Book Survey Hosted by Perpetual Page Turner
# of Books Read: 75
# of Pages Read: 25,322
# of Re-Reads: 8
Genre Read The Most: Business/Leadership
Note: The survey is for books read throughout the year, no matter when they were published. It is not limited to books that came out in 2017.
1. Best Book You Read in 2017?
Nonfiction: Perennial Seller by Ryan Holiday
This book is incredible. It motivated me to write more and strive to create work that will last for decades. This year Holiday became one of my favorite authors, and this book is one of the reasons why.
Fiction: Red Rising by Pierce Brown
I can confidently say the Red Rising trilogy is one of the best series I’ve ever read. I had been looking for another series to fill the void left after finishing books like Harry Potter, The Maze Runner, and The Hunger Games. Well, this one did the trick! Brown is actually releasing a fourth book on Jan. 16th, 2018. I already pre-ordered my copy and I can’t wait to read it!
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going to Love More But Didn’t?
Focus by Daniel Goleman
Shockingly, this book lacked focus. Goleman wandered through dozens of disjointed topics and struggled to assemble a cohesive argument. I was quite disappointed.
3. Most Surprising (in a Good Way or Bad Way) Book You Read?
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Although included in many “Top 100 Books of All Time” lists, this book was surprisingly bad. I had heard about Catch-22 for years, but never read it. This year, a few friends and I decided to read it together. I was the only one who finished it, and that was only through raw willpower. Heller’s writing oozes sarcasm, but that didn’t bother me as much as the unnecessary repetition. The book is about four times longer than it should be due to repetition of the same jokes and stories. Apparently, a lot of people out there enjoy this book, but I’m not one of them.
4. Book You “Pushed” the Most People to Read (and They Did)?
Principles by Ray Dalio
I love Dalio’s insistence that the only way to build a great business is by encouraging smart, independent thinkers to disagree with each other. Several friends checked out this book based upon my recommendation, and they also enjoyed the book.
5. Best Series You Started in 2017?
The Red Rising series by Pierce Brown
6. Favorite New Author You Discovered in 2017?
I loved her book Fierce Conversations. Now I need to read Scott’s other book Fierce Leadership.
7. Best Book from a Genre You Don’t Typically Read/Was Out of Your Comfort Zone?
The Two Towers (LOTR #2) by J.R.R. Tolkien
I don’t read many fantasy books. The mythical, long names of places and characters don’t whet my appetite. However, I knew I had to make an exception for one of the most epic series of all time: The Lord of the Rings. I read The Fellowship last year and knocked out the other two books this year. The books surpassed my expectations.
8. Most Action-Packed/Thrilling/Unputdownable Book of the Year?
It by Stephen King
King is my favorite fiction writer. And It is one of his best works. To me, this book surpasses The Shining, The Stand, and Carrie.
9. Book You Read in 2017 That You Are Most Likely to Re-Read Next Year?
Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg
A friend recommended this book to me, and it quickly became one of my favorite books on communication. I’ll definitely revisit this book soon.
10. Favorite Cover of a Book You Read in 2017?
11. Most Memorable Character of 2017?
Dracula from Bram Stoker’s iconic novel
Stoker creatively tells the entire story through journal entries from various characters and newspaper clippings that explain local reactions to the vampiric incidents. The character of Dracula is mysterious and horrifying. He is the perfect villain.
12. Most Beautifully Written Book Read in 2017?
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The Alchemist follows the story of a young shepherd boy who yearns to travel the world and become rich. The lessons he learns on his journey show him that he may very well be focused on the wrong things in life. Coelho’s book is inspiring, magical, and well-written. Check it out!
13. Most Thought-Provoking/Life-Changing Book of 2017?
Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg
This book changed the way I view conversations. My biggest takeaway was that no one can make you feel something. Others’ actions can be the catalysts of our emotions, but we need to own the emotion and recognize that we can choose how to respond to any given situation.
14. Book You Can’t Believe You Waited UNTIL 2017 to Finally Read?
Great by Choice by Jim Collins and Morten Hansen
Despite a couple recommendations from friends these past few years, I never prioritized Great by Choice in my reading list. That was a mistake. The book turned out to be one of my favorite reads of the year. Collins delivers his typical brilliance, and Hansen proves to be a promising up-and-comer in the business book scene.
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From a Book You Read in 2017?
From The Legacy of Steve Jobs by Fortune Magazine
“True to form, the shepherd to his Apple flock often teaches in parables. One such lesson could be called ‘The Difference Between the Janitor and the Vice President,’ and it’s a sermon Jobs delivers every time an executive reaches the VP level. Jobs imagines his garbage regularly not being emptied in his office, and when he asks the janitor why, he gets an excuse: The locks have been changed, and the janitor doesn’t have a key. This is an acceptable excuse coming from someone who empties trash bins for a living. The janitor gets to explain why something went wrong. ‘When you’re the janitor,’ Jobs has repeatedly told incoming VPs, ‘reasons matter.’ He continues: ‘Somewhere between the janitor and the CEO, reasons stop mattering.’ That ‘Rubicon,’ he has said, ‘is crossed when you become a VP.’”
From The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss
“Effectiveness is doing the things that get you closer to your goals. Efficiency is performing a given task (whether important or not) in the most economical manner possible. Being efficient without regard to effectiveness is the default mode of the universe…Two rules of effectiveness: (1) Doing something unimportant well does not make it important. (2) Requiring a lot of time does not make a task important.”
16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read in 2017?
Shortest: Designed to Go the Distance by Mitch Dowell (102 pages)
Longest: It by Stephen King (1,116 pages)
17. Book That Shocked You the Most?
The Four by Scott Galloway
Two things shocked me in this book:
(1) The sheer size of Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook (“the Four”) as described by Galloway. He shares a boatload of facts that elucidate why we should fear the size of these tech titans.
(2) Galloway’s vitriol toward “the Four” is unmatched. I was surprised at his level of distain for these four companies. Proponents of “the Four” say these companies have “played the game” of capitalism better than any others in the market. Galloway leads the tribe of dissenters who believe these companies are stifling competition and ruining business. Like most things, the truth probably lives somewhere between the two extremes.
18. Favorite Book You Read in 2017 from an Author You’ve Read Previously?
Perennial Seller by Ryan Holiday
19. Best Book You Read in 2017 that You Read Based SOLELY on a Recommendation from Somebody Else?
Red Rising by Pierce Brown
20. Best 2017 Debut You Read?
Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
Knight’s first foray into authorship produced one of my favorite books of the year. The Nike co-founder shares the struggles he faced when starting the iconic sports apparel company, including almost losing his company.
21. Best World-Building/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
Red Rising by Pierce Brown
Yup, Red Rising takes home another award. I can’t wait until this book is turned into a movie. The film version has been in the works for a while, but supposedly the production team is taking time to do justice to the world Brown created in the book. Brown is writing the screenplay and assisting on the movie.
22. Book that Put a Smile on Your Face/Was the Most FUN to Read?
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Almost everyone has seen the movie (the old or new version), but few people I know have read the book. Reading the book gave me the chance to experience the joy anew when Charlie unwrapped the chocolate bar containing that glorious golden ticket.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
24. Hidden Gem of The Year?
The Power of Moments by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
I am a huge fan of Chip and Dan Heath; I’ve read every one of their books. Despite not hearing much press about this book, I bought it on the strength of their past works. The Power of Moments dives into the science of memories: how they’re created, why we remember certain things rather than others, and what we can do to make events more memorable. This book is fascinating.
25. Most Unique Book You Read in 2017?
Deep Thinking by Garry Kasparov
Growing up, chess was my favorite hobby. I played for hours every day, “wrote” my own chess book (which was actually just a compilation of a bunch of chess openings I had read in other books), and was fortunate enough to win the state chess championship. Former world chess champion Garry Kasparov was one of my idols.
In Deep Thinking, Kasparov shares what was going through his mind when he faced the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue in the “man vs. machine” matches of 1996 and 1997. For those of you who think a book about a chess match would be horribly boring, you are quite mistaken. Kasparov uses the match as a springboard to discuss the development of AI and articulate the ways computers “think” differently than humans.
1. One Book You Didn’t Get to in 2017 But Will Be Your Top Priority in 2018?
The Upstarts by Brad Stone
Stone’s earlier book The Everything Store told the story of Jeff Bezos creating Amazon, forever changing the world of retail. Stone’s new book The Upstarts focuses on the new disrupters in business: Uber and Airbnb.
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating in 2018 (Non-Debut)?
Skin in the Game by Nassim Nicholas Taleb – Release Date: Feb 27, 2018
Taleb’s books are some of my favorites: Fooled by Randomness, The Black Swan, and Antifragile. His works are always dense, yet incredibly thought-provoking. I’m sure this one will become another fast favorite.
3. 2018 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
Thinking in Bets by Annie Duke – Release Date: Feb 6, 2018
Poker champion Annie Duke has written a few books, so this book isn’t strictly her “debut” as an author. However, her other books have been about poker, while this book marks her debut into business writing. In this new book, Duke will share how she’s learned to become comfortable making decisions amidst uncertainty.
4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2018?
Iron Gold by Pierce Brown – Release Date: Jan 16, 2018
5. One Thing You Hope to Accomplish or Do in Your Reading/Blogging Life in 2018?
I just launched a monthly email newsletter. I will be investing a lot of time in that new endeavor in 2018. If you’re in the market for book recommendations, inspiring quotes, and other brain food, you can sign up here: Sign me up!
What were your favorite books from 2017? Leave a comment on this post with your thoughts!