All the books I read in 2023

A few more books, a little less mindless internet slop

Published on March 31, 2024

In 2023, my goal was to balance my content diet by incorporating more long-form content like books, alongside the usual hours of mindless consumption of internet slop, and overall it was a pretty successful year for that.

For some extra background on my reading choices this year. I became a Partner at Studio123 in 2022 and it really influenced the subjects I gravitated towards in 2023. I found myself diving into a bunch of books on leadership and business management.

Here is the list of books I read in 2023 with some short notes for each one:

  • The E-Myth Revisited

    By Michael E. Gerber

    I did in fact judge a book by its cover and wasn’t really super pulled in by the book cover but the book ended up having some good, practical advice.

  • Engineering Management For The Rest Of Us

    By Sarah Drasner

    Not all the topics were applicable to my situation but did have some takeaways. Will most likely revisit.

  • The Business of Graphic Design

    By The Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD)
  • Picture This

    By Molly Bang

    At this point, took a little break from business-specific books. Nice, short book on art and design fundamentals

  • The Mom Test

    By Rob Fitzpatrick

    This book wasn’t super applicable to anything in my life at the time so almost nothing stuck for me. Will have to revisit when its more relevant.

  • Four Thousand Weeks

    By Oliver Burkeman

    A bit of a different approach to a productivity book. Enjoyable read. I would recommend to my friends who enjoy self-help type books.

  • The Laws of Creativity

    By Joey Cofone

    Enjoyed the structure of this book. Super practical.
    (Really liked the book’s design elements as well)

  • The Art Of Learning

    By Josh Waitzkin

    Read this book in my college years and decided to read it again. Josh’s story is super interesting but some parts seem quite embellished but not so much to spoil the whole book.

  • feel the fear... and do it anyway

    By Susan Jeffers

    Found this recommendation on Hacker News of all places. Reads like a life coaching seminar. I didn’t enjoy it and would not recommend anyone read it.

  • Run Studio Run

    By Eli Altman

    One of my favourite reads of 2023. Super informational and helpful book. If you have a small creative studio, definitely give it a read.

  • Pricing Creativity

    By Blair Enns

    Ended up going into a bit of a rabit hole about pricing. This is a great book that started my perspective shift on pricing creative work.

  • A Win Without Pitching Manifesto

    By Blair Enns

    Another solid book by Blair, pairs well with Pricing Creativity.

  • The Creative Act

    By Rick Rubin
  • Design Is A Job

    By Mike Monteiro

    At this point I was pretty deep in the creative business book-sauce so it felt like a lot of similar points but still a solid book.

  • Pricing Design

    By Dan Mall
  • How To Avoid A Climate Disaster

    By Bill Gates

    I felt like I had a very surface level understanding of climate change so I decided to read this book. Learned a lot, like did you know cement and steel production are some of our biggest polluters? I didn’t.

  • The Alchemist

    By Paulo Coelho

    Listened to Russ’s album “SANTIAGO” and learned that a lot of the themes in the album were from this book so decided to read it. Short and sweet, decent read.

  • Measure What Matters

    By John Doerr

    Read through this very quickly. Don’t think much of it stuck for me.

  • Work The System

    By Sam Carpenter
  • Stolen Focus

    By Johann Hari

    Topic that I’m interested in and have read a few books on but this book didn’t really offer new perspectives or solutions in my opinion.

I’ve realized that while it’s nice to keep up a steady pace of reading and hit X number of books each year, it’s far better to read the right book at the right moment. Some of these books really stuck for me and provided a lot of value while others came and went.

Hoping in 2024 I can find more of the former.