2017 Reading List and Reviews

Published on 17 December 2017

I decided to put together a list of all the impactful books and articles I’ve read this year. Enjoy.


Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion — Sam Harris
This book was by the far the most illuminating read for me this year. I’d recommend it to anyone interested in meditation, science, philosophy, and/or critical thinking.

A Briefer History of Time — Stephen Hawking
I was interested in learning about physics earlier this year and I figured this would be a good place to start. It does a nice job of breaking down complex theories in a way most everyone can understand.

Ethics in the Real World — Peter Singer
My wife and I read this one together and it is another illuminating read. It’s composed of 82 short essays from Peter Singer that are bound to make you question and examine your beliefs about a wide array of controversial and philosophical issues. He discusses topics like climate change, animal rights, death, poverty, meaninglessness, etc.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life — Mark Manson
My wife and I listened to the audio version of this book on the drive back from our vacation in Boulder, CO this summer. The first two-thirds of the book is phenomenal, but I’d say the final one-third was fairly cliche self-help material. However, I’d still recommend it to fellow people pleasers.

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience — Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
We’ve all experienced “flow” in some capacity before. For me, I can remember playing rec league basketball with my close friends in college and losing all sense of time, worry, and anxiety. It was like we were part of the game itself. This book gives practical steps to achieve that flow-like state in other, every day life experiences.

Black Skin, White Masks — Frantz Fanon
This book opened my eyes to the psychological struggles that African Americans, African Europeans, etc, have endured throughout history. It exposed my ignorance and allowed me to see my privilege more clearly.

SOAR: The Breakthrough Treatment for Fear of Flying — Tom Bunn
I tend to get very anxious before and during flights. Seeing as how I have to travel 3-4 times a year, I decided to do something about it. This book (though, I only read two thirds of it) definitely helped me feel less anxious about flying.

Tools of Titans — Tim Ferris
My brother-in-law gifted me this book last Christmas and I’ve used it as more of a guide than anything else. It’s broken down into three sections: Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise. The book is packed with interesting stories and wisdom from amazing individuals.


The Tao of Seneca: Practical Letters from a Stoic Master (Vol.1) — Organized by Tim Ferris
I’ve only read a few of these letters, but they’ve all been deeply insightful and filled with loads of wisdom. Looking forward to reading more of these.

Nothing will change until you start building — Jonathan Z. White
This is just a good old fashioned kick in the butt to start doing whatever it is you want to do. If you want to build an app, start today–don’t procrastinate because you don’t know how to do it yet. Start with sketches, or watch a video on how to code. Just do something to get started.

This Simple Note-Taking Method Will Help You Read More (and remember what you’ve read) — Ryan Holiday
It’s fitting that an article explaining a better way to comprehend what you’ve read should be one of my favorite articles I’ve read this year. I’ve already started using this technique with my current book and will continue to try it next year.

Kindara: My First UX Case Study — Sarah Brokaw
Is it cheating to add an article my wife wrote? Never mind, I don’t care 🙃 Sarah worked so hard on this project and went into great detail explaining her process for her first ever UX case study.

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Hey, thanks for stopping by. My name is Jake and I'm a web designer and developer, but these blogs aren't always about those subjects. Enjoy! ✌️