This year my goal was to read 20 books. According to my Kindle I kind of read 24. Kind of, because not all of them are finished, but I’ll introduce all of them to you. I’ll add the few paper books I read as well, and here it is, my 2018 reading list – 26 personal recommendations.
I’m always reading several books at the same time: One professional, one novel, and one about the mind/body/soul free-time non-fiction book.
The goal of 20 was strongly influenced by the Harry Potter books I read once again, oops.
I guess there’s no need to tell you who is Harry Potter. But if you never read the books and only watched the movies (and liked them), give the books a try. So much deeper, so much more insight into the feelings & thoughts, so many more details.
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows
- Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
You might ask where are part 1 & 2, those I read in the end of 2017.
Category “Just cool”
There are two books without a category, I just don’t know where to put them. Both non-fiction. Both are cool, so here we go.
- The girl with the lower back tattoo by Amy Schumer. I think it was the first one I read this year and I remember laughing a lot. The „girl“ Amy Shumer is an actor and comedian and tells about her life in a really funny way – so it’s an autobiography. I have to admit I’ve never seen her shows, but loved the book.
- Factfullness – Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World–and Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Anna Rosling Rönnlund, Hans Rosling, and Ola Rosling. Everyone must read this book. I’m serious. It’s explaning how the vast majority of people have a wrong, very often outdated picture of the world. He explains how the gap instinct and other things media is full of, leads to these beliefs and how to get rid of them. It’s just amazing, trust me!
The first three books on this list are inspired by a friend’s book shelf and are his all-time favorites. So I just took a photo & gave them a try. Here we go.
- I am the messenger by Markus Zusak. The story of a normal guy, who does nothing extraordinary is mixed by a mysterious Ace of Diamonds card. I loved reading the book and it made me think about the potential which resides within all of us.
- The book thief by Markus Zusak. This book is more famous than the messenger, and there’s also a movie adaptation from 2013.
- The first fifteen lives of Harry August by Claire North. It’s a very cool science fiction novel which I have to admit I haven’t finished reading. At some point around the middle, I got lost. But I loved the idea and have to give it another try, I guess. The main idea: The main charakter is born in 1919 and after his death he is being reborn, in the same place at the same time – remembering his previous life. He is being reborn over and over again, remembering everything he has learned in the previous lifes.
- 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. This was the last book I’ve finished. The story was told by two different people: Tengo and Aomame. Some bizarre events were happening in their lifes and I was very curious to see, how they end up being connected. The last pages kind of disappointed me and I’m left confused about what actually happened here.
UX & Creativity
- User Experience Team of One – A Research and Design Survival Guide by Leah Buley. A perfect book for UX starters. The first part was not very relevant for me, as it was a lot of generic information about UX. The second part was extremely helpful, as she is telling about methods for each stage of a design process: Planning, Researching, Designing, Testing.
- Don’t Make me Think by by Steve Krug. I’ve wrote about it already in the Learning UX article. While the title is already Rule No. 1 of interface design – don’t make your users think, Steve Krug also gives cool examples of how navigations, buttons and forms should be done. Helpful to read once, and then check back in when you’re working on something specific.
- The design of everyday things (originall the psychology of everyday things) by Don Norman was written in 1988, so it’s alredy kind of old. Nevertheless, it’s a helpful book for newbies into UX, as it explains the general idea of building user-centered things – doesn’t matter if it’s apps or doors. I recommend to read the 2013 edition, as it was updated by the author.
- Creative Confidence by David M. Kelley and Tom Kelley from IDEO/D.School. It’s a very inspiring and motivating book stating that everyone is creative, and every job can profit from people doing it in a creative way.
- Lean UX by Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden. I haven’t read the whole book, but some parts which were helpful for me at that time. The main question here is: how to work as a designer and user experience engineer while doing agile projects?
- 100 more things every designer needs to know about people by Susan Weinschenk. I got this book as a present at the UX Meetup and it’s wonderful to keep it next to the computer all the time to read single articles when you need them. Especially when you need to backup an argument on why you designed stuff in a certain way.
- The best Interface is no Interface: The Simple Path to Brilliant Technology by Golden Krishna. I’m still reading this one and really like it so far as the author gives a different approach on design and technology. The main purpose of UX is to make the lifes of people easier by designing some solution for it. And this solution might not always be an app used on a phone, tablet or computer – sometimes no interface is required at all.
Home & life
- Magic Cleaning: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. Life changing and amazing. Read it if you’re willing to organize your possessions & home. Easy to read, but you need to use it as a workbook for it to work – read, apply, declutter, continue reading.
- Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. Read this if you didn’t have enough of the first book, and need more input and inspiration. A very easy read, but cannot read a lot at once.
- The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin. Gretchen Rubin devoted a year of her life to trying out different methods to make herself happier. At first I loved it, then I somehow dropped it. Finished it in the end thinking it was a little superficial, but still inspiring and easy to read if you need some inspiration on how to make your life cooler.
- The little book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking. Well, after reading the second book of his, Lykke, I thought to give this one a chance as well. And while it’s nice to read, especially when heading home from work, I just strongly dislike the huge amount of advertisement towards Denmark. I mean, yes. You guys are a cool country, but it’s written like the Danes invented candles, coffee and pastries.
Yoga, mind & Soul
- The 8 human talents: The Yoga Way to Restore Balance and Serenity Within by Gurmukh Most amazing book I’ve read on yoga so far. Ok, it’s the only one, I admit. Learn here about chakras and your own body, mind and soul.
- Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer. Well this is clearly a self-help book. And I have to admin, I never finished reading it – because with these books, you need to find the right moment of your life to read them. I’ve been very satisfied with my life this year, so not a good time to read sth. like this. But maybe you need it?
- The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters by Emily Esfahani Smith. Same here – I really like it, and wanted to read the book at home, to be able to do the little “extercises” Emily writes about. But then I didn’t have the need to work on my life, as everything was pretty cool already. I’ll keep in on my list for next year.
I hope you liked my book list. Let me know what you’ve read lately and what’s still on your list. I’m always looking for new interesting books about UX, psychology, the mind, happiness, yoga, life and some interesting novels about unusual people and situations.
Have a great end of year! <3