2020 Reading Recap

Published December 18th, 2020
4 minute read
This was written over two years ago, so some information might be outdated. Frameworks and best practices change. The web moves fast! You may need to adjust a few things if you follow this article word for word.

The year is almost over, so get prepared for a flood of year-end posts! Okay, not really. However, there are three I'd like to write — a reading list recap (this one), a 2020 year in review, and a 2021 goal and learning list.

This year I vowed to read more books than the previous few years combined (spoiler: I didn't read much 🤫). The goal was one book per month. It seemed both achievable and a pace that wouldn't feel overbearing. While I (technically) failed to meet the goal, I learned tons, read a bunch, and enjoyed every word of it. This article dives in to the books as well as what I thought of them.

The Millionaire Fastlane

A gift I received for Christmas, this book is a polarizing take on achieving financial independence. Overall, I really liked it. The author makes some excellent (albeit controversial) points and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in the entrepreneurship, finance, or self-help categories.

Food of the Gods

Got this one from my old roommate in college and never read it until now. A psychedelic take on the evolution of the human consciousness with historical and scientific evidence to back it up. The premise is that psilocybin mushrooms were a big factor in humans becoming self-aware. A bit crazy, but pretty darn interesting.

12 Rules for Life

Bought this one on a whim in the Minneapolis airport. Although it contains good advice, I found it to be terribly difficult to read. Perhaps it's because I'm used to the "no bullshit" style of other self-help books, but this was my least favorite book of the year. It took me a couple months to get through.

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

Speaking of "no bullshit," this book exemplifies that. While it wasn't my favorite book on marketing, it makes some good points that are timeless. However, I wish it would've been written 10-15 years later. Not to say the points would be less valid, but it'd be fascinating to see what the authors think of Internet marketing and the age of influencers.

Hell Yeah or No

If you're not familiar with Derek Sivers, do yourself a favor and read "Anything You Want". The audiobook is also great. This year he came out with a new book (Hell Yeah or No) and it's just as good. It's a collection of thoughts on efficiency and separating what's worth doing from what isn't. Derek is an excellent writer with genuine style. Read this book as soon as you can.

Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality

A recommendation I saw on Twitter. Likely my favorite read of the year. This book speaks on life, spirituality, and self-awareness. It contains some words and perspective you might not expect to read from an author who is a priest! This is one I'll read again in the future, for sure.

The Stranger in the Woods

A friend recently lent this book to me after having dinner at his place. I couldn't put this one down! It's a true story of a hermit who subsisted for nearly thirty years in Maine. He did this by stealing what he needed from nearby cabins. It's a quick read and a crazy story. Incredible that he was able to do it for so long. The thought of spending winters outside in a tent in Maine does not sound like my idea of a "lifestyle choice."


The classic book about space. Had it on the bookshelf for years and finally took the plunge and read it cover to cover. Highly recommend it! It makes me want to read more books about space, and in 2021, I plan to (suggestions welcome). Sagan breaks down space exploration and potential in a way that makes it seem trivial. I read this one super quickly because it was well written and tough to put down.

That's All, Folks

So... that's it. I also read a handful of ebooks and listened to a couple of audiobooks, but am not counting them because I didn't physically "read" them. There's just something about words on paper. Oh, and I did read a book about foraging for wild edible plants, but can't remember the name.

What was the best book you read this year?

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