2020 – The Year Of A Hundred Books

Mid Year Update

June 2020

There is so much about the year 2020 that is unique and distinct. To most of us, it feels like, life will always be viewed in two parts – before the pandemic and after the pandemic. It has changed the way we live in the most drastic ways and these changes were completely unimaginable when in December 2019, I was thinking about my 2020 reading goals. To start, I had set a target to read 50 books this year but as the year evolved, all that happened in the world and in my life, convinced me to revisit that target. I adjusted the goal to read a hundred books. Although I am an avid reader, I do have a day job and a family to love and take care of. The 2020 reading target of a hundred books is indeed ambitious for me and yet so far it has been therapeutic in large measures. In a blog posted earlier this year, I contemplated my reasons for setting this higher goal for myself.

Well, here we are, it is June 2020, exactly halfway into the year, and I look to see where I stand. Although not significantly off track, I am not quite at half my target. I will need to pick up the pace a bit to get to a hundred, but today I have 46 books complete and 4 in progress. Although I had not set a target for blogging about the books I read, I have written about 25 blogs this year. These blog posts are where my true connection with the book gets established. My blog posts are where I revisit and contemplate my responses to solidify my opinion on the books I read.

As I revisit each title, I can recall the times in my life that I read them. In that sense, the events in my life are now intertwined inextricably with the events and ideas in the books I read. These book covers are like pieces of a quilt that make up the tapestry of my mental and emotional states in the first six months of 2020. I note them here both to share what I read with the world and to memorialize my own experience. I don’t know if any future year in my life can be bibliothecally so generous. 2020 has given me so much time to read and contemplate on what I read. For this, I will be forever grateful!

This below is my reading list for the first half of 2020.

    1. City of Girls

This was a book club pick. Some parts of it I loved and others were underwhelming. Still, it is the work of an admired author and I am happy to have begun the year with Elizabeth Gilbert’s novel.

Buy it on Amazon City of Girls: A Novel

2. Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

Buy it on Amazon Range

This book goes contrary to some of the principles of minimalism, essentialism, and focus I have been recently learning about. Therefore I was unable to connect deeply with its ideas.

3. Talking to Strangers

Malcolm Gladwell is thoughtful and well researched as always. I benefited from several eye-opening insights and changed perspectives as a result of reading this book.

Buy it on Amazon Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know

4. Letter to my Daughter

Loaded this spiritual wisdom, Maya’s letter is to all her daughters in this world and cannot but touch you at the core of your heart. This book is a must-read and re-read in my view.

Buy it on Amazon Letter to My Daughter

5. Journal to the Self

If journaling is something you do on a daily basis, this book will take your journaling to a whole new level with several creative methods to find yourself in the pages of your journals.

Buy it on Amazon Journal to the Self

6. I’ve Been Thinking

A little scattered in its contents, but heartfelt nevertheless. This book is one you can pick up at any time, read a few pages, and gain some perspective each time.

Buy it on Amazon I’ve Been Thinking : Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life

7. The Power of Less

Leo is masterful in his approach to essentialism and has packed several actionable suggestions in this book. My appetite for perspectives on minimalism, as it relates to the workplace, was somewhat satisfied with reading this book.

Buy it on Amazon The Power of Less: The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essential…in Business and in Life

8. Humble Inquiry

This book is one of the best business communication books that I have read recently, in that it has brought to light the human side to business organizations and the tone it sets is contagious. It is a great read for all beginning managers and experienced executives alike.

Buy it on Amazon Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling

9. The Wives

This book is riveting in the many twists and turns in the narrative. In my opinion, I could have just watched the movie if there was one instead of investing time reading this book. However, it can be appealing to you if you generally like thrillers.

Buy it on Amazon The Wives: A Novel

10. Peace is Every Step

I would call this book ‘Peace in every word’ as that is the impact it has on you.

Buy it on Amazon Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

11. Virgin River

This story of a young widow, learning to come to terms with her loss and live her life again, is set in a beautiful backdrop. So enchanting is her little cabin in the woods, you will want to drop everything and seek refuge in its serenity.

Buy it on Amazon Virgin River (A Virgin River Novel)

12. Little Fires Everywhere

I had mixed feelings on this one but nevertheless enjoyed it. Read my detailed review here.

Buy it on Amazon Little Fires Everywhere: A Novel

13. The Bullet Journal Method

The bullet journal has so many iterations and they abound on Pinterest but this book speaks to its original simplicity and effectiveness. Even though I have used a bullet journal for years, there were several takeaways and general reminders in this book.

Buy it on Amazon The Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future

14. Everything Is Figureoutable

Marie Forleo is inspirational and astutely emphasizes the ‘can do’ attitude that is so important for personal and professional success.

Buy it on Amazon Everything Is Figureoutable

15. Scarlett

A book that tries to envision what may have happened after Rhett Butler’s famous words ‘Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn’. Although nowhere close to the original masterpiece in style and grandeur, this sequel makes a commendable effort and in some ways gives closure to issues that Gone With The Wind left open-ended.

Buy it on Amazon Scarlett: The Sequel to Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone With the Wind”

16. She Persisted Around The World

Inspiration for children can be uplifting to adults too. I never considered myself too old to read children’s books, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Buy it on Amazon She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History

17. She Persisted

Buy it on Amazon She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World

18. Who was Lucille Ball

A biography of Lucille Ball, speaking to her many challenges on the path to success and her deep connection with Desi Arnaz.

Buy it on Amazon Who Was Lucille Ball?

19. Your Second Life Begins When You Realize You Only Have One

This charming and insightful book is a must-read. Read my detailed review here.

Buy it on Amazon Your Second Life Begins When You Realize You Only Have One

20. Designing Your Life

Buy it on Amazon Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life

21. Mindset

If we believe attitude determines altitude, this book explains how. A frequently cited book by several authors, this book was well worth my time.

Buy it on Amazon Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

22. The Silent Patient

Read my detailed review here.

Buy it on Amazon The Silent Patient

23. The Power of Now

Buy it on Amazon The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

24. Scam Me If You Can

Buy it on Amazon Scam Me If You Can: Simple Strategies to Outsmart Today’s Rip-off Artists

25. A Very French Christmas

The first story was riveting and the rest followed along the same tone. This is a great book to read and reminisce about the spirit of Christmas at any time of the year.

Buy it on Amazon A Very French Christmas: The Greatest French Holiday Stories of All Time (Very Christmas)

26. Outer Order Inner Calm

Several things that are right and wrong about this book. Read my detailed review here.

Buy it on Amazon Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter and Organize to Make More Room for Happiness

27. Classic Crimes of Passion

Buy it on Amazon Classic Crimes of Passion

28. The Tattooist of Auschwitz

Read my detailed review here.

Buy it on Amazon The Tattooist of Auschwitz: A Novel

29. Atomic Habits

Read my detailed review here.

Buy it on Amazon Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

30. To Sell Is Human

Read my detailed review here.

Buy it on Amazon To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others

31. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Read my detailed review here.

Buy it on Amazon Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine: A Novel

32. Siddhartha

Read my detailed review here.

Buy it on Amazon Siddhartha: A Novel

33. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

Buy it on Amazon The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek: A Novel

34. Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance

Read my detailed review here.

Buy it on Amazon Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance

35. Krishnayan

Buy it on Amazon કૃષ્ણાયન (Krishnayan)

36. Soulful Simplicity

Read my detailed review here.

Buy it on Amazon Soulful Simplicity: How Living with Less Can Lead to So Much More

37. The Buy Nothing Get Everything Plan

Buy it on Amazon The Buy Nothing, Get Everything Plan: Discover the Joy of Spending Less, Sharing More, and Living Generously

38. Grammar Girl – The Ultimate Writing Guide

Buy it on Amazon Grammar Girl Presents the Ultimate Writing Guide for Students (Paperback)–by Mignon Fogarty [2011 Edition]

39. The Little Book of Hygge

Just reading this book filled me with so much joy (hygge) and applying some of these secrets has brought quiet serenity to my daily routine.

Buy it on Amazon The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living (The Happiness Institute Series)

40. Where the Crawdads Sing

Read my detailed review here.

Buy it on Amazon Where the Crawdads Sing

41. On Writing, A Memoir of the Craft

Read my detailed review here.

Buy it on Amazon On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

42. An American Marriage

Buy it on Amazon An American Marriage (Oprah’s Book Club): A Novel

43. The Joy of Missing out

Buy it on Amazon The Joy of Missing Out: Live More by Doing Less

44. The Dutch House

Buy it on Amazon The Dutch House: A Novel

45. Flow (in progress)

Buy it on Amazon Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (Harper Perennial Modern Classics)

46. Grit

Buy it on Amazon Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

47. A Wrinkle in Time

Buy it on Amazon A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet)

48. Pinjar (in progress)

Buy it on Amazon Pinjar: The Skeleton and Other Stories

49. Fight Back with Joy (in progress)

Buy it on Amazon Fight Back With Joy: Celebrate More. Regret Less. Stare Down Your Greatest Fear.

50. Nice Girls Don’t Get The Corner Office (in progress)

Buy it on Amazon Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office: Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers (A NICE GIRLS Book)

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