Reading is one of my favorite things to do.
Books are also one of the only things I really enjoy buying and collecting. I want to have a large library one day!
If I recall correctly, I read a total of 16 books in 2020. 11 non-fiction and 5 fiction.
Most of these books I found in Little Free Libraries around my city! I was very excited to find some gems.
I’ve always preferred to read personal development, finance, and business books because I always take something away from them.
I will be writing a separate post for the fiction books I read!
Below are all of the non-fiction books I read in 2020, a review of each, and my favorite lines from them.
The Power of Your Subconscious Mind – Joseph Murphy
I started 2020 by re-reading this book and I’m so glad I did. It’s a classic and I absolutely love it. There is SO much value in it and something you’ll want to return to over and over again.
Our minds are powerful and we have a lot more control of our reality than many people know, Joseph Murphy does an amazing job of explaining that.
I highlighted and tabbed so much of this book that I don’t think I can even include all my favorite parts!
“To remove discord, confusion, lack, and limitation from your life, you must remove the cause (thought). That cause is the way you use your conscious mind, the thoughts and images you encourage in it. Change the cause, and you change the effect. It is just that simple.” – Page 7
“Never finish a negative statement. Reverse it immediately and wonders will happen in your life.” – Page 10
“As within, so without; As above, so below. In other words, whatever you impress in your subconscious mind, that becomes expressed on the screen of space.” – Page 38
“Your conscious mind cannot operate your body, but it can get in the way of proper operation. Worry, anxiety, fear, and depression interfere with the normal functioning of the heart, lungs, stomach, and intestines.” – Page 41
“Keep your conscious mind busy with the expectation of the best, and your subconscious will faithfully reproduce your habitual thinking.” – Page 45 (#8)
“The way to get rid of darkness is with light; the way to overcome cold is with heat; the way to overcome the negative thought is to substitute the good thought.” – Page 91
“Mental coercion or too much effort shows anxiety and fear that blocks your answer. Easy does it.” – Page 103 (#1)
“Look at money like the tide and you will always have plenty of it. The ebb and flow of the tide is constant. When the tide is out, you are absolutely sure that it will return.” – Page 121 (#3)
“What we think and feel, we create. We create what we believe.” – Page 125
Girl Code – Cara Alwill Leyba
There were a few months in 2019 that I became obsessed with Cara and all her content! Plus she’s vegan and an advocate for animals.
I asked for the book Girl Code for Christmas and my mom gifted it to me.
Well, it’s a great book, but not for myself who has been on their personal development journey for years.
This is an amazing book if you’re just getting started on your personal development and need motivation and a confidence boost.
The chapters contain her story and experiences, as well as great advice. Each chapter also contains an interview with a woman “boss” at the end which I enjoyed.
Overall, if you’re a woman who needs some inspo in your life, this book is for you. I don’t recommend it for the more “advanced” in personal development.
10% Happier – Dan Harris
If you don’t know, Dan Harris was the news reporter who had a panic attack on live television. He talks about the details leading up to that event including partying, drugs, and stress.
It was an interesting story, and ultimately the book is about the power of meditation. He shares several stories of his experience with meditation and various retreats, as well as conversations with various meditators.
I’ve been meditating regularly since 2016 and have loved the benefits, this confirmed that even more so.
“Dropping the attachment is the real trick. …Striving is fine, as long as it’s tempered by the realization that, in an entropic universe, the final outcome is out of your control. If you don’t waste your energy on variables you cannot influence, you can focus much more effectively on those you can. When you are wisely ambitious, you can do everything you can to succeed, but you are not attached to the outcome–so that if you fail, you will be maximally resilient, able to get up, dust yourself off, and get back in the fray.” – Page 207
Grit – Angela Duckworth
Grit is all about perseverance and consistency, not talent. I had asked for this book for my birthday and my sister gifted it in 2019, but I finally got around to reading it.
Her message is important to me because I consider myself a “Gritty” person, as in I don’t give up and I just keep pushing forward. I may not have reached the success that I expected and/or wanted to yet, but my consistency, perseverance, and passion will get me there.
The story on page 73 about Robert Mankoff really spoke to me. Robert is a cartoonist and he was rejected about 2,000 times between 1974 and 1977 by the New Yorker. He sent in another cartoon, got accepted, and kept selling more and more until he became a contract cartoonist.
She also talks a lot about a growth mindset, and the article I wrote on that subject is my favorite!
Hustle – Neil Patel, Patrick Vlaskovits, Jonas Koffler
The cover of Hustle caught my attention immediately. To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of Neil Patel, so I was iffy at first. However, I looked up the reviews on Amazon first and decided to give it a shot.
I actually really enjoyed this book.
I know many people believe ‘Hustle’ is toxic and I just don’t believe that. You can still hustle while getting enough sleep and taking care of yourself. It all just depends on your personality and your priorities.
Anyway, this book really motivated me. I don’t think I necessarily learned anything new considering how much I’ve dived into personal development, but it definitely inspired me to take action.
This book describes exactly how I feel about my side hustles/online businesses.
“Our identities–who we were and who we will be–are neither fixed nor consistent with one another… Yesterday’s you isn’t the same as today’s you.” – Page 83
“Think for the life you want, not the life you have. To be loyal to our personal hustle, we must willingly betray our old self so that our new self gains momentum.” – Page 83
“The truth has nothing to do with 10,000 hours or grinding it out; the hidden truth is in always keeping the wheels turning, because momentum–the willful act of doing–is our secret weapon, our equalizer.” – Page 85
“What if, beyond the surface, deep down you really liked the challenge of showing up, of taking the early meeting, of driving the old clunker, of doing things that tested you, pushed you to solve problems in new ways?
….What if the annoyances and frustrations of the day to day were instead things you could feel grateful for, things that gave you a sense that you had real work to do and were connected to a bigger community of dream owners like you?” – Page 219
“The process of going from what you are today to what you are to become takes time. And the truth is, it never ends.” – Page 220
The Total Money Makeover – Dave Ramsey
I’ve listened to HOURS of Dave Ramsey and can predict his responses to his callers. He actually inspired me to pay off my debt faster. I don’t follow everything he believes/teaches, but it’s definitely a great place to start.
I had read a little bit of this book a couple of years ago, but I found it in a Little Free Library and decided I would read the whole things.
I’m glad I did because he goes into quite a lot of detail and I LOVED reading all the debt free stories throughout the book. It is super motivating for me.
“I have a friend in his forties who has a bodybuilder physique. He is lean with well-defined muscle groups, but he is not some wild health nut. He watches what he eats and works out a couple of times a week. I have another friend in his thirties who diets fanatically, runs every day, lifts weights three times a week, but is still forty pounds overweight. The second guy started his health journey a couple of years ago and is losing weight and getting in shape. The first muscleman maintains what he worked hard years ago to get, but he isn’t working nearly as hard today. The Total Money Makeover is the same way.”
Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter – Curtis Jackson (50 Cent)
This was one of my favorite personal development reads this year!
50 Cent shares his stories from all the ups and downs in his life and I greatly respect his vulnerability and humbleness throughout. He knows he’s the shit, but he also knows when he did something wrong/stupid and is not afraid to say that. I like that.
He also shared quite a bit of rapper drama/beef which was interesting to read about.
His hard work is inspiring and I found myself highlighting and tabbing pages over and over.
“It’s not enough just to say you want to work hard. You have to commit to lifestyle choices that allow you to have the energy, focus, and stamina to actually do the work, too.” – Page 24
“No matter what situation or setting you find yourself in, you don’t ever want to depend on anything — or any other person — to make you feel in control and comfortable. That sense of confidence should always come rom within. Not from an external source.” – Page 27
“At the end of the day, I like betting on sure things. And the only sure thing you can always count on, 100 percent of the time, is yourself.” – Page 53
“Sigmund Freud once said, “Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.”” – Page 254
Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankl
Everyone needs to read this book, especially in a time like now.
Viktor Frankl spent 3 years in concentration camps and all of his family members were killed. Obviously, during his time there he suffered immensely and watched hundreds of men around him die.
It’s a very sad book, but worth the read. I remember feeling so grateful to be reading it from my warm bed and knowing I have my freedom.
“Don’t aim at success–the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it.” – Page 12
“…everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms–to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Page 75
“If one cannot change a situation that causes his suffering, he can still choose his attitude.” – Page 148
“There is no grand purpose in the universe. It just is. There’s no particular meaning I what decision you make today about how you act.” – Page 152-153
The Checklist Manifesto – Atul Gawande
probably my least favorite book of everything I read.
No highlights, no tabs. Just a long book telling you the importance of a checklist.
There were also several stories that stressed me out. It created fears in me that weren’t there before lol. He’s a doctor so he shares several stories of medical mishaps and even plane crashes.
I mean the stories were interesting, but I wouldn’t read this again.
Your Best Year Ever – Michael Hyatt
I read this book going into 2018 or 2019 and I decided to read it again.
I realized I don’t really love it and I think that it’s because it’s more for beginner’s in the personal development world.
It has some great info, but something about his delivery of the content doesn’t speak to me.
Unstoppable! – Craig Conrad
Craig Conrad is a former woodworking teacher and he would teach lessons called, “Friday Stories” to his students. Stories that apparently had a large impact on many of his students.
Some of the stories were actually really good, and he presented a ton of real life examples. Almost too perfect where it didn’t seem real, but who knows.
However, there were a couple stories that involved animals that made me sad (involving fish, entrapment). And then when I looked this guy up he’s a trophy hunter or something, so I just don’t like you if that’s so.
Decent book though with some good lessons.
Overall, the best non-fiction books I read in 2020 were Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter and Man’s Search for Meaning!
Thank you for sharing! What a great list! I’m saving it so I can read them later. I’ve gotten a few from my local free libraries and am also looking forward to reading mine.
No new blog post since Jan !!
Great list. I haven’t read Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter. I’ve seen it in the stores, but never picked it up. I agree about Hyatt’s book. I’ve been on this journey for decades, and his material is for beginners.
thanks for an informative read.