My Favorite Reads of 2020

This year was a difficult one. It was a massive change in every aspect of our lives. I am also very deeply saddened for everyone that lost someone due to this implacable virus. It’s hard to even put into words my feelings. For me, anxiety is the definition of 2020. It’s hard to deal with it, it quickly floods my mind with negative thoughts of future outcomes that are just assumptions filled with negativity. But I also find ways to fight back. Breathing exercises with my Calmaria.app (shameless plug), spending time getting lost in a magna tile or Lego design with my 4 year old son and reading (or listening to audiobooks). In other words, I just need to keep my mind busy. Reading has been a great solution. They are longer than series or movies, more fulfilling than video-games and I always learn something new. 

This year I read quite a few books but I’d like to highlight just a few of them. These titles helped me, made me happy, provoked thought, I laughed and above all, they made me wish they would not end. So here we go.

A Promised Land

Barak Obama

I just finished this one. I really enjoy the behind the scenes as well as the reality of the bi-partisan politics that run the United States. I listened to the audiobook, which is read by Mr. Obama. That alone makes the whole experience much more gratifying. 

The Best of Me

David Sedaris 

I learned about David Sedaris after watching his Master Class on writing. One of my goals for this year (and next few too) is to improve my writing skills. David is a master. I became such a fan. The Best of Me is his latest book and, as expected, is amazing and just so funny. 

The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company

Rober Iger

I got this book without knowing what to expect. I was a bit reluctant before but once I started reading I was pleasantly surprised and happy that I was totally wrong about it. It’s an incredible lesson of leadership from decision making, clear definition of strategic priorities and execution. I recommend this book to anyone that is looking to improve their leadership skills (like I am)

Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise

Anders Ericsson, Robert Pool

One of my favorite books is Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else. My dad always told me that nobody is born with knowledge and that focus, dedication and hard work are the secret to success in anything you do. Peak is a book about that topic. It shows how deliberate practice and having great mentors help you to become great. It definitely boosted my confidence, at least I know I am not a lost case yet.

Greenlights

Matthew McConaughey 

What a surprise. That’s how I define this book. If you get it, get the audiobook one. It’s read by Mr. McConaughey, you won’t regret it. It’s an easy read, full of great stories and lessons which I relate so much. For example the feeling of losing a father, the safety net, and the real passage to adulthood. Or this one about having kids:

“I hope to give my children the opportunity to find what they love to do, work to be great at, pursue it and do it. Rather than cover their eyes from ugly truths, I want to cover their eyes from fiction fantasies that will handicap their ability to negotiate tomorrow's reality, I believe they can handle it.”

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