Well, I don’t think I had words for 2012 but in hindsight the key topics were music, family and work – I’ll explain briefly below.
2013 looks great so far and my three words are as follows (other people’s words: Mitch Joel, C.C. Chapman, Chris Brogan, Chris Penn, and if you look in the comments of these posts you can find a lot more):
Momentum: There are a couple of things/projects right now on the cusp of either launch or already proving to be very rewarding for me, starting with a new job. I need to continue working on them, cutting unnecessary clutter or projects which are weighing heavily or slowing down.
Breathe: I had ‘breathe’ as my main and first word when I started mapping this out. I need to continue to find breaks of ‘me’-time, catch my breath, listen to my surroundings, ideally meditate, be patient and take care of my health, too.
Play: Music has been the catalyst of last year for sure (see below) and it has to continue to be as it pulls the other two words into one. New songs have come for the first time in many years and I wan to build on that.
In 2012, I was very busy work-wise but left that position after the summer holidays and really took my time to find a new fit. It was hard at times to be patient but I think it will pay off wonderfully.
Being out of work left me with time to be with my wife and children and tackle different projects like cleaning out the basement, putting up rabbit wire. And time to reflect the last 12 years of working in PR and advertising, goals and myself which was a good thing.
Finally music. I found a new band in which I play bass and got to go back on stage after a 18 year hiatus and we’re playing regularly and it is loads of fun. It is a test too, scrambling to get to three hours worth of music in my head and trying to fit in playing in a nightclub with a working day schedule.
So the primary reading list for the upcoming year is finished and you can view it here. Last year was much the one before in terms of output (25) although I was a bit more strict on not finishing books I didn’t want to read further. As you can see I am starting the year with five books at the same time, books I started in December. Not a good sign, but then I got a lot of book gifts or added another interest (e.g. Sherlock Holmes after discovering the TV show “Elementary”).
I am looking forward to the book by Mitch Joel this year and also giving David Foster Wallace another try, reading Dave Eggers and learning more about VC (that’s hidden in the picture).
Reading came very much in waves last year, highly productive months vs. months where progress was painstakingly slow. The two biographies were work (Steve Jobs, Keith Richards) and 10 Days to Faster Reading was good in a way but tedious. The Richard Branson book was one you can skip and I was really glad for the new C.C. Chapman book to arrive to give me good excuse to shelve it.
As always, I’ll probably finish half of what is on this preliminary list and add 10 that I haven’t yet thought of. I suppose the best solution there would be to push for lots of reading time in the first three months and then just keep at it. We’ll see.
As for the last couple of years, there will be a reading list for 2012. Last year was pretty good, I worked my way through 24 books. Some of them were short, sure, but the ideas still valuable.
After 28 books in 2009 and 18 in 2010 two books/month is a nice pace, considering that I have other hobbies, too?
The shortlist for this year looks as follows at the end of the post and as always you can keep track of my progress on this page.
In the last couple of years this would also mean changing my twitter background, but the shelf hasn’t really changed. Now what? I’ll find something 😉
What are you reading?
- PLI/Abby Marks Beale – 10 Days to faster Reading
- Georg Franck – Die Ökonomie der Aufmerksamkeit
- Thomas Klupp – Paradiso
- Nick Hornby – Juliet Naked
- Siri Hustvest – Enchantment of Lily Dahl
- Chris Brogan/Julien Smith – Trust Agents
- Jack Falla – Home Ice
- Minette Walters – The Breaker
- O’Reilly – Your Brain: The Missing Manual
- Charles Frazier – Thirteen Moons
- Harper Lee – To Kill a Mockingbird (*)
- Hanif Kureishi – The Buddha of Suburbia
- Richard Powers – Generosity
- Charles Bukowski – Ham on Rye
- Chip & Dan Heath – Switch
- Steven Levy – In the Plex
- Walther Isaacson – Steve Jobs Biography
- Eric Ries – The Lean Startup
- Thomas Pletzinger – Gentlemen, wir leben am Abgrund
- David Halberstam – Playing for keeps
- Jonathan Lethem – Chronic City
- Don DeLillo – Underworld
- Gavin Menzies – 1421
- Jostein Gaardner – Sophie’s World
- Andreas Eschbach – Eine Billion Dollar*
- Jaron Lanier – You’re not a gadget
- Lee Child – Reacher No. 17
- Nassim Nicholas Taleb – Der Schwarze Schwan+
- Howard Jacobson – No more Mr. Nice Guy+
- James Altucher – I was Blind but now I See + (Kindle for iPhone)
- Tom Peters – Re-Imagine +