I Kept My 2017 New Year’s Resolution

Top Books of 2017

Y’all.  I kept my 2017 New Year’s Resolution!  All roads lead to November of 2016.  I started thinking long and hard about ways to focus more on improving myself instead of wallowing in self-doubt and shame.  I chatted with my dad and he told me simply, “Son, pick up a good book, find a quiet place, enjoy the peace and feed your mind.”  As a kid my dad would read… read… read… read… and read some more.  He actually still does.  I remember having to read books on activities and places prior to actually having to do them.  I hated it, but in retrospect, it was a pretty cool segue into so many of the moments we shared.  Based on his advice, I decided that I’d read more.  Mind you, I haven’t completed a whole book in years, and it was at least undergrad when I would actually read for fun.

Starting on January 1, 2017, I picked up Hillbilly Elegy by  JD Vance.  I hated it.  While I didn’t think the book was great, I found my brain working in ways it hadn’t in a long time.  I was… foggy.  As with any other part of the body, the brain needs that challenge.  It needs exercise.  Not only did I continue to read throughout the year, I read 37 books.  I learned so much and challenged so many things I thought were true and learned so much about myself in the process.  Take a look at everything I read in 2017.  Links are included.


Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

by JD Vance

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in America
by Matthew Desmond

MONEY Master the Game:  7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom
by Tony Robbins

Born a Crime:  Stories from a South African Childhood
by Trevor Noah

Rise of the Warrior Cop:  The Militarization of America’s Police Forces
by Radley Balko

White Rage:  The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide
by Carol Anderson

Tao of Charlie Munger:  A Compilation of Quotes from Berkshire Hathaway’s Vice Chairman on Life, Business, and the Pursuit of Wealth 
by David Clark

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck:  A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
by Mark Manson

Black Against Empire:  The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party
by Joshua Bloom

The Art of Discarding:  How to Get Rid of Clutter and Find Joy
by Nagisa Tatsumi

The South Side:  A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation
by Natalie Moore

Islam and the Future of Tolerance:  A Dialogue
by Sam Harris & Maajid Nawaz

Janesville:  An American Story
by Amy Goldstein

On Tyranny:  Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century
by Timothy Snyder

Tears We Cannot Stop:  A Sermon to White America
by Michael Eric Dyson

Black Privilege:  Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It
by Charlamagne The God

American Kingpin:  The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road
by Nick Bilton

The Obesity Code:  Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss
by Dr. Jason Fung

Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?:  And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House
by Alyssa Mastromonaco

The Case for Impeachment
by Allan J. Litchman

Chokehold:  Policing Black Men
by Paul Butler

When Affirmative Action Was White:  An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America
by Ira Katznelson

How Not to Die:  Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease
by Dr. Michael Greger

His Needs, Her Needs:  Building an Affairproof Marriage
by Willard F. Harley

A Colony in a Nation
by Chris Hayes

Defining Moments in Black History:  Reading Between the Lies
by Dick Gregory

The Color of Law:  A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America
by Richard Rothstein

The Souls of Black Folk
by W.E.B. DuBois

Between the World and Me
by Ta-Nehisi Coates

We Were Eight Years in Power:  An American Tragedy
by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ali:  A Life
by Jonathan Eig

The Book of Leon:  Philosophy of a Fool
by Leon Black (JB Smoove)

I Can’t Breathe:  A Killing on Bay Street
by Matt Taibbi

The Rise and Fall of the Ethiopian Empire:  The Lost Tribe of Israel
by Henry Harrison Epps

To Kill a City:  Gentrification, Inequality, and the Fight for the Neighborhood
by Peter Moskowitz

Avedon:  Something Personal
by Norma Stevens & Steven M.L. Aronson

Principles:  Life and Work
by Ray Dalio

This list is just a list.  Nothing more.  I prefer non-fiction, and I prefer to read about specific topics.  For now this works, but who knows what I’ll delve into for 2018.  More than the reading, it proved again that whatever you focus on, you can achieve.  That’s definitely something I had to remind myself and I’m so grateful for this experience.  Check back next week as I discuss my 2018 New Year’s Resolution(s).  More than one!

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