My Modest Reading List: Summer of 2012 Edition UPDATED

UPDATE: Starting in 2013, I tracked the books and media I consumed throughout the year. Want to see what I was into in 2013? Click here. Want to know what I’ve been reading in 2014? Click here.

I’m busy. Unfortunately, that means I can’t read as much as I would like.

It kills me, actually. Because reading keeps me centered, keeps my mind fueled, and serves as inspiration for my writing.

I was definitely one of those kids who would rather sit inside and read than head outside to play. (I don’t allow my kids to do that. They have to get exercise. Then, they can read to their heart’s content.) I’m still one of those people who will drop everything for a good book and will stay up until the sun comes up if I’ve been sucked in by a great author (Murakami has been doing this to me lately but even Lee Child has done it).

I usually keep a running list of the books I’ve read. You can see my board of books I’ve read and recommend here. It’s actually very beautiful.

For the summer, I’m focusing my reading in four areas: Books to expand my spirit, books about entrepreneurship, books to help me escape, and books I’ve wanted to read forever for one reason or another. Here’s the list

Books to Expand My Mind and Spirit

The Places That Scare You (Pema Chodron)

The Way of The Wizard (Deepak Chopra)

The Four Chapters of Freedom (Sayananda Saraswati)

Vagabonding (Rolf Potts)

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Robert Prisig)

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Mark Twain)

The Music Lesson by Victor Wooten

Books on Entrepreneurship

The Rational Optimist (Matt Ridley)

I Will Teach You To Be Rich (Ramit Sethi)

The Education of Millionaires (Michael Ellsberg)

The Millionaire Fastlane (MJ Demarco)

Books on Science

Eternity Soup (Greg Critser)

The Red Queen (Matt Ridley)

Abundance (Peter Diamantis)


Books I’ve Wanted to Read Forever

The Ruined Map (Kobo Abe)

A Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)

The Popol Vuh

The Conquest of New Spain (Bernal Diaz)

Jesus Son Denis Johnson

Tripmaster Monkey (Maxine Hong Kingston)

The Night Circus (Erin Morgenstern)

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (Haruki Murkami)

Books I Want to Read but Wonder When…

The Atlantis Complex: Artemis Fowl 7 (Eoin Colfer)

The Last Guardian: Artemis Fowl 8 (Eoin Colfer)

Blood Meridian (Cormac McCarthy)

Turning Your Mind Into An Ally

What I We Talk About When I Talk About Running (Haruki Murkami)

Pulphead: Essays (John Jeremiah Sullivan)

A couple of the books – The Popol Vuh and The Conquest of New Spain – are research for my series of time travel novels that involve the Conquistadors. The book I’m researching now involves Cortez.

Several of the books are re-reads – Hitchhiker’s Guide, Tripmaster Monkey. I hated Hitchhiker’s Guide the first time around. I’m hoping a re-read will change my opinion of it. I remember enjoying Tripmaster Monkey about as much as I’ve ever enjoyed any book. Tab just read it and said it was incredible. Kristen packed it in with her summer’s reading saying she had always wanted to read it, so why not.

Looking at this list makes me wish I was one of those guys who had a book on his desk at the office. One of my business partners was like that. He always had one and would stop to read a couple of pages during the course of the day. Definitely better than random internet surfing. It also makes me wish I could just spend more time reading.

My prediction, I expect I’ll make it through at least half of these. I’ll load up several on my iPhone’s Kindle app and on Kristen’s Nook. Read some while we’re in Costa Rica or in Panama. Read some while I’m sitting my office before I start my writing day. Keep them on my desk to inspire me.

Books. There is nothing better.

Want to see someone else’s list. Here‘s master fiction writer Donald Barthleme’s list. Update: 8.12.2012 13h20 Here’s Xconomy’s Luke Timmerman’s summer reading list for biotech pros.

UPDATE. As of August 1st, I had read the following from the above list:

The Places That Scare You (Pema Chodron)

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Mark Twain)

The Ruined Map (Kobo Abe)

I also read:

Jailbird (Kurt Vonnegut)

And am in the middle of reading

The Ruined Map.

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