Peter Campbell


Books You Should Read (that I read in 2015)

I like to read books, particularly good fast-paced crime fiction. And this year I found plenty of great new thrillers and got the top-up to a few long-running series. And yet when I survey the books I read there is more non-fiction that I’d predicted. Hooray for subliminal learning from easy-read non-fiction.

I don’t want to give you a list. Nor do you care what order I read them in. What you really really want to know is, “is the book worth reading?”

Incidentally I rarely persist with boring or difficult to read books. Not since I left school have I been forced to read books end-to-end that I’ve no interest in. So you can take it that all the books here I considered interesting and a good read except for the unfinished ones.

Books I Learned Something From

  • Lean Enterprise by Humble, Molesky and O’Reilly taught me about innovation in a simple writing style.
  • Future *is* Predictable by @swardley taught me about Wardley maps and value-chain mapping. Content is also on his excellent blog.
  • Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance introduced me to pure-play electric cars being the future (now a believer), space exploration and incredible entrepreneurial attitude. Perhaps a partisan biography but inspirational nonetheless.
  • Becoming Steve Jobs by Schlender and Tetzeli is an easier to read and more analytical biography of Steve Jobs than the official one.
  • Nazi Hunters by Damien Lewis, true story about continuation of the SAS in and after WWII against apparently insurmountable obstacles.
  • Bitcoin the Future of Money? by Dominic Frisby helped me understand why Satoshi Yakamoto created the first cryptocurrency, where it has gone since and introduced blockchain (blockchain is a paradigm shift invention for software). Now I want to know more.

New Books that were Unputdownable

Pause your current book and go read these. They are that good.

  • Spree 5 book series by Michael Morley.
  • The Dog-Faced Gods Trilogy by Sarah Pinborough is a dark alternative history and future. I loved it.
  • Second Activation series 1–2 by Darren and Marcus Wearmouth for a post-apocolytpic future.
  • Jefferson Winter series 1–3 by James Carol.
  • The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson has so many twists.
  • The Martian by Andy Weir if you haven’t seen the film (I haven’t since I’ve got the book) is great if you can handle the early science. Thanks to @djmcglade for the early recommendation.
  • And on that Bombshell by Richard Porter made me laugh lots and is essential for all Top Gear fans.
  • The Shardlake series by CJ Samson is a lovely historical crime drama. I read 1–4 this year, all were filled with intrigue and great historical detail about Thomas Cromwell and Henry VIII.

Latest-in-the-Series Books that I Cannot Miss

  • The latest Reacher novel from Lee Child is the 20th. The stories have largely run out of steam but still remains a fast-paced but formulaic ripping yarn.
  • My favourite crime series (Charlie Parter by John Connolly) didn’t disappoint in A Song of Shadows with semi-supernatural semi-religious undertones that darken the story to go with the suspense.
  • Two more Ben Hope thrillers 10th and 11th from Scott Mariani is a easy-to-read light thriller.

Toilet Reading

These were all super easy-to-read crime thrillers,

  • Dan Shepherd continues in another easy-to-read thriller from Stephen Leather.
  • Sean Dillon 1 and 2.
  • Sadly these must have made only a light impression on me a few years ago given it took nearly half of the books to remember I had already read the Victor the Assassin series 1 and 2 from Tom Hunt.

Books I Started But Didn’t Finish (because I got distracted by something shinier)

Given that I don’t make lists this retrospective saunter through my book reading from 2015 would not have been possible without kindle so thanks Amazon.

Books I Will be Reading Next

I’m starting 2016 with four non-fiction books. This cannot last.

  • Life after the State because Dominic’s Bitcoin book was so good.
  • Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind, it’s apparently epic.
  • Mastering Bitcoin, technical detail about bitcoin and blockchain.
  • Little Rice, to start to understand a little bit about China with Xaoimi.

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