As I talked about in my last post, this post focuses on the books I read in 2020. There was a lot of them 55 in total. When I complied this list, I forgot to add a few books. It was a nice surprise to learn I read 55 books. In every book I read this year I learned something. Every author has the ability to present information in a new way to their audience. And every time you learn something a different way you learn something new.
Books read in 2020:
- The Carl English Story by Carl English
- Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday
- Friday Night Lights by H. G. Bissinger
- Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday
- The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday
- The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris
- Tough Guy by Bob Probert
- Man and Dog by Justin Barbour
- Brief Answers to the Big Questions by Stephen Hawking
- The Blind Side by Michael Lewis
- Blog Inc. by Joy Deangdeelert
- On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
- Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan
- The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith
- The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
- Best and Worst Political Leaders of Newfoundland by Bill Rowe
- The Dark Tower – The Gunslinger by Stephen King
- Dracula by Bram Stoker
- The Shining by Stephen King
- ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
- Career Evil by Robert Galbraith
- Lethal White by Robert Galbraith
- Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
- Robin by David Itzkoff
- Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
- Misery by Stephen King
- Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
- Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Handley
- Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
- The 5AM Club by Robin Sharma
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
- Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
- The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway
- The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley and Malcolm X
- The World-Changer’s Manifesto by Robin Sharma
- Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue by Ryan Holiday
- 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson
- Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb
- Make Your Bed by William H. McRaven
- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
- Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker
- Carrie by Stephen King
- The Witches by Roald Dahl
- The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss
- Animal Farm by George Orwell
- Based on a True Story: A Memoir by Norm Macdonald
- The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma
- Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
- The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
- Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
- How to Live on 24 Hours a Day by Arnold Bennett
- Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris – X2
- Paddle Your Own Canoe by Nick Offerman
- Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo
- The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
- Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
- Call Me Ted by Bill Burke and Ted Turner
- Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson
- Atomic Habits by James Clear – X2
- The Power of Habits by Charles Duhigg
- Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg
- Becoming Supernatural. How Common People Are Doing The Uncommon by Joe Dispenza
- The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger
- Principles by Ray Dalio
- Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
- On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
- Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life by Gary John Bishop – X2
Since it would take forever to review all of these books. Also, I am fairly certain if you go on goodreads and look up some reviews of these books you can get an idea if these books are right for you. I don’t take lightly where I invest my time reading. I’m not the fastest reader, so I have to be picky which books I read. But here is a small summary of the best and worst books I read in 2020.
Best Book: Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
Shoe Dog is the best book I read this year. Phil Knights journey starting Nike is amazing. I love the story of Knight’s determination. Nike was never planned, just an idea and a vision of what Knight wanted his company to be. I don’t throw this term around lightly but it’s a must read.
The book that can change your life: Atomic Habits by James Clear and The 5AM Club by Robin Sharma
It’s hard to pick between both of these, for the book that can change your life. Both Atomic Habits and The 5AM Club teach tactics that you can use in your life. If you adapt the concepts in these books, I believe it can change the course of your life in a positive way. Both books focus around habit building and instilling healthy habits in your life. I have said before the key to success is healthy habits both these books can help you understand this.
Author Read Most: Stephen King
I read 5 Stephen King books in 2020. I didn’t read a Stephen King book before this year, I’m not much of a horror fan to be honest. But I found that reading a horror book is completely different from watching a horror movie. There is still a suspenseful element to horror book but it’s not the same shock value as a movie. Plus, King is such a greater writer that it is hard not to get sucked into his universe. I discovered King after reading his memoir On Writing and decided that I had to read some of his fiction. I’m very happy that I didn’t stop reading King after one book. This year I plan on tackling IT and The Sand by King, it’s a challenge to tell which book it thicker.
Most Disappointing: 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson
I had high hopes for this book, mainly because I read so many great reviews for this book. It’s not to say Peterson’s book is bad, it just didn’t speak to me like other books have. I found Peterson’s writing style to be long winded. It seemed to take Peterson forever to make a point. Peterson is a professor and I’m sure his lectures are amazing. But I found when reading Peterson’s book, I had to force myself to finish it. Some books can be a struggle to finish but still be amazing. I didn’t have this feeling when I finished Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life.
Most Difficult to Read: The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley and Malcolm X
This book is a struggle to thumb through but worth it. Before reading this book, I had no idea of Malcolm X’s history. Basically, all I knew is he was a civil rights leader that was assassinated. But his story is amazing, his development and personal discovery is something we can all get inspiration from. If this book is not taught to high school students, it should be added to their reading lists.
Most Surprising: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
I had no expectations for this book, I think it was mainly because of the title. But I guess you have to go back to the old saying, “never judge a book by its cover.” The title of this book always made me think how stupid this book sounded. How can you go through life not giving a fuck? You would never accomplish anything. You would never make decisions that benefited you. Book this book is the opposite of the title it teaches you what you should care about. It teaches you the values you should have. It even gives you a formula for good and bad values. To say the least if you have been avoiding this book like I was. Give it a chance it may surprise you.
Favorite author discovered in 2020: Ryan Holiday
This was a hard choice between Ryan Holiday and Tim Ferris. But it ultimately came down to the fact that I am a bigger fan of Ferris’s podcast that I am of his writing. I love Ferris’s writing, but I find he is more of a researcher than a writer. Holiday is a fantastic writer with great ideas and is one of my main influences for starting The 52 Book Challenge. One day I discovered Holiday’s blog and went down that worm hole for days. Then I discovered his books and discovered Holiday is basically a modern-day philosopher. Holiday has an impressive way of breaking down current events from the last couple centuries and relating them to stoic philosophy. And yes, when you look at how old the earth is current events are the last couple of centuries. Holidays three books Stillness is the Key, Ego is the Enemy, and Obstacle is the Way are great reads. If you add these books to your reading list of 2021 you won’t be disappointed.
Books I listened too or read twice:
Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris
Atomic Habits by James Clear
Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life by Gary John Bishop
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
I won’t go into much explanation here just know that I found the information in these books to be interesting enough to be listened too or read twice. Tools of Titans was over 20 hours or listening time and I feel like I can listen to it again. The amount of information that Ferris packed into this book is incredible. I would recommend everyone check this book out!
In the case of Gary John Bishop’s book Unfu*k Yourself. The book was such a short listen that I decided to listen to it twice. I like the book, but I wouldn’t put it in the best of category for this year.
In total I listened to and read 71 books this year. I had a fantastic time meeting this goal. At the end of December, I was rushing to meet my goal not realizing that I had already meet my goal before the month even started. But it was a nice surprise when I was compiling this list to find out that I had read more than 52 books! For anyone that is considering starting their own reading goal for 2021. Don’t hesitate to start now. It really is a rewarding experience; it may require you to turn off the TV a few nights a week and pick up the habit of reading before bed. But are these things really that bad? In the long run I can guarantee if you read more books you will improve your life. You may be one book away from changing your life. It may take you reading twenty books before you find that book, but I can almost guarantee you will find it.
If you are interested in hearing more from me subscribe to my email list or look me up on Instagram @the_52_book_challenge. Look for my next blog post to be released on February 5th! Hope everyone has a great couple of weeks!