2016 Year in Review

2016-year-in-reviewBook Survey Hosted by Perpetual Page Turner


  • # of Books Read: 73 (see Book List)
  • # of Pages Read: 23,441
  • # of Re-Reads: 6
  • Genre You Read the Most: Business


1. Best book you read in 2016?

The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver

2. Book you were excited about & thought you were going to love, but didn’t?

Good Profit by Charles Koch

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read? 

This Will Make You Smarter edited by John Brockman

This book is full of vignettes from a bunch of incredibly smart people. However, I was surprised that so many of them struggled with simplifying complex information. That is quite an important skill, but many of the authors were impeded by either their own hubris or “the curse of knowledge” of not being able to simplify the message they wanted to convey.

4. Book you “pushed” the most people to read (and they did) in 2016?

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

5. Best series you started in 2016?

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Remarkably, I had never read this series before. I tried reading The Hobbit a couple times when I was younger, but I couldn’t get past the flowery language and dense writing style. It took me about 100 pages or so until I really started to get into The Fellowship of the Ring, but now I’m hooked and excited to finish the series in early 2017. I’m reading The Two Towers right now.


6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2016?

Ryan Holiday

I read Trust Me, I’m Lying by Holiday back in 2013 and wasn’t very impressed. However, this year I stumbled upon a snippet from Holiday’s new book Ego is the Enemy and immediately ordered the book. That book and The Obstacle is the Way are both amazing. I look forward to reading future books by Holiday.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston with Mario Spezi

I don’t read many true crime books, but I’m glad I made an exception for this one. As a fan of the Hannibal television series, it was fascinating to hear about the real-life killer who motivated Thomas Harris to create the character Hannibal.

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

9. Book you read in 2016 which you are most likely to re-read next year?

Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016?

The Star Wars Trilogy (Barnes & Noble leather bound edition)


11. Most memorable character from a book you read in 2016?

Captain Nemo from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2016?

Candide by Voltaire

Honestly, I wasn’t a huge fan of the book as a whole–perhaps because I listened to it on audio and didn’t take enough time to fully process the story. Regardless, it was well-written and I like Voltaire’s sarcastic writing style.

13. Most thought-provoking/life-changing book of 2016?

Mindset by Carol Dweck

Dweck reveals mind-blowing research about the power of having a “growth mindset” as opposed to a “fixed” one. The implications of her studies are vast–spanning education, parenting, coaching, and managing. Her research is also the foundation behind some other books I love like Grit by Angela Duckworth.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited until 2016 to finally read? 

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, as mentioned above

15. Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2016?

I have several:

“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.” -Albert Einstein

“As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance.” -John Wheeler

“I’ve never really viewed myself as particularly talented. Where I excel is ridiculous, sickening work ethic.” -Will Smith

16. Shortest and longest book you read in 2016?

Shortest: Candide by Voltaire (94 pages)

Longest: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (870 pages)

17. Favorite book you read in 2016 from an author you’ve read previously?

Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed

18. Best book you read in 2016 which was based SOLELY on a recommendation from somebody else/peer pressure?

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

My buddy Ben recommended this book to me earlier this year and the book was absolutely incredible. Ready Player One will be turned into a movie directed by Steven Spielberg in 2018. If the movie is half as good as the book, it will attract a lot of fans.


19. Best debut you read in 2016?

The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver

20. Best world-building/most vivid setting you read this year?

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

21. Book which put a smile on your face/was most FUN to read?

 Holes by Louis Sachar


22. Book which made you cry or nearly cry in 2016?

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany

23. Hidden gem of the year? 

The Fallout by S.A. Bodeen

S.A. Bodeen is one of my favorite YA authors. She has written several great books like The Compound and The Gardner. She has several other novels in publication, so I plan to check out more of her work in 2017.

24. Book which crushed your soul? 

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

25. Most unique book you read in 2016?

Fix It: Getting Accountability Right [Advance Copy] by Roger Connors, Tom Smith, Craig Hickman, Tracy Skousen, and Marcus Nicolls

This book is unique in that it gives so many actionable solutions for improving accountability in your personal life, team, and organization. It reads almost like a “choose your own adventure” book. You select areas of personal struggle, then turn to the part of the book that contains possible solutions for that issue.

26. Book which made you angry (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

The Smartest Guys in the Room by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind

This book depicts the tale of Enron’s spectacular fall. The arrogance, dishonesty, and corruption embodied by Ken Lay, Jeffrey Skilling, and the rest of Enron’s motley crew are sickening.


27. One book you didn’t read in 2016 but will be a top priority in 2017?

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

My friend Hunter recommended this book to me earlier this year, and I just picked up a copy. I’ll be reading it as one of my first books of 2017.