9×12 – A Weekly Book Project Gone Rogue

It has not been an easy year. I think November 2016 hit a lot of us like a ton of bricks. I personally had been listening to every political podcast I could get my hands on leading up to the election – like it might make some difference. This year I had to step away. Sure, I still listen to my daily news podcasts (shout out to the good Rachel Maddow, Marketplace, and NPR Hourly for my morning fix) but the rest of my time has been a full immersion into books.

In 2015 I set out to read a book a week. Having discovered that I could listen to audiobooks while doing many of the day’s tedious tasks, I saw that I was reading books roughly at that pace. So I made a conscious effort to finish books at opportune times to make that pace official: finish a book a week. This entails sometimes waiting a day to finish the last chapter. Or it might mean reading three books at once because you really want to read that 40 hour book but will not finish it in a week.

This year I started out at double that pace, I made a point of not finishing two a week in January, just so I wouldn’t feel obliged. But I caught up and kept the pace anyways. This year I finished 108 books.

I had wanted to take my pace down, write out thoughts about each book. But things didn’t work out that way. I made it a couple of months writing up the books I finished, then I got washed away by the currents of the year.

Two books a week. Nine books (on average) each month.

I wanted to write up some highlights, but there are so many friends here below, it’s hard. I will have to write a little something about each, eventually.

Many of the books on this list are books I finally got around to reading. I had always wanted to read Lloyd Alexander, but I couldn’t get my hands on them as a kid. I though it might be too late. It wasn’t. If you haven’t read The Chronicles of Prydain yet, do yourself a favor.

I also had never finished the full Narnia series. I stumbled across the BBC version of the book I was starting, when I was in the 4th grade. It ruined it for me. I finally read them through.

I have this problem. I love Tolkien so much, I so much as think about rereading the Hobbit and Lord fo the Rings, I then have to. This time it only took a week.

There was a lot more Science Fiction and Fantasy this year. A lot of excellent Science Fiction and Fantasy this year.

I read some great business books. The first book I finished this year, Who, changed the way I hire people.

The Lean Startup and The Power of Broke were actually quite similar in their message. But the books felt as if they were written from a very different vantage point, and for very different audiences. One would benefit reading them back to back as I have.

A bunch of classics I had always wanted to read.

Some sociology, trying to understand What Happened. And a whole lot more.

If you’ve read, or are planning to read one of the books below, please feel free to discuss, or ask me about it. I’d really love that.

This coming year I plan on trying to slow things down a bit, and trying to internalize more of what I consume. With me luck!

TitleAuthorGenreDate Finished
WhoGeoff Smart, Randy StreetHuman Resources & Personnel ManagementJanuary 6, 2017
Olive KitteridgeElizabeth StroutLiterature and FictionJanuary 8, 2017
Last Light of the SunGuy Gavriel KayFantasyJanuary 13, 2017
The Drunken BotanistAmy StewartBotanyJanuary 17, 2017
The Secret GardenFrances Hodgson BurnettClassicsJanuary 18, 2017
Consider the ForkBee WilsonCivilization & CultureJanuary 24, 2017
Watership DownRichard AdamsClassicsJanuary 29, 2017
March (Trilogy)John LewisBiographies & MemoirsJanuary 30, 2017
The HobbitJ. R. R. TolkienFantasyFebruary 3, 2017
GulpMary RoachAnatomy & PhysiologyFebruary 7, 2017
The Fellowship of the RingJ.R.R. TolkienFantasyFebruary 8, 2017
The Two TowersJ.R.R. TolkienFantasyFebruary 12, 2017
The Return of the KingJ.R.R. TolkienFantasyFebruary 14, 2017
The Dark is RisingSusan CooperFantasyFebruary 16, 2017
Wuthering HeightsEmily BrontëLiterature & FictionFebruary 21, 2017
A Tree Grows in BrooklynBetty SmithLiterature & FictionFebruary 27, 2017
Bel CantoAnn PatchettLiteraryMarch 2, 2017
RadicalMaajid NawazInternational & World PoliticsMarch 8, 2017
1984George OrwellCurrent EventsMarch 13, 2017
The Last UnicornPeter S. BeagleFantasyMarch 15, 2017
Brave New WorldAldous HuxleyCurrent EventsMarch 19, 2017
UnshakeableTony RobbinsPersonal FinanceMarch 21, 2017
Thus Spoke ZarathustraFriedrich NietzschePhilosophyMarch 28, 2017
The Essential DruckerPeter F. DruckerManagement & LeadershipApril 5, 2017
The Lies of Locke LamoraScott LynchFantasyApril 8, 2017
Tiny Beautiful ThingsCheryl StrayedLife & AdviceApril 12, 2017
All the Birds in the SkyCharlie Jane AndersCyberpunkApril 17, 2017
The Lion, the Witch, and the WardrobeC. S. LewisFantasyApril 17, 2017
Prince CaspianC. S. LewisFantasyApril 18, 2017
The Voyage of the Dawn TreaderC. S. LewisFantasyApril 20, 2017
The Horse and his BoyC. S. LewisFantasyApril 21, 2017
The Magician’s NephewC. S. LewisFantasyApril 22, 2017
The Last BattleC. S. LewisFantasyApril 23, 2017
The Coaching Habit
Michael Bungay StanierManagementApril 26, 2017
Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch)Ann LeckieScience FictionApril 30, 2017
Algorithms to Live ByBrian Christian, Tom GriffithsBehavioral SciencesMay 2, 2017
DeathlessCatherynne M. ValenteFantasyMay 6, 2017
The Lean StartupEric RiesLeadership & ManagementMay 9, 2017
How to Win at the Sport of Business: If I Can Do It, You Can Do ItMark CubanLeadership & ManagementMay 11, 2017
The Power of BrokeDaymond JohnLeadership & ManagementMay 17, 2017
The Vikings – The Great CoursesKenneth W. HarlHistoryMay 18, 2017
Range of GhostsElizabeth BearFantasyMay 21, 2017
WebMageKelly McCulloughScience Fiction & FantasyMay 23, 2017
Enemies: A History of the FBITim WeinerPolitics & GovernmentMay 31, 2017
Managing OneselfPeter F. DruckerLeadership & ManagementJune 2, 2017
The Art of InvisibilityPeter F. DruckerTechnology & PrivacyJune 8, 2017
Crime and PunishmentFyodor Mikhailovich DostoevskyLiterature & FictionJune 12, 2017
Good OmensNeil Gaiman, Terry PratchettScience Fiction & FantasyJune 17, 2017
The Handmaid’s TailMargaret AtwoodDystopianJune 21, 2017
Good Leaders Ask Great QuestionsJohn C. MaxwellManagement & LeadershipJune 23, 2017
Turn the Ship Around!L. David MarquetManagement & LeadershipJune 28, 2017
Gulliver’s TravelsJonathan SwiftLiterature & FictionJune 29, 2017
Treasure IslandRobert Louis StevensonLiterature & FictionJuly 4, 2017
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and PearlTranslated by: J. R. R. TolkienLiterature & FictionJuly 5, 2017
LolitaVladimir NabokovLiterature & FictionJuly 11, 2017
The Fourth TransformationRobert Scoble, Shel IsraelComputers & TechnologyJuly 12, 2017
The Martian ChroniclesRay BradburyScience FictionJuly 17, 2017
AngelJason CalacanisEntrepreneurship & InvestingJuly 20, 2017
Murder on the Orient ExpressAgatha ChristieMysteryJuly 24, 2017
You’re It!: On Hiding, Seeking, and Being FoundAlan WattsEastern PhilosophyJuly 28, 2017
Stories of Your Life and OthersTed ChiangScience FictionJuly 30, 2017
SapiensYuval HarariCivilization & CultureAugust 3, 2017
The Smartest Investment Book You’ll Ever ReadDaniel R. SolinMoney & FinanceAugust 10, 2017
The Complete First Edition, The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brother GrimmJacob Grimm,‎ Wilhelm GrimmAnthropologyAugust 12, 2017
Your Deceptive Mind: The Great CoursesSteven NovellaPsychologyAugust 14, 2017
Archeology: An Introduction to the World’s Greatest Sites – Great CoursesEric ClineArcheologyAugust 16, 2017
On BullshitHarry G. FrankfurtReligous StudiesAugust 23, 2017
The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s DaughterTheodora GossHistorical FantasyAugust 24, 2017
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective PeopleStephen R. CoveyBusiness & ManagementSeptember 1, 2017
The Traitor Baru CormorantSeth DickinsonBusiness & ManagementSeptember 2, 2017
The Oedipus CycleSophoclesAncient & ClassicalSeptember 6, 2017
Start With WhySimon SinekBusiness & ManagementSeptember 8, 2017
DublinersJames JoyceLiteratureSeptember 13, 2017
I and ThouMartin BuberPhilosophySeptember 14, 2017
What HappenedHillary Rodham ClintonCivics & CitizenshipSeptember 20, 2017
The Merry Adventures of Robin HoodHoward PyleHistorySeptember 22, 2017
The Graveyard BookNeil GaimanFantasySeptember 27, 2017
London: A Short History of the Greatest City in the Western World – The Great CoursesRobert BucholzHistorySeptember 30, 2017
Light Falls: Space, Time, and an Obsession of EinsteinBrian GreeneHistory & PhysicsOctober 3, 2017
A Midsummer Night’s DreamWilliam ShakespeareClassicsOctober 5, 2017
Never Split the DifferenceChris VossManagement & LeadershipOctober 12, 2017
The TempestWilliam ShakespeareDramaOctober 13, 2017
Oliver TwistCharles DickensLiterature & FictionOctober 18, 2017
Aesop’s FablesAesopFolk Tales & MythOctober 21, 2017
King LearWilliam ShakespeareDramaOctober 23, 2017
Shakespeare: The World as StageBill BrysonMemoirOctober 28, 2017
One Bird At a TimeBernd HeinrichOrnithologyOctober 31, 2017
The Lost WorldArthur Conan DoyleTravel JournalNovember 3, 2017
The Talented Mr. RipleyPatricia HighsmithThrillers & SuspenseNovember 6, 2017
The Book of ThreeLloyd AlexanderFantasyNovember 8, 2017
The Black CauldronLloyd AlexanderFantasyNovember 12, 2017
The Castle of LlyrLloyd AlexanderFantasyNovember 15, 2017
EvictedMatthew DesmondPublic PolicyNovember 17, 2017
Taran WandererLloyd AlexanderFantasyNovember 19, 2017
H is for HawkHelen MacdonaldOrnithologyNovember 22, 2017
The High KingLloyd AlexanderFantasyNovember 26, 2017
The Third PlateDan BarberCooking & AgricultureDecember 2, 2017
Thinking Fast and SlowDaniel KahnemanCognitive PsychologyDecember 7, 2017
The Wind in the WillowsKenneth GrahameLiterature & FictionDecember 8, 2017
White TrashNancy IsenbergSociologyDecember 14, 2017
The GunslingerStephen KingFantasy & SuspenseDecember 14, 2017
All Your WorthElizabeth WarrenMoney & FinanceDecember 20, 2017
The Lions of Al-RassanGuy Gavriel KayHistorical FantasyDecember 22, 2017
The OresteiaAeschylusGreek ClassicDecember 25, 2017
The Spice Box of EarthLeonard CohenContemporary PoetryDecember 26, 2017
OthelloWilliam ShakespeareDramaDecember 29, 2017
RunawayAlice MunroShort StoriesDecember 31, 2017

About the image: Trinity College, Dublin