Books I've Read in 2023

#books 4 min.

For the last 6 years, I have aimed to read at least 1 book per month. While I don’t take this goal too seriously, it still provides some motivation.

Last year, the prospect of total war threw a wrench in my reading plans. This year, the wrench is even bigger and shaped like a baby.

Focused time became a scarce resource, and audiobooks became my best friend once again.

High Output Management by Andrew S. Grove

Grove, a former Intel CEO during Intel’s golden years, distills essential management principles, emphasizing the significance of clear communication, strategic thinking, and fostering a results-driven culture. I found surprisingly practical insights for optimizing team performance and navigating the complexities of modern product management. Can recommend to anyone interested in leveling up their management and leadership game, regardless of their team size.

Appointment with Death by Agatha Christie

In the mood for a classic whodunit, and Christie delivered exactly what I wanted.

Devolution by Max Brooks

Although I loved and re-listened to “World War Z” multiple times, I was avoiding “Devolution” simply because the premise sounded so ridiculous. Well, turning ridiculous premises into gripping survival thrillers is kind of Brooks’ specialty. While not anywhere near as good as WWZ, still very fun and enjoyable.

Fairy Tale by Stephen King

This was the first book by Stephen King that I did not thoroughly enjoy. It was still fun enough to finish, but far too long. I don’t know if King keeps firing his editors or what, but he could definitely benefit from one that would actually do their job.

The Sandman: Act II

Not really a book, but a full audio theater production. If you enjoyed the first one, you will like this one too. However, personally, the novelty has worn off a bit for me.

Roadside Picnic by Strugatsky brothers

I enjoyed Tarkovsky’s Stalker very much, which was loosely based on this book. The book and the movie make a good pair as they expand on different aspects of the same world without making either redundant.

The Expectant Father

I went looking for a crash course on pregnancy and fatherhood, and this was it. It’s a bit biased towards the USA, but overall I felt it covered all the main topics in a nuanced way. Chapters based on pregnancy months are ideal for reading and processing only the necessary information. Certainly helped me get a better idea what kind of father I want to be.

The Montessori Baby

Montessori refers to an educational approach developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian physician and educator. The Montessori method is child-centered and emphasizes self-directed learning, independence, and the development of a child’s natural abilities and interests.

I mean, who wouldn’t want that? While I’m still behind the basic Montessori principles and we try to follow them, the book goes into some trivial and patronizing details. A lot of it is also about AESTHETICS - like insisting on basic wooden toys is definitely more about parents’ Instagram than about the baby. Also, the chapter on “Montessori birth” - you don’t need no painkillers, just sing the pain away - put me off the whole thing. Overall, I’d say the Montessori “method” is just overhyped common-sense parenting turned into a cult. Skip this one.

Tears and Tantrums by Aletha J. Solter

Another foray into parenting literature, because I take homework seriously 🤓. This book delves into the emotional and psychological dimensions of children’s crying and tantrums. Solter underscores the significance of allowing children to express their emotions freely, advocating for a supportive and understanding approach to managing these behaviors. The book provides guidance on how parents can nurture emotional well-being in their children and cultivate robust, empathetic connections. While the arguments are well-reasoned, implementing them is notably challenging. In my experience, allowing the child to cry for an hour didn’t yield much beyond an even more stressed baby. Nevertheless, it’s good to recognize that crying is a form of communication rather than a problem to be solved. Do you need a whole book just for that? I don’t think so, but then again, it’s a short book.

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Est. 2011