One of my favorite books from last year was Angel: How to Invest in Technology Startups--Timeless Advice from an Angel Investor Who Turned $100,000 into $100,000,000 by Jason Calacanis. It was actionable, no-nonsense, and really informative. I loved the crisp and clear framework and suggestions; the reader can agree with them or not, but at least it's practical and direct.
I just started getting my feet wet in angel investing last year, and I plan on spending the next 6 months doing a deep dive into it as a personal experiment for myself to see if I like the process and the work (Jason's motto in the book is "do the work").
Below are my main takeaways and notes on the book. (One telltale sign I liked a book is when my notes Google Doc is 15+ pages long, as it is for this book.)
2017 was a year of tough personal experiences and growth. While sleep was definitely better in 2017 than 2016, the challenges of parenthood are still ever present, though they're changing and becoming more intellectually interesting (though emotionally draining nonetheless). I didn't get to read as much as I would have liked, though I did learn a lot about home security, cryptocurrency (before it became overhyped), and various other random odds and ends. I also started getting my feet wet in angel investing, which I plan to ramp up this year.
1. Angel: Really inspiring read by Jason Calacanis on how to kick butt angel investing. Notes on this coming soon.
2. I Can't Make This Up: Hilarious and inspiring stories from the childhood and career of Kevin Hart.
3. The Gift of Failure: Very concrete and counterintuitive advice on teaching kids the value of hard work and accepting failure as a key ingredient of learning and growing.
4. No-Drama Discipline: The classic text on parenting discipline. Got a lot out of it and now know why it's referenced in like half of the parenting articles online.
5. The Whole Brain Child: More of the same goodness from #4 with lots of good examples and tips.
6. Stories of Your Life and Others: Really nicely written fictional short stories for nerds.
Things that were good
Areas for improvement
Happy New Year!
This past year was super busy for me with a lot of really big house and family projects that kept me busy. Also, with my son's sleep schedule changing and less long stroller or carrier naps (which turned out to be great solitary times to catch up on audiobooks and podcasts), I ended up having a lot less time to read.
This was quite disappointing for me because I really like reading and learning, and I began to feel overwhelmed and frustrated when I saw the backlog of books I kept meaning to read continue growing. I'm doing my best, but I know I can still do better.
I completed 23 books last year, which is quite low for what I'm used to. I hope in 2018 I can bring that number up again. The books I read in 2017 were still heavily concentrated in the baby/parenting arena because that's the focus of my life right now, though I did manage to include some other fiction, nonfiction, and magic in there. I want to also aim for more diversity of books in 2018.