2019 Reading List

MVP Machine - Ben Lindberg and Travis Sawchick
It’s no secret that the game of baseball has changed. My favorite part of the book was Sawchick and Lindbergh’s retelling of how a data-driven approach led to the Red Sox 2018 World Series victory.

The Education of a Coach - David Halberstram
I loved the recounting of how Bill Belichick came to be the legendary coach he is, even going back to his dad’s experience as a college coach with a keen scouting eye.

Belichick: The Making of the Greatest Football Coach of All Time - Ian O'Connor
I read 2/3 of this book back in February before I moved to Arizona to start Spring Training. Then, I found it at a used bookstore and read the rest of it through. I had two main takeaways from this and The Education of a Coach. 1. The best coaches work extremely hard. It should be obvious, but that was made clear to me throughout both books. 2. The best way to earn respect as a young coach is to help your players improve. It’s not about being someone you’re not; it’s about helping others improve.

Chasing Perfection: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the High-Stakes Game of Creating an NBA Champion
 - Andy Glockner
I love looking at other sports to learn what they’re thinking. I became very intrigued in NBA Analytics last season and this book was a decent primer to understand their own analytical movement and what they’re doing to maximize its usefulness. It wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read, but I was interested in the topic, which helped me get all the way through it.

Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist - Roger Lowenstein
I have front office aspirations, so I decided to start reading books on economics, investing, finance, etc. I figured that the most successful investor of our age was a good place to start. Overall a good book, although I realized that I have a lot to learn before I can understand everything Roger Lowenstein discussed. One thing that struck me was the way Buffett was able to break down complex topics and make them easily understandable for his clients.

Open: An Autobiography - Andre Agassi
While I will never claim to be a major tennis fan, this autobiography of Andre Agassi was fascinating. He battled many demons and faced inner turmoil on his way to the top, all while hating the game his whole life. Definitely an interesting look into things considering some of my own struggles with baseball during and immediately after my own playing career. I almost quit the book because I found myself feeling some of his anguish after I put the book down, but stayed with it and enjoyed the change he underwent later in his career. For less than $7 on Amazon, it's a must-read for any person who wants to work in sports or just a sports fan in general.

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future - Peter Thiel
The first half of this book was extremely relevant to my life and it gave some language to things I've been thinking, and helped me get further into things like how to create a career you love. I could have done without the last 1/3 or so, but I read on hoping that there would be some stuff that really stood out. I'll read it again before 2019 is over and will stick with the parts that sing to me.

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World - Cal Newport
This was my second time reading this book. Newport does a good job of providing ideas for how an abstract topic like focus can be made practical and attainable. I believe it's most useful when combined with Essentialism by Greg McKeown. Being able to focus is one thing. Being able to focus on the right thing is a game changer.

Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman: Adventures of a Curious Character - Richard Feynman
An autobiography of a Nobel Prize-winning physicist who is truly one of a kind. I'm in. This book had me laughing out loud each time I picked it up (Ask my wife) and also taught me a valuable lesson on how to enjoy your work when you feel burned out. Reading tip: If you feel yourself getting intimidated by the science, focus instead on the way his mind works and how he solves problems.

The Signal and The Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail, but Some Don't - Nate Silver
This was my first book about statistical analysis and I felt that Silver did a great job making things simple enough for someone with basic knowledge of statistics to understand. I read it to have an improved understanding of my field and how many of the decisions get made. It was awesome to get in the weeds with people from multiple industries on the issues they face with using big data.

Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction - Philip Tetlock & Dan Gardner
Recommended to me by a co-worker. An excellent book. It helped me take much of what Silver talked about in The Signal and The Noise and understand the how behind getting to those predictions. My main takeaway: Those with the best forecasting abilities seem to also have many of the growth-minded traits described by Carol Dweck in Mindset. Hmm....

Stillness is the Key - Ryan Holiday
Solitude. Quiet. Peace. Contentment. Happiness. Stillness.
Whatever you call it, Ryan Holiday wants to help you find it. In an age where almost everyone has lost the ability to sit quietly in a room, Holiday wants to help you rediscover the stillness you desperately need. 

2019 Reading List