My Favorite Books of 2020
I used to think books were like drugs. And I don’t mean garden-variety pills like Benadryl or Tylenol–I’m talking hardcore drugs: nicotine, cocaine, and so on. How did I come to this conclusion? Like many kids, I would often start reading a book and struggle to put it down. I would start reading Percy Jackson in the morning and look up to find the sun was already setting. If addiction is a behavior where dependence on a substance interferes with a person’s ability to live a full life, my younger self was a full-blown pothead, if only for books instead of weed.
But I was wrong about books. They’re not addictive drugs; instead, they’re more like food. I now believe in a more holistic way of thinking about information input and output, by imagining the ideas that come into my head are like ingredients in a blender. Podcasts. Magazines. Movies. Books. Kerplunk. BZHHHH. And out comes a smoothie of new and interesting ideas. This way, books come out looking like a relatively nutritious option (at least compared to TV shows and Instagram feeds).
All that to say, I decided to compile a list of the books I most enjoyed reading this year. Treat this as a list of ingredients, a diverse set of raw materials that can help you achieve a result that is both tasty and nutritious (and they might inspire you to read, too).
- Thinking, Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman
- The Black Swan – Nassim Nicholas Taleb
- The Master Algorithm – Pedro Domingos
- Scale – Geoffrey West
- How I Built This – Guy Raz
- The Innovator’s Dilemma – Clayton Christensen
- Educated – Tara Westover
- On Writing – Stephen King
- Rich Dad, Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki
- How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
- When – Daniel Pink
- The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
- The Alchemist – Paulo Coehlo
- The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
- The Road – Cormac McCarthy
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
- The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
If you’ve read any of these books or have other recommendations, feel free to leave a comment below, or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.