For many years, I’ve enjoyed reading the posts of several bloggers who are trying to read 52 books in 52 weeks. I’ve also wanted to find a good way for me to keep track of the books I’ve read. And it gives me a good reading target to shoot for.

Last year, I read 67 books, exceeding my goal by quite a bit. Or, more accurately, I listed 67 books that I read. I don’t list books that might reveal certain things I might (or might not) be working on.

I thought that I might do more reading than ever in a  year of pandemic. That wasn’t the case. In 2019, the number was 89.

I’d guess that I probably started more books without finishing them than I ever have before. I also probably read more audiobooks than ever before

You will also notice that I’ve been attempting to read the entire catalog of books of certain authors of detective stories.If you forced me to pick my top books for 2020 (in alphabetical order) that I’d recommend, I’d probably list:

Agency, William Gibson 

An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

Demand-side Sales 101, Bob Moesta

Hit Refresh, Satya Nadella

Influenza, Dr. Jeremy Brown

Junkyard Planet, Adam Minter

Stamped from the Beginning, Ibram X. Kendi

The Brain’s Way of Healing, Norman Doidge

The Expertise Economy, Kelly Palmer and David Blake

The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, Dan Egan

The Peripheral, William Gibson

Why Customers Buy . . . And Why They Don’t, Martin Lewis

I’m doing the same thing in 2021. My approach is the same in previous years – I’ll simply update this post from time to time from time to time throughout the year as I finish books.

I’ve enjoyed doing this challenge every year and hope you find the list useful. And I encourage you to take the challenge yourself.

I welcome your recommendations of good books I might read this year.

As Bill Taylor says, “Are you learning as fast as the world is changing?” Challenging yourself to read 52 books is probably a good way to start to answer that question.


68. Portfolio Life, David Corbett
67. Designing Your New Wor Life, Bill Burnett and Dave Evans
66. Unrequited Infatuation, Stevie Van Zandt
65. The Future of Another Timeline, Annalee Newitz
64. Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli, Mark Seal
63. Salvation of a Saint, Keigo Higashino
62. The Heron’s Cry, Ann Cleeves
61. Impact Players, Liz Wiseman
60. Around the World in 80 Books, David Damrosch
59. The Chancellor: The Remarkable Odyssey of Angela Merkel, Kati Marton


58. Daughter of the Morning Star, Craig Johnson
57. Noor, Nnedi Okorafor
56. The Long Call, Ann Cleeves
55. Too Famous: The Rich, the Powerful, the Wishful, the Notorious, the Damned, Michael Wolff
54. A Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century: Evolution and the Challenges of Modern Life, Heather Heying


53. 1491, Charles C. Mann
52. The Madness of Crowds, Louise Penny
51. We Know You Remember, Tove Alsterdahl
50. Sankofa, Chibundu Onuzo
49. The Afghanistan Papers, Craig Whitlock
48. Measure What Matters, John Doerr


47. Building a Sustainable Home: Practical Green Design Choices for Your Health, Wealth, and Soul, Melissa Rappaport Schifman
46. Riviera Gold, Laurie R. King
45. The Bourne Treachery, Brian Freeman


44. The Cellist, Daniel Silva
43. The Verge, Patrick Wyman
42. Pipe Dreams, Chelsea Ward
41. Together We Will Go, J. Michael Straczynski


40. Learn Like a Pro, Barbara Oakley and Olav Schewe
39. The Thinker’s Toolkit, Moran Jones
38. AMC’s Complete Guide to Trail Building and Maintenance, Ryan Harvey
37. Castle Shade, Lauri R. King
36. Better Data Visualizations, Jonathan Schwabish
35. The Plague Cycle, Charles Kenny
34. Broad Band, Claire Evans
33. Filters Against Folly, Garrett Hardin
32. Kindred, Rebecca Sykes
31. Essential Hempcrete Construction, Chris Magwood
30. The Model Thinker, Scott Page
29. Essential Sustainable Home Design, Chris Magwood
28. Exercised, Daniel Lieberman


27. Brain-centric Design, Rich Carr and Kieran O’Mahoney
26. The Kobalt Dossier, Eric Van Lustbader
25. The Secret World of Weather, Tristan Gooley
24. Effortless, Greg McKeown
23. Becoming a Writer Saying a Writer, J. Michael Straczynski
22. This is How They Tell Me the World Ends, Nicole Perloth


21. How to Be an Antiracist, Ibram Kendi
20. How to Draw Without Talent, Danny Gregory
19. How Buildings Learn, Stewart Brand
18. A Brief History of Earth, Andrew Knoll
17. A Timeless Way of Building, Christopher Alexander
16. A Pattern Language, Christopher Alexander
15. Technological Revolution and Financial Capital, Carlota Perez
14. Welcome to the Jungle, Hilary Smith
13. Billion Dollar Whale, Tom Wright
12. Creative Confidence, Tom Kelley


11. The Code Breaker, Walter Isaacson
10. Four Lost Cities, Annalee Newitz
9. The Data Detective, Tim Harford


8. Not Dark Yet, Peter RObinson
7. The Darkness, Ragnar Jonasson
6. American Traitor, Brad Taylor


5. Parable of the Talents, Octavia Butler


4. Parable of the Sower, Octavia Butler
3. Testing Business Ideas, David Bland & Alex Osterwalder
2. I Came as a Shadow, John Thompson
1. The Price of Peace, Zachary Carter

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]

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