My Biggest Change in 2016: It’s Not What You Think


Twenty-seven.  I can’t believe I actually read (or listened to) 27 books this year.  That’s easily more than I’d read the previous 15 years since graduating high school!

And you probably thought I was going to say that I quit working to become a semi-retired freelancing stay at home dad kind of guy.


The biggest change I made in 2016 was that I started reading again.  Like, actual books with lots of pages and chapters and a storyline.

Some of you may be rolling your eyes thinking, “Wow, that’s your biggest change?  Cool story, bro.”

Seriously, I think reading all these books highlighted the personal growth journey I’ve been on over the last year.  Scanning through the list of everything I read below gives you a good idea where my head was at as the year went on.

With the exception of It Is Only Money and It Grows on Trees, which I was given to review, every book was borrowed from the public library.  If you haven’t been to the library in a while, it is an amazing place.  I even started volunteering at the library on base as a way to give back.

Without going into too much detail, there were a few books that really stood out for me.

Tell My Sons and Tuesdays With Morrie – Both were written either by or about someone facing imminent death and provide honest and candid lessons on life.

Killing _____ – I love learning about history, but often feel my knowledge is lacking.  This series gives unique insights into the deaths of a few of history’s most influential figures.

Skunk Works – This book definitely played to my nerdy engineer and Air Force officer side.  What Lockheed was able to accomplish with the U-2, SR-71, and F-117, among others, is simply amazing.

I’m currently reading Killing Kennedy and plan to continue my reading habit into 2017 and beyond.

Here’s a complete list of everything I read starting from the beginning of the year until now.  Have you read any good books lately?

Getting Unstuck by Pema Chödrön

Why Meditate? By Matthieu Ricard

You Are Here:  Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment by Thich Nhat Hanh

Flow:  The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

You Are Not So Smart by David McRaney

The Genius in All of Us:  Why Everything You’ve Been Told About Genetics, Talent, and Intelligence is Wrong by David Shenk

Moonwalking With Einstein:  The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer

Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner

One Simple Act:  Discovering the Power of Generosity by Debbie Macomber

Simplify:  Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul by Bill Hybels

The Upside of Irrationality:  The Unexpected Benefit of Defying Logic by Dan Ariely

Tell My Sons:  A Father’s Last Letters by Lt Col Mark M. Weber

Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom

The Company We Keep:  A Husband and Wife True-Life Spy Story by Robert and Dana Baer

Flash Boys:  A Wall Street Revolt by Michael Lewis

The Cheapskate Next Door:  The Surprising Secrets of Americans Living Happily Below Their Means by Jeff Yeager

Crippled America by Donald J. Trump

Death by Black Hole:  And Other Cosmic Quandaries by Neil deGrasse Tyson

The Little Book of Big Dividends:  A Safe Formula for Guaranteed Returns by Charles B. Carlson

Instinct:  The Power to Unleash Your Inborn Drive by T.D. Jakes

My Stroke of Insight:  A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey by Jill Bolte Taylor

Killing Patton:  The Strange Death of World War II’s Most Audacious General by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard

It’s Only Money and It Grows on Trees by Cara MacMillan

Skunk Works:  A Personal Memoir of my Years at Lockheed by Ben Rich and Leo Janos

Linchpin:  Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin

Killing Jesus:  A History by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard

Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard

2 thoughts on “My Biggest Change in 2016: It’s Not What You Think

  1. chiefmomofficer says:

    Congrats on reading so many books this year! I’ve always enjoyed getting Jeff Yeagers books from the library. I agree that the library is the best source of reading material, especially when you read a lot. Can’t get a better price than free!

    My favorite book I (re) read this year is “Stop Acting Rich and Start Acting Like a Real Millionaire” by Dr. Thomas Stanley. He’s the author of the famous “The Millionaire Next Door”, and I love this follow-up book for its perspective on the big difference between acting – and actually being – rich.

    Liked by 1 person

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