Friday, January 01, 2021

The 2020 Book List

The 2020 Book List

Well, that's a crazy year in the record books ... and, speaking of books, here's the list of books I read this year. Ironically, everyone being locked at home meant that generally I did less reading than normal. Fewer audiobooks because there was no commuting, for example, but also even just in terms of having free time to read, I found I had less, because so many activities were cancelled, there was a lot more family together time and less time where I had blocks to just sit down and read without someone else coming along to interrupt.
  1. Exhalation by Ted Chiang
  2. God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World -- and Why Their Differences Matter by Stephen Prothero
  3. For the Killing of Kings by Howard Andrew Jones
  4. Upon the Flight of the Queen by Howard Andrew Jones
  5. Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim
  6. Kill the Farm Boy by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne
  7. An Economic History of the World since 1400 by Donald J. Harreld (Great Courses)
  8. The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revoluion by Francis Fukuyama
  9. Law School for Everyone by Molly Bishop Shadel (Great Courses)
  10. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap ... and Others Don't by Jim Collins
  11. Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi
  12. A Game of Birds and Wolves: The Ingenious Young Women Whose Secret Board Game Helped Win World War II by Simon Parkin
  13. The New Testament by Bart Ehrman (Great Courses)
  14. Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi
  15. The Order of Time by Carlo Rovelli
  16. Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes by Maria Konnikova
  17. Making Sense: Conversations on Consciousness, Morality, and the Future of Humanity by Sam Harris & others
  18. Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
  19. Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek
  20. The ABCs of Educational Testing: Demystifying the Tools That Shape Our Schools by W. James Popham
  21. Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
  22. Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim
  23. Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie
  24. A Promised Land by Barack Obama
  25. The Freedom Maze by Delia Sherman
  26. The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths by Mariana Mazzucato
  27. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson (unfinished)
  28. No Country for Old Gnomes by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne (unfinished)

  • Audiobooks: 13
  • Electronic: 3
    • Kindle: 3
  • Dead tree books: 12
  • Total Fiction: 13
    • Science Fiction: 3
    • Fantasy: 10
    • Non-Fiction: 15
      • Science: 2
        • Physics: 2
        • Psychology: 2
        • Technology: 1
      • Religion: 2
      • History: 5
      • Politics/Law: 4
      • Business/Economics: 4
      • Education: 1
      • Philosophy: 1
    These numbers don't quite match up, because some books cover multiple areas, and so I've included them in all relevant categories. So, for example, a book on free will would fall in both Psychology and Philosophy (and possibly even Religion) categories. And a book on Politics might drift enough into the realm of Philosophy (or vice versa) that I count them as both, or both might explore enough historical groundwork that I feel the need to include it as a History book.

    I've also included The Great Courses audios that I listen to through Though not actually books, I figure that a 10+ hour course on a subject contains about the same informational content, if not presented structurally in quite the same way as it would take in a written book.


    In addition to listening to audiobooks, my intake of thinking consists enough of podcasts that it seems worth including them as a category. Here are the podcasts that I have listened to in 2018 on a fairly regular basis:
    • You Are Not So Smart
    • Making Sense with Sam Harris
    • The Glenn Show
    • Talk Nerdy with Cara Santa Maria
    • Very Bad Wizards
    • What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law
    • The Lawfare Podcast
    • Rational Security
    • The Remnant with Jonah Goldberg
    • Advisory Opinions
    • Left, Right, and Center
    • All the President's Lawyers
    • Today, Explained
    • The Weeds
    • Stuff to Blow Your Mind
    The History

    And for anyone who is interested in looking into the past to see some of my previous book lists...
    Prior to 2008, I didn't keep a precise running record of the books that I read.

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