This Year’s Reading List

I’m a pretty slow reader and I mostly read for information; very rarely for leisure. Regardless, I set a goal of a dozen books for this year – one a month.

It’s November and I’ve only read nine. Well, actually I just started my newest book… so, eight. One reason may be because the first book was nearly 1,000 pages (that counts as three, right?). Another reason was due to some time spent on Atlas Shrugged – after the first 100 pages I just couldn’t get into it. It’s heralded as an epic that should not be missed; so maybe I’ll try again next year.

Here’s a list of the nine books from this year (most recent listed first):

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. This book needs to explanation. Nearly 380,000 copies sold the first week.

Building a Company by Bob Thomas. This is Roy Disney’s biography; authored by the same man who wrote Walt Disney, An American Original (which I had read in 2009).

DisneyWar by James B. Stewart. This is probably my favorite book (see previous blog entry). It chronicles the Eisner era at the Walt Disney Company.

Realityland by David Koenig. A fun read that describes the [sometimes troubled] history of the Happiest Place on Earth. From ridiculous construction schedules, to rumors and urban legends, to accidents (including a monorail fire), and everything in between.

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. It’s like Dan Brown’s version of National Treasure. ‘nuff said.

Four Decades of Magic by multiple authors. It’s a collection of essays to commemorate Walt Disney World’s 40th anniversary.

The Apostle by Brad Thor. What? Everybody needs to read a politically-leaning, testosterone-educed, current-event thriller once in a while!

The Big Rich by Bryan Burrough. The history of the four big Texas oil tycoons and how they made their riches.  H.L. Hunt was easily my favorite (what a creepy guy!). Supposedly, his life inspired the TV show Dallas.

Walt Disney by Neal Gabler. Without a doubt, the single most comprehensive Disney biography that exists. While some moments seemed to drag on (the Snow White time period, for example) the book is extremely thorough and an excellent read.

Are we sensing a pattern? That list seems to be heavily weighted with biographies and Disney (interestingly, even the Steve Jobs biography has Disney connections). What can I say? Fascinating people fascinate me! Honestly, I could recommend every single book. I’m very picky with my choices; so very rarely do I read through a book that isn’t excellent.

Any recommendations for future reading?


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