Fact is I love reading. In the past couple of years (here and here) I documented my top book picks and their major takeaways.

This year is no different.

  • I finished over 70 titles with over 19k pages and 54 pages a day
  • Resulting in 6 books a month on average
  • Of which only 2 titles (good ones) were fiction
  • Due to my day job at a Big Four consulting firm, hours spent commuting, endurance training, lifestyle coaching etc.  reading was split in 3 parts: ⅓ audiobooks, ⅓ kindle and ⅓ paper.
  • This year I decided to focus on a great reading experience first. That’s why I dropped 3 titles which were hard to read or lacked substance.

As a self-quantification nerd, I’ve collected high level notes and specific book stats here. If you check it, you’ll notice that each book got rated from 1 to 10 (absolute stunner).

Without further ado here’s the list of the best books (the 10s and 9s only) I read this year.

Reads rated 10/10 (5 titles):

Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman by Ralph Leighton

Richard Feynman is known as one the greatest theoretical physicists. But you might not know that his life was also full of experiences of the sort that you force your grandparents to tell you again and again. Fascinating material! From his days working on the first atomic bomb, presenting to top physicists like Einstein, personal losses, to his fascination with drawing and safe cracking. All of this is captured in a way that’s authentic to Feynman – with humor and not taking oneself too seriously.

The 50th Law by Robert Greene and 50cent

I was skeptical of this book as it was written by two very different personas: a best selling author and a former thug rapper turned business mogul. I’m glad I read it however, as the book is one of the kind. It covers Fiddy’s life lessons from the streets, which overlap with what Robert Greene refers to as the universal laws of power (ref: 48 Laws of Power book). It’s a must-read for all type-a personalities, hustlers and anyone who wants to, as Fiddy says ‘turn shit into sugar’.

Iron War by Matt Fitzgerald

Not just one of my best books of 2017, but the best sports book of all time. Period. Not only does it cover an epic endurance duel in sports history (at Ironman no less) but Fitzgerald’s writing makes it a joy to read. The polarity of the main characters and their fight to the last drop of blood makes this book a page-turner.

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

One of the best memoirs I’ve ever read. It’s a great example that success can take decades of hardcore entrepreneurship. Phil’s story is filled with personal lessons: relationship wins and failures, challenges dealing with foreign suppliers, scaling the firm into a world renown brand, and more. It’s a relatable story, that feels like it was written to inspire others. Especially those who want to start a business or take their venture to the next level.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Long recommended by my wife as a great fiction book, this one didn’t disappoint. In fact, it’s definitely one of the best novels I’ve ever read. It’s an americana, thriller, gory horror mashup and masterful storytelling filled ride. It’s centered on mysterious protagonists who gets dragged into a world of gods who live among men. It’s chaotic, bloody and thrilling since the gods are at war. As with any masterpiece what makes it stand out is the uniqueness of each character we’re introduced to.


Reads rated 9/10 (9 titles):

Show Your Work by Austin Kleon

A short and sweet book covering the importance of sharing your work. Specifically, your work in progress, because people (customers, users, fans, etc.) love to see not only the final results, but everything to do with how it’s made.

Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss

A field manual for negotiation: from talking with kidnappers to negotiating a better salary. The book is full of real-life examples and constructive questions that will help you become a better negotiator.

What Doesn’t Kill Us by Scott Carney

Wim Hof and his iceman feats have been in the headlines for the last few years. The book captures Wim’s unique lifestyle, the importance of breathing and exposure to cold to achieve extraordinary results.

Kettlebell Simple & Sinister by Pavel Tsatsouline

A simple and straightforward guide to training with kettlebells aka “the ancient russian weapon against weakness”. Kettlebells have transformed the way I train and this book gave me ideas for new training protocols.

Alien: River of Pain by the Audible crew

An original story told by not just top-notch voiceover artists but also epic sound effects. This is a horror drama that takes place just before the movie Alien 2 takes place.

Tripping Over Truth by Travis Christofferson

This book should be read by any health nut. The basic premise is that cancer among other chronic diseases (heart diseases, diabetes etc.) is a metabolic defect that can be prevented with diet.

Your Move by Ramit Sethi

This is a short and actionable guide to help you discover what people really want so you can develop outstanding solutions and make profit. I found it extremely insightful, especially for anyone who wants to discover how to give value to the end-user, regardless of industry.

Do The Work by Steven Pressfield

Like War of Art, this is a manifesto about getting shit done. It’s about doing the work for work’s sake, instead of waiting for motivation. Pressfield argues that in order to produce something remarkable you just have to keep showing up and motivation will take care of itself.

Purple Cow by Seth Godin

This book is a brilliant write-up on what makes solutions remarkable. It covers how and why one must make their service stand out by caring above all that they’re giving value. Seth argues that it’s not enough just to introduce a competing product and crank up the ads for it. The product or service has to be so much better than existing solutions that it can create its own pull and its own momentum.


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