Reading books is something I try to do on a regular basis. I’m always on the lookout for recommendations and book lists that I can scour for something new to read!
While I have nothing against blogs (obviously), websites, podcasts, and articles, I do think that it is important to go deeper on a topic by reading books.
Reading is an important habit that I want my five kids to build into their life, so I try to set a good example for them!
This year I managed to finish 21 books, not too bad! It didn’t feel like I averaged nearly 2 books/month.
How I learned to read more books
When my kids were younger and I was in the classroom, I struggled to find the time (and energy) to read. This changed when I purchased a monthly Audible subscription. The ability to listen to audio books during my commute, on road trips, or while working out has really made a difference.
This post is not sponsored by Audible (but hey, I’m open to a deal; reach out!), but I have benefited from my monthly subscription. Knowing that I am paying $15/month for an audible credit is a helpful reminder to read!
I prefer listening to fiction and biographies. For more technical books I prefer Kindle or physical books so that I can take notes and underline passages.
My 2023 book list
The 21 books below are the titles that I read in 2023. As you will see, there is a wide variety of genres and topics. I enjoy reading book lists from others and frequently find new titles to add to my wish list!
You might be surprised by the lack of “edTech” books on this list. While I have nothing against EdTech books, and support all of my friends by buying their books, I consume so much EdTech content on a daily basis that my reading lists tends to explore other area of interest.
I hope you find something interesting to add to your book list!
Note: the links below are Amazon affiliate links which will help me fund my next book purchase!
I read quite a bit of fiction this year. I find that these books give my brain a break from thinking about education and technology, which is why I enjoy them!
Expeditionary Force by Craig Alanson – I’m two books in to this long, 16 book series in which humans fight for survival against far superior alien species aided by the help of an infinitely intelligent artificial intelligence named “Skippy.”
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – not exactly sure why I decided to re-read this classic book, but I did and it was just as good as I remembered it!
Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir – If you like books with realistic science, you will love author Andy Weir (he also wrote The Martian which was turned into a movie with Matt Damon). This book gives off strong Castaway vibes as the main character floats alone in space faced with the impossible challenge of saving earth from certain destruction. Unexpectedly he meets a strange new friend and they continue their quest together.
The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure – I saw this historical novel on someone else’s book list and it looked good. The story follows a Parisian architect during WWII who designs intricate hiding place for Jews trying to escape Nazi detection.
Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin – I’ve been slowly making my way through this epic series. George Martin is a powerful storyteller. These books are great audio books for a LOOOONG road trip (they average around 40 hours in length!).
Awaken Online: Timeless by Travis Bagwell – If you like books like Ready Player One or Ender’s Game, you will love this independent book series which follow the development of a controversial VR video game series and the in-game exploits of the players. This is book #7 in the series.
Going Infinite by Michael Lewis – I think I have read all of Michael Lewis’s financial thrillers. His latest book attempts to explain the rise and fall of Sam Bankman-Fried, the crypto king.
Cherish by Gary Thomas – I picked this marriage book out all on my own! Gary shares practical, common sense advice on improving and sustaining a marriage for the long run.
I have been running my own company since 2011 and am always on the lookout for new ideas and strategies to improve my business and serve my customers (you!) more effectively. Many of the books on my book list helped improve my courses, workshops, and other opportunities that I offer for teachers and school administrators.
Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin – I’m not usually a big fan of “leadership” books, so I picked this popular title up with a bit of apprehension. I was quite pleased to find that it is a great book with solid leadership advice that is unique and original. I took a ton of notes and would recommend this book to anyone who wants to be a better boss, business owner, parent, spouse, coach, etc.
Finish by Jon Acuff – This is a great book to read early in the year before you give up on your New Year’s resolutions! Jon is a very engaging and relatable author who wants to help you finish your goals, not just start them.
Fans First by Jessie Cole – Look up the Savannah Bananas on YouTube before you read this book! I’ve been following this crazy baseball team for a while, so I was interested in getting a behind the scenes look at how they got their start. Thanks to Mom and Dad for gifting this book to me for Christmas!
Write Useful Books by Rob Fitzpatrick – I’m contemplating writing another book and this title was intriguing, so I gave it a read! This is a very practical and easy to read book with lots of solid advice. If you have ever consider writing a book or creating a course, this is an excellent resource.
The Workshop Survival Guide by Rob Fitzpatrick & Devin Hunt – I picked up this book immediately after finishing Write Useful Books. I did pick up a few tips, but this one wasn’t as impactful for me as the first book by Rob Fitzpatrick.
Deep Work by Cal Newport – This was the most challenging and convicting book that I read this year. Everyone has an optimal time of the day when they do their best work…use it to do something meaningful! This book challenged me to schedule my most important, deep work during this time. After reading this book I immediately removed all of my social media apps from my phone!
The Pumpkin Plan by Mike Michalowicz – This was a tough one to get through. The basic idea is that you should focus all of your work and effort on growing one prize pumpkin rather than splitting your effort into multiple, small pumpkins.
$100m Offers: How to make Offers so Good People feel stupid saying No by Alex Hormozi – The title of this book makes me not want to read it, but it’s actually quite good. I incorporated many ideas from this book into the Chromebook Academy, my newest course for IT administrators.
Biography / Memoir
Elon Musk by Walter Isaacson – Love him or hate him, Elon Musk is a fascinating person and there’s no one better suited to try to find the real man than Walter Isaacson. This is an honest look at the world’s richest man, warts and all.
The Courage to Be Free by Ron DeSantis – I didn’t know much about Ron DeSantis, so I decided to pick up his autobiography. Learning more about how his personal life and family shape his political views was interesting.
What’s on your list?
I learned about several of the books on the list above by reading book lists posted on by others. I hope you find something on my book list you can add to your queue this year.
What’s on your list? Leave me a comment or send me a Tweet and let me know what you are reading!