May 6, 2021

My Top Ten Books Read During 2012


R.I.P LinkedIn’s Reading List.

I always enjoyed using this feature of LinkedIn, voyeuristically seeing what other people were reading and posting titles of books that I was reading.  Alas, in December, LinkedIn stopped supporting this feature.  While I am moderately active on LinkedIn and have over 3,000 connections, the single area of my profile page that drew the most questions and comments was the Reading List.  Sometimes, people ask me for feedback on certain books or reading recommendations.  The most frequent question was, “Do you REALLY read all those books?”

(Answer:  Yes — I do!!).

I also track my book-reading through a free website called GoodReads (, which tells me that I read 68 books in 2012 — a “slow” year for me.  With that backdrop, I offer my biased and highly subjective list of the top ten books I’ve read in 2012, not necessarily in order of preference:

1.  The Flinch by Julien Smith

2.  Rethinking Aging: Growing Old and Living Well in an Overtreated Society by Nortin Hadler

3.  How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton Christensen et al.

4.  The Warrior Ethos by Steven Pressfield

5.  The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison

6.  Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt

7.  Memoirs of a Rugby-Playing Man by Jay Atkinson

8.  18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction and Get the Right Things Done by Peter Bregman

9.  Power Questions: Build Relationships, Win New Business and Influence Others by Andrew Sobel

10.  The Dog Stars  by Peter Heller

A few comments.

First, the list skews toward non-fiction, with only two novels on this list.  I rarely read fiction, so it had better be good if I crack it open and hang with it.

Second, I am much more willing to “bail” on a book if it fails to grab my interest in the first 40-50 pages.  I figure I have only a certain amount if time left.  In olden days, I would grit my teeth and slog through a book that I didn’t care for.  Now, I’m quicker to pull the rip-cord and jump to another book.

Third, I keep a running list of books I want to read, to order or to look for at the library.  When my wife Jane asks for my Christmas wish-list, she knows it will be top-heavy with books.

As to my “Top Ten” list, it will never make it on Letterman’s show.  These books may not grab you — your mileage may vary.

Shocker — no insurance or risk management texts on this list!

What were YOUR favorite books of 2012?  Let me have your nominations here or offline at!  Happy holidays!

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