2018 Book Summary.


God, I love reading… it is the best :). Since 2010 I’ve taken part in a yearly challenge to read 100 books. For 2018 I read 170 books! This is a new record versus my all-time high of 157 in 2017. It helps when you are not working full time until late in the year and you have a nice long solo vacation :).

83% of the books I read were fun books, and 17% were serious. Toward the end of the year, I started reading a lot more people analytics and business books.

I do a big book summary each year too, if you want to take a look at past years for some reading ideas check them out here: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. So what are my top books of the year?

If you only read 3 books this year I recommend the following:

1. The #1 book of the year is the 6 book series starting with Killer of Men. This is historical fiction based in Greece around 600 BCE and follows the fate of a 12-year-old boy named Arimnestos from Plateau. Arimnestos is an actual historical figure who led the Plataean contingent at the battle of Marathon during the Greco-Persian war and the author builds a backstory around him. I can not stress enough how AMAZING BALLS this book is. I cried a lot and part of the genius of the story is it is him as an old man telling his daughter the story of his life (and, during a key moment in western civilization). You watch him grow up from age 12 to ~40 and the author does such an amazing job with the emotional and intellectual changes as he gets older. It really resonated with my own growth and age. Miles Cameron is an amazing writer who can create a character you love so much you delay reading the last book so you do not have to say goodbye to them. Last year he clinched the top spot with his Red Knight series… and I didn’t start this one for a long time because it was so hard to say goodbye to the characters I love in that one.

2. The Farseer Trilogy and Fool’s series clinch the silver this year. This is another amazing writer and this fantasy world is unique. Similar to Killer of Men you start with a kid and grow the character up over a ton of books until he has kids. I love that pattern as it is like reading about yourself growing up and very introspective at times. My only frustration is how TERRIBLE the main character is at his job of being an assassin (as well as the people around him). It gets better and makes more sense long-term, but it is a tad frustrating at first. Lots of tears in this one too.

3. Robert Crais’ detective series about LA detective Elvis Cole. I read them all and love them, fantastic character and great cases that leave you guessing. They will make you laugh out loud. I read them all on my bike ride in France.

After top 3 of the year, my fav 3 Science ficition / Fantasy / Historical Fiction:

1. The Tyrant series by my favorite author Christian Cameron. This is about 300 years after the Killer of Men series and focused on a brother/sister king/queen near Turkey around the time of Cassander, Ptolemy, and Antigonus. He just does characters so well. The siege of Rhodes was particularly gripping given I have been there.

2. The Throne of Glass series. It got muddled a bit at the end, but that said these were super entertaining HUGE fantasy books that had everything. The last one came out this year and it made for a great ending.

3. Cold Iron. This is book one of a new fantasy series by Miles Cameron. This is heavy fantasy with heavy politics and technical sword fights. Very good and I am looking forward to more…. The author is dominating the awards this year and last year :).

After top 3 of the year, my fav 3 *Real* Books:

1. I read a ton of B2B and lean development model books this year and the best two are Lean B2B: Build Products Businesses Want and The Lean Product Playbook: How to Innovate with Minimum Viable Products and Rapid Customer Feedback. Both of these books have been supremely helpful as I learn how to do customer dev interviews and try to find a better model to launch a business.

2. Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World’s Stolen Treasures. This is a fantastic book about the FBI’s lead art crime agent, a lot of great stories. I really enjoyed this one and super well written.

3. A lot of people have already read this, but Into Thin Air is a gripping read about a climbing disaster on Everest. Hard to read and you can feel the cold and death.

After top 3 of the year, my fav 3 Honorable Mentions:

I read a ton of sequels to books that have won awards in the past years, so I won’t mention those again.

1. Lucifer’s Hammer. This is a fantastic old-school sci-fi about a surprise comet strike on earth and the build-up and what happens after. It actually caused me a little anxiety that I am not prepared :), lol!

2. The Capitol Game – A good thriller about the corruption in the military industrial complex. Good read by an author who also has a series about a JAG lawyer that I read too.

3. Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em: Getting Good People to Stay. A really really good read. A lot of stuff that makes you say duh and wish every business owner had to read. Take away the dumb rules and make your people happier :)!

I leave you Matilda enjoying a good book.

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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 :).