I’m posting this a bit late, clearly, but 2020 was…you know. Sadly, this list is much shorter than previous lists, but I am cutting myself some slack because, well, you know. I am hopeful that 2021’s book list will be far more robust!
This book has gotten much attention in the self-help world. I thought it was just ok to be honest. I could not relate to the author much, and I could not get on board with her methods. If others are helped by her books and improve their lives in the process, more power to them! It just wasn’t for me.
This book really spoke to me. The author has such a calming and straightforward way of alleviating anxieties, answering questions we all ask ourselves, and bringing the point always to what is going in here and now. It is such a simple concept, but it is something I never truly realized until I listened to this book. Some may find his dictation too slow, but I needed to rewind and re-listen quite often to take in what he was saying. I highly recommend this book, especially if you struggle with anxiety.
I LOVED this book! I am a sucker for psychological thrillers, and I wanted to keep listening to this book with every spare minute I had. I could not get through it fast enough! Highly recommend!
I first heard David Goggins during an interview on the Jay Shetty podcast. I was so intrigued by his story that I listened to his autobiography. The fun part about the audio version was his conversations with his ghost writer interjected between chapters to delve deeper into Goggins’ experiences. Goggins is an incredible man and has achieved truly incredible feats. His is such an inspiring story! It’s really great if you are looking for inspiration in your fitness journey, but also in your life journey and achieving your goals.
This was the second book by Lindy West that I listened to. Needless to say, it got me riled up and fired up (just ask my husband). Notably about women’s issues and women’s rights, West’s insights open my eyes to issues that I had not even considered before. I think her writing can teach us all something, even the most fervent feminists among us.
This book is a work of fiction about a mother and son dealing with gang violence in their country. I chose to listen to this book because of all of the controversy around it. After finishing it, I really did not know what all the uproar was about. I can say as an Indian American that I have read many works of fiction about Indian or South Asian characters/situations which are not pleasant. Just because reality is not pleasant, it does not mean that a story about people living in that reality are being stereotyped. In my opinion, I thought the writing was gripping, and the suspense was expertly crafted. I did not love the ending because I thought it was wrapped up rather quickly and neatly. However, I thought it was well worth the time!
This book had been on my list for a long time, and I finally got to listen to it for a book club. I actually ended up listening twice to refresh my memory on everything. This book is jam-packed with sentence after sentence of TRUTH. Coates is an extremely gifted writer, and his commentary on the black body in America struck my very core. It was timely for me to listen in 2020 in the midst of the BLM movement. I highly recommend this book.
I have been listening to Jay Shetty’s podcast “On Purpose” for nearly two years now. I absolutely love this podcast and Jay’s wisdom from his experience living as a monk for three years. This podcast has truly helped me in my personal life and relationships significantly. I of course pre-ordered his book and finished it quickly because it was like one, long glorious podcast! I ended up buying the hard copy because one goal in 2020 is to work through his mental exercises on paper. This is one of the best books and most worthwhile uses of my time!
Another self help book (and recommended by Jay), this was a quick listen. Just like the other effective self help books out there, the messages in this one are simple and direct. The four agreements are excellent ones for all of us to strive to live by: 1) Be impeccable with your word, 2) Don’t take anything personally, 3) Don’t make assumptions, and 4) Always do your best. For me personally, #2 and #3 have always been the most challenging! This past year has definitely made me become better at not misunderstanding people’s intentions and actions.
The last book I finished in 2020 was The Vanishing Half. It is a work of fiction about twin sisters from a tiny town in Louisiana – so tiny that it was not even on the map! This town was unique in that it consisted of mainly light-skinned black Americans. I loved the narrator’s Southern drawl. I also appreciated the incorporation of a transgender character because, regretfully, I don’t think I have yet read a book with a transgender character before now. The plot itself was inventive and unusual. I also love that this was on Obama’s favorite books list for 2020!
I’ve got a stack of books on my bedside table and in my Audible app already for this year. Hopefully this year is better! Do you have any good book recommendations?