This past year, I read 27 books. That’s quite a few more than I read in 2015, but honestly, I didn’t find as many that I loved in 2016. Last year, I wrote about 7 books that I loved, this year, I narrowed it down to 5. Historical non-fiction, self-help, science, biography, and business make up the genres. Here are my favorites in no particular order.
1. How to Fail At Almost Everything And Still Win Big – Scott Adams
Scott Adams is the creator of Dilbert, and in this book he walks you through his path to success via failure. It’s an inspiring read, good for anyone looking to become successful in any area of life. He covers everything from diet to goals in bite-sized chapters that are fun to read. Unlike most self-help books, there are no long-winded explanations of things which I really appreciate. Sometimes these books can be summed up in one paragraph – no this one.
2. Unbroken – Laura Hillenbrand
I know I said I wouldn’t rank them, but I’ll be straight with you – this is the best book I read in 2016. Unbroken is fantastic. It covers the story of world champion track and field athlete Louis Zamperini, and his journey into fighting for the USA in World War Two. It’s heroic, moving, devastating and enlightening all at once. Read it.
3. Creativity, Inc. – Ed Catmull
This is a fantastic read for anyone who works in a creative industry. Catmull is a computer scientist who started out working on Star Wars with George Lucas, then went on to found Pixar and work alongside Steve Jobs. He is now the President of both Pixar and Disney Animation Studios, and he has lots to offer in both experience and advice.
4. Why We Get Fat: And What to do About It – Gary Taubes
Taubes is a leading voice against carbohydrates, and his book is a simpler version of the much longer Good Calories, Bad Calories. He breaks everything down so it’s easy to digest (no pun intended). If you’re interested in health and science, pick up a copy. I actually downloaded this book on Audible and found it a great listen.
5. Long Walk To Freedom – Nelson Mandela
This book has been at the top of my reading bucket list for a while now, and I finally knocked it off. The struggles that Nelson Mandela went through are somewhat unbelievable in scope. He was persecuted and imprisoned, and let none of it affect his moral compass or belief in what was right. Often, he chose the path of resistance in order to prove his point or advance his cause. He is certainly the most courageous man I’ve read about. It was nice to fill in some of the history that I’d yet to learn about him.