Two years of reading (2015-17)
October 2017
Book spines: Alain de Botton "The Course of Love", Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki "This One Summer", Neil Strauss "The Truth"

For my sake as much as yours, here is the list of all the books I’ve read in the last 2 years. This follows on from my previous four reading lists: 2008-09, 2009-10, 2011-13, and 2013-15.

At the end of the list I name my favourite book that I read during the period!

Full list of books read 2015-17

Fiction

Biography

Comedy / humour

Architecture / design

Environment / energy / sustainability / economics

Memoir / essays

Music

Politics

Psychology / society

Science / medicine

History

Miscellaneous literature / fiction

Creativity / the process of writing

Comics / graphic novels: humour

Comics / graphic novels: fiction

Comics / graphic novels: non-fiction

Comics / graphic novels: memoirs

Comics theory

Tintinology

Top book recommendations

As with past years, I am using this as an opportunity to declare my favourite books that I read during this period. Here’s my Top 3 countdown:

Pile of book spines: Stuart McMillen's 3 favourite books from 2015-17.

#3: The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book About Relationships by Neil Strauss

The Truth (2015) is an autobiographical story about the infamous pickup artist Neil Strauss, who realised that he’d spent so much time training himself how to seduce women that it had turned into a compulsion that was ruling his life. Women—to him—had become a sort of video game for him to play and conquer.

This book begins with Neil him checking himself into a sex rehab centre, and a whole series of events that unfold from that point. I enjoyed this book greatly for its honesty, and Neil’s writing style. When I was reading this book, I was totally engrossed by its narrative, and felt a constant urge to learn what happened next.

Buy The Truth by Neil Strauss from The Book Depository (affiliate link).
Inside cover artwork: "The Truth" by Neil Strauss, with the missing puzzle pieces.

#2: This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki

This One Summer (2014), by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki is my favourite graphic novel that I read during the last two years.

The story is about a girl named Rose who goes on summer holiday with her parents to a Canadian lakeside holiday town. This One Summer is all about what it’s like to be on summer holiday as a kid. The artwork and storytelling in this book really engages all of your senses, as you imagine the experience of being on holiday in summer.

Buy This One Summer by the Tamaki cousins from The Book Depository (affiliate link). Or watch my video review of this book, as part of my Top 10 Essential Graphic Novels countdown.
Book cover: "This One Summer" (comic) by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki

#1: The Course of Love by Alain de Botton

My absolute favourite book of the last two years is The Course of Love (2016) by Alain de Botton.

This is a story about a fictional couple who fall in love and begin a romantic relationship. But Alain de Botton, who is known for founding The School of Life, has written this book as a test-case scenario for us to think about our own romantic relationships. His writing perceptively charts the emotions that accompany the various stages in the course of a romantic relationship.

If you’ve ever been in a relationship, I think you’ll appreicate this book. If you’re in a relationship right now, I highly recommend that you and your partner read and discuss this together.

Buy The Course of Love by Alain de Botton from The Book Depository (affiliate link).
Cover of book "The Course of Love" by Alain de Botton

Video of me discussing my Top 3 book choices


In the above video, I take 5 minutes to discuss why I like those three books the best. And then I recap some of the books that won my “Favourite book” nods in previous years.