In the Millionaire Next Door, Thomas Stanley investigates what real millionaires do in their lives that make them different from the non-wealthy. These aren't the typical millionaires you might think about. They're not lottery winners, rappers, athletes, or reality stars. These people have several special traits that set them apart from non-millionaires. The book really changed the way I think about daily and large purchases. One of the ideas the book mentions is that the average millionaire reads one non-fiction book a month. Two Christmases ago, I bought my wife a book journal to keep track of the books she read and her thoughts. Last year she read 159 books and has her own small library at school where she loans out books for kids.

I received my own book journal last December and have been reading more this year than I ever have. It really helps motivate me to finish a book to write my thoughts and reviews. Here are a few of my favorites from this year:

  • Alone: The Classic Polar Adventure - by Richard E. Byrd
    • An amazing story by Admiral Byrd where he spent two months with severe carbon monoxide poisoning. His daily struggle is heart wrenching and extremely well written. The cold, the wind, the solitary conditions were far too real.
    • Favorite Quote: "It's not getting to the pole that counts. It's what you learn of scientific value on the way. Plus the fact that you get there and back without being killed."
  • Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software- by Charles Petzold
    • A great book that I read this past weekend. I wish I had read it 10 years ago. Through repetition and many questions, I finally mastered bits, bytes, and ones' complements. This book explains it in a way that should be required reading for any intern, entry level position, and computer science degree. At times it gets a little complicated with relays and switches, but the first 90  pages and last 60 have great insight.
    • Favorite Quote: "Code is not like other how-computers-work books. It doesn't have big color illustrations of disk drives with arrows showing how the data sweeps into the computers. Code has no drawings of trains carrying a cargo of zeros and ones. Metaphors and similes are wonderful literary devices but they do nothing but obscure the beauty of technology."
  • Hunger Games Book 1- by Suzanne Collins
    • I read this book in two days. Yes it's teen lit; yes I'm in my 30s; and yes I loved this book. The other two books in the series are solid, but the first book is the winner in my opinion. The story is engaging, brutal, and thought provoking. The post apocalyptic world is described with wonder and frightening detail. Do yourself a favor and read this book.
    • Favorite Quote: "I take his hand, holding on tightly, preparing for the cameras, and dreading the moment when I finally have to let go."
  • Liar's Poker- by Michael Lewis
    • This is Michael Lewis's first book written in the late 80's about the investment game at Salomon Brothers. It's fast paced, high stress life in a male dominated politically incorrect environment. If you can sell, you're on the right path. While the book offers some inside details on specific trades, it doesn't distract from the rise and fall of the greedy companies.
    • Favorite Quote: "The astute investor Warren Buffett is fond of saying that any player unaware of the fool in the market probably is the fool in the market."
  • The Unstoppable Golfer- Bob Rotella
    • This is the second book I've read of Dr. Bob. The first was Golf is Not a Game of Perfect and changed the way I approach golf. His latest book gives detailed instructions on improving your short game to become a better golfer. Even if you only play twice a week, his approach gives you the confidence to score better than you have in the past. Have a plan before you start your round; forget what just happened; and play every shot with a clear mind.
    • Favorite Quote: "No matter where it ends up, I am going to accept it, go get it, and score with it. You must feel that a new game of golf starts at the end of every shot."
What books have you read recently that you recommend?