2020 A Year in Books

What I read in 2020, the comprehensive list.

How to read this list:

*  = Recommend
** = Really recommend
NC = No comment (or, really, do not bother)
RR = Re-read
F = Fiction
NF = Non-fiction

If you trust my reading recommendations, I suggest you purchase a copy of whatever catches your eye at your favourite local second hand book shop (most of the books have been in print for some time, I have found books that age well, well, age well) as they probably need your money much more that Jeff Bezos needs it, especially at this point in time (and more than I need the affiliate marketing crumbs) and (bonus!) they are less likely to track your personal data in exchange and don’t suffer from digital fragility (recall, what platforms and clouds give, they can change the Ts&Cs on whenever they like…). Hence the lack of online purchase links. Enjoy.

  1. War – Roald Dahl (NF – RR*)
  2. The World Until Yesterday – Jared Diamond (NF*)
  3. The Shining Girls – Lauren Beukes (F*)
  4. Passionate Lives – David Bodanis (NF**)
  5. The Drunkards Walk – Leonard Mlodinow (NF)
  6. Daylight Robbery – Dominic Frisby (NF*)
  7. A Gentleman in Moscow – Almo Towles (F**)
  8. A Farewell to Arms – Ernest Hemingway (F/NF**)
  9. On The Shortness of Life – Senca (NF*)
  10. Marlene Dietrich, My Friend – David Bret (NF*)
  11. The Madness of Crowds – Douglas Murray (NF*)
  12. Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals – Immanuel Kant (NF*)
  13. Eats, Shoots, Leaves – Lynne Truss (NF*)
  14. The Demon Haunted World – Carl Sagan (NF*)
  15. Skin in the Game – Nassim Nicholas Taleb (NF**)
  16. Madam Bovary – Gastave Flaubert (F*)
  17. Letters to a Young Contrarian – Christopher Hitchens (NF**)
  18. Momo – Michael Ende (F**)
  19. The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz (F*)
  20. Money, The Unauthorised Biography – Felix Martin (NF*)
  21. The Misbehaviour of Markets – Benoit Mandelbrot & Richard L Hudson (NF*)
  22. Machines Like Me – Ian McEwan (F)
  23. Zoo City – Lauren Beukes (F)
  24. Human Centric – Mike Saunders (NF)
  25. Mediations – Marcus Aurelius (NF – RR**)
  26. Mother Night – Kurt Vonnegut (NF)
  27. Stoner – John Williams (F**)
  28. De Profundus – Oscar Wilde (NF**)
  29. The Year of Magical Thinking – Joan Didion (NF**)
  30. The Plague – Albert Camus (NF**)
  31. Fear – Roald Dahl (F*)
  32. Train Naked – Pierre Du Plessis (NF*)
  33. Ready Player One – Ernest Cline (F)
  34. The Buried Giant – Kazuo Ishiguro (F)
  35. Oryx and Crake – Margret Atwood (F)
  36. Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World – Rene Girard (NF*)
  37. Wolfe Hall – Hilary Mantel (F/NF*)
  38. Solar – Ian McEwan (F-NC)
  39. Justice as Fairness – John Rawls (NF*)
  40. The Great Stagnation – Tyler Cowen (NF*)
  41. Casino Royale – Ian Flemming (F*)
  42. Trickery – Roald Dahl (F*)
  43. Lord of the Flies – William Golding (F**)
  44. A Journal of the Plague Year – Daniel Defoe (F*)
  45. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – Robert M Pirsig (NF/F*)
  46. The Castle – Franz Kafka (F)
  47. Amerika – Franz Kafka (F*)
  48. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy – Douglass Adams (F-RR**)
  49. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe – Douglass Adams (F-RR**)
  50. Life, The Universe and Everything – Douglass Adams (F-RR**)
  51. So Long and Thanks for all the Fish – Douglass Adams (F-RR**)
  52. Mostly Harmless – Douglass Adams (F-RR**)
  53. The Marriage Plot – Jeffery Eugenides (F)
  54. In Cold Blood – Truman Capote (NF**)
  55. Bring Up the Bodies – Hilary Mantel (F/NF*)
  56. Judgment Day (The Science of the Discworld) – Terry Pratchett, Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen (F/NF*)
  57. The Little Book of Venom – Assorted Quotes (NF-RR**)
  58. Carrie – Stephen King (F*)
  59. Strata – Terry Pratchett (F)
  60. Innocence – Roald Dahl (F/NF*)
  61. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – RL Stephenson (F*)
  62. A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’Engle’s (F-NC)
  63. Lud in the Mist – Hope Mirrlees (F)
  64. Coraline – Neil Gaiman (F*)
  65. The Intelligent Investor – Benjamin Graham (BF*)
  66. Mrs Bradshaw’s Handbook – Terry Pratchett (F*)
  67. Godel, Escher, Bach – (F/NF**)
  68. Doughnut Economics – Kate Raworth (NF)
  69. The Value of Everything – Mariana Muzzucato (NF)
  70. The Bitcoin Standard – Saidfdean Ammous
  71. A Wordsworth Anthology – William Wordsworth (Poetry)
  72. The Cryptonomicon – Neal Stephenson (F**)
  73. Great Tails and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe – Edgar Alan Poe (F*)
  74. The Mysterious Affair at Styles – Agatha Christie (F-RR*)
  75. The Journal of a Disappointed Man – WNP Barbellion (NF**)
  76. The Windup Bird Chronicle – Haruki Murakami (F*)
  77. The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy (F)
  78. Flatland – Edwin Abbott (F*)
  79. The Chocolate War – Robert Cormier (F)
  80. Nanny Ogg’s Cookbook – Terry Pratchett (F/NF*)
  81. The Specialist – Charles Sale (F*)
  82. The Book Every Business Owner Should Read – Various (NF)
  83. Propoganda – Edward Bernays (NF*)
  84. The Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe (NF*)
  85. The Deficit Myth – Stephanie Kelton (NF*)
  86. Aftershocks and Opportunities – Various (NF*)
  87. Nine Stories – DJ Salinger (F)
  88. Small Gods – Terry Pratchett (F-RR**)
  89. Jonathan Strange and Mr Norell – Susanna Clarke (F*)
  90. The Future of the Commons – Elinor Ostrum et al (NF*)
  91. The Theory of the Leisure Class – Thorstein Veblen (NF*)
  92. The Last Lecture – Randy Pausch (NF**)
  93. The End of the Affair – Graham Greene (F**)
  94. Elon Musk – Ashlee Vance (NF*)
  95. The Sparrow – Mary Doria Russell (F*)
  96. 13 Visions of the Future from China – Ken Liu et al (F*)
  97. The Right Stuff – Tom Wolfe (NF*)
  98. The Power of Purpose – Richard Wright (NF*)
  99. Unmasking Maskirovka – Daniel P Bagge (NF)
  100. Active Measures – Thomas Rid (NF)
  101. The Hand That Signed the Paper – Helen Dale (F*)
  102. The Truth – Terry Pratchett (F-RR**)
  103. This is Not Propaganda – Peter Pomerantsev (NF**)
  104. The Godfather – Mario Puzo (F*)
  105. Superintelligence – Nic Bostrom (NF)
  106. The Future is History – Masha Gessen (NF**)
  107. The Mandibles – Lionel Shriver (F**)
  108. The Parable of the Sower – Octavia E Bulter (F)
  109. World Order – Henry Kissinger (NF*)
  110. Fiesta : The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway (F**)
  111. Big Sur – Jack Kerouac (NF)
  112. A Canticle for Leibowitz – Walter Miller (F**)
  113. The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald (F-RR**)
  114. Portrait of a Spy – Daniel Silva (F)
  115. The New Left, The Anti-Industrial Revolution – Ayn Rand (NF*)
  116. The Red Queen – Matt Ridley (NF*)
  117. The Fifth Risk – Micheal Lewis (NF*)
  118. Hope Runners of Gridlock – Simon de la Rouviere(F*)
  119. Dirk Gently’s Wholistic Detective Agency – Douglas Adams (F*)
  120. The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul – Douglas Adams (F*)
  121. The Lost Islamic History – Firas Alkhateeb (NF)
  122. Radical Chic and the Mau-Mauing of the Flack-Catchers – Tom Wolfe (NF**)
  123. Superforecasting – Dan Gardner and Philip E. Tetlock (NF)
  124. Solutions and Other Problems – Allie Brosh (NF**)
  125. The End is Always Near – Dan Carlin (NF**)
  126. God is Not Great – Christoper Hitchens (NF)
  127. Fallen Leaves – Will Durant (NF**)
  128. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep – Philip K Dick (F*)
  129. The End of Faith – Sam Harris (NF)
  130. Weaving the Web – Tim Berners-Lee (NF*)
  131. What Does a Martian Look Like – Jack Cohen & Ian Stewart (NF*)
  132. The Divine Comedy – Dante (Poetry)
  133. The New Confessions of an Economic Hitman – John Perkins (NF*)
  134. Future Next – John Sanei & Iraj Abedian (NF)
  135. Roadside Picnic – Arkady & Boris Strugatsky (F)
  136. The Upside of Down – Bruce Whitfield (NF*)
  137. Thank God for Atheists – Timothy Morgan (NF)
  138. Stealing Water – Tim Ecott (NF*)
  139. Hitler and Churchill – Robert Andrews (NF**)
  140. 1001 Arabian Nights – Richard Burton (F*)
  141. The Great Reset – Klaus Schwab & Price Charles (NF – but really fiction)
  142. The Good Ancestor – Roman Krznaric (NF)
  143. The Happy Price and Other Tails – Oscar Wilde (F*)
  144. The Crisis of Islam – Bernard Lewis (NF)
  145. We Need to Talk About Kevin – Lionel Shriver (F*)
  146. Narrative Economics – Robert Shiller (NF*)
  147. Six Thinking Hats – Edward De Bono (NF*)
  148. 20 Habits that Break Habits – Pepe Marais (NF)
  149. The Slap – Christos Tsiolkas (F)
  150. The Laws of Human Nature – Robert Greene (NF*)
  151. The Mirror and the Light – Hilary Mantel (F/NF*)
  152. Here I Am – Jonathan Safran Foer (F)
  153. Plutarch’s Lives – Plutarch (NF*)
  154. Symposium and Phaedrus – Plato (NF*)
  155. Life – Keith Richards (NF*)
  156. On Human Nature – Roger Scruton (NF*)
  157. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay – Michael Chabon )F*)
  158. Economics in One Lesson – Henry Hazlitt (NF-RR**)
  159. Glamorama – Bret Easton Ellis (F*)
  160. Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell (F*)
  161. Where’s My Flying Car – J Syorrs Hall (NF*)
  162. Beyond Education and Ecology – Ivan Illich (NF*)
  163. The Contortionists Handbook – Craig Clevenger (F*)
  164. The Future Starts Now – by me and my futurist friends (NF**)

If you liked this list, you might like the last one too.

2 thoughts on “2020 A Year in Books

  1. Hi Bronwyn,

    Thank you for the list and Happy New Year!! 🙂

    I commented on one of your IG posts a while back about a new box of second hand books you got?

    Still sorting through it? Any books you are looking to give away?

    Thanks

    On Mon, Jan 4, 2021 at 2:07 PM What The Future Now? wrote:

    > bronwynruthwilliams posted: ” What I read in 2020, the comprehensive list. > How to read this list: * = Recommend** = Really recommendNC = No comment > (or, really, do not bother)RR = Re-readF = FictionNF = Non-fiction If you > trust my reading recommendations, I sug” >

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