75 Digital Books in 2015

Conflicted thoughts on how we now get and read our books.

December 20, 2015

Care to share the books that you read in 2015?

The way that I created the list below was to cut and paste all the books that I’ve read from my Amazon Digital Order and Audible My Library pages. I copied the titles into a spreadsheet, sorted to get rid of duplicates, and then copied them here to share with you.

Every book on the list below was either an Audible (audio) or a Kindle book. This means that every book was purchased from Amazon. How disturbing. Is there any doubt that Amazon has a digital book monopoly? Every book that I read is digital, and every one of these digital books comes from one company. What happens to all my digital books when I die? Will I be ever be able to gift my digital books to a library, or my kids? What are the risks to our book culture when one company controls the platform that books are purchased and read? How worried should we be about Amazon’s digital book dominance?  

The other side of the Amazon digital book monopoly are all the advantages of the Amazon digital book ecosystem. Audiobooks from Audible (owned by Amazon) have changed my life. The reason that I read so much is that I know so little. The reason that I’m able to read so many books is audiobooks. If I’m walking to work, driving to the grocery store, or flying across the country - I’m listening to an audiobook. If I’m doing the dishes or folding the laundry - I’m listening to an audiobook. The only time in my life that I can successfully multitask is when I’m reading an audiobook.  

The reason that I’m so bad at social media is digital books. Today’s friction free book discovery and purchase process means that I always have a book on my Kindle that I’m excited to read. Given a choice of Twitter, Facebook, or book - I’ll choose the book almost every single time. The rate limiting step of content consumption is time. We all only have 8,760 hours in a year. I choose to spend more of my hours reading books. This is a choice that I worry that the next generation will not make. Book reading competes against gaming and video - and gaming and video are getting better fast. On a smart phone (which are always with us), we can now watch high quality shows from HBO, Showtime, FX, AMC, etc. etc. - as well any number of terrific original shows from Netflix and Amazon. A world of great video is in our pockets and accessible to us whenever we want to watch. What book can compete against Homeland or Transparent?  

One reason that I choose to share my passion for books in this space is that hope that more people will talk about their own passion for books. My hypothesis is that the IHE community is a book reading community. So if you have a few moments, and if you are so inclined, I hope that you share some of the books that you read in 2015. Of course, I’m interested if we have any book overlap - but anything that you want to share about your 2015 books would be most welcome. 

  • 14 by Peter Clines
  • A Brief History of France (Brief Histories) by Cecil Jenkins
  • All Involved: A Novel by Ryan Gattis
  • America's Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Backroom Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System by Steven Brill
  • America's Moment: Creating Opportunity in the Connected Age - Rework America, Zoë Baird
  • Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli
  • Beyond Measure: The Big Impact of Small Changes by Margaret Heffernan
  • Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Capture Your Data and Control Your World by Bruce Schneier
  • Diversity Explosion: How New Racial Demographics are Remaking America by William H. Frey
  • France on the Brink: A Great Civilization in the New Century by Jonathan Fenby
  • Geeks Bearing Gifts: Imagining New Futures for News by Jeff Jarvis
  • Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War by P. W. Singer and August Cole
  • How Music Got Free by Stephen Witt
  • Humans Are Underrated by Geoff Colvin
  • Inside the Invention of a Battery to Save the World by Steve LeVine
  • Keynes Hayek: The Clash that Defined Modern Economics by Nicholas Wapshott
  • Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell
  • Lexicon: A Novel by Max Barry
  • Little Rice: Smartphones, Xiaomi, and the Chinese Dream by Clay Shirky
  • Lock In: A Novel of the Near Future (Lock In Series) by John Scalzi
  • Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots by John Markoff
  • Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics by Richard Thaler
  • Most Likely to Succeed by Tony Wagner and Ted Dintersmith
  • Move: Putting America's Infrastructure Back in the Lead by Rosabeth Moss Kanter
  • No Ordinary Disruption by Richard Dobbs, James Manyika, and Jonathan Woetzel
  • Palace of Treason: A Novel by Jason Matthews
  • Popular Economics: What the Rolling Stones, Downton Abbey, and LeBron James Can Teach You About Economics by John Tamny
  • Purity: A Novel by Jonathan Franzen
  • Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age by Sherry Turkle
  • Red Rising (The Red Rising Trilogy, Book 1) by Pierce Brown
  • Revolution in Higher Education: How a Small Band of Innovators Will Make College Accessible and Affordable by Richard A. DeMillo
  • Rise of the Robots by Martin Ford
  • Satin Island: A novel by Tom McCarthy
  • Seveneves: A Novel by Neal Stephenson
  • Shadow Work: The Unpaid, Unseen Jobs That Fill Your Day by Craig Lambert
  • Social Physics by Alex Pentland
  • Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory by John Seabrook
  • SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard
  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  • Television Is the New Television: The Unexpected Triumph of Old Media In the Digital Age by Michael Wolff
  • The Bone Clocks: A Novel by David Mitchell
  • The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World by Russell Gold
  • The Cartel: A novel by Don Winslow
  • The Children Act by Ian Mcewan
  • The End of College: Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere by Kevin Carey
  • The End of Jobs: Money, Meaning and Freedom Without the 9-to-5 by Taylor Pearson
  • The End of Normal by James K. Galbraith
  • The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being In Charge Isn't What It Used to Be by Moises Naim
  • The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge by Matt Ridley
  • The Fold: A Novel by Peter Clines
  • The Future of Work: Attract New Talent, Build Better Leaders, and Create a Competitive Organization by Jacob Morgan
  • The Gemini Effect by Chuck Grossart
  • The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey
  • The Girl in the Spider's Web: A Lisbeth Salander Novel - by David Lagercrantz
  • The Girl on the Train: A Novel by Paula Hawkins
  • The Great Fragmentation: And Why the Future of All Business Is Small by Steve Sammartino
  • The Italians by John Hooper
  • The Martian: A Novel by Andy Weir
  • The Misfit Economy by Alexa Clay and Kyra Maya Phillips
  • The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels by Alex Epstein
  • The Norm Chronicles: Stories and Numbers About Danger and Death by Michael Blastland and David Spiegelhalter
  • The Perfect Assassin by Ward Larsen
  • The Power of the Dog by Don Winslow
  • The Shape of the New: Four Big Ideas and How They Made the Modern World by Scott L. Montgomery and Daniel Chirot
  • The Taste of Conquest: The Rise and Fall of the Three Great Cities of Spice by Michael Krondl
  • The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi
  • The Whites: A Novel by Richard Price
  • The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
  • Tomorrowland: Our Journey from Science Fiction to Science Fact by Steven Kotler
  • Tough Day for the Army: Stories (Yellow Shoe Fiction) by John Warner
  • What Should We Be Worried About?: Real Scenarios That Keep Scientists Up at Night (Edge Question Series) by John Brockman
  • Who Gets What - And Why: The New Economics of Matchmaking and Market Design by Alvin E. Roth
  • Why We Work by Barry Schwartz
  • Will College Pay Off?: A Guide to the Most Important Financial Decision You'll Ever Make by Peter Cappelli
  • Zillow Talk by Spencer Rascoff and Stan Humphries



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