My 2012 Reading Challenge: 36 Books

For the last two years I’ve set myself a challenge – one I adopted from Julien Smith – to read at least 26 books per year. That’s one every two weeks.

In 2010 I managed 26 books; last year I managed 32.

Stand-out books for me last year included:

This year, I’m shooting for 36.

I’m looking forward to getting stuck into a bunch of books that have been on my “to read” list for a while – books like Humanize, Predictably Irrational, Here Comes Everybody, Empowered, Social Media ROI and the The Hunger Games Trilogy.

What books have you enjoyed recently, and what are you looking forward to reading?

(Image: kwerfeldein on Flickr)

  • Liza Jones

    Dave – this is a great challenge. I don’t know that I can commit to 36, but I may try to set a book reading goal for myself, too.

    You should consider adding Brains on Fire: Igniting Powerful, Sustainable Word of Mouth Movements to your list. (Full disclosure, Brains on Fire is one of our clients, but the message in the book about how to reframe the marketing conversation is really relevant for PR practitioners today).

    Also – hope you like The Hunger Games trilogy! The movie comes out in March so hopefully you can read it before the film comes out. I really enjoyed those books. Also on my list is Measure What Matters by Katie Paine.

  • Melanie

    Hunger Games Trilogy needs to make its way to the top of your priority list 😉  I am currently on the second one, and to be honest, you could kill three birds with one stone – easy to get through this trilogy in two weeks!

  • Y’know I’ve never set a goal in terms of the number of books to read over the course of a year. Not a bad idea that Dave. I find I read a number of books piece-by-piece all at once, some for work others for pleasure. 

    Since you ask, I’m currently reading “In the Garden of Beasts” by Erik Larson & “Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics, 2nd edition” by Brian Clifton. Guess which is for work.

    I’ve still got Jeff Jarvis’ “Public Parts” to get to & I’ve been flipping through & need to spend more time with “A Century of Spies” by Jeffrey T. Richelson. I’ll spare you & others the rest of my lengthy list.

  • Jen Zingsheim

    I love to read and hit 30 last year, including two 900+ page books and two more that were 600+ pages. My goal this year is also 36.

    Standouts for me included: 1Q84, The Last Days of Ptolemy Gray, and Cutting for Stone . All fiction–I read mostly fiction books. I’m going to try and work in a few more non-fiction ones this year, that’s part 2 of the goal. Right now I’m reading Sarah’s Key (fiction, for book club) and Manager’s Guide to Crisis Management (non-fiction) for work.

    Good luck with your goal!


    • I hear you on the long books part! Four of mine were in the Game of Thrones series, with ~1,100 pages each. I tell myself that means I read about 40 books 😉

      I liked the Manager’s Guide to Crisis Management book. Mainly useful for non-crisis comms folks, but a useful (and needed) primer nonetheless.

  • I’ll be curious to see your review of the Game of Thrones. I love the Showtime series.
    Maybe I’ll limit myself to 36 books this year – I could get some other stuff done that way.  😉

    • I think the books are phenomenal – full of twists and turns. I couldn’t put them down – I read all four back-to-back (I still need to get to the fifth one).

      The fourth was weaker than the other three in my opinion, but still worth reading. Haven’t seen the series yet but I plan on it soon.

  • Anonymous

    This may help.

  • Daniel Milstein

    That is true. As an author and business man, I can relate to how you said, “Stand out books”. I hope more people discover your blog because you really know what you’re talking about.  Can’t wait to read more from you!

  • i just wiki’d the last ringbeater.  in the credits there is a pdf version of the book… handy of you have an e-reader 

    • That’s actually how I read it, too. Interesting to even conceive of another side to the story, especially if you think of the LoTR as being a biased telling.

      • 2/3’s of the way through this book, i had high hopes, and not just cuz you wanted to read it.  concept sounds amazing!  but really, not good… if you haven’t read game of thrones yet, read that first.  (my 2 cents)

  • Pingback: My 2012 Book Queue « Blogjammin'()

  • Nice. I think I read around 25….just finished 9 on my four week vacation. Notables for me were Final Jeopardy,Rock Then Roll- The Secrets of Culture Driven Leadership (Great book about ING), In the Plex, and Delivering Happiness by Zappos’ CEO. 

  • thank you very much for such a great post!

  • i liked this post! i am sure that i am not alone in it)

  • I noticed you have Predictably Irrational on the list which is fantastic (and Dan Ariely is a brilliant and hilarious speaker). You might want to check out Ariely’s mentor, Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman’s book “Thinking Fast and Slow” that I recently started. . It’s a dense book that’s more detailed than the average business book but you get all the nuances of how the human mind works. He’s also one of the few people who synthesize vast amounts of data into great information that’s digestible but not oversimplified.

  • I read some of those books, but my nomber of books for year is much less, I can’t find time for normal reading, so wish you best! 36 books for this year – believe you’ll make it!

  • This looks like a great list. I just finished up reading Caildini’s “Influence” and am now reading “The Secret To Money Is Having Some” which is an interesting read as well. Looking forward to your review of “Brainwashed”. I hear the Hunger Games trilogy is really fantastic (and going to movie) but I haven’t had a chance to read it yet myself.