While I actually read books this year, I really did not do as much reading as I would've hoped in 2016.
Drift Volume 2: Tokyo by Adam Goldberg et al.
While not actually a book--Drift is a magazine--I really enjoyed reading this. To me, this issue was a bit of a follow up to Merry White's Coffee Life In Japan. Back when Merry wrote that book, third wave coffee was just starting to come to Japan. With places like Bear Pond Espresso leading the charge, the landscape has changed quite a bit since 2012. Drift illustrates some of these changes through articles about smaller coffee shops along with longer discussions including a nice interview with the CEO of Blue Bottle. It doesn't hurt that the magazine is rounded out with beautiful photographs.
Guide to Shenzhen by bunnie
A couple years back I visited Shenzhen with my family. bunnie is a friend of my father's and he gave us a few suggestions but apologized because he wouldn't be available to show us around the electronics market himself. Instead he suggested we meet up with Cyril Ebersweiler, who was able to give us an amazing tour of the electronics markets in Shenzhen. This book is gives you a near equivalent tour of the markets. Even if you have no current plans to go to Shenzhen or you have no current plans of manufacturing something yourself, this book is a really nice read.
Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life by Marshall B. Rosenberg
I was super hesitant to read this book--I'm normally against these sorts of pop-science books. While some of stories and things in it are a little nutty, overall the message is quite good. Rosenberg is really good at getting the reader to think about interactions with people in a different light. While he definitely starts to repeat himself in the second half of the book, overall, I think this is a good read.
The Will to Keep Winning by Daigo Umehara
Daigo Umehara is well known in the Fighting Game Community (Street Fighter, etc) for one of the best players. Known as "The Beast," Daigo walks the reader through his path to become a professional fighting game player. Along the way he gives nuggets of wisdom about what it takes to be a top player. For me, the interesting part was that many of these nuggets apply to not just video games; if you want to be a top professional in any field, Daigo's wisdom applies. It's a very short read and the translation could be a little better, but I'm glad that I picked this book up.