52 Books 2018 – another year another challenge.
At the start of 2017, I created my new year’s resolution to read 52 books by the end of the year. It was a challenge with a difference, and it quickly turned into one of the most enjoyable resolutions I’ve set so far.
I’ve always been keen on reading since picking up my first book as a kid. And’s let’s face it, to complete 52 books a year, you must have an interest in reading!
So how hard was the challenge
Well, although at one point I did start to question what I had got myself into, it turned out not to be as bad as expected. Once a regular reading routine was in place the challenge turned out to be quite fun.
More importantly, I enjoyed the challenge so much that I’ve decided to continue it on into 2018.
So Why 52 Books 2018?
When I started the 52 books challenge in 2017, it was because I wanted to push myself to do more.
Once the challenge picked up the pace I suddenly found myself with plenty of time for:
Reading forgotten books – there’s a small list of ever-increasing books that I’ve wanted to open up over the years, and for whatever reason, I’ve just not got around to starting them. Some were recommendations, others had just been sitting hidden away on my laptop.
Reading books on new topics – if I’m only reading a few books a year then its guaranteed I‘m sticking to something that’s proven to be enjoyable. Reading 52 books a year allowed me to expand an experiment with other books on a wide range of topics.
Re-reading old books – sometimes a subject might be information-rich, meaning I just won’t absorb the full extent of the concepts the first time around. Other times it re-reading a book that was so good the first time its worthy of a second or third.
“Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly.”
― Francis Bacon
Highlights of the First 52 Books Challenge
The majority of the books were enjoyable to some extent. But I enjoyed these four the most:
Death in the Afternoon by Ernest Hemingway – my first Hemingway book and I loved it!
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson – I’ve never been a huge Apple fan but the story behind Steve Jobs was well told and captivating.
Tools of Titans by Timothy Ferriss – sounds very similar to the title of my blog but as usual Tim Ferris brings a wealth of information gathered from the top performers in their relevant fields.
Van Diemen’s Land by James Boyce – a look back into the history of how a convict state turned into present day Tasmania.
The challenge wasn’t just about me as there were multiple appearances from some authors.
From the following authors I read two books each:
Sadly I couldn’t get into the Albert Einstein biography with the same enthusiasm as the writer’s effort on Steve Jobs. A Geek in Japan and Muay Thai Fighter didn’t get the blood flowing either.
With so many great titles to compete against they did have a high benchmark.
The challenge shouldn’t be about trying to plough through as many books as possible. I learnt a few tips to make 52 Books 2018 more comfortable and less of a chore.
It’s best not to plan – I found reading whatever book whenever worked well for me and didn’t make the challenge rigid and scheduled. That would have just taken the fun out of it.
Not a book a week challenge – it’s natural to think 52 books a year divided by 52 weeks would equal a book per week. However (quite quickly) I found that not all books are made equal. Some had less than 300 pages while others were nearly three times bigger with more than 800.
Don’t be afraid of big books – looking back, this shouldn’t have worried me as much as it did because I’ve always been a fast reader. Now I know what I’m capable of handling 1000+ page books and take the sky’s the limit approach (or at least the top shelf of the bookstore!).
The 52 Books 2018 List
For all those who wish to follow my progress or join in the fun this year, like before I will be updating toolsoftravel.com with all the 52 books 2018 titles as they become available.
Also, the hashtag for social media will be #52books.
So enough is enough and time to kick off the 52 books 2018 challenge!
by Steve Matchett
by Matt O’Sullivan
by Scott Pape
by Vincent Bramley (
by Mitchell Zuckoff
by Donald Trump
by Gretchen Rubin
12) No Easy Day
By Mark Owen
By Al Kavadlo
By Coach Wad
By Peter Savodnik
By Joseph Menn
by Mitchell Zuckoff
by Yuval Noah Harari
by Alistair Urquhart
by David Busch
by Graham Greene
by Shaa Wasmund
by Gin Stephens
by Rockridge Press
by Steven Pressfield
by Niall Ferguson
by Martin Cash
by Mark Manson
by Jocko Willink
Please note: some of the 52 books 2018 links featured in this post are affiliate links.