For me, 2017 marked another year of exponential personal and professional growth, both through running a fast-growing start-up and through keeping up the habit of voracious reading. I shall do a separate post to reflect on my lessons learned as a CEO, but this one is about books.
At the beginning of 2017, I set the intention of cutting down the number of books vs 2016 (28 books), with the goal to be more selective and to allow ample time for knowledge digestion. Despite the intention and a much busier schedule than 2016, and to my surprise, I finished the year at 32 books (one important caveat, with much help from audile books from Audible). First, I think reading has been ingrained in my brain as a habit, once I finish a book, my mind naturally hungers for the next great one. Second, I used reading/listening to fill up most of my fragmented idle time, such as in transportation or in the gym. As long as I have a good book in hand, I feel that I am productive and getting better mentally.
Similar to 2016, my reading list encompassed a wide range of topics in English and Chinese, but one category that dropped out completely is finance & investments books. I don’t think this is a one-year anomaly but a natural cognitive progression for me, where behavior economics/psychology and philosophy are more additive to my mental models at this time. Some books, such as those on consumer internet operations, design, and big data, were essential for my current industry and trade.
One category that popped on to my list and will remain there going forward is fiction & literature, and this gets to my book of the year recommendation…my book of the year for 2016 went to Yuval Noah Harari’s “Sapiens: A Brief History of Human Kind”, with Ray Dalio’s “Principles” up there as a very close second. The crown of 2017 goes to: Continue reading “32 Books I Read in 2017, and the Book of the Year Goes to…”