Reading for me is personal. It is an escape, a refuge and a way to understand things. My brain asks a lot of questions, and through reading, I get to find the answers to most questions.

Reading remains one of the best ways to understand what others think and the work they do.

It is through books that I get to travel into other people’s thoughts and visit their worlds.

The following is my 2021 reading list:

  1. The Geography of Genius: A Search for the World’s Most Creative Places from Ancient Athens to Silicon Vally by Eric Weiner [9/10] <—- This is a brilliant book, I will read it again.
  2. On Fire: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal by Naomi Klein [8/10] <—- One of my favourite academic and activist holds back no punches.
  3. Choked: The Age of Air Pollution and the Fight for a Cleaner Future by Beth Gardiner [9/10] <—– Well written and very informative
  4. Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialised World by David Epstein [9/10] <—- I read this book because of Bill Gates’s recommendation and I loved it.
  5. The Innovation Blind Spot: Why We Back the Wrong Ideas and What To Do About It by Ross Baird [8/10]
  6. Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft’s Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone by Satya Nadella [8/10]
  7. The Death of the Artist: How Creators Are Struggling to Survive in the Age of Billionaires and Big Tech by William Deresiewicz [9/10] <—- If you are in the creative space and an entrepreneur, this is a must read. Brilliant book.
  8. Closing The Gap: The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Tshilidzi Marwala [9/10] <— This is a brilliant intro and toolkit into understand the 4th Industrial Revolution.
  9. Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future by Erik Brynjolfsson [8/10]
  10. The Science of Storytelling by Will Storr [8/10]
  11. The Creativity Code: How AI is Learning to Write, Paint and Think by Marcus Du Sautoy [8/10]
  12. The AI Delusion by Gary Smith [8/10] <— Very interesting rebuttal to the “hype” around AI
  13. Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Wins Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries by Safi Bahcall [8/10]
  14. Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant [Re-read] [9/10] <— Adam Grant’s research never disappoints.
  15. Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know by Adam Grant [9/10] <— I loved it, thoroughly loved.
  16. The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers our Future by Joseph E. Stiglitz [9/10]
  17. Grit: Why passion and resilience are the secrets to success by Angela Duckworth [Re-read] [8/10] <—- I like Angela Duckworth and this book was good.
  18. You are not listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters by Kate Murphy [9/10] <—- One of the best books I have read on listening. Bravo Kate Murphy
  19. The Numbers Game: Why Everything You Know About Football is Wrong by Chris Anderson and David Sally [9/10]
  20. Leading in the 21st Century: The Call for a new Type of African Leader by Tshilidzi Marwala [8/10] <—- If you are serious leader today, you need this book.
  21. The book of Humans: The Story of How We Became Us by Adam Rutherford [8/10]
  22. Human kind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman [8/10]
  23. Blue Ocean Shift: Beyond Competing by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne [8/10]
  24. Crushing It! How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence And How You Can, Too by Gary Vaynerchuk [8/10]
  25. How Innovation Works: Serendipity, Energy and the Saving of Time by Matt Ridley [9/10] <— vintage Matt Ridley, as usual. I love Matt Ridley’s sense of humor.
  26. Failure: Why Science Is So Successful by Stuart Firestein [9/10] <—- First time reading Stuart Firestein, blown away. Oh boy this book really took me by surprise.
  27. The Almanack of Naval Ravikant by Eric Jorgenson [9/10] <— Not disappointed at all. Naval has to be the modern day entrepreneur philosopher.
  28. The Asian Aspiration: Why and How Africa Should Emulate Asia by Greg Mills, Olusegun Obasanjo [8/10]
  29. Stagnation Must Fall: 100 Practical Lessons that will Activate Your Career Progression [8/10] <—- Thoroughly enjoyed it.
  30. The China Challenge: Shaping the Choices of a Rising Power by Thomas J. Christensen [9/10] <— One of the best books on China.
  31. The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley [8/10]
  32. Broken No More: Memoirs of a Restored Girl by Lemogang Chisiyanwa [8/10]
  33. VBS: A Dream Defrauded by Dewald van Rensburg [9/10] <— Every entrepreneur should read this. This book shocked me and made me angry at the same time.
  34. The Joy of Minimalism: A Beginner’s Guide to Happiness with Less by Zoey Arielle Poulsen
  35. The Bomber Mafia: A Story Set in War by Malcolm Gladwell [9/10] <— Not your usual Gladwell, but equally good.
  36. The Wright Brothers by David McCullough [9/10] <— Thoroughly enjoyed it.
  37. Power: Why Some Have It and Others Don’t by Jeffrey Pfeffer [8/10] <—- very interesting book.
  38. The Shift: How Seeing People as People Changes Everything by Kimberley White [9/10] <— I loved it, I will re-read it soon. This book spoke to my Sawubona TEDx talk.
  39. Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson [8/10] <— As usual Walter Isaacson never disappoints. I loved it.
  40. The Status Game by Will Storr [9/10] <—– Incredible how humans play status games.
  41. The Hard Thing about Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz [9/10] <—– Practical, honest, actually brutally honest. This is not theory, it is what really goes down in entrepreneurship
  42. Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces That Shape Behaviour by Jonah Berger [8/10]
  43. The Looting Machine: Warlords, Oligarchs, Corporations, Smugglers, and the Theft of Africa’s Wealth by Tom Burgis [8/10]
  44. How to Lead: Wisdom from the World’s Greatest CEOs, Founders, and Game Changers by David M. Rubenstein [9/10] <—- I love David M. Rubenstein’s interview style. His interview with Warren Buffett is classic.
  45. Invent and Wander: The Collected Writings of Jeff Bezos by Walter Isaacson [9/10] <—- Ah man, you put Jeff Bezon and Walter Isaacson in the same sentence, magic happens. The book is brilliant.
  46. Growth IQ: Master the 10 Paths to Grow Your Business by Tiffani Bova [9/10] <—- I loved this book.
  47. All In: How Obsessive Leaders Achieve the Extraordinary by Robert Bruce Shaw [9/10] <—- This has to be one of the best books I have read this year.
  48. Subscribed: Why the Subscription Model Will Be Your Company’s Future – and What to Do About It by Tien Tzuo [9/10] <—- Brilliant and very informative.
  49. Great by Choice by Jim Collins and Morten T. Hansen [Re-read] [8/10] <— Great book, Good to Great is the best, but this is also good. There are some very good research and stories as well.
  50. It’s Not All About You!: The Secret Joy of Practical Humility by Daniel Aaron Cohen [8/10]
  51. Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment by Daniel Kahnemann [8/10] <— Daniel Kahnermann does it again.
  52. Building a Small Business that Warren Buffett Would Love by Adam Brownless [8/10]
  53. How to Analyse People: Easily Read Obvious Body Language, Speed Read People and Personality Types by Timothy Willink [9/10]
  54. Manipulation: The Ultimate Guide to Influence People with Persuasion, Mind Control and NLP by Adam Brown [9/10]
  55. Nuts and Bolts: Strengthening Africa’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem by McLean Sibanda [8/10]
  56. Quiet Impact: A Creative Introvert’s Guide to the Art of Getting Noticed by Drew Kimble [8/10] <—- A good read for introverts.
  57. The Little Big Things: 163 Ways to Pursue Excellence by Thomas J. Peters [9/10] <— Some very useful insights and tips for entrepreneurs. An important book for startups. Obviously the list is long, but they are good nuggets.
  58. Narcissist: How to Identify and Deal with the Personality Trait of a Narcissist. Use First Rate Methods by Keith Coleman [8/10] <—- Very interesting book.
  59. Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders? [And How to Fix It] by Tomas Chamoro-Premuzic [9/10] <—- The sad reality of how get to the top and the consequences thereof.
  60. Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carryrou [9/10] <—– Given the current case of Elizabeth Holmes, this book displays the dark side of entrepreneurship. It is a must read for entrepreneurs. It reminds me of How They Blew It.
  61. Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones by James Clear [9/10] <—- I think everyone should read this book.
  62. Native Merchants: The Building of the Black Business Class in South Africa by Phakamisa Ndzamela [9/10] <—- This is an important book for South Africans.
  63. The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed, and Happiness by Morgan Housel [9/10] <—– Since we are all surrounded by money, I think we should all read up on our psychology around money. I loved this book.
  64. The Code Breaker: by Walter Isaacson [8/10] <—– I didn’t understand most of the science jargon, but I love how Walter Isaacson unpacks the stories behind the science. Very informative book.
  65. When Breathe Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi [9/10] <—- Currently reading. Having lost someone very close this time of the year, this book is talking to me.