My 2020 Reading List

2020 was not kind on my reading. I remember when confinement began in March, I thought, “this will give me so much more time to read, it will be amazing.” Not so. My brain was so overwhelmed by COVID-19, by not going out of business, by BLM and social unrest, I had less mental space to read. 

Here is my reading list – 30 books in 2020, in the order I read them. It says a lot about what happened over the last 12 months! 

American Chica by Marie Arana. This was for Book Club, and the author came. One of the best books I read, in particular being from “two countries” myself.  

Nine Lies About Work by Marcus Buckingham. I heard him speak at a conference in 2019, and this was my follow-up homework. 

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra. Because we should all read this once. 

The 71/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton. Also for Book Club. First fiction book of 2020, filled with twists and unexcepted turn of events. 

The Disruptors’ Feast by Fits Van Paaschen. A challenging read, but super interesting.  

Free, Melania by Kate Bennett. Last indoor Book Club. I love Kate Bennett, and her book is both informative and entertaining. 

The Only Place in the Sky by Garrett Graff. My #1 book of 2020. I started it early March, and finished it early April. I remember reading it during the first few weeks of the pandemic wondering if this timing was opportune or not… 

Those Who Are Loved by Victoria Hislop. Second fiction book… and lots more fiction to follow. My brain needed to travel and Victoria Hislop knows how to transport her readers to Greece! 

Carte Postales From Greece by Victoria Hislop. Because I couldn’t get enough. 

Writers & Lovers by Lily King. Virtual book club with a book everyone was talking about. 

And They Called it Camelot by Stephanie Marie Thornton. Because I needed to travel to an era of political elegance. Enough said. 

A Hundred Suns by Karin Tanabe. I call Karin a friend, and love all of her books and she has been a guest at our Book Club for all of them; this was our first outdoor book club and it was amazing. 

White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo. Well, because I needed to read it. 

Desperate in DC by Phoebe Thompson and Crystal Walker. A super interesting exercise in collaborative writing, using social media as the primary form of communication.

The Guest List by Lucy Foley. A great thriller for a fast read and an immediate escape. 

Between The World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. More racism education for me. Beautifully written, brought me to tears. 

The Culture Code by Cloraire Rapaille. Because this had been on my “to read” pile for years. Hard to get into, but oh so insightful. 

The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley. More escape by the same author as The Guest List. 

L’Énigme de la Chambre 622 by Joel Dicker. A gift from my godmother, who gifts me two books in French per year to make sure I don’t entirely forget my mother tongue. I loved it!

Kiss the Girls and Make Them Cry by Mary Higgins Clark. The ultimate guilty pleasure (I have read every single one of her books). 

The Island by Veronica Hislop. Here we go again. 

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. Set in Louisiana, and very much about race. 

Tiny Hot Dogs by Mary Giuliani. Another favorite of 2020, this memoir is filled with humor, entrepreneurial insights, and delicious-sounding recipes. 

Bluff by Jane Stanton Hitchcock. Jane is a neighbor in Georgetown and attended Book Club for her book Mortal Friends oh so long ago. I want to be like her when I grow up, and I adore all her books. 

The Grace Kelly Dress by Brenda Janowitz. I saw this book on Instagram… a beautiful story spanning three generations, and an easy read. 

The Power of Ritual by Casper Ter Kuile. Seth Mattison recommended this book during one of his talks. And in general, I try to do what Seth Mattison says I should do. 

Living the Sutras by Kelly DiNardo. Kelly gifted me this book the day she invited me to a yoga class at her studio… it is filled with wisdom and advice. Reading this was almost like meditating. 

Atomic Habits by James Clear. I read this book as 2020 was coming to a close, with the goal of refreshing and relooking at my habits, including some habits acquired during 2020 which I did not want to bring in to the New Year. Very powerful book. 

Start with Why by Simon Sinek. I had started this book years ago, but could never get into it. I still could not, but I forced myself to read it. Now I can say I read it (and did not really enjoy it). 

La Femme Révélée by Gaelle Nohant. The second 2020 book in French from my godmother. Set in Paris and Chicago, this book ends during the 1968 race riots in the Windy City. Surprisingly good and relevant to what is happening today in our country. 

How to do Nothing by Jenny Odell. Recommended by my super smart friend Marc Ross, creator of Brigadoon. This book was not what I imagined it would be, is a bit more “manifesto-y” than I like. As all books recommended by Marc, this one stretched me out of my comfort zone…  

3 thoughts on “My 2020 Reading List

  1. Hello there! Yeah, 2020 was a bad year for everyone. But it has also given ample time for self-development, exploring something new, and many more. Amazing blog, I found many interesting books to read. Thanks, keep sharing!

  2. Yes! We read books that have a connection to DC (DC-based author or author has ties to DC, story set in DC, book about DC personality)… it’s wonderful and the authors often attend! Hope you are well. xo

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