My Bookshelf

I use this page as a way to keep track of the books I read, starting in 2021, in a way that makes sense to me.

Started

Shoe Dog

by Phil Knight

12 Rules for Life

by Jordan Peterson

Whistling Vivaldi

by Claude M. Steele

Learn To Code Now

by Rik Lomas

The Design of Everyday Things

by Don Norman

The Demon-Haunted World

by Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan

Typography Referenced

by Multiple Authors

Books read in 2022

Gender Queer

by Maia Kobabe
239 pages

Gender Queer is the most banned book in the US, and I was curious to see why. Well, I’m just embarrassed to be human. (Let’s stop pretending children don’t have genitals, shall we?)

Anyhow, this work is informative and helpful, full of relatable private moments we don’t often get a glimpse of in others.

Two Boys Kissing

by David Levithan
239 pages

Surprisingly rebatable at times. Once I neared the ending, I stayed up late to finish it. It made my heart beat faster, gave me reason to feel grateful and provided food for thought in the form of ample quotable passages.

“They hold hands, feel like they are witnessing something monumental, something that could change things. It won’t, but that feeling, that spirit will live on in everyone here, everyone who sees. The spirit will change things.”

It's Not How Good You Are…

by Paul Arden
128 pages

This book’s typesetting was gorgeous! Large, legible print on appealing pages.

I assumed it was a self-help book when I saw the title. It turns out it’s a business book—and a good one at that.

Super quick read (few pages, big letters). I know I’ll need to come back to it often to instill the teachings into my head.

How to Find the Right Words

by The School of Life
76 pages

“We want to let others know how we feel. And we want to be kind. Only too often, the two missions seem entirely opposed.”

One could call this book a short introduction to practical psychology. It’s the opposite of theoretical by providing exemplary confessions and breaking them down phrase by phrase, explaining along the way what makes them ideal.

I strongly disagree with some of the authors’ advice, but considering views you don’t agree with helps you see situations from others’ points of view.

When Breath Becomes Air

by Paul Kalanithi
208 pages

“[E]ven if I’m dying, until I actually die, I am still living.”

“As a doctor, I had had some sense of what patients with life-changing illnesses faced—and it was exactly these moments I had wanted to explore with them. Shouldn’t terminal illness, then, be the perfect gift to that young man who had wanted to understand death?”

“Even if you are perfect, the world isn’t. The secret is to know that the deck is stacked, that you will lose, that your hands or judgment will slip, and yet still struggle to win.”

The Mindbody Prescription

by John E. Sarno M.D.
240 pages

This was a slow read with multiple breaks. The content was insightful but I don’t currently suffer from any pain. Nevertheless, I think reading this is good prevention. Everyone should read this book or a summary of it to be aware of all the serious trouble that the mind can birth in the body. As the author supports, there really is no separation between the mind and body. The title sounds misleadingly gimmicky, but the book is not.

The Tiny MBA

by Alex Hillman
128 pages

More of a collection of cards than a book. I feel like I’ll be going back to it frequently, as the author advises. On my first read-through, I didn’t have a breakthrough, but I do feel like some seeds were planted. The pages within are prompts for the reader to reflect on.

The Song of Achilles

by Madeline Miller
416 pages

“I wish he had let you all die.”

There are many aspects of this book that I didn’t like, including the tone of voice, the frequent use of cheesy metaphors, and the lack of realism in the descriptions of ancient Greece. But in the end, I cried a little and that has to count for something.

(Reading The Song of Achilles taught me way more about the Iliad than secondary school in Greece.)

What They Forgot to Teach You at School

by The School of Life
144 pages

“To the surprise of any visiting alien, humans blithely educate themselves as if the chief requirement of adulthood were the possession of a set of technical skills, with no acknowledgement of the fact that what mostly runs us into the sands is … our inability to master what we could call the emotional dimensions of our lives.”

An honest, condensed book. I think everyone should read it as early in their life as possible. I’m happy that a lot of the advice doesn’t seem to apply to me, but gives me more tools to understand others.

Calm

by The School of Life
136 pages

“A calm life isn’t one that’s always perfectly serene. It is one where we are committed to calming down more readily, and where we strive for more realistic expectations; where we can understand better why certain problems are occurring, and we can be more adept at finding a consoling perspective.”

“You will die and it will be as if you had never been. It could sound demeaning. But these are generous sentiments, for we otherwise so easily exaggerate our own importance and suffer accordingly.”


Books read in 2021

Relationships

by The School of Life
118 pages

This might be the most well-written book I’ve ever read. It’s not unnecessarily wordy, but rather goes straight to the point while still providing examples vivid enough to drive the point home.

I feel I now have the vocabulary to talk about concepts that I couldn’t before — at least not well enough. It’s been interesting reading about a different perspective and discovering that some of my beliefs and values might not be mine at all, but are heavily influenced by the dominant culture of our time.

Shape Up

by Ryan Singer (Basecamp)
172 pages

Enlightening, even though I was already familiar with the concepts. The book presents a set of mental tools and explains their benefits. Armed with those, I feel much more confident in defining and bringing projects to life. This approach makes a lot of sense in theory—I aim to try it for myself in the near future.

Call Me by Your Name

by André Aciman
256 pages

Despite being a quick read, this book is full of insights on human psychology and advice that one would have to spend years collecting. My feelings are a bit mixed but overall I think I’ve gained something valuable. 💙