I used to really enjoy all the year-end wrap up stuff on TV, but I have gotten to be so far out of the loop over the last few years that I don’t even try anymore.

So, I’ve decided to make my own lists. Today, since they are my favorite thing, books.

I’ve been super fortunate with good books this year, so it was hard for me to narrow it down to 5. Here’s what I got though. I even included links because I am an internet genius now.

1) Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari. This wasn’t just my favorite book this year, but one of the best books I have ever read. I see it being something I go back to again and again, probably every few years. A fascinating look at the origins of humanity and the forces that drove us to where we are now. I can assume some people will criticize it as being overly Functionalistic, but this does not necessarily compromise the book in my opinion.

2) The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday. Encountering Stoicism has been amazing for me, if for nothing else than suddenly giving me a name and established framework for the shift in thinking that changed everything for me about 5 years ago. Beyond this, a philosophy this old has plenty of reading and study to catch up on. I like Holiday’s take on it, it seems to be the most accessible and applicable presentation we currently have.

3) The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell. Despite a descent into some pretty heavy-handed preachiness in the final section, this book is an amazing read, and possibly one of the more ambitious books I’ve ever read. I don’t want to say too much about the plot itself, because discovering it as you go is one of the best parts, and is something that will drive you to read much longer than you should.

4) Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. If you’ve read this blog or looked at my website, this isn’t a surprise. The personal journal of the most powerful man in the world, and someone people regarded as a living God. Surprisingly honest and humble for all that.

5) Hard-Core: A Life of My Own by Harley Flanagan. I actually blogged about this here. Go read that if you want to. Or, just buy this book.

Honorable Mentions

I lied, here are some more.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers

On Writing by Stephen King

Blood Meridian by Cormack McCarthy

Dimension of Miracles by Robert Sheckley

On the Shortness of Life by Seneca the Younger

• The Buddha and the Borderline by Kierra Van Gelder

Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach

The Razor’s Edge by Somerset Maugham

There, I’m done.

Leave a comment and tell me about some books I should read next year.