I’ve probably read more books, articles and studies in 2013 than I have in any other year. My company generously launched an incentivized reading program and has a fully stocked library full of wonderful reads on marketing, usability, management and more. It’s helped me get back to ready on a daily basis outside of the articles and news I stay pretty consistent with.
I’ve tried to read a chapter of a book every day this year. I probably only made it around 100 of the days but it’s a goal I’d like to keep for 2014 and beyond. You can’t find many things that are a better use of your time than reading a good book.
Here are my favorites from this 2013:
Paterno by Joe Posnanski
A huge Penn State fan who grew up pretending to be Bobby Engram and Joe Jurevicius, I’ve long been fascinated with Joe Paterno. A man who stood for good for so long ended his life as one of the most reviled characters in the world. Posnanski takes a fair look at Paterno’s entire life and puts together a beautiful look at a wonderful man who made a grave mistake. A good biography recognizes that people aren’t as black and white and we often think they are and Posanski takes that approach here.
The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver
Nate Silver’s popularity has never been greater than in 2013. I’ve always known him as the creator of PECOTA, an advanced statistical model for baseball, but Silver drops some knowledge on politics, finance and other large statistical models in this book. With so many people relying on big data, Silver’s insight into predictive models and their potential pitfalls is a timely read.
Favorite Web Reads
Black Friday by Joe Posnanski
Another wonderful piece by Posnanski (a favorite of mine) on what Black Friday means.
The Night Tony Soprano Disappeared by Brett Martin
The actor who played my favorite television character of all-time passed away this year. This is as in-depth look into James Gandolfini as you’ll find.
High frequency dating by Rob Rhinehart
The funniest piece I read in 2013, this satirical look at online dating meets hacking will make you laugh until you cry.
The Trouble With Johnny by Wright Thompson
ESPN’s long piece on Johnny Manziel made me question lots about college football.