Great Books I Read In 2009

I got an email from my friend Rob Shurtleff of Divergent Ventures this morning that said “So I looked at your bookshelf for ideas. It is a bit like walking into a library without an idea of what I want to read.  So here is the challenge, we are driving to Yellowstone for 4 days of hanging out at old faithful before xmas.  I would like to grab a few books on my iphone for the drive 12 hours each way.  How about putting up two lists:  The Ten Non Fiction books you really should read and The Ten Fiction books.”

I’ve read 72 books so far this year – I’ll probably be around 90 given my typical book a day rhythm when I’m up in Keystone.  So I’m only going to list the top five non-fiction and top five fiction (ok – approximately five) from this year since that’ll be less than 20% of what I’ve read.  Here you go – you can’t go wrong with any of them if you are a reader.

Non-Fiction

Zeitoun: New Orleans + Katrina + Muslim American + Heavy Bad Stuff

How Starbucks Saved My Life: A Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone Else: Successful Ad Exec finds himself in the dumps later in life.  Fixed by a job at Starbucks.

Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System—and Themselves: The Financial Crisis of 2008 unfolding in great detail.

Shopping for Porcupine: A Life in Arctic Alaska: Actually, in really remote Alaska.

Creative Capital: Georges Doriot and the Birth of Venture Capital: The story of General Georges Doriet and the start of the venture capital industry.

Fiction

The Scorpion’s Gate and Breakpoint: Brilliant contemporary spy vs. spy stories by Richard A Clarke.  Yes – I realize this is two books – read them in order.

The Player of Games: An Ian Banks classic.  Particularly interesting if you are addicted to Zynga games.

The Orpheus Deception and The Echelon Vendetta and The Venetian Judgment: David Stone is my favorite new mental floss writer.  Three books – read them in order.

Daemon: Easily the best cyberthriller I’ve ever read.

Supreme Courtship: Anything by Christopher Buckley always makes the list.  Especially poignant given my Supreme Court visit this year.

367 Responses to “Great Books I Read In 2009”

  1. Lura

    Have you read "The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope" by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer? Something about it reminded me of both you and Todd. I think it should be required reading for every high schooler.

    Thanks for the suggestions for fiction. I'm downloading a couple of them to my kindle as I write this.

    • bolum izle

      Well, my holiday reading list is just about full now – thanks! I read Daemon on your recommendation here, and it's on my list of best books I read this year too… I'm looking forward to getting into the David Stone and Richard A. Clarke stuff now, and I've been picking up and putting down the Starbuck's book, so will pick that one up too.

      • laptop tamirii

        Great list but I have to say if you're picking one of Iain Banks' Culture novels The Use Of Weapons has to get a shout. The best IMHO

    • Full Download

      Great list but I have to say if you're picking one of Iain Banks' Culture novels The Use Of Weapons has to get a shout. The best IMHO

    • Brad Feld

      I don’t think I read any autobiography in 2009.  This is a little unusual – I typically have some autobiography in my reading diet.

  2. Cory Levy

    I'm going to read How Starbucks Saved My Life – sounds interesting (though not yet available on the Kindle :().

    Also, the "your bookshelf" link is not working. It could be a Shelfari issue.

  3. Patricia

    Well, my holiday reading list is just about full now – thanks! I read Daemon on your recommendation here, and it's on my list of best books I read this year too… I'm looking forward to getting into the David Stone and Richard A. Clarke stuff now, and I've been picking up and putting down the Starbuck's book, so will pick that one up too.

    And I'm seconding the request for the "best ever" list…

  4. Bill McNeely

    The flip side to “Too Big to Fail” is “The Greatest Trade Ever: The Behind-the-Scenes Story of How John Paulson Defied Wall Street and Made Financial History” Mr. Paulson made several Billion Dollars for his clients betting against housing.

  5. Ishwari Singh

    I just went thru your shelfari bookshelf and there are easily 50 books from that I put on my todo list. The 2 top book I read in 2009 are "Outliers" and "Gun, Germs and Steel".

    Are there any good book recommendation for sales and lead generation – I did see "The Marketing Playbook" on your shelfari and made a note to read that.

  6. Divya

    Just checked – you shelfari page is "feld" not "bfeld" as in the hyperlink. So, that's why that link does not work 🙂

  7. Divya

    Btw, check out the Millenium trilogy by Stieg Larsson. Quite fast paced, gripping stories.

    • Brad Feld

      I’ve got The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  I’m having trouble finding the “Millenium Trilogy” – which ones are they?

      • Patricia

        You have the first book. The Second is The Girl who Played with Fire (even better than the first, in my opinion), and the third is The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. It's out in hardcover in the UK, not available in the US yet… The first two in the series would be at the top of my "top ten" list this year. Well worth tracking down.

  8. mukeshgbg

    I think that this book would have a good content "Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System—and Themselves"
    And i will get something interesting to know about the financial system.

  9. redtube

    You have the first book. The Second is The Girl who Played with Fire (even better than the first, in my opinion), and the third is The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. It's out in hardcover in the UK

  10. ingiltere

    wow, 70 books in a year, nowadays we are spending our time for less important things like facebook, instead of reading

  11. malta

    completely agreed- facebook kills us, pupils should focus on more important things such as reading a book

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  13. Cr4ck

    I just went through your Shelfari bookshelf, and there are slightly over 50 books that I put on my to-do list. The 2 top book I read in 2009 are "outliers" and "Gun, Germs and Steel".

    Are there any good book recommendation for the sales and lead generation – I saw "The Marketing Playbook" on your Shelfari and made a note to read that.

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  15. laptop tamir

    Great list but I have to say if you're picking one of Iain Banks' Culture novels The Use Of Weapons has to get a shout.

  16. kürtçe müzik dinle

    StockTwits and Topspinposted his list of the Best Books of 2009. And I am thrilled to report that Creative Capital made the list along with some very distinguished

  17. forex

    Great list but I have to say if you're picking one of Iain Banks' Culture novels The Use Of Weapons has to get a shout. The best IMHO

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  19. Micheal

    Btw, check out the Millenium trilogy by Stieg Larsson. Quite fast paced, gripping stories.

  20. joomla tema

    Have you read "The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope" by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer? Something about it reminded me of both you and Todd. I think it should be required reading for every high schooler.

  21. gsm

    Hello: Btw, check out the Millenium trilogy by Stieg Larsson. Quite fast paced, gripping stories. Tahanks

  22. Jolene

    Just done couple of David Stone's book. Still need to look for the judgment. Anyway, thanks for sharing.