Books I’ve read in 2015

I had a 2015 goal of reading at least 12 books (big goal was 20). I have a mentor that has smashed into my brain that “what gets measured, gets done,” which basically means if this goal is important to me, I should keep tabs on what I’ve read this year and hold myself accountable. Thus, this page exists for that reason. Plus, I like sharing with friends what books we are reading. 

    Read in 2015 (33)

    How to Fly a Horse by Kevin Ashton. A friend gave me this book and its an actual book. Like, its not digital. At all. And I read the entire thing, which must be a sign of how good the book is. It was pretty interesting look at how creation and innovative thinking works. I’m working on a blog post about some of the more interesting points.

    The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni (Audible). Great book, as everything I’ve ready by Lencioni is, but I do prefer his fable-style books listed below. This one is more of a summary of all of those other books. It’s a MUST READ for anyone running a business, IMHO.

    The Drawing of the Three: Book 2 of The Dark Tower series by Stephen King (Kindle). Really enjoying this series…

    Killing Reagan by Matrin Dugard and Bill O’Reilly (Audible). I really enjoyed listening to this book. While I don’t generally enjoy Bill O’Reilly (in any way, shape, or form), and any narrative-based telling of history is bound to be fraught with assumptions and misrepresentations, I was eager to learn more about Reagan. And when it comes to history, I do prefer story telling over “just the facts.” I’m eager to start listening to Killing Kennedy next.

    The Gunslinger by Stephen King. 1st book in The Dark Tower series. I enjoyed it enough to jump right into the second book.

    The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths (Ruth Galloway Mysteries Book 2). I liked this book because it flowed nicely from the first book, Crossing Places. I’ll probably work my way through this series (7 books), I like the characters and its a good mystery/detective concept.

    The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths (Ruth Galloway Mysteries Book 1). After reading The Yard a few books back, I found myself yearning for a good mystery/detective book. I decided to give this one a try. I really enjoyed this first book, enough to immediatley pick up book #2.

    Egghead by Bo Burnham. I’m a huge Bo fan (he’s a comedian) and I enjoyed this very strange poetry book. I laughed out loud many times. But Bo isn’t for everyone, so buyer beware.

    The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive by Patrick Lencioni (Audible). Another Lencioni business fable. Terrific as they all are.

    Annihilation (A Southern Reach Trilogy) (Kindle). Honestly got about 85% through and was bored. I enjoyed the writing but the premise wasn’t as interesting to me so I put it down. Too supernatural I think.

    My Life (by Bill Clinton) (Audible). I really enjoyed listening to this book, which is in Bill’s voice. I thought Bill was fairly honest and open, as much as I expected at least, but learning his story was interesting to me.

    The Great Game of Business (listened on Audible and read on Kindle) suggested by Daniel Roberts. This book is changing the entire way I’m looking at running Dragon Army. I’m completely obsessed with it.

    The Yard, suggested by Steve Swanson. LOVED this book, tore through it in less than a week. I immediately downloaded the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in the series and I’m going to (try to) wait until a big vacation I have planned in January to read them. I’m not sure I’ll be able to wait though.

    The Five Temptations of a CEO (listened on Audible) and
    The Five Dysfunctions of a Team (listened on Audible). Always great reads/listens, Patrick Lencioni is the master of business fables. Just terrific, and very quick reads.

    The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win. This was “ok”, but I lost steam as I went on. I’d give the first half of the book a solid B+/A, and the second half a B-.

    Think Like a Freak (listened on Audible). I really enjoyed this book. If you like the Freakonomics books, you’ll love this one.

    Armada. Only finished half of this one. I was excited because it’s the same author that wrote Ready Player One, which was fantastic, but I just couldn’t make it through this one.

    Pour Your Heart Into It (listening on Audible). This book as just so-so. I enjoyed the first part of it where you learn the origin of Starbucks, but after that it started to feel like a constant PR pitch for how great Starbucks is. I very much preferred Schultz’s other book, Onward.

    My Seinfeld Year (by Fred Stoller) – short read, it was $.99 on Kindle so I grabbed it to check it out. Meh.

    The Wise Man’s Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, Book 2) – Brilliant. These two books are terrific, can’t wait for the third to come out.

    Yes Please by Amy Poehler (listened on Audible)

    How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia – (listened on Audible)

    Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life (autobiography of Steve Martin) – (listened on Audible) My blog review.

    Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business – Amazing. Can’t thank my man Daniel enough for recommending it. Really great for anyone working on company culture and purpose. My blog review.

    Einstein: His Life and Universe (listening on Audible) ~ only finished 1/2 of this one, just got too detailed and…boring. Sorry, Albert.

    Sick in the Head: Conversations About Life and Comedy – I love reading the stories of stand-up comics. It’s so entrepreneurial in its nature. This is a really fun read by Judd Apatow in which he interviews a bunch of stand-up comics. My blog review.

    Silken Prey: A Lucas Davenport Novel (The Prey Series Book 23) – Not the best Prey book, but still fun to read. If you’re interested in these books, start at the beginning, the first one is amazing: Rules of Prey.

    The Name of the Wind: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day One – WOW. Patrick recommended this to me and it blew me away. I read/listened to it in 10 days. For a 676 page book, it flew.

    Creativity Inc. (post) – Excellent book about Pixar. Got a little slow in the middle, but overall great look into one of the great companies of the last 20 years. My blog review.

    Becoming Steve Jobs (post) – Another great Steve Jobs bio. Here’s a summary of the other one by Walter Isaacson, which I read in 2011. My blog review.

    The Martian – Brilliant. Crushed it in a week.

    Field of Prey (The Prey Series Book 24) – I would say this was a pretty terrific Prey book. I hadn’t read this series in a while and a friend recommended this one. I tore through it. The last 25% of the book is very intense. If you’re interested in trying this series, start from the beginning: Rules of Prey. You won’t be disappointed.

    40 Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World – 39% through and couldn’t finish. I really enjoyed the first 20% of the book but after that, it got somewhat boring. Still, it changed the way I think about world hunger and I now see how hunger is tied to so many of the world’s issues, and vice versa.


    1. […] Books I’ve read in 2015 […]

    2. […] Books I’ve read in 2015 […]

    3. […] Books I’ve read in 2015 […]

    4. […] or listening to something, but without lists, it’s harder to keep track. I was inspired by a blog post  on tracking a goal to read more, and loved the idea so I am starting a list to be accountable […]

    5. Del Ross on October 23, 2015 at 3:48 pm

      Slow Apocalypse, by John Varley. Good read.

    6. Update on my reading goal for 2015 on October 26, 2015 at 7:13 am

      […] Books I’ve read in 2015 […]

    7. Geoff on October 30, 2015 at 1:35 pm

      Thanks for the post, Jeff. I just purchased The Great Game of Business on your recommendation. I look forward to reading it soon.

    8. Jason Cavness on October 30, 2015 at 2:53 pm

      This is a great list. I am going to add them to my list. I do need to do a better job of actually reading and not just adding more books to my list.

    9. Jeff Hilimire on November 1, 2015 at 5:51 am

      Thanks for the note, JC! The thing that got me reading more this year was a) defining a goal (in my case, 12 books this year) and b) making it public, so I’m more accountable. That has helped me get back on the book reading train and once I got there, I’ve been killing books at a much faster rate than I had originally predicted.

    10. Jeff Hilimire on November 1, 2015 at 5:52 am

      Awesome, can’t wait to compare notes on this one with you.

    11. D-Train on November 4, 2015 at 1:24 pm

      Any particular order of books? I’m starting Leadership Moment based on a friend’s recommendation, and after that I have Think Like A Freak (good to see you’ve read and enjoyed it).

    12. Jeff Hilimire on November 5, 2015 at 10:18 am

      Regarding what books might be best to start with on this list, if you’re starting or building a company, I’d recommend checking out Creativity, Inc., Setting the Table, the Five Dysfunctions, and The Great Game of Business.

      Leadership Moment looks great btw, I’ve added it to my list!

    13. My goals for 2016: Simplify and focus on December 22, 2015 at 8:06 am

      […] Books I’ve read in 2015 […]

    14. 10 books I recommend you read in 2016 on January 6, 2016 at 6:50 am

      […] Books I’ve read in 2015 […]

    15. […] ~from the book, How to Fly a Horse (one of the books I read in 2015) […]

    16. […] a huge Audible (audio books) fan. It’s the only way I was able to crush my 2015 # of books read goal. I primarily listen in the car or when I’m on a […]

    17. […] keeping track of the books I was reading, mostly to hold myself accountable to reading more. In 2015 I read 33 books and in 2016 I finished […]

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