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Books I read in 2020

books

My intention is to read about 1 book a week in 2020, that is 50 books for the year! I will report my monthly progress here. I hope my list inspires you to reading more to sharpen your mind and expand your horizons.

A bit on why I decided to read 50 books a year; That’s is not an exact science, so with 52 weeks a year I am really pushing myself here. So far, the most books I’ve read in a year has been 40, so I am giving myself a stretch goal. You can read more about how starting to listen to audio books has drastically improved the number of books I read a year. You can also access my GoodReads bookshelf here.

January Reads
1-The little book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking (Audio book)

Why I choose this book and Initial hesitations: I love Danish design, and I love exploring the way other people live, so I thought this would be a good book to give me a few tips on how to improve the simple things in my life.

Main takeaway and how I applied it to my life: The book is short and repetitive. I even considered asking for my money back! Which has never happened before.Technically I can’t do that anymore, because I did implement one of the tips in the book. I started to light a candle when I am reading and sometimes when we are eating to create more a “ceremony” cozy feeling. Although I still feel like you can get that information online the book did provide me some value.

2- The Totally Unscientific Study of the Search for Human Happiness by Paula Poundstone (Audio Book)

Why I choose this book and Initial hesitations: This book looked fun and just a light read. I had no idea who the author was either.

Main takeaway and how I applied it to my life: The book is hilarious and definitely a light read. I could relate to her in so many ways, although the book is a bit repetitive on what she relates as a mother. Maybe because I have those issues daily. Anyways, it was a fun read and she definitely is hilarious.

3- Indistractable: How to Control You Attention and Choose Your Life by Nir Eyal (Audio Book)

Why I choose this book and Initial hesitations: Let’s just point out the obvious and remind everyone that he is a man, and I am a work from home mom, and he is trying to teach me about how not to get distracted. There, I said it. This will sound really funny to all the moms out there, but if you didn’t get the joke its because you haven’t been in my shoes with a few toddlers around. Needless to say, I was giving the author a chance but I was certain that whatever he was teaching me couldn’t be applied to my situation because he just live in complete different worlds. Wrong! I was wrong!

Main takeaway and how I applied it to my life: In his defense it turns out he is a working dad, so he got some of my daily frustrations – so he got some points there from me. The author has some very realistic tips on how to diminish distraction and focus on what we really want in life with the help of technology.

4- A Love Letter Life: Pursue Creatively. Date Intentionally. Love Faithfully.

Why I choose this book and Initial hesitations: This book was right in front of me at the library. I had also heard someone commenting on how this book gave her some practical advice. So I decided to include in my library bag for a fun light reading by the fire.

Main takeaway and how I applied it to my life: Wow, this book really surpassed my expectations. I really appreciate how they authors took turns in telling the story, I think they both did a great job but I love how Jeremy writes (there’s no way not to fall in love with a nice, romantic boy). They share a beautiful love story and offer many practical tips on how to improve your relationship. My favorite take was on the power of sharing, which I want to learn more from the book A Severe Mercy.

5- The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery by Ian Morgan Cron

Why I choose this book and Initial hesitations: After having a conversation with a few people about the Enneagram, and taking lame free quizzes online I decided to dedicate a bit more time to the subject and got this book from the library. I was really curious to see if my Enneagram number was the same (yes, it was) and learn more about it.

Main takeaway and how I applied it to my life: It turns out I am an Enneagram #2 with 1 wing. That means I am “the helper” which makes total sense! I was so interested in learning how it plays a part on my decisions daily, and how to be more graceful to myself. The most important take away for me was to stop believing I am a hero and need to save or help everyone. I am still learning more about the subject but I definitely recommend this book if you need to understand where all of this idea comes from.

February Reads
6- Work Optional – Retire early the Non-Penny-Pinching Way by Tanja Hester (audio)

Why I choose this book and Initial hesitations: I listened to the author give a podcast interview and I thought her concept was very interesting. So I added the book to my wish list. I am not looking to retire, actually the opposite. I do, however, like to read anything I can about how to be financially independent so that you can pursue your passions and purpose without money strings attached.

Main takeaway and how I applied it to my life: This book can be a bit heavy on the amount of information and “homework” which is what you should be looking for if you want to put yourself in a position to be financially independent. I appreciate the amount of work and thought she put into guiding the reader on preparing for early retirement. She did a great job of including information for a wide range of audience. My immediate takeaway was to think of my HSA (Health Savings Account) as an investment for the long term. Currently, we’ve been just setting that money aside for expected medical expenses without the long term plans. I plan to sit with my husband and discuss our current situation. Overall: I highly recommend this book if you are looking for guidance on being more financial independent for the long term.

7- The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek

 

Why I choose this book and Initial hesitations: I love Simon Sinnek, that truly is the only reason I picked up his book. I got it from the library but I didn’t expect it to take so long for me to ready it.

Main takeaway and how I applied it to my life: I love the concept of the book, and all the intricate stories. However, I do have to confess that I didn’t finish reading this book. It’s a big heavy on the conceptual side so it didn’t keep my attention for too long. I promised to finish reading it and bring my full review of the book here.

8 – Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken

Why I choose this book and Initial hesitations: I had high hopes for this book. I learned about this concept from a Love Letter (see book above). So I wanted to know what else the author had to offer.

Main takeaway and how I applied it to my life: It wasn’t as good as I was expecting. Even thought it’s a beautiful love story and there are many concepts that I could learn form it. The book didn’t quite hold my attention so the main takeaway is the same one I got from A Love Story, which is to make a mental note of moments you want to remember from your  life with your partner.

9- I’m Fine…and Other Lies by Whitney Cummings

Why I choose this book and Initial hesitations: I had no clue who she was but I thought the tile was funny and something I might like. After so many books in the same month that I could hardly finish I just wanted something fun.

Main takeaway and how I applied it to my life: She reminded me of so many of my insecurities growing up and how those end up shaping who we are. At the beginning I didn’t have much sympathy for her, but I grow to like her stories and how much she has overcome. My main take away is to try not to make a big deal of my imperfections and just be grateful for what I do have going for me.

March Reads

10- Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

Why I choose this book and Initial hesitations: I has been in my wish list for a while, so I choose to finally read it.

Main takeaway and how I applied it to my life: I could appreciate some of her experiences in Corporate America as a women. Although I no longer have to deal with it as I work from home, I can see this book is so relatable to so many. When Marissa Mayer who is Yahoo CEO, went back to work after 2 week postpartum, I was definitely the one to criticize her. I now understand how she was able to do it and I am much more empathetic to her story because of Sheryl.

11- Talking to Strangers  by Malcolm Gladwell

Why I choose this book and Initial hesitations: I like how Malcolm always brings different concepts together in a very practical way. His book has been on my wish list for a while so I decided to go for it.

Main takeaway and how I applied it to my life: Coronavirus happened, so I couldn’t hear the tough stories told in the book, I promise to come back to it when the world is back to somewhat normal again.

April Reads

12- First Mothers: The Women Who Shaped the Presidents by Bonnie Angelo

Why I choose this book and Initial hesitations: I like to read biographies so I thought I could go back in time and lean some about the presidential mothers. It’s a very thick book, but it was probably the right selection for a good Covid-19 quarantine read.

Main takeaway and how I applied it to my life: In the process of reading, I get back to you guys by end of April.

Please note: this post will be updated monthly throughout the year. Make sure to subscribe to my newsletter to get updates right in your inbox.

  1. Thank you for stopping by!

  2. Hey Brian! Thanks for stopping by! Glad you like the content.

  3. Thanks for stopping by Brian

  4. I am glad you like it James, thanks for stopping by.

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