Jeffrey Bunn

2018 reading roundup

January 03, 2019

2018 turned out to be a great year for reading! I started tracking my reading more seriously this past year (using Goodreads), and it turned out that setting a public reading challenge really pushed me to read.

I read 30 books in 2018, which is exactly the number I set out to read at the beginning of the year! Compared to 2017, I read more than twice as much. And I’m happy with the quality of the books I read as well - while there were some lighter books, overall I felt like I learned a ton.


Here’s all the books I read in 2018 (bold means I thought the book was especially good):

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, #1) - Douglas Adams

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, #2) - Douglas Adams

The Elephant in the Brain - Kevin Simler & Robert Hanson

Impro - Keith Johnstone

Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win - Jocko Willink

The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution - C.L.R. James

The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Keeping Your Sh*t Together: How to Run Your Business Without Letting it Run You - Sherry Walling

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer - Siddhartha Mukherjee

Lost and Founder: The Mostly Awful, Sometimes Awesome Truth about Building a Tech Startup - Rand Fishkin

Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War - Robert Coram

Alone Against the North: An Expedition into the Unknown - Adam Shoalts

Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams - Matthew Walker

Einstein: His Life and Universe - Walter Isaacson

The Leangains Method: The Art of Getting Ripped. Researched, Practiced, Perfected. - Martin Berkhan

The Rational Optimist - Matt Ridley

Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue - Ryan Holiday

The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis—and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance - Ben Sasse

Company K - William March

Inadequate Equilibria: Where and How Civilizations Get Stuck - Eliezer Yudkowsky

It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work - Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson

Connect The Dots: Strategies and Meditations On Self-education - Paul Jun

Losing the War - Lee Sandlin

Stories of Your Life and Others - Ted Chiang

Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction - Philip E. Tetlock & Dan Gardner

The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth’s Past #1) - Liu Cixin

Out of Mao’s Shadow: The Struggle for the Soul of a New China - Philip P. Pan

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup - John Carreyrou

MAKE: Bootstrapper’s Handbook - Pieter Levels

Educated - Tara Westover

The Dark Forest (Remembrance of Earth’s Past #2) - Liu Cixin


Last year I read ~700,000 words in Pocket. This year, they tell me that I read 1,000,000! I’m a bit surprised, as I didn’t read as many saved articles in the second half of the year as I did in the first. But, the amount they said I read amounts to another 14 books, which works out to ~70,000 words per book. That seems about right.

2019 Goal

This year my goal is to read 40 books. I think it’s a reasonable goal that still allows me time for learning programming and starting a new business. I don’t want to read so much that I don’t end up doing anything! We’ll see how 2019 goes. 📚 🤓