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My favorite books of 2019

December 31, 2019


This past year I read (and listened to!) more books than ever. Here are my favorites:

Trevor Noah - Born A Crime

The host of The Daily Show writes about his childhood in South Africa during Apartheid. While fascinating and even a bit educational, this is possibly the funniest book I’ve ever read.

David Epstein - Range

Reading Range felt empowering, the same way I remember Dan Pink’s Drive having felt back a few years ago. Its premise is that generalists are often able to make use of their past experiences in new domains, and it’s never too late to acquire new skills. It’s packed with interesting tales and anecdotes of both specialists and generalists, including late bloomers. I want to believe!

John Scalzi - Old Man’s War

John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First he visited his wife’s grave. Then he joined the army.

A great, light sci-fi war story. Made me laugh and care for the characters. I understood this was originally meant to be a single book, but turned out into a six-book series.

Lori Gottlieb - Maybe You Should Talk To Someone

Lori Gottlieb has a background writing for Hollywood, and it shows. This book is both really well composed, as well as a super interesting peek into the human condition. The author tells what it’s like to be a shrink in Los Angeles (as well as a client of one), and tells heartwarming stories from her actual patients.

There were some other really good ones as well, and many of those for quite varying reasons. Educated was raw, Subscribed and The Mom Test insightful, Creativity, Inc. fascinating. I’m yet to finish Refactoring UI, but it’s a brilliant piece of work for anyone doing web development.

More in my Goodreads account.