2020 Year End Review

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:

  1. The Carl English Story by Carl English           
  2. Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday               
  3. Friday Night Lights by H. G. Bissinger
  4. Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday                 
  5. The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday                             
  6. The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris              
  7. Tough Guy by Bob Probert                            
  8. Man and Dog by Justin Barbour        
  9. Brief Answers to the Big Questions by Stephen Hawking                 
  10. The Blind Side by Michael Lewis
  11. Blog Inc. by Joy Deangdeelert
  12. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King                         
  13. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn      
  14. Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan
  15. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith
  16. The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith    
  17. Best and Worst Political Leaders of Newfoundland by Bill Rowe     
  18. The Dark Tower – The Gunslinger by Stephen King                           
  19. Dracula by Bram Stoker                     
  20. The Shining by Stephen King                         
  21. ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
  22. Career Evil by Robert Galbraith                     
  23. Lethal White by Robert Galbraith
  24. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom         
  25. Robin by David Itzkoff
  26. Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk          
  27. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey               
  28. Misery by Stephen King                     
  29. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
  30. Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Handley
  31. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
  32. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson                      
  33. The 5AM Club by Robin Sharma
  34. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  35. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight                                 
  36. The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway                 
  37. The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley and Malcolm X      
  38. The World-Changer’s Manifesto by Robin Sharma   
  39. Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue by Ryan Holiday
  40. 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson 
  41. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb           
  42. Make Your Bed by William H. McRaven                    
  43. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
  44. Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker
  45. Carrie by Stephen King
  46. The Witches by Roald Dahl
  47. The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss                                 
  48. Animal Farm by George Orwell         
  49. Based on a True Story: A Memoir by Norm Macdonald
  50. The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma
  51. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell                       
  52. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens           
  53. The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran 
  54. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius       
  55. How to Live on 24 Hours a Day by Arnold Bennett

Audiobooks:

  1. Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris – X2
  2. Paddle Your Own Canoe by Nick Offerman               
  3. Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo
  4. The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss           
  5. Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
  6. Call Me Ted by Bill Burke and Ted Turner                 
  7. Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson          
  8. Atomic Habits by James Clear – X2
  9. The Power of Habits by Charles Duhigg                    
  10. Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg
  11. Becoming Supernatural. How Common People Are Doing The Uncommon by Joe Dispenza
  12. The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger            
  13. Principles by Ray Dalio
  14. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
  15. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
  16. 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!

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