7 Books to Read in 2016

By Kevon Cheung in


January 16, 2016

Year 2016 is the first year I am drafting up a detailed annual plan for myself. After reading Chris Guillebeau’s “How to Conduct Your Own Annual Review”, I came up with 14 measureable targets in the fields of Relationship (Family & Friends), Finance, Health, Learning, and Travel. I didn’t set a target for reading books because it is a no brainer for me that I must and will read a lot. It is funny because I hated reading in my childhood, and now I treat books as one of my closest friends, so I spent some time making a list of books I will read in 2016. I hope you’ll find some of them interesting, and please also share with me what you’re reading!

Thing Explainer

Source: Amazon

1. Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words

By Randall Munroe

Why? Heard that the author only uses the 1,000 most common words in the English language to explain various subjects. Perfect for someone like me who doesn’t have a large library of vocabularies but still have the curiosity to explore new topics!
Review on Mar 20, 2016: It is not as interesting as it seems. The words end up being too simple to actually tell you anything.


Source: Amazon

2. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

By Carol Dweck

Why? From my last blog post, I talked about success, and I do believe mindset is one of the keys to success.
Review on Jan 27, 2016: Hmmm, I would not recommend this book at all, I stopped reading because of 2 main reasons.
1) After reading around different chapters, it seems to only talk about one message - why you should have a growth mindset, not a fixed mindset. Using a lot of small stories to bring out the same message, the book does feel like an infinite loop.
2) And the stories are not even interesting ……


Source: Amazon

3. Superbosses: How Exceptional Leaders Master the Flow of Talent

By Sydney Finkelstein

Why? A new book without any review yet, but leadership book is always a good one.


Source: Amazon

4. Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days

By Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, Braden Kowitz

Why? Sprint is a popular concept in the startup space yet no one really knows how it works; I’m curious to find out more about how to build products faster.


Source: Amazon

5. Nonsense: The Power of Not Knowing

By Jamie Holmes

Why? I’m quite intrigued by the ambiguity of many things, maybe it is better staying this way.

Performing Under Pressure

Source: Amazon

6. Performing Under Pressure: The Science of Doing Your Best When It Matters Most

By Hendrie Weisinger, J. P. Pawliw-Fry

Why? Some people say they cannot deal with pressure, yet some people like Cristiano Ronaldo (famous footballer) said he loves the pressure of the game. I just want to do my best.
Review on Mar 20, 2016: Again, not a big fan of theory book in which what the author does is just simply bring out examples after examples to prove a simple point. It doesn’t excite me at all.

When Breath Becomes Air

Source: Amazon

7. When Breath Becomes Air

By Paul Kalanithi

Why? A close one of mine passed away from lung cancer 16 years ago. What does it feel like when you’re so close to death? I want to find out.
Review on Feb 10, 2016: A strong recommendation. I don’t think a lot of people actually study death before it hits them, which is sad because a lot of times it could be too late. I like the book a lot because it carries us through his own life, the gains, and the struggles… it is very real, too real. You could feel the author’s perseverance in fighting for his life.

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