Here is a copy of my third post from January 3, 2015, followed by a brief update:
I’ve enjoyed the 31 day Write and Run Challenge so far, particularly the writing aspect (although it’s only day 3!). I’ve often thought about starting a daily blog. I’ve always enjoyed reading Seth Godin’s blog, impressed with the fact that he posts to it every day and at this point has over 5,000 posts, and thought “I should do that.” But for a variety of reasons I’ve never done anything about it.
But I guess there was just something about this #writeandrun31 challenge that appealed to me; perhaps the fact that it was exercise-based, had the daily writing challenge, and was started by a vegan hit all the right buttons.
Anyway, while I am excited by this 30-day challenge, another 2015 challenge captured my interest, and I have signed on for that as well.
Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook fame has started “A Year of Books” challenge in which you read and discuss a new book every two weeks. While I love to read, this will be a daunting task, since I am sure there won’t be any Calvin and Hobbes books among Mark’s biweekly choices, unfortunately. As one data point to support this view, the first book is “The End of Power” by Moises Naim.
It will be interesting to keep track of what happens to the books that Mark selects; Naim’s book is already the number 2 selling book in its category on Amazon, despite having only 54 reviews. I am guessing the impact will be similar to what happened to the books chosen for Oprah’s book club. I am also curious to see if there will be any works of fiction among the chosen books.
All of this talk of books has helped me to recall some of my favorite books of the past few years, all of which I can highly recommend, and some of which may be a little off the beaten path:
The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin; mentioned in yesterday’s blog as well.
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts; a beautifully written, mostly autobiographical novel.
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas; OK, so I was way behind in getting to this one, but it was well worth the wait.
Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes; again, just getting caught up on some of the classics.
The Rosie Project: A Novel by Graeme Simsion; this was highly recommended by Bill Gates, who called it “one of the most profound novels” he had read in a long time.
I’m still hoping that at some point these daily blog posts become less about me (who I am thankful for, the search for my passion, or my 2015 challenges) and more about providing my thoughts on issues that I care about, but for now I am happy that I am just writing something every day.
Well, I stuck to the 31 day Write and Run Challenge, in fact, it’s now been going for over seven years.
However, my goal of reading all of the books that were part of Marck Zuckerberg’s Year of Books Challenge was an epic failure.
I never finished the first one, and I ended up starting the second one late. I never finished that one either, and sp at that point, I called it quits. I didn’t finish a single book on the list, and I never even started any of the final 21 books on the list.
Maybe I’ll start a new challenge, to read one of the 23 books each year, for the next 23 years. That will get me to the ripe old age of 87.
I can’t do any worse than I did the first time around.
In case you are curious, here is the complete list. I was right about one thing, there were no Calvin & Hobbes books on the list…
- The End of Power by Moisés Naím
- The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker
- Gang Leader for a Day by Sudhir Venkatesh
- On Immunity by Eula Biss
- Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull
- The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. Kuhn
- Rational Ritual by Michael Suk-Young Chwe
- Dealing With China by Henry M. Paulson Jr.
- Orwell’s Revenge by Peter Huber
- The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
- The Muqaddimah by Ibn Khaldun
- Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
- The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks
- Energy: A Beginner’s Guide by Vaclav Smil
- Genome by Matt Ridley
- The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James
- Portfolios of the Poor by Daryl Collins, Jonathan Morduch, Stuart Rutherford, and Orlanda Ruthven
- Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson
- The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley
- The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu
- The Idea Factory by Jon Gertner
- World Order by Henry Kissinger
- The Beginning of Infinity by David Deutsch