One of the commitments I made during the last years is to read more books. Easier said than done. But luckily during the last 3 years I’ve been reading more, from self-help manuals to novels, passing through philosophic books.
In 2019 I’ve read less than I expected, but here are the books I was able to finish. With my personal review.
Anna Karenina by Lev Tolstoj
I was attracted to this book because it is listed as one of Bruce Springsteen’s favorite books. To be honest, I’ve found this book very hard to read, filled with characters hard to distinguish. Also the length of this novel triggered me: after The Lord of The Rings, finishing another huge book would have been a nice challenge. Because of its length, this book took a consistent part of the year to be read.
How to be a Stoic by Massimo Pigliucci
I’ve fallen in love with Stoicism a couple of years ago by reading Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations. His words helped me a lot during some hard times I was going through, so I decided to learn more about this ancient Greek philosophy.
Pigliucci’s book explains Stoicism in a simple and practical way, with a lovely writing and several concrete examples. If you’re new to this discipline, you may want to give it a try!
How to Think like a Roman Emperor by Donald Robertson
Another book on Stoicism. Or better, a book on Marcus Aurelius. Or better again, a book about Stoicism and Behavioral Cognitive Therapy.
Donald Robertson tell us about the life (and death) of Marcus, describing the Roman Emperor while explaining the principle of Stoicism and its correlation with modern Behavioral Cognitive Therapy, while giving some practical advices.
De Brevitate Vitae by Seneca
To be honest, I’ve read this ancient book but I can’t say I’ve fully understood it. I will probably need to read it again, maybe using another edition with some explanations.
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Another classic that had been waiting me for ages. I’m happy I finally read it, considering my passion for “on the road” travels and “Runaway American dreams”. Honestly, I expected something more from such an iconic novel. I think that The Grapes of Wrath gave me more in term of excitement about road trips. Not talking about the important messages and historical information it contains.
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
Running a software house, I try to become better in my job. Also this book was waiting for me for a while. Ries explains how the Lean methodology can help companies that operate in an uncertain market. Some concepts are really nice to know, but probably you’ll need to dig a little deeper for becoming a master of the subject.
The War of Art
Not to be confused with The Art of War by Sun Tzu, this book explains what it means to be an artist in the world and what Resistance is. I can’t say I really liked it. Some points are nice, but in my opinion the book doesn’t give you any useful practical advice.
Ok, I wish I had more books to talk about in this 2019. But still, it was a year that let me grown a little bit. Now it’s time to set a reading goal for the next year!