How I Read 52 Books in 2014!


I’ve never been an avid reader. In fact, it was always a way for me to fall asleep quickly if I had a bout of insomnia. But recently, in 2014, I set a goal or ‘reading’ 52 books… that’s right: one book per week!

Now, how did I go from reading 5 books to 52 books in a year? Here is how I did it:

  1. I discovered Audiobooks. Why read when someone can read for you… Why read when someone can read to you? What audiobooks allowed me to do is that it allowed me to read a book while I was driving, or mowing the lawn, or raking the leaves. For instance, think of all the time throughout the day that you listen to music or a podcast. Now, instead of listening to that, imagine that you are listening to an audiobook. A book a week doesn’t seem too farfetched anymore. Now, I admit, that my sports radio listening dropped precipitously, but surprisingly, I haven’t been any worse off… Shocker!
    “But”, you say, “audio books are so expensive! How did you afford that?” To that I say…
  2. I discovered the local library. You can borrow audiobooks from the local library. Now, usually, the library only has a small selection of audiobooks, but you can pretty much search the county library system and usually get anything on hold and sent to your library for your borrowing.
    “But”, you say, “that seems so archaic… I wish there was an app for that” To that I say…
  3. I discovered the OverDrive app. This app links up to your local library and uses your library card number to grant you access to hundreds of ebooks and audiobooks that you can borrow. And the best part of the app is that you can listen at 2x the speed (which isn’t as fast as you might think…)
    “But”, you say, “not all the books that I want to read are available as an audiobook. What then??” To that I say…
  4. I discovered my iPhone can read a Kindle book to me. That’s right! I can have my iPhone read to me! It’s not a terribly great experience, but it’s not terrible either. Siri can be a bit monotone. But, this allows me access to non-audiobooks at a cheaper price (ebooks < books < audiobooks) and allows me to ‘read’ these books with the convenience of an audiobook. It’s a win-win. If only Apple could give Siri a better reading voice. *sigh*
  5. I discovered I really like non-fiction books. Many of the stories I’ve read this year are the same type of stories. Some sort of adventure, military, or religious account of survival. Not sure why those are so cathartic for me, but ahhh….

Here is a list of the 52 books I’ve read this year (so far…)

  1. Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 by Marcus Luttrell, Jan 2014
  2. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World by Gary Vaynerchuk, Jan 2014
  3.  The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder by Charles Graeber, Jan 2014
  4. Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape by Jenna Miscavige Hill, Feb 2014
  5. How Successful People Think: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life by John C. Maxwell, Feb 2014
  6. David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell, Feb 2014
  7. Mystic River by Dennis Lehane, Mar 2014
  8. The One Minute Manager by Kenneth H. Blanchard, Mar 2014
  9. A Tale of Three Kings by Gene Edwards, Mar 2014
  10. The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town by John Grisham, Mar, 2014
  11. Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan, Mar 13, 2014
  12. The Emotionally Healthy Church: A Strategy for Discipleship That Actually Changes Lives by Peter Scazzero, Apr 2014
  13. Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels, J. Warner Wallace, Apr 10, 2014
  14. Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back by Todd Burpo, Apr 11, 2014
  15. Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived by Rob Bell, Apr 12, 2014
  16. One Click: Jeff Bezos and the Rise of by Richard L. Brandt, Apr 16, 2014
  17. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand, Apr 26, 2014
  18. Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath, Apr, 2014
  19. Gesundheit!: Bringing Good Health to You, the Medical System, and Society through Physician Service, Complementary Therapies, Humor, and Joy by Patch Adams, May, 2014
  20. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, May 05, 2014
  21. Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup, May 17, 2014
  22. Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith by Jon Krakauer, May 17, 2014
  23. Classic American Short Stories by O. London Henry, May 21, 2014
  24. Francona: The Red Sox Years by Terry Francona, May 23, 2014
  25. Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman by Jon Krakauer, Jun 02, 2014
  26. Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption: A Story from Different Seasons by Stephen King, Jun 02, 2014
  27. Thirty-Nine Years of Short-Term Memory Loss: The Early Days of SNL from Someone Who Was There by Tom Davis, Jun 08, 2014
  28. Three Cups Of Tea – One Man’s Mission To Fight Terrorism And Build Nations . . . One School At A Time by Greg Mortenson, Jun 14, 2014
  29. Three Cups of Deceit: How Greg Mortenson, Humanitarian Hero, Lost His Way by Jon Krakauer, Jun 17, 2014
  30. Oprah by Kitty Kelley, Jun 28, 2014
  31. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Jul 15, 2014
  32. Deep & Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend by Andy Stanley, Jul 19, 2014
  33. My Story by Elizabeth Smart, Jul 21, 2014
  34. The Closer: My Story by Mariano Rivera, Jul 21, 2014
  35. Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala, Jul 23, 2014
  36. Have a Little Faith: a True Story by Mitch Albom, Jul 25, 2014 Exploration
  37. Alone on the Ice: The Greatest Survival Story in the History of Exploration by David Roberts, Aug 21, 2014
  38. Frozen in Time: An Epic Story of Survival and a Modern Quest for Lost Heroes of World War II by Mitchell Zuckoff, Aug 27, 2014
  39. The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom, Aug 27, 2014
  40. The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort, Sep 17, 2014
  41. Holy Fire: A Balanced, Biblical Look at the Holy Spirit’s Work in Our Lives by R. T. Kendall, Sep 21, 2014
  42. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah, Sep 26, 2014
  43. A Nice Little Place on the North Side: Wrigley Field at One Hundred by George F. Will, Oct 07, 2014
  44. Who Is The Holy Spirit? (Crucial Questions, #13) by R. C. Sproul, Oct 14, 2014
  45. Are Miraculous Gifts for Today?: 4 Views by Stanley N. Gundry, Oct 17, 2014
  46. A Friend of the Family by Lauren Grodstein, Oct 29, 2014
  47. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown, Nov 03, 2014
  48. Divergent (Divergent, #1) by Veronica Roth, Nov 11, 2014
  49. Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer, Nov 14, 2014
  50. Stolen Innocence: My Story of Growing Up in a Polygamous Sect, Becoming a Teenage Bride, and Breaking Free of Warren Jeffs by Elissa Wall, Nov 21, 2014
  51. Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War by Dakota Meyer, Nov 26, 2014
  52. Overrated: Are We More in Love with the Idea of Changing the World Than Actually Changing the World? by Eugene Cho, Dec 2014
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7 thoughts on “How I Read 52 Books in 2014!

  1. FYI, you know that you can change your Siri voice, right? Mine is a male right now.

    How did you read Jab Jab Right Hook book? That’s hard copy only isn’t it? What a beautiful book. Are you aware of his #AskGaryVee show?

    If you’re into audiobooks, do you consume podcast as well? I would highly recommend it. Great way to get inspired, educated, immersed, etc.

  2. Excellent insights! If you’re beginning to enjoy nonfiction books more, you might like the Read to Lead Podcast. I’d love for you to check it out.

  3. Great question, hudson…

    I would say my top 11 are:

    Lone Survivor
    Into the Wild
    A Tale of Three Kings
    The Emotionally Healthy Church
    Deep & Wide
    The Hiding Place
    A Friend of the Family
    Daring Greatly

  4. Blogging gold! Thank you for sharing! Have you thought about blogging professionally?

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