Goodreads tracks yearling reading, so that makes right now a good time to review my top-marked books. According to the stats page, I read only 44 books in 2017, which seems low. I’m sure I did a poorer job than usual of keeping things updated.

Here’s what I ranked 5-stars, which means either ‘life-changing’ or ‘must re-read’. You can tell a lot about how my year went by looking at this list.


The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni. I came into the year still pretty fresh on a new role as a manager. This is one of the better books I’ve read on the management arts.

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck. The other thing I was working on, particularly in the earlier part of the year, was writing a nonfiction book. So my readling slanted heavily toward similar books and research.

The Upside of Your Dark Side: Why Being Your Whole Self–Not Just Your “Good” Self–Drives Success and Fulfillment by by Todd Kashdan. Wow. A great antidote to all the happy-go-lucky dreck out there. I need to re-read this ASAP.

The ARRL Ham Radio License Manual by American Radio Relay League. Another thing I accomplished this year was finally getting my Amateur Radio license. I’ve been tinkering with radios since I was ten or eleven, but never got into the transmitting side of things, which requires official licensing. This year, I maxed out all three levels of the licensing. If you’re on the air too, you might just run in to me.

Prosperity for Writers: A Writer’s Guide to Creating Abundance by Honoree Corder. Right around the time I was getting out my book about anxiety, I went through one of my worst anxiety episodes. Thanks for nothing, Universe! With effective treatment, that part of me’s in better, but by no means perfect, shape, so my thoughts turn to longer-term things. Like a writing career… (Need to re-read this. Again, and again.)

Business for Authors: How to Be an Author Entrepreneur by Joanna Penn. Solid, one-stop advice. Keep this in arm’s reach at all times.

Prosperous Creation: Make Art and Make Money at the Same Time (Growth Hacking For Storytellers #5) by Monica Leonelle. I’ll put this in the same bucket as Honoree’s book above. Monica is one of my inspirations, having just powered through the kind of transition I’d like to make myself.

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen. Classic. And I’ll probably re-read it again in 2018.

A Psychologist’s Seven Secrets for Making Big Changes Successfully by Anna M. Charbonneau. I had the pleasure of meeting Anna at the Smarter Artist conference. She’s definitely less widely-known than she deserves to be. No filler here. Just 46 pages of solid gold.

The Like Switch: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Influencing, Attracting, and Winning People Over by Jack Schafer. For someone on the spectrum, this is GOLD. Detailed descriptions of facial expressions and body languages, with pictures. I feel like I internally have been compiling a book like this just to get by, and here it is, better and more eloquently spelled out. Lots of solid advice besides.


My fiction reading was abyssmal this year–hardly read anything at all. Only one book hit the 5-star threshold.

Death’s End (Remembrance of Earth’s Past #3) by Liu Cixin. If your head isn’t spinning with new ideas for weeks after reading this, you probably can’t pass a Turing Test.

What books did you read in 2017 that you’d recommend? Comment below.