The Best Fiction & Business Books I Read In 2020
Happy New Year! I know I am 19 days late. Truth be told, I am actually a couple of months' late.
A big thank you to a handful of you who messaged to check why I wasn't publishing anymore and this post is more of a promise to rebuild the habit of writing that I lost in 2020. Speaking of 2020, What a year! All of us were tested, literally and figuratively.
There was nothing that could have prepared us for the change we were about to witness & while we all had losses of all sizes, there were a few silver linings too.
We all took effort & reconnected with long lost friends, family etc. We tested the strength of our relationships and came out much stronger. We all became a little more grateful. While this has been an year who took a lot from us, it also taught us to be grateful for the little things. We all adapted pretty well to the new normal & learnt to balance and re-orient.
Lastly, we learnt that there's always some good in every evil and my silver lining was getting the time to reconnect with the family & catching up on all the wonderful books.
It seemed wise to share all the books my favorite list of books from last year. Also, there were a lot of great books that I picked up last year but I will share my top 7 business books & 2 fiction.
Psst: These aren't really the books that were published last year but I got a chance to pick them up only then.
Starting with the business book
1. Shoe Dog - Phil Knight
An honest take on what the path to success looks like. It all looks hunky dory from a distance but building a business is messy, chaotic and a path riddled with sacrifices, mistakes and disappointment. This book taught me a thing or two about resilience which definitely comes in handy when you are an early stage startup.
2. Atomic Habits - James Clear
I have been meaning to read this for a while now. This books talks about making the 1% change on a daily basis to have the profound impact on your life. As someone who is always looking to build great habits, the book has been my refresher course & has helped me reaffirm my commitment to building the right habits. I have also come to admire the author, James Clear, his website & his newsletter too. I have already gifted this book to a lot of my friends, I would highly recommend all my readers to grab a copy of this.
3. Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World - David Epstein
I picked up this one because I usually always thought of myself as a generalist & a multipotentialite. While I have read a lot of books and articles on how you need to be a specialist in order to succeed, this book was a refreshing change for me. The book challenges the popular belief that the most successful people are the specialists & supports it with relevant stories.
4. No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention- Reed Hastings & Erin Meyer
It's one of the most talked about books this year. There's already a pretty famous Netflix's culture deck that has been circling for a while now. Personally,I have always been fascinated by Netflix's culture. This books gives a closer look at the unorthodox culture Reed Hastings & his team have been able to build and sustain over the years. Netflix is what it is to all of us & to read how it's radically different approach has not just helped them build a world class company but also innovate faster is awe inspiring.
5. The Hard Thing About Hard Things - Ben Horowitz
This was one of the most recommended book in my network and thankfully I got a chance to pick this up. It seemed like I picked up this book at the right time as the author (Ben Horowitz) gives an up close and personal view of how entrepreneurship can be hard and one constantly needs to make the hard decisions. If you run a business, you can have moments of high & deepest lows, this books showcases all the sides of it in full glory.
While I enjoy reading self help & business books, I do like to add a right blend of fiction to my reading list. This was even more essential last year than ever. 2020 made us spend so much time at home that we probably haven't in almost the whole decade put together and when my travelling feet itched a lot, I picked up a fiction that helped me teleport myself to another world & satiate my soul. Both these books were published in 2020 unlike the business ones I recommended that were published sometime in last 5 years. Here's my top picks from all the fiction I devoured last year:
1. The Guest List - Lucy Foley
This is one of the best thrillers I read in 2020. This is the author's (Lucy Foley) second suspense novel & it sure is a page turner. The story is being told from multiple people's perspective so it can get a little ambiguous sometimes but the author never loses the grip on the reader. It is fast paced and keeps you glued to the riveting narrative.
2. The Midnight Library - Matt Haig
This book has found its place as the winner of GoodReads Best Fiction Novel 2020. It is pretty creative and emotional. It is about the choices we make, regrets we hold & largely about appreciating and embracing life the way it is. It's a tale of hope and if you are paying attention, then you can find a lot of life lessons in this one.
This concludes the list of my favorite books in 2020. Which books did you read last year? or Did you pick up a different habit? Let me know in the comments below or simply shoot out the email. Would love to know and learn from your experiences.