What I read in 2015

Between the birth of our first child in April and by far my busiest call year of residency, 2015 was shaping up to be an abysmal year for pleasure reading. Ultimately, the saving grace was the combination of my much-lengthened daycare-related commute with Audible (the free 30 day trial/two free audiobooks via that link got me completely hooked). Audible is fantastic, and it’s not an exaggeration to say it’s changed our lives. Dead time in traffic or folding the laundry is no longer the dreary waste of time it used to be; it’s a chance to “read” (okay, listen). Even with Audible, I still ended up with fewer books than I read in 2014 (and this year’s list is padded with some pretty short stuff).

  1. Firefight by Brandon Sanderson (Reckoner’s #2)
  2. The Eye of Minds by James Dashner (Mortality Doctrine #1) (Not as good as The Maze Runner, which while entertaining, wasn’t all that good either)
  3. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo (changed how I fold all of my laundry)
  4. Yes Please by Amy Poehler (wife’s choice, meh)
  5. The White Coat Investor by James Dahle (re-read)
  6. Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari (wife’s better choice)
  7. The Martian by Andy Weir
  8. 1984 by George Orwell
  9. Walk the Sky by Robert Swartwood and David B. Silva
  10. Sapiens by Yoval Noah Harari (like Guns, Germs, and Steel, but less rigorous and much broader in scope)
  11. The Pearl by John Steinbeck (so depressing)
  12. A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab
  13. America Again by Stephen Colbert (funny, but not as good as I am America)
  14. The Art of Money Getting; or, Golden Rules for Making Money by P. T. Barnum (old, kinda fun, free, my highlights here)
  15. Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg (may be an anthem for working women but perhaps should be read by men just as much. And then one should expand the ensuing mindfulness to include every group and minority you can think of).
  16. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  17. This Is Water by David Foster Wallace (the book version of this short essay is pretty much a fluffed out graduation present. The original essay is still available online for free.)
  18. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (so good)
  19. Hiroshima by John Hersey (the ethics of the atomic bombings in World War II was something we discussed in history class, but this follows the stories of several survivors of the attack. It’s harrowing. I’ve never read anything like it. It’s much more digestible in book form, but the New Yorker released a big chunk of it free online for the 50th anniversary.)
  20. Super Mario by Jeff Ryan
  21. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  22. Why We Make Things and Why It Matters by Peter Korn
  23. The Dorito Effect by Mark Schatzker (actually a very fascinating pop-sci discussion of modern food breeding and technology)

A few books make the list from my wife’s Audible choices. There are also a couple of classics that I somehow hadn’t read before, but I’m going to keep trying to do that every year to make up for only pretending to read the assigned books in high school. Here’s to a lively 2016!

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