Book Challenge 2020

So I challenged myself to read 666 books in 2020 so that I may summon Asmodeus. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t hit this goal, closing out at 33% complete with 222 books. That’s fine, the true goal was to just read more and read books I won’t normally read. (I normally read a lot of manga, graphic novels and tech books and I tried not to include too many of them.)

To close out this challenge out, I want to write some thoughts. Are you ready? Here we go!

Table of Contents

My Top 3 Fiction

The Undefeated
PAIN EATER: When food is not enough
Vikram and the Vampire

My Top 3 Non-Fiction

How to Love and How to See (yeah cheating a little but I’d rather clump them together)
The Secret to Everything: How to Live More and Suffer Less
On Bullshit

Thoughts on All 222 Books

The Complete Guide to Drawing Action Manga: A Step-by-Step Artist’s Handbook
Great artwork and some good tips. Not exactly a stellar handbook though.

Second Variety
Good Philip K Dick story but terribly predictable after digesting years of derivative sci-fi!

Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination
Harry Potter author’s inspirational speech that talks about failure and how it can remove the inessential and imagination is important because it enables empathy.

Hinowa Ga Crush!, Vol. 1
Akama Ga Kill continues in a shocking way. The artist changed which saddened me a little. It’s not bad; I just prefer the original’s art style.

A Joosr Guide to… Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker: Think Rich to Get Rich
I read a lot of summaries because it helps increase the read count and it’s a good way to quickly discern if a book is worth reading in detail. My big takeaway for this one was “getting paid by results and not hours” – this has been stuck in my head and a constant source of irritation tbh.

Conversations Worth Having
Make a matrix of appreciate/depreciate and inquiry/statement and you have the essence of this book and how to have difficult conversations. Hint: aim for appreciate-inquiry and focus on possibilities instead of problems.

Poke the Box
Seth Godin doing what he does best with an inspirational book about taking initiative and dealing with anxiety around it. My takeaway was: ask when “no” cannot be said.

Little Book of Foreign Swear Words
This book was terrible. I feel like Google Translate would have been more entertaining. My first 1 star rating.

Galaga (Boss Fight Books, #4)
I came for Galaga but I also got a very uncomfortable memoir that I did not expect nor enjoy.

The Power of Having Fun
Oof. This was another 1 star book. It was a lot of justification for having fun in the workplace, as if Ebeneezer Scrooge was the target audience.

10 Steps to Successful Presentations
This book went over all facets of making a presentation from storytelling to stage lighting. It could have been better written.

Dating Hacks Handbook
A sub-par book that I forgot I even read.

This is the largest book I read according to Goodreads’ statistics. It was exceptional but also disturbing beyond belief. I can’t imagine how provocative it must have been when it came out.

The Undefeated
When I think about reading out of comfort zone, this book comes to mind. It was almost antebellum but skinned in futuristic science fiction. Well written!

A Man, a Can, a Microwave: 50 Tasty Meals You Can Nuke in No Time
An acceptable cookbook that I bought at an antique shop that was closing its doors. I was fascinated by the chemistry tucked in its pages.

PLUTO: Urasawa x Tezuka, Volume 001
This is basically a retelling of Astro Boy that plodded along till I lost interest.

The Language of Localization
A well-written book on localization that I learned a lot from.

The Mathematics of Love: Patterns, Proofs, and the Search for the Ultimate Equation
Technically, this was the audio-book version that I heard multiple times on a solo road trip. It was very educational and entertaining!

Handy Pocket Guide to Asian Gemstones
Gems are boring and not something I care about but the book was still interesting enough to finish.

Human Stock Exchange - Tome 1
A solid graphic novel about putting people on a stock market. Very dystopian!

Uncertainty in Games
I often wonder why I drop some games after playing them for an hour and this book basically answered it for me. It was a compelling read and I always think of the uncertainty factor when studying or designing games now. 

The Emoji-To-English Dictionary: Your Text-Message Translation Guide
It’s not really a dictionary because dictionaries have words that are used in a language and I don’t think the emoji combinations in this book are used anywhere and by anyone.

American politics is boring beyond belief but I found this graphic novel of Bernie Sanders interesting. 

Neo Parasyte m
It’s like a short story anthology but set in the world of Parasyte. Very interesting ideas were explored.

Human Stock Exchange - Tome 2
The interesting idea continues but loses some steam as the plot progresses.

A Joosr Guide to… Originals by Adam Grant: How Non-Conformists Change the World
The Joosr Guides are good summaries in general but this book didn’t really have much going for it.

A Walk in the Wood: Meditations on Mindfulness with a Bear Named Pooh
It’s an interesting idea: mix Pooh and Buddhism. At some point though, it felt like a gimmick and I stopped enjoying it.

Summary: The Art of the Strategist: Review and Analysis of Cohen’s Book
The book is probably mediocre and this summary did it no favors. 

The Ballad of Black Tom
A racism-themed horror/supernatural book with a bizarre ending. 

Dad Jokes: Good, Clean Fun for All Ages!
I can’t rate this book. The jokes are terrible but doesn’t that mean they’re good Dad jokes?

Another thick graphic novel from Osamu Tezuka. It might not hold the test of time but it was a good thriller.

It’s like Spider-man’s origin story but in Delhi. The interesting part is the discovery and utilization of the hero’s abilities in a stereotypical corrupt Indian city.

Blood, Sweat, and Pixels
Airing the game industry’s dirty laundry in a dramatic fashion! Some sections were interesting while others smelled like humble-bragging “oh everything was fine - we handled it cause we’re the best” uh huh sure

Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad
I loved Austin Kleon’s prior book but this one doesn’t quite do it for me.

At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances (Portuguese Irregular Verbs, #3)
It’s funny to jump in at the end of a trilogy but I was able to follow along and was entertained. Lots of twists and turns for a rather clumsy protagonist.

Yellow Face
An interesting play about race with a bit of a twist at the end.

How to See
I bought this book at the airport right before the world pandemic declaration. It kinda blew my mind a little. At least for a little bit, my vision of the world was less cloudy and I was able to “see” things for what they are and not assume/jump to conclusions.

Another play but this was about an unexpected exploration of female sexuality.

[Summary, Analysis & Review of Mark Manson’s the Subtle Art of Not Giving A FCk]( “Summary, Analysis & Review of Mark Manson’s the Subtle Art of Not Giving A FCk by Instaread”)
Thanks to this, I can skip reading the book which seems rather tryhard.

Minimalism: Discover How To Practice Minimalism In Your House Effectively To Become Clear Of All Mess And Clutter
With such a long title, I should have stayed away. This book has no business existing.

An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments
A cute book about flawed thinking. However I ended up a reading a book that was significantly better than it later.

The Boob Book
It’s a humorous coffee-table book about breasts. Very light and rather fluffy.

Summary: Remote: Review and Analysis of Fried and Hansson’s Book
At this point in time, WFH was starting to become the new normal. The book summary was alright. 

Speed Reading: How to Read a Book a Day 
I needed to read faster so I picked up this book. I was able to learn a couple of things that helped me read faster than I normally do but not actually Speed Read.

The Logic of Names: An Introduction to Boole’s Laws of Thought
This book was immense. I loved the content but it was so obtuse and difficult to read and understand. I want to explore this subject some more.

Good to Great by Jim Collins: Key Takeaways, Analysis & Review
A very good summary of the book

The Self Help Guide For Anxiety Relief
The book has some value but I would recommend you skip it. Better works out there.

Gale Researcher Guide for: Applications of Behavioral Economics
So oddly enough this book was about game theory and not behavioral economics. A fun read though.

A Joosr Guide to… The Organized Mind by Daniel Levitin
So much for an organized mind, I don’t remember reading this.

When Boxing Was, Like, Ridiculously Racist
One word to describe this book: wow. Nothing like using race as a loophole to avoid getting your ass beat.

Evernote at Work
I don’t use Evernote but I was hoping for bits of knowledge to help with digital note-taking and storage. There were some good ideas but not much I could use practically.

Summary and Analysis of A History of God
I’m not sure I would have enjoyed reading the original book but the summary was well-written and I find the inquisitive nature of the author to be more fascinating than anything.

A Cynic’s Guide to a Rich and Full Life
Hey, I finally got around to reading/finishing this. Entertaining at times but mostly silly.

A Joosr Guide to… Misbehaving by Richard Thaler: The Making of Behavioral Economics
This was a great summary and prompted me to want to read the actual book. Behavioral Economics is a fascinating subject.

A Joosr Guide to… Nudge by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein
A good summary about nudging or pushing yourself in the right direction through curation of your environment.

The Gamer’s Bucket List: The 50 Video Games to Play Before You Die
Any book like this is bound to be “controversial” but really, this list was just a predictable (re: boring) list of popular mainstream games.

Essentialism | Key Takeaways, Analysis & Review
A typically average InstaRead summary.

I always wanted to read a Harlequin romance manga. It had more sex and nudity than I anticipated. Fun read but little substance.

Rise of the Videogame Zinesters
I really wanted to like this book but it had so much filler.

You Are Not So Smart
It’s a book version of a blog that goes over different biases and thinking failures. Better version of the illustrated book of bad arguments.

Kingdom Hearts II (Boss Fight Books, #16)
Explains a lot of things about Kingdom Hearts that I wasn’t aware of. Gets 4 stars from me just for that. 

BTOOOM!, Vol. 1
At this point in time, BTOOOM! finally concluded so I decided to read the manga from the beginning. I watched the anime before which was definitely toned down so the manga was quite shocking at times.

I think this is the book that made me think: if this guy can publish a book, then so can I. The book was interesting but also dreadful, dreadful enough to inspire me to publish my own dreck.

Summary : The Strategy Paradox
A terrible summary of a probably terrible book.

Learn Clip Studio Paint - Second Edition
A decent introduction to Clip Studio Paint and all of its different features.

After Gantz and Inuyashiki, I was really hyped for GIGANT. This thing is trash. I don’t know why I gave it a 3 star rating. It’s 2 stars on a good day.

A Joosr Guide to… The Connection Algorithm
The summary was not well executed perhaps due to the source material itself.

101 Amazing Facts about the Snes
Most of the facts were not amazing unless you’re maybe from the 1800s.

Final Fantasy Philosophy
A great look at the Final Fantasy series with different philosophical lenses. I’ve played a few FF games so I was able to appreciate the essays on the characters or settings I was familiar with.

On Bullshit
A spectacular book on framing what Bullshit is. No bullshit!

Summary: The Achievement Habit
I probably need to re-read this but if I remember it correctly, it was a lot about taking action and reinforcing the ability to take action.

If You Give a Kitty a Cocktail
An amusing picture book about a “cat” getting drunk

Understanding Financial Frauds and Scams
I was hoping for more on this one but it was rather basic.

Learn JavaScript VISUALLY with Interactive Exercises
I read this mainly to see Ivelin Demirov’s teaching style and it was pretty cool.

Themes and Variations
My first Kindle Single. It was alright.

The Game Development Mindset
An interesting book but I wasn’t able to get much out of it.

Snow Girl: [#1] A Strange Short Tale
A “cute” short story about relationships and trust.

Summary and Analysis of Americanah
If I tried to read Americanah, I would have 100% dropped it. That’s why I’m glad for this summary. I can actually read/enjoy a proxy of the book without suffering through it.

Survive a Tornado
This book might build tornado awareness but you won’t survive a tornado after reading it.

Get a Life That Doesn’t Suck
I thought the book was solid when I read it. But I don’t remember much about it now except the author was a bit snarky.

A Joosr Guide to… The $100 Start-Up by Chris Guillebeau
I attempted to read Chris Guillebeau’s books but they have a lot of filler. I was hoping the Joosr Guide would help filter it but this summary had little to no helpful info.

Ninja: Get Good: My Ultimate Guide to Gaming
A surprisingly good book about gaming and living well. I have a hard time believing it was written by the same person who tweeted about how you need to be angry while gaming so I suspect this was ghostwritten.

The Bad Seed
A cute story about “being bad” something which I suspect is not explored much in children’s books.

Writing and Releasing Rapidly
What I find amusing is the huge typo in the cover of this book. I infer that anything done rapidly is prone to error. Nonetheless, I tried using the pre-order trick that the author explained. It was stressful because I procrastinated.

Drenched with Sin
Some salacious content in here!

Apple Black, Vol. 1
Terribly generic shonen - which I suppose is an achievement if you’re not a Japanese mangaka.

Cyberbullying and the Law
When I grew up, cyberbullying wasn’t exactly possible because dial-up was a pain in the ass. I picked this up to understand it in the context of today’s society. 

Death’s Helper
An interesting book about being a sort-of grim reaper for a child.

PAIN EATER: When food is not enough
This style of fiction, I absolutely love! The protagonist is awful but you’re still rooting for him as he’s about to get served some delicious comeuppance!

The Coronavirus Prevention Handbook
A lot of filler. I appreciate it was written and so quickly but so much fluff.

A Nation in Debt: How Can We Pay the Bills?
I don’t remember much of this book. Definitely should have written some notes as I was reading it.

English In Japanese: A Selection Of Useful Loanwords
This book is rather excellent and one of a kind. It actually lists and explains how certain English words made it into Japanese vernacular. 

Doubt, Vol. 1
Interesting escape-room/death-game manga. I need to finish Vol 2.

Summary and Analysis of The Euro: How a Common Currency Threatens the Future of Europe
A solid book summary that illustrates how good intentions can lead to calamity.

People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Volume 1
#Relatable content that I cannot relate with.

Create Now!: A Systematic Guide to Artistic Audacity
The book was well laid out but I could not derive any value from it

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carré (Book Analysis)
I’m grateful that this exists because I don’t think I could read/finish/appreciate the original book. I’ve tried reading the author’s other works and they’re a slog.

An Introduction to Chess Moves and Tactics Simply Explained
Speaking of slogs, this book was quite hard to finish. I did it but I don’t think I’m a better chess player for it.

All My Friends Are Dead
A silly little book

Minimalist Budget: Simple and Practical Strategies
A book with generic advice that I found to be not useful

Barbarella/Dejah Thoris Vol. 1
An interesting cross-over with a simple plot.

Nin’s Limericks: Odd Odes Concerning the Savoy Operas
I wanted to read some limericks and I found this. It requires considerable knowledge of some type of performance art that I have no idea about so I couldn’t really enjoy them.

A Joosr Guide to… Delusions of Gender by Cordelia Fine
Quite the eye-opener. I enjoyed the guide and might try and read the full book in the future.

Summary of Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder
I love the concept of Antifragile. I’ve learned about it before but didn’t want to find/read the full book so I tried to rely on this. It’s an average summary.

Summary of Healing Back Pain
I 100% believe that a lot of my back pain is stress-related just like the contents of this book propose. I looked it up later and it seems like it’s not quite proven.

Creating Mind Maps: Organise, innovate and plan with mind mapping
A decent book on working with mind maps.

Love Yoga
A nice photo book of a yoga practitioner named Randalle Love.

The Giving Tree
I finally read this and found it be a rather mediocre story about being a parent. Why is it so popular?

Cracking the Behavioral Interviews: for Software Engineers
An interesting book about “behavioral” interviews. I liked it for its ability to break down what the interviewer is looking for when they ask a certain question.

Summary of White Fragility by Robin J. DiAngelo
I couldn’t get a copy of this book so I went for the next best thing: its summary. It’s an interesting concept that I’ve never thought of. I suspect that’s why the book became so popular.

The Ishikawa Diagram: Identify problems and take action
Fish-bone diagrams! I learned about them but this book was so light on the topic. It could have used more examples/illustrations.

The Checklist Manifesto - Atul Gawande
So this is also book summary but boy did it blow my mind. I’m now sold on checklists. I should probably buy a copy of the actual book :|

Drawing Drapery from Head to Toe
A good book on clothing dynamics. It helped me understand folds a bit better.

Summary and Analysis of Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman
I don’t remember much from this summary but I do remember enjoying what I read

Self-Discipline: 32 Small Changes
A decent self-help book that covers all the bases

A Place for Mulan
Thanks to this book, I learned the (then) upcoming Mulan movie modified the original such that Mulan had a sister. I skipped the movie when it was released.

I Choo-Choo-Choose You!
A cute set of stories about a cat. Not my cup of tea but I can appreciate it for what it is.

How to Love (Mindfulness Essentials, #3)
This was probably the best Thich Nhat Hanh book I read this year. I loved every page of it. 

Pareto’s Principle: Expand your business!
At this point, I wanted to write a parody of all these self-help books I’ve been reading. So I wanted to study more about Pareto’s Principle and picked this up. It was rather meh.

How to Be Interesting: An Instruction Manual
I loved Jessica Hagy’s use of diagrams to convey information. Great way to present a book!

The Secret to Everything: How to Live More and Suffer Less
A solid self-help/life book. Probably the best one I read all year. 

Wealth Exposed: This Short Argument I Overheard Made Me A Fortune
This book is a bit trashy but I must admit, the short argument gimmick is interesting. 

Problem Solving: With Practical Examples
An interesting book that goes over different techniques (like fish-bone diagrams and SWOT analysis) and attempts to illustrate them. It just falls a little short as the scenarios are not interesting to solve.

How to Bullet Journal: Everything You Need to Know!
I rated this 1 star and that’s still too high.

The Line: A very short, short story
Oddly not the shortest story book but was a fun read.

The Story of the Order of Operations
An interesting way of teaching order of operations

A Bag of Snakes
This was the shortest book I read this year. Pretty funny.

Ahab Van Helsing vs Nosferatu Carcharodon #1
Let the battle of two public domain characters begin!

Devil May Cry
The reboot’s pre-story. Fun to revisit.

Game Theory: The art of thinking strategically
An okay introduction to Game Theory.

Full Contact Chapter One: Thailand
Listen kid, you know you wanna be like Frank Dux so you write this ring-king kumite-wannabe book and split it into 10 separate books, got it? Absolute trash but the writer knows how to write tense fights, so props there.

The Legend of Dororo and Hyakkimaru Vol. 1
A re-telling of Osamu Tezuka’s Dororo - the source is strong but the deviations are a mixed bag of interesting and unnecessary.

I enjoyed reading this as an adult because this shit was the devil when I was a kid.

Vikram and the Vampire
A modern take on the classic Vikram-Betaal stories. Lots of edits to make it progressive but they were acceptable. The essence of the original remains somewhat intact.

Summary: Overachievement
I rated this 4 stars but I don’t remember anything from it. Needs to be revisited!

KanjiPictoGraphix Dragon Book: Blood, Fire, and Spirit
A great way of breaking down kanji/radicals. Very educational!

The Story of Chopsticks: Amazing Chinese Inventions
I loved this but was disappointed to learn this was fictitious as no one knows about chopsticks were really made.

Summary: The 4-hour workweek - Timothy Ferriss
People keep quoting this book but I think it’s wishful thinking or within the reach of very few people.

Gale Researcher Guide for: Sexuality
Too light to be useful

A Joosr Guide to… Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
The guide had no jokes but I got the essence of the book down. I think you read the book for the jokes and not really for the essence.

Smart and Spineless: Exploring Invertebrate Intelligence
A great book about creatures without spines like bugs, octopodes, etc. It was rather difficult to finish though.

The Science of the Brain
I didn’t quite like it 

BTOOOM! Vol. 5
I didn’t mean for this to get tagged into the list but whatever, it’s here. 

Power of Patterns: Coding
I have no recollection of reading this. What a blur!

Human Stock Exchange - Tome 3
Finally hunkered down and finished the series. Tome 2 turned me off but I powered through and the ending had satisfying payoff.

How to Relax
Another Thich Nhat Hanh mindfulness book but I was not a fan. Guess they all can’t be winners.

Even This Page Is White
This book is a bit on the whiny side. I empathize with the author’s struggle but it sounds pathetic at times.

A Joosr Guide to… The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
Thanks to this I finally understand the question on Hinge!

Quantum Physics for Smart Kids
Cute book but rather light on quantum physics.

Erica Sakurazawa: Angel
A fun slice-of-life/supernatural manga; I enjoyed it even though it’s not my typical go-to genre.

Jujutsu Kaisen 1
A meh manga that’s gone on to produce the most popular winter anime of 2020. I must be growing old.

Outrageous Japanese: Slang, Curses & Epithets
Politically incorrect at times but still very educational. 

The Scribbler
I watched the movie first; then I read the graphic novel. Things in the movie made more sense after reading the source material. Solid work by Dan Schaefer.

Software Engineering & Object Oriented Modeling
I wanted to learn more about practical UML. Book was okay.

Bloodborne: The Death of Sleep
Hooked on Bloodborne so I read this. The art was amazing.

How to Walk (Mindfulness Essentials, #4)
Don’t think, just walk. 

J. Scott Campbell’s Danger Girl: 20th Anniversary!
After reading the original and getting my own copy ages ago, it’s fun to revisit it and see the original drafts. 

Don’t Dream about Bunnies
I think it was okay. 

Summary, Analysis, and Review of Anna Wiener’s Uncanny Valley: A Memoir
I tried reading the actual book and was turned off by the author’s tone. Summary to the rescue! 

Forge Your Future with Open Source
This book delves in other aspects of open source such as healthy contribution. I found this interesting but feel like the future-forging part was not tackled.

Prodigy Vol. 1: The Evil Earth
Mark Millar delivers another subversive take on superhero comics. Worth a read.

Create Your Own Time: How To Work 48 Hours In A Day
A good book - my favorite piece of advice is about how being organized saves time because you don’t waste it looking for stuff.

A simple overview of the Transformers IP.

Summary and Analysis of Invisible Man
Another good thing about summarys? Difficult books can be digested. Invisible Man is probably too depressing for me to read but this book was a great substitute.

Moving from Unity to Godot
This book started off well but then it became a weird tutorial book instead of a transition guide.

An enjoyable psychological thriller about perspective

Bloodborne: The Healing Thirst (Bloodborne, #2)
If I recall this was one of the better tales in the Bloodborne graphic novel series

F. Paul Wilson’s Repairman Jack: Scar-Lip Redux
This was my first Repairman Jack experience; it was interesting.

Visual Illusions
A simple picture book of different optical illusions

Animation at Work
A great book about the importance of animation in software

A Joosr Guide to… The Off Switch by Mark Cropley
Sadly another book I’ve read that I can’t recollect

The Art of War Visualized
I had high hopes for this one. Jessica applies her diagrams to explain Art of War but most of the diagrams don’t support the material. It was very disappointing.

The Pearl
My first John Steinbeck book. Such a lame ending.

I Am Human: A Book of Empathy
Cute children’s book

Hands-On Game Development Patterns with Unity 2019
The content is good but the author was terribly condescending. He wrote as if he were talking to “clueless” students. He would write out anecdotes that supported nothing.

Logic Puzzles 101: 101 Puzzles to Teach the Art of Logic
This was just a puzzle book with no “teaching”

Disrupt: Think the Unthinkable to Spark Transformation in Your Business
The payoff from the revelations in this book was not worth the effort to read it. Avoid.

Minecraft Guide to Creative
A pretty book that won’t help you be more creative in Minecraft

Guide to Minecraft Dungeons
A good guide to the game

Learn to Swim: Teaching You to Teach Your Child to Swim
This book was a little odd. It’s for parents but it has childish illustrations so the parent can show the kid.. what? Anyway, the book actually did help me learn what I was doing wrong while swimming and I can actually swim now.

Lead Your Tribe, Love Your Work: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Creating a Culture that Matters
My former professor/boss’ book. I agree with many of his sentiments and believe it’s THE way to run a company. That being said, there’s a lot of information that’s not in the book.

Bloodborne: A Song of Crows
A solid entry about a character from the game

Bloodborne: The Veil, Torn Asunder
The final volume. The art is still the main draw here.

Find Your Artistic Voice: The Essential Guide to Working Your Creative Magic
A well-formatted book from which I drew little value

Since I liked Scribbler, I decided to check out Killdarlings. It was stupendous, a wild ride from start to finish.

New Game! Vol. 2
Around this point in time, I got deep into the game of New Game! and decided to read the yon-komi.

GD Script: Godot 3.1 game engine
A decent book marred by English language errors.

BTOOOM! Vol. 6
Even though I already know what’s going to happen, it’s still interesting to read.

A Joosr Guide to… Brain Maker by David Perlmutter: The Power of Gut Microbes
Many years ago I met someone who specialized in this field so reading some text about this was more nostalgic than anything

Summary of Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One
A bit too economical for my tastes

The Boys Omnibus Vol. 1
I got into the Amazon Prime show so I decided to read the original source material. It’s pretty vile.

Lean Game Development
An interesting idea on applying other software development practices to games

BTOOOM! Vol. 7
BTOOOM!, Vol. 8
BTOOOM!, Vol. 9
Starting bending the rules more and included more manga than the original plan.

Practical Video Game Bots: Automating Game Processes using C++, Python, and AutoIt
A very interesting book but very complex, the team behind this just went all-in and didn’t do much to break anything down.

A Deal is a Deal
A fun folktale-like about powerful dragons and tricking them

BTOOOM!, Vol. 10
At this point, the anime concluded and the manga continues the new plot and it was mind-blowing.

Fortune Favors the Brave: 100 Courageous Quotations
Really nice picture book with calligraphic quotes. Flip open a page and get inspired.

Hands-On Functional Programming with C++
Well-written book on functional programming with a language that doesn’t really treat functions like objects.

Making games with GD Script
There’s good stuff in here but once again, it’s marred by ESL issues.

Dealing with Negative People
The book was okay. No amazing takeaways.

Summary, Analysis, and Review of Jennie Allen’s Get Out of Your Head
If I recall correctly, this book got religious in a hurry so it wasn’t particularly useful for me.

The Boys Omnibus Vol. 2
I came back for Round 2. Still vile. I’ll stick with the TV show.

Between the World and Me: by Ta-Nehisi Coates
My first sorta-experience with the author, not thrilled by the overall idea.

Tantric Stripfighter Trina
Interesting graphic novel with eastern thinking clashing with western ideals.

Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid Saga Continues - Johnny’s Story
I borrowed the video game so I thought I’d read the comic book to get a decent idea of the show, as I hadn’t watched it. Later, I ended up binge-watching it :|

Mindset by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D | Key Takeaways, Analysis & Review
An apt summary

The Path to Tekken God
I dislike Tekken but this book helped me understand it a bit better.

Everyday UX
This book contained a bunch of interviews of people who do UX. It’s interesting to see how they think and work.

Everybody Dies: A Children’s Book for Grown Ups
A funny book about death and being stoic about it

The Odyssey by Homer (Book Analysis)
At this point, I had been playing Immortals Fenyx Rising and I recalled a fun Hallmark movie I saw ages ago. That led me to “re-read” The Odyssey but in short form!

How to Eat (Mindfulness Essentials, #2)
It’s rather similar to How to Walk. Perhaps to make a book series, just repeat the same thing over and over again but with a different angle.

Game Project Completed: How Successful Indie Game Developers Finish Their Projects
The title has little to do with the content which is more about developing the mental fortitude to finish a game. The author seems to be a bit of a dick too.

Bully Eater Volume 1: Orientation
A shonen manga about a weakling hero who loves talking big.

The Art of Visual Notetaking
A good introduction to Visual Notetaking. I want to try and do more of this.

The Joy of Not Thinking: A Radical Approach to Happiness
Probably one of the better self-help books. Simple and concise.

Markandeya Purana
Recursive storytelling with so many characters, I lost track of everything by the time I finished.

Please Like Me [But Keep Away]
Mindy Kaling writes about her anxiety issues as a popular actress in Hollywood. A nice peek into her world, I suppose.

Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life
This book has probably changed me more than I suspect. My only criticism is it’s padded.

Life Is Short And So Is This Book
A nice collection of various life practices. I liked the author’s honesty about how good his life is.

The Art of Readable Code
Last one. It’s interesting because just by following one rule, all these practices will happen organically: write code such that you will be able to understand it if you forgot it. Still a solid book that I’m sure I’ll come back to over the years.

Good Books I Didn’t Finish

I started and paused (or dropped) a bunch of books: 58 to be exact. Here’s a set of noteworthy ones. 

No One Makes You Shop at Wal-Mart: The Surprising Deceptions of Individual Choice
This book was amazing, a thorough criticism of the free-market. I wish I finished it.

The Lucid Dream Manifesto
Fascinating read but also dense as hell. My brain’s often too roasted to get through such heavy content.

Beowulf: The Script Book
I loved the movie and the game based on it. This book exposed the thinking behind the story. I got to the script and tuned off. I should probably go back and finish it.

Write Great Code: Volume 2
This book was excellent. Not sure why I couldn’t finish it.

Nine Algorithms That Changed the Future
Some day I’ll finish this book…

I Am a Cat
Entertaining but I got disengaged after a few episodes.

Alice (The Chronicles of Alice, #1)
Very well-written horror retelling of Alice in Wonderland. 

The Rising of the Shield Hero, Volume 1
The light novel the hit anime is based on. Reading this more for research than anything but I should go back and finish it.

Thank you for reading. Hope you found it useful.


 Date: January 1, 2021
 Tags:  reading books

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