What I read in 2023

Last year, I shared with you my progress on reading books since 2018 and how I tried to “make myself read more” by joining Goodreads yearly reading challenge. 2023 was a blast 🎉.

  • 2018 | Goal: 4 books | Read: 3 (75%)
  • 2019 | Goal: 10 books | Read: 7 (70%) | ~133% more than 2018
  • 2020 | Goal: 12 books | Read: 10 (83%) | ~43% more than 2019
  • 2021 | Goal: 15 books | Read: 17 (113%) | ~70% more than 2020
  • 2022 | Goal: 24 books | Read: 17 (71%) | 0% (same as 2021)
  • 2023 | Goal: 24 books | Read: 25 (104%) | ~47% more than 2022

Physical Books vs Audiobooks

During 2023 instead of reading physical books, I tried listening to audiobooks. It worked great for me. I validated that audio is my medium of choice, not only for podcasts but, also, for book consumption. It works well for me because it allows me to listen to books while I am walking or waiting on a queue. I didn’t test listening to audiobooks while driving; this will be an experiment for 2024 🤓.

The only downside was that listening to audiobooks made me significantly decrease the time spending listening to podcasts. Not really sure if this is a downside, I will probably follow up with a separate post on that.

Are 24 books per year enough?

As with all metrics, the number, on its own, doesn’t mean anything. 24 books are way better than 3 books I read during 2008, but I would love to be able to read 36 books next year. However, I decided to keep the goal for Goodreads reading challenge to 24 for 2024 as well. Here’s why!

I prefer to see 24 as a threshold rather than as a goal. This allows me to “push” myself on reading 2 books per month – minimum – and, at the same time, don’t overstress to keep increasing my yearly book consumption. Reading is a fun and educative process, and I really love it now that I found the “audio way”. I do not want to turn it to another “championship” activity.

That said, I would like to better balance during 2023 listening to books and podcasts or read more books. I’d let you know how this went next year.

The list…

Here’s what I have been reading / listening to during 2023:

  1. Stop Self-Sabotage: Six Steps to Unlock Your True Motivation, Harness Your Willpower, and Get Out of Your Own Way by Judy Ho | Goodreads
  2. Company Of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business by Paul Jarvis | Goodreads
  3. James Moriarty, Consulting Criminal by Andy Weir | Goodreads
  4. An Effective Life: Inspirational Philosophy from Dr. Covey’s Life by Stephen R. Covey | Goodreads
  5. The Art of War by Sun Tzu | Goodreads
  6. The Decision Maker: Unlock the Potential of Everyone in Your Organization, One Decision at a Time by Dennis W. Bakke | Goodreads
  7. Own It: The Secret to Life by Diane Von Furstenberg | Goodreads
  8. How to Consciously Design Your Ideal Future by Benjamin P. Hardy | Goodreads
  9. How To Be More Intentional With Time by Laura Vanderkam | Goodreads
  10. Unfuck Your Anger: Using Science to Understand Frustration, Rage, and Forgiveness by Faith G. Harper | Goodreads
  11. How to Say No: An Ancient Guide to the Art of Cynicism by Diogenes of Sinope | Goodreads
  12. 4 ways to stop self sabotage by Judy Ho | Goodreads
  13. How to Be Free: An Ancient Guide to the Stoic Life by Epictetus | Goodreads
  14. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries | Goodreads
  15. The Startup Way: How Modern Companies Use Entrepreneurial Management to Transform Culture and Drive Long-Term Growth by Eric Ries | Goodreads
  16. Twelve and a Half: Leveraging the Emotional Ingredients Necessary for Business Success by Gary Vaynerchuk | Goodreads
  17. How to Be a Leader: An Ancient Guide to Wise Leadership by Plutarch | Goodreads
  18. Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny! by Tony Robbins | Goodreads
  19. Charlie Munger: The Complete Investor by Tren Griffin | Goodreads
  20. How to Talk to Anybody, Anytime, Anywhere: 3 Steps to Make Instant Connections by Chris Widener | Goodreads
  21. How to Decrease Burnout and Increase Joy by Bruce Daisley | Goodreads
  22. Elon Musk by Walter Isaacson | Goodreads
  23. A Christmas Carol – Audible 2020 Hugh Grant by Charles Dickens | Goodreads
  24. Become an Effective Software Engineering Manager by James Stanier | Goodreads
  25. Η τέχνη του να έχεις πάντα δίκιο by ΑΡΤΟΥΡ ΣΟΠΕΝΧΑΟΥΕΡ | Goodreads

Friends’ books

I was also very happy to read new books written by friends. I enjoyed them very much, and I am grateful for them letting me know and singing them for me:

Past years: 2018-2021 (coming soon), 2022, 2023

PS: Happy birthday! Wholehearted wishes to you and your loved ones 🎉.

COVID-19 Stories

Reading during the COVID-19 pandemic

This year was undoubtedly a troubled one. A worldwide pandemic forced us to live completely isolated from our friends and loved ones for 10 out of the 12 months. Moreover we had to request permission to move around and live with a curfew for almost half of the year.

So what do you do in a quarantine? Apart from trying to figure things out, obviously! Well, for one, you read. Reading was a habit I had seriously neglected for nearly a decade. Lock-downs were a golden opportunity to get back to it.

During 2020 I read 10 books in total. Following you can find the list and a brief comment:

  1. The Last Bluff: How Greece came face-to-face with financial catastrophe & the secret plan for its euro exit. An interesting book about Greece’s nearly Grexit, the referendum and the negotiations of SYRIZA with the IMF.
  2. The road to character. Nicely written, this book discusses the concepts of ego, personal ethics in the age of information (and social media) and how / if we can navigate through this flood of information to a better character.
  3. Enchiridion. Stoic philosophers became a trend during the pandemic. I thought I dive a little into them. (NOTE: Follow the link to find the full version of the book available for free).
  4. Shakespear’s Sonnets. Amazing work by Shakespear. Made the difficult days of the quarantine, well… not so difficult.
  5. The subtle art of not giving a f*ck. Interesting and with some pretty practical tips, but overatted in my honest opinion.
  6. OFF – Life starts when you turn your mobile OFF. A bit harsh since technology was a great part in our quarantined life but reading it while in quarantine might make us appreciate face to face contact when we get it back.
  7. I will teach you to be rich. A guide to automate our personal finance, organize our savings and get to investing. Written with the US bank system in mind, but many of the recipes can be applied to the EU financial reality as well.
  8. Bushido. The soul of Japan. Great philosophical work from the Japanese philosophy. (NOTE: Follow the link to find the full version of the book available for free).
  9. Egcheiridio Vlakeias (in Greek). A rational book about stupidity being a part of the world and how to use that in our everyday life.
  10. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. The second Stoic philosophy work I read during 2020. (NOTE: Follow the link to find the full version of the book available for free).

Looking forward to more reading during 2021 (pandemic aside :P)!

PS: For more information about the books you can visit my Goodreads Reading Challenge page (2020 edition).