2019: Books for January and February

As mentioned here in a post about the Goodreads challenge, I want to organise the books I read a little better this year.

I’d like to read more biographies for one. Also more of the classics. I started 2017 with the Count of Monte Cristo followed by Great Expectations and they were both brilliant. Classics are classics for a reason.

So I’ve gone through my books and put together the first 10 books I want to read this year:


Life – Keith Richards

An absolute crime I haven’t read this yet. I’ve been saving it I guess.

Einstein – Walter Isaacson

Thought Isaacson’s Steve Jobs was a great read and this look good too.

Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968 – Ryan Walsh

A book about the best album of all time. Haven’t bought it yet but I will SOON.

The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg

Already into this. Enjoying it.

My 12 Recommended Books for 2015

Willpower – Kelly McGonigal

A nice companion book to ‘The Power of Habit’, I think.

Homo Deus – Yuval Noah Harari

A loved this guy’s first book and this looks fascinating.

Educated – Tara Westover

Have to see what all the fuss is about with this one.


Killing Commendatore – Haruki Murakami

A new book by my favourite author. Bought and waiting on the kindle. I was going to buy the actual book but it’s a great whooping hardcover and all the other Murakami books I used to own have been either given away or lost moving. Bizarrely the digital version might be the more durable option. This is the book I’m most looking forward to.

Crime and Punishment – Dostoevsky

Here’s a classic! Spend an hour comparing 5 different translations on amazon. Tough going. Got the Juliya Salkovskaya, Nicholas Rice translation which I preferred to the others.

Robinson Crusoe – Defoe

And… another classic! One of the first English novels. Written in 1719 so celebrating its 300th birthday this year. Worth reading just for that.

That’s the first 10.Feeling organised!

Hoping to finish these in 2 months which might be optimistic. Anybody else lining books up for the new year?

25 thoughts on “2019: Books for January and February

      1. I may have to give him a try. Which book would be good to start with? I’m about to start, “Beartown”, (by the guy who wrote A Man Called Ove) which I heard a little of through books on tape, but one of the drawbacks of books on tape is that it takes forever to get through it. So… it is sitting here waiting.

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      2. Wind up bird chronicle and Kaftka on the shore. Both such good novels….masterpieces I think. The first murakami book I read was dance, dance, dance….much shorter and a good gateway to his style. Love to hear your thoughts if you read one of his books.

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      3. Yes! I did actually it was the first of his I read. There’s something about the way he writes for me. Didn’t think much of that short one, After Dark, I think…but the rest…thoroughly enjoyed everything.


      4. I didn’t really get it…but since going to Japan I think I understand their culture more and the liminal magical qualities to everyday life which he has in his books, I have only read Dance Dance Dance, which others do you recommend?


      1. About $80 HKD on Book Depository then there’s a promotion for us HKers at checkout – HK10 code gets you another 10% off. Code is good for the next few days I think. The Kindle version is still $15 USD.


  1. Highly recommend Duhigg’s Power of Habit- it was a life changer for me, honestly. The Willpower Instinct- not so much. Crime and Punishment also had a major impact on me as a young man in my 20s- it is the best book I’ve read on the inescapable nature of humanity’s intertwined relationship with ethics and morality.


  2. Yuval Noah Harari is a gifted writer, and I ate up all three books (his latest, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, is a great read, as is Sapiens and Homo Deus). Like Steven Pinker, he makes a difficult subject matter relatable, relevant and is not shy of giving his opinion!

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  3. Amen brother! It was through the Waking Up podcast that I first heard of him- I quickly got my hands on and ate up ‘Sapiens’ and ‘Homo Dues,’ which I will re-read once I’ve gotten through the 45 books I’ve mapped out for September through May. The reason I’ve got such a heavy reading schedule is due mostly to the many compelling guests he’s featured over the past years who were also authors with contemporary titles. With few exceptions, they have all been very read-worthy books!


  4. I read Isaacson’s Einstein when it came out and enjoyed it, although a little on the long side. He was the first to make popularly known some information about Einstein that is now pretty available (but I’ll avoid mentioning it in case it would be a spoiler for you) so that was exciting. But I felt the book could have been cut down quite a bit.

    Liked by 1 person

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