Happy New Year, friends! It’s time for my annual list of Books of the Year. I didn’t meet my book goal this year: I was on track for most of the year, but I got totally absorbed in the Hour of Code this year which took me a bit off track. On the upside, we shipped Dance Party, my favorite Hour of Code tutorial yet. My usual disclaimer applies: I’m not claiming they’re the best books I read this year (whatever that means), but they are the books that changed my thinking, stuck with me long after the final page, and that I would wholeheartedly recommend to others. As usual, they’re presented alphabetically by author.
What a year, eh? 2017 was a long, challenging year for many people –- myself included. That said, there were some great things that happened this year: Ray and I were able to buy our first home, I made new friends and grew closer to old ones, and I actually exceeded my book goal! Last year, I wrote a post about my top three books of 2016. This year, I’m continuing the tradition. All of these books get the Official Ryan Stamp of Approval. I’m not claiming they’re the best books I read this year, but they are the books that made an impact and stuck with me, and that I would wholeheartedly recommend to others. It’s a very politically-oriented list this year – a sign of the times, I suppose. Without further ado, here are the three books, alphabetically by author.
I didn’t do as much reading as I would have liked in 2015 – It was a roller coaster of a year for many reasons, and at the end of last year, I felt muddled and a little out of sorts. I don’t consider myself a big believer in New Year’s Resolutions, but at the start of 2016 I did make one pledge to myself. I decided to start taking reading seriously again, and to make time to read wholeheartedly every day. I also set a book count goal. We’re nearing the end of the year, and, while I didn’t meet my book count goal, I think I did an alright job.
The renewed focus was good for me: at the end of 2016 I feel more curious and more well-rounded. I’m thinking more clearly, and I’m feeling more reflective. In that spirit of reflectiveness, I present Ryan’s Super Official Top Three Books of 2016. These aren’t necessarily the best (what does that mean, anyway?) books I read this year, but they are the three books that had the most profound impact on me this year. I often find myself thinking about them or referencing their core ideas. They all get an official recommendation from me.
Filed Under: Things my Grandparents would never believe.
A few weeks ago, I purchased a Pebble Smart Watch. I didn’t have a lot of experience in Wearables prior to ordering; although ubiquitous computing and mobility has always been an area of interest for me. After a couple of weeks with my Pebble, I can safely say that I’m truly impressed. The device itself has a ways to go in terms of its capabilities, and the ecosystem of applications is pretty weak right now, but there is clearly a huge amount of potential here. I wanted to write a bit about some of my observations so far, a little project I’m working on, and then do some wildly irresponsible forecasting about the future.
Five Years. 132 credit hours. Over 2 GB of email. Three or four dozen all-nighters. More tests, quizzes, and homeworks than I can count. That’s the most obvious way to sum up my college experience. But it doesn’t seem to do it justice.
The five years I spent at Georgia Tech were possibly the five most important years of my life thus far. I learned a lot about technology, business, and (perhaps most importantly) myself. It’s been a couple days since I strode across the stage, and the reality of the situation hasn’t quite set in yet. Nonetheless, I’ve spent a great deal of time reflecting during the last 72 hours. Reflecting on what I learned, where I’m going, and what it really means to be a Yellow Jacket. I have tried to think of a phrase or tagline to describe it, but that’s harder than it sounds. So instead, I’ve compiled a couple of bits of advice for current and future Georgia Tech students, and maybe students at other institutions could benefit as well.
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