and friends can track what I am up too, and where I am in the world.

I am pretty simple. I love Mangos. I love the ocean, although mostly at sunset as I’m a ginger. I love to travel, eat exotic food, read, and use my imagination. I love creating and developing ideas into businesses, understanding how all businesses work, and building cool stuff. I am a globalist and see the entire world as my responsibility and playground. And, I am married to an amazing woman who makes life even more fun :)! And, we are now the proud parents of Calico Jack :).


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