The Best Books I Read In 2020

What a year in reading it was! Although I still haven’t cracked 40 books on the year, this year was filled with many BIG books, biographies, and more fiction than I have read in a long time. Once jiu-jitsu closed and my commute was erased I tried to put that time towards education, I hope you were able to reallocate some time as well to get reading in. Halfway through the year I started doing write-ups on my quarter in reading to make the end of the year reflection a little bit easier, here you can find my Q3 and Q4 2020 reading lists and below are links to previous years. If one or more of these books catches your eye I hope you will order one so we can all continue to treat education like the job that it is in 2021 and beyond. Please note that the links to books below are all Amazon Affiliate links, making a portion of any sale going to the support of this site.


Without a doubt, the book that had the biggest impact on my health this year was Matthew Walker’s Why Do We Sleep. If you want to be sold on buying this book, listen to any of his interviews by searching his name in your podcast app (I recommend Peter Attia’s and Joe Rogan’s). This made me focus my most overlooked and under-appreciated aspect of health in my own life: sleep. If you want to take your health seriously, it cannot stop at diet & exercise, you have to dial in your sleep habits. An honorable mention, especially while gyms are shut down – or access limited, is JailHouse Strong.


The best personal finance book I read this year was The Richest Man In Babylon and the book that improved my work the most is Deep Work. The former solidified concepts in the form of a story while the latter gave practical tips and tactics for the knowledge worker to flex their super power: concentration

Wisdom / Philosophy

There is no one philosophy book that stands out for me this year, but rather 3 distinct categories that made me think the most. There were the biographies and narratives I read about great leaders of our past, each one giving me time to sit with the perspective of people who have shaped the world we live in today (The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Mornings on Horseback, Principles, The Great Influenza and Steve Jobs). Then there were the books that codify a part of my own personal philosophy that I like to revisit on an annual basis (The Obstacle Is The Way, Ego Is The Enemy, Stillness Is The Key, Siddartha, and This is Water). Finally, there was the timeless wisdom found in fictional tales like The Lord of The Rings. Wisdom / philosophy is my favorite topic to read about, but I cannot pick one this year as each has impacted me in a different way. If one category resonates with you I encourage you to pick one of those books.

Full List From 2020 (in no particular order):

  1. The Path
  2. The Hobbit
  3. The Fellowship of The Ring
  4. The Two Towers
  5. Return of The King
  6. Siddartha
  7. A Farewell to Arms
  8. How To Stay Motivated: Zig ZIglar
  9. Jailhouse Strong
  10. The Obstacle Is The Way
  11. Ego Is The Enemy
  12. Stillness is the key
  13. Deep work
  14. So Good They Can’t Ignore You
  15. The Servant
  16. The Autobiography of Malcolm X
  17. A Walk In The Woods
  18. Principles 
  19. How to win Friends and Influence Others
  20. Leadership Strategies and Tactics
  21. Mornings on Horseback
  22. Nudge
  23. Range
  24. Secrets of Closing The Sale
  25. This is Water
  26. Steve Jobs
  27. The 5 Love Languages
  28. The Blue Zones
  29. The Effective Executive
  30. The Great Influenza
  31. The Richest Man In Babylon
  32. Why Buddhism is True
  33. Why Do We Sleep
  34. With Winning in Mind
  35. US Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence

The Best Books I Read In:

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