This was the year that I bought, sold, and then re-bought a Kindle. I have an iPad, which I really love, but the Kindle is absolutely the best way to read books. I’d say this year I’ve started to read more books than ever before, but when you’re only paying $.99 – $2.99, I find that you take more chances, and give up more easily.
With that said, there were a handful of books this year that I really loved, and that make my “Best of the year” list.
The 10th Circle Project – The First Circle $.99 (limited time only)
This one’s by my buddy Ryan McFadden (a local London boy no less), it’s an anthology of 4 stories, he co-wrote the framing sequence, and writes the main story “One Small Job”, which reminds me a lot of a more violent, more intense Lee Child by way of Hunter S Thompson story. Hope and Glory, twin cities that share a bloody history in the heart of North America. After generations of conflict, the mysterious 10th Circle Project promises a new era of cooperation and peace; if it doesn’t plunge them into the abyss of total war first.
If you end up liking that, there’s a second book out already. The 10th Circle Project is going to be 10 ebook editions as an experiment in publishing.
It’s the first part of a trilogy, and soon to be a major motion picture.
In a world not much different from ours, the United States has collapsed into 12 districts, and the all powerful Capitol. Every year the districts send 2 children between the ages of 8 and 18 to participate in the hunger games. 24 enter, and only one will survive. The event is televised, and the districts are forced to watch to remind them of the power of the Capitol.
In another not-too distant future, the world is bleak and people escape to OASIS, a virtual reality world where you can play, go to school, earn money, and meet other people. The creator of the world, James Halliday, has passed away and bequeathes his entire Bill Gatesian fortune to whomever can solve an elaborate series of puzzles locked away within OASIS. Full of 80’s pop culture references, the book is funny and smart at the same time.
A bunch of hacker geeks create a whole new trend when they add state of the art electronics to a bunch of old Furbies and re-christen them Grumbies. The story traces the meteoric rise of a fictional start-up that begins in one guy’s living room. If you’re interested in start-up culture it’s a great read.
This is where the puck is going folks. In it, entrepreneurial guru Gary Vaynerchuk discusses the resurgence of the word of mouth economy, and how our grandparents are more prepared for the way the world is starting to work than we are. This really helped me to understand the importance of customer service, and has given me enough ideas for improvements to the website to last until Vaynerchuk writes his next book.
An interesting read looking at some of the letters one of America’s most popular CEO’s would send back in response to questions from regular people.