The books I read in 20236 min leitura

This marks the fourth year of my annual booklist, organized into categories such as Productivity, Leadership, Product Management, and Others. For each category, I’ve selected a top recommendation and have shared some thoughts on the habit of reading.

This is now the fourth consecutive year that I’m publishing the books that I’ve read (posts are only available in Portuguese: 2022, 2021, and 2020). It’s always a great moment to reflect upon everything I’ve learned and traveled to distant lands.

List of books read by category

Following the structure of this blog, I’ve broken down the books into four main categories:

Productivity

  • How to Make Notes and Write, by Dan Allosso and S.F. Allosso;
  • Zen To Done, by Leo Babauta.

Leadership

  • Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win, by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin;
  • Remote Team Interactions Workbook: Using Team Topologies Patterns for Remote Working, by Manuel Pais and Matthew Skelton;
  • Working Backwards: Insights, Stories, and Secrets from Inside Amazon, by Colin Bryar and Bill Carr;
  • Resilient Management, by Lara Hogan.

Product Management

  • Shape Up: Stop Running in Circles and Ship Work that Matters, by Ryan Singer;
  • The Product Book: How to Become A Great Product Manager, by Josh Anon and Carlos González de Villaumbrosia;
  • The Lean Product Playbook: How to Innovate with Minimum Viable Products and Rapid Customer Feedback, by Dan Olsen;
  • Product-Led Growth: How to Build a Product That Sells Itself, by Wes Bush;
  • Product-Led Onboarding: How to Turn New Users Into Lifelong Customers, by Ramli John and Wes Bush;
  • Modern Digital Product Management: The Digital Product as a Means to Deliver Value to the User and the Business (available only in Portugese, original title: “Gestão Moderna de Produtos Digitais: O Produto Digital como um meio de entregar valor para o usuário e para o negócio”) by Diego Eis.

Others

Fiction

  • Other Inquisitions, by Jorge Luis Borges;
  • Fight Club, by Chuck Palahniuk;
  • Rendezvous with Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke;
  • The Golem, by por Gustav Meyrink;
  • The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig.

Nonfiction

  • Short Anti-racist Guide (available only in Portugese, original title: “Pequeno Manual Antirracista”), by Djamila Ribeiro;
  • You Should Write a Book, by Katel LeDû and Lisa Maria Marquis;
  • Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, by Yuval Noah Harari;
  • Excellent Advice for Living: Wisdom I Wish I’d Known Earlier, by Kevin Kelly;
  • Silence, by Thich Nhat Hanh;
  • Notes on the Pandemic: And Brief Lessons for the Post-Pandemic World, by Yuval Noah Harari;
  • Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb;
  • Steal Like an Artist, by Austin Kleon;
  • Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb;
  • Will, by Will Smith and Mark Manson;
  • Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation, by Steven Johnson;
  • Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today’s Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter, by Steven Johnson;
  • The Pathless Path: Imagining a New Story For Work and Life, by Paul Millerd.

Graphic Novel

  • Incal, by Alejandro Jodorowsky.

One recommendation per category

Productivity

Zen To Done, by Leo Babauta. Even though it was published 15 years ago (2008) it is still very up to date. The methods are simple and direct to the point, but also very flexible.

Leadership

Working Backwards: Insights, Stories, and Secrets from Inside Amazon, by Colin Bryar and Bill Carr. I love processes and this book had plenty of them. It was very insightful trying to apply some of them where in my day-to-day life and seeing the impact that a company culture has on them. I especially enjoyed how complex graphs were built to be able to give a quick overview of various data points to help make better decisions.

Product Management

The Lean Product Playbook: How to Innovate with Minimum Viable Products and Rapid Customer Feedback, by Dan Olsen. This was hands down the best book about the subject that I’ve read, especially since it had some specific points about product management for websites.

Others

Fiction

Rendezvous with Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke. I had no background of the story and bought the book many years ago in a second-hand shop just because of its author. It was a pleasant surprise to be immersed in this amazing world. I still vividly remember some images that I’ve imagined from this book, especially the ecosystem inside the Cilindric spaceship.

Nonfiction

Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. This was one of the books that was very hard for me to stop reading. I was eager to go to bed every day so I could read a little more. It’s hard to give a summary of this book, but it ignited my analytical mindset, and some of its ideas constantly come back to me.

Graphic Novel

Incal, by Alejandro Jodorowsky. This one was easy since there was just one item in this category. This was actually the second time that I’ve read it and still was a lot of fun. I love the drawing style from Moebius and the writing from Jodorowsky. I hope that they can bring a similar feeling of wonder and self-reflection in the upcoming movie based on this graphic novel.

Insights

Since the first year, I’ve incrementally made some small improvements in how I share this list. This time I will add some data insights, using ChatGPT to create graphs.

Languages

Since this is my first year publishing this list in English, I thought it would be interesting to see how many books I’ve read in English and in Portuguese. To my own surprise, the ratio was almost the same.

Category overview

If we break down the Others category, we have:

Final thoughts

My goal is to maintain a consistent daily reading habit, so I don’t aim to hit a certain number or try to read more than last year. I pick books based on what I’m most curious about at the moment, sometimes this is focusing on a subject that I want to learn more about (this year was Product Management), without thinking too much about it. Reading two types of books at the same time is what has worked the best for me in the last years. One of them is something I want to learn and the other a relaxing book that I read before sleeping (normally fiction).

I hope that this list inspires you to pick one of these books. Happy reading!

Cover image generated in ChatGPT using “Image Generator” plugin.

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2 Comentários

  1. Another excellent post. I’ve already added your recommendations to my wishlist and purchased “Zen To Done” to read it later this year. Keep up the good work!

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