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156 Books in 156 Weeks

Photo by Jason Wong on Unsplash

Highlights of some of my favorite books that I read in 2023

A few years ago I set a goal to read 52 books in 52 weeks. I got so much out of it that I decided to do it again, and again. When people hear that I have read a book a week, usually the next question is, which books were your favorite, or which do you recommend.

So here are some highlights from my reading in 2023.

But first, here is a list of all the books I completed:

  1. How to Write a Book For Beginners by Ryan Stephens
  2. The Secrets of Happy Families by Bruce Feller
  3. Ski in Control by Bob Trueman
  4. The Ant and the Elephant by Vince Poscente
  5. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
  6. The 40 Day Financial Fast by D.L. Williams
  7. The 21-Day Financial Fast by Michelle Singletary
  8. The Great Pain Deception by Steve Ozanich
  9. Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport
  10. Hidden Within Us by Samuel Mann
  11. You Patriarchal Blessing by Ed. J Pinegar
  12. The YouTube Formula by Derral Eves
  13. Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T Harv Ecker
  14. 7: An Experiment in Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker
  15. The Miracle Morning by Hal Eldrod
  16. Called to Create by Jordan Raynor
  17. Zig Ziglar's Leadership & Success Series by Zig Ziglar
  18. Financial Fitness by Chris Brady, Orrin Woodward
  19. Taxes for Small Businesses 2023 by Nichola Regan
  20. The Debt Consolidation Myth by Jesse Mecham
  21. The Dorito Effect by Chris Patton
  22. Wild At Heart by John Eldredge
  23. Wild At Heart Updated by John Eldredge
  24. PAiLS by Chris Brady
  25. Failing Forward by John C. Maxwell
  26. The Case for Keto by Gary Taubes
  27. Expert Secrets by Russell Brunson
  28. Ready, Fire, Aim by Michael Masterson
  29. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
  30. Speed of Trust by Stephen M. R. Covey
  31. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers
  32. Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson, Kenneth Blanchard
  33. The Innovator's Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen
  34. Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins
  35. Lectures on Faith by Sidney Rigdon, Joseph Smith Jr.
  36. The Holy Covenants by Anthony Sweat
  37. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  38. Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracey
  39. Leadershift by Orin Woodward, Oliver DeMille
  40. Make Your Bed by William H. McRaven
  41. Ten Years and Ten Lessons by Jim Cockrum
  42. Exposing the Spiritual Roots of High Blood Pressure by Dr. Henry W. Wright
  43. Secrets of Master Salesmanship by Napoleon Hill
  44. Traffic Secrets by Russell Brunson
  45. QBQ by John G. Miller
  46. Flipping the Switch by John G. Miller
  47. Scientific Advertising by Claude C. Hopkins
  48. Giant Steps by Anthony Robbins
  49. Parenting the QBQ Way by John G. Miller, Karen G. Miller
  50. Principles of Applied Psychology by Napoleon Hill
  51. Book of Mormon by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  52. Why We Want You to Be Rich by Donald J. Trump, Robert T. Kiyosaki

Biggest Surprise

Someone loaned me a copy of Financial Fitness by Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward. I have read a lot of personal finance books over the years. I didn't think that I would learn much new from this one, but I actually really enjoyed it. It talks about the offense and defense and playing field when it comes to personal finance. It is kind of like reading 3 books in one. With the defense, it is information much like you would get from Dave Ramsey. With the offense it is similar information you would get from Robert Kiyosaki. The playing field is like getting a condensed version of The Creature From Jekyll Island. Overall I think the book helped me talk more about finances in our marriage. Even if those conversations are uncomfortable, then need to happen to help us get on the same page.

Biggest Flop

I added the Alchemist to the list when someone mentioned they were reading it again and it was one of their favorite books. I listened to it on a road trip to Washington. I found it very boring and when it was over, my only thought was, "That was stupid." Sorry if you're a fan of the book. I'm not.

Longest Book

My wife was on a Brandon Sanderson kick this summer. I prefer non-fiction books. We listened to Mistborn on a long road trip to Denver and back and it still took us a few extra days to finish it. It was good, but I wasn't ready to move on to the next book.

I'm a big John Sarno fan. His book, The Mindbody Prescription, gave me my life back. When I recommend it to people they will often say something like, "It makes sense, but what do I do now?". Now, if someone is dealing with chronic pain, I will recommend The Great Pain Deception. It goes into a lot more detail with an exhaustive list of ailments that can be cured with a mindbody approach.

New Ideas

Notice I read two books on financial fasting. I liked the idea and tried it out. It went well. It helped me be more mindful of the things I casually spend money on. It led to some good financial conversations. That is the beauty of having this reading goal. When I have an idea, or hear of an idea. I looks for books on the topic to gain insights.

Most Inspiring

I would say the book that led me to change my daily habits the most was the Miracle Morning. It started a pattern of getting up earlier and doing some meditaion, journaling and study. I had gotten lazy and this book was the kicker to get me up and going earlier. Did it last? For a few months. But I plan on reading it again for hopefully another surge of motivation!

Most Interesting

I had purchased The Dorito Effect a few years ago when a friend mentioned something from the book. But I never actually got around to reading it until this year. I was surprised by how much our food has changed over the years. I always thought chicken was chicken. I had no idea that it used to be smaller and more flavorful. It reminded me of the time I shot a couple of quail and ate them for dinner back when I was a teenager in high school. They were so small, yet so delicious - so much so that I have never forgotten the experience. Reading this book made me wonder if this is how chicken used to taste before the emphasis was on breading chickens that grew very large, very fast. There were several interesting changes described in the book and it has slowly led to me wanting to grow and harvest more of my own food.

The Unexpected Surprise

When I ordered Financial Fitness on Amazon, they sent me the wrong book. Instead they sent me another book by Chris Brady titled PAiLS. Rather than returning it, I decided to read it. I really got into it. It triggered some old entrepreneurial feelings in me and made me want to leave more of a legacy in this life. Receiving this book was what Bob Ross would call a "Happy Accident".


I re-read a couple of Russell Brunson's books again as I started working on EnvelopeBudget again. Russell started a new company this year called Success Secrets. By joining I received a few books by Napoleon Hill. I got absorbed in these books at the end of the year. These were slower, more deliberate reads, but I really loved reading his works and I will read them again in the future.

That's a wrap!

I could talk about each book individually but for my benefit and yours, I'll wrap it up here. Hopefully this will give some of you some ideas for books to read and perhaps some added motivation and inspiration for 2024!

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Dustin Davis

Dustin Davis is a software engineer, people manager, hacker, and entreprenuer. He loves to develop systems and automation. He lives with his wife and five kids in Utah.

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