What I Read in 2020: it varied.
I tried to keep track of what I read this year and I think this is a complete list of the books that accompanied my daily diet of various internet sources. Here’s what I read, with links to Amazon if you want to check these out further. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
- Permanent Record by Edward Snowden. If you’re reading this article, you should read this book.
- Indistractable by Nir Eyal. Goes beyond the obvious things. Starts strong with a hard look at our internal distractions. Recommended if you often find yourself losing traction.
- This is Marketing by Seth Godin. Nothing revolutionary if you’re familiar with his other work, but it’s a good roundup of his current thoughts on the marketing world overall.
- Drink Beer, Think Beer by John Holl. Holl is a longtime player in the beer world including being a past editor of prominent publications. A good look at the history of beer along with considerations around styles, tasting, and industry trends.
- The Jackass Whisperer by Scott and Alison Stratten.. A lighthearted look at how we can deal with the inevitable jackasses in our lives, and how we can avoid becoming that person.
- Great Mental Models Volume 1: General Thinking Concepts by Shane Parrish. I really enjoyed this as a good way to get a bit meta and think about my thinking. If you do any sort of knowledge work, this book features several considerations for how you form your thoughts.
- Conspiracy: A True Story of Power, Sex, and a Billionaire’s Secret Plot to Destroy a Media Empire by Ryan Holiday. The story of the downfall of Gawker media at the hands of Peter Thiel as he funded a lawsuit from Hulk Hogan. I knew the surface level of this story, but it was fascinating to learn the details.
- A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story by Donald Miller. For whatever reason, I just could not get into this autobiographical look at Miller’s journey in telling his own story. Miller is best known for his “Story Brand” work and I had higher hopes for this book.
- Dare to Lead by Brene Brown. This book was recommended by a colleague as I returned to leadership of OPPA midyear following some tumult on the board. An interesting read about vulnerability and transparency in leadership. Recommended for anyone who leads others, either formally or informally.
- Be More Pirate: Or How to Take on the World and Win by Sam Conniff Allende. An easy read yet a serious look at how the pirates of the sea, hundreds of years ago, operated with various social justice and business constructs that we’ve seen live on and become popular in modern times.
- To Pixar and Beyond: My Unlikely Journey with Steve Jobs to Make Entertainment History by Lawrence Levy. Levy’s musings on his time as CFO of Pixar, the maturation of the company, and working with Jobs. An inside look at the people and relationships behind some of our favorite movies.
Eleven books… not quite as many as I’d hope but that’s what I read in 2020. I think one a month is a good target for me – but they still represent a bunch of growth this year. I’ve started pulling my Kindle highlights into Roam using Readwise1, and it’s leading me to make some interesting connections between ideas. In the last month between my birthday and Christmas, it seems I received eight books to read. Gotta get on that!
If you want to see what I’m reading at any given moment, I update my /now page about once a month.
- That Readwise link with get both of us a free month if you sign up. ↩