Books from 2016

January 16, 2017 •  life

Last year I re-ignited my love for reading. This time around, I'm highlighting the books that have changed my perspective and some honourable mentions. The rest I've listed for completion sake but I'm not particularly tied to them for any reason.


The Highlights

Perspective Changers

Crucial Conversations by Collective
This is a great book for any Designer who is looking for a way to adjust their communication for better results. I found it helpful to reframe some of my hard conversations. Considering rereading this to ensure my application is engrained.

Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace
Another collection of essays by DFW, a couple of which changed the way I look at the presidential campaign in 2016 prior to the election results, the English dictionary wars, white male standard English, and autobiographies written by stars.

But What If We're Wrong? by Chuck Klosterman
If gravity, something the author believes to be true to the deepest levels of his being, is incorrect, what does that mean?

This book meandered a bit but the overall argument was interesting. I'm now dedicating more time to proving myself wrong. Although light-hearted, it changed the way I think.

Listen, Liberal by Thomas Frank
After the election, I went searching for answers. This explains the history of the Democratic party and I felt the results to be more sensical than not in the end.

I'll be exploring more political books over the next year to develop my understanding better.

Managing Humans by Michael Lopp
This was an especially trying management year for me; scaling the team at Shopify from 4 > 18 was a challenge. I asked lots of questions.

Sometimes, though, you don't which questions to ask and ML answered them for me. I wrote about it earlier this year.

The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide by James Fadiman
I have spent the past little bit of my life exploring alternative therapies and this book led me down a rabbit hole.

I've run a microdosing experiment because of it and plan to delve deeper into the spiritual realms before deciding whether or not it's made an impact.

Honourable Mentions

Lost at Sea by Jon Ronson
I've been eating up everything written by Jon Ronson this year, and this was another excellent collection of extraordinary people doing strange things.

So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson
This book didn't make the above list because it wasn't as transformative but it was an enjoyable read about the people who we shame on the internet.

Them by Jon Ronson
If you've ever wanted a humourous insight into the world of extremists, pick this up. It's fascinating.

The Men Who Stare at Goats by Jon Ronson
The movie was based on a true story. I never saw the movie, but uh, I'm assuming the book is a bit weirder.

The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson
This was my first foray into JR. You've likely realized by now that I read everything he's written in one year. I recommend his audiobooks over the written ones. His narration is supreme.

Consolations by David Whyte
I happened by this book through a very emotional time and it was the first time I had ever found a poet who I made my heart move. There are two other poetry books on my reading list this year because of him.

A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace
I've never been so enraptured by a written experience about a cruise ship. His self-awareness makes it all the more entertaining.

Waking Up by Sam Harris
I've been on a spiritual journey for the past little bit trying to understand spirituality without religion. Sam poses some really great arguments in this book worth thinking about.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
This is simply a beautiful love story–it's been a while since I've read a fiction book that really made me regret finishing it.

The Flinch by Julien Smith
A very short inspiring series of prose about getting over the fear of getting things one.

Great

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