15 Books To Read This Year

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7th February 2024 | 00:16:24

15 Books To Read This Year

15 Books To Read This Year

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TLDR: The YouTuber shares his favorite non-fiction and fiction books of 2020. In the non-fiction category, he recommends "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" for its life lessons, "How to Think More About Sex" for its insights into human connection, "The Righteous Mind" for explaining moral intuitions, "The Psychology of Money" for its unique perspective on money and greed, "Storyworthy" for its guidance on becoming a better storyteller, and five more books. For fiction, he suggests the "Wheel of Time" series for its epic fantasy adventure, "Six of Crows" for its thrilling heist story, "Elantris" for its captivating magic system, "Normal People" for its portrayal of love and mental health, and "The Original" for its innovative audio storytelling.
A Journey Through the Written Masterpieces of 2020: Exploring Compelling Narratives and Profound Insights
In this video essay, I embark on a literary odyssey through the captivating books that graced my reading experience in 2020. From thought-provoking nonfiction to captivating works of fiction, these literary gems left an indelible mark on my mind and ignited a desire to share their brilliance with fellow readers. Let us delve into the depths of these extraordinary tales and uncover the profound insights they offer.
Non-Fiction: Unveiling the Truths of the Human Experience
  • A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: A Memoir by Donald Miller:
    Donald Miller's poignant memoir invites readers on an introspective journey, compelling them to reevaluate their life choices and pursue more meaningful paths. Through Miller's personal narrative, we are reminded of the importance of setting ambitious goals, embracing challenges, and living a life rich in purpose and authenticity.
  • How to Think More About Sex by Alain de Botton:
    In this provocative exploration of human sexuality, Alain de Botton delves into the complexities of love, desire, and intimacy. De Botton argues that modern society often fails to provide individuals with the tools to navigate these intricate emotions, leading to confusion and dissatisfaction. His insights help readers gain a deeper understanding of their own desires and forge more fulfilling relationships.
  • The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt:
    Jonathan Haidt's groundbreaking work sheds light on the psychological underpinnings of political and religious beliefs. Haidt proposes that our moral intuitions are shaped by six fundamental values, and that these values vary across individuals, leading to different political and religious ideologies. This framework offers a nuanced understanding of the often-contentious realm of politics and religion, fostering empathy and encouraging dialogue across ideological divides.
  • The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel:
    Morgan Housel's exploration of the psychology of money challenges conventional wisdom and provides a fresh perspective on personal finance. Housel argues that our financial decisions are often driven by emotions and biases rather than rational calculations. By understanding these psychological factors, individuals can make more informed financial choices and achieve greater financial stability.
  • Storyworthy: Engage, Teach, Persuade, and Change Your Life Through the Power of Storytelling by Matthew Dicks:
    Matthew Dicks' guide to storytelling unveils the transformative power of weaving compelling narratives. Dicks emphasizes the importance of crafting stories that resonate with audiences, whether in professional or personal settings. Through practical exercises and engaging anecdotes, this book equips readers with the skills to become effective storytellers, fostering stronger connections and leaving a lasting impact on others.
  • How to Take Smart Notes by Sönke Ahrens:
    Sönke Ahrens' guide to note-taking offers a systematic approach to capturing and organizing information effectively. Ahrens introduces the Zettelkasten method, a note-taking system that facilitates the development of interconnected ideas and enhances critical thinking skills. By following Ahrens' practical advice, readers can transform their note-taking practices, leading to increased productivity and creativity.
  • The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company by Robert Iger:
    Robert Iger's autobiography provides an insider's perspective on the leadership and decision-making processes that shaped one of the world's most iconic entertainment companies. Iger shares valuable lessons from his tenure as CEO of The Walt Disney Company, highlighting the importance of innovation, risk-taking, and cultivating a culture of creativity.
  • The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life by Kevin Simler and Robin Hanson:
    Kevin Simler and Robin Hanson's exploration of human behavior unveils the hidden motives that drive our actions and decisions. The authors argue that many of our behaviors are subconscious attempts to signal our status and value to others. By understanding these underlying motivations, individuals can gain a deeper insight into their own behavior and that of others, fostering more meaningful interactions and relationships.
  • War Doctor: Surgery on the Front Lines of the World's Worst Conflicts by David Nott:
    David Nott's gripping memoir chronicles his experiences as a surgeon in some of the world's most dangerous conflict zones. Nott provides a firsthand account of the horrors of war and the resilience of the human spirit. His stories highlight the importance of compassion, empathy, and the unwavering dedication of healthcare professionals in the face of unimaginable suffering.
  • Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire by Akala:
    Akala's thought-provoking exploration of race and class in contemporary Britain offers a powerful critique of the social and economic inequalities that persist in society. Drawing upon his own experiences as a black working-class man, Akala provides a nuanced analysis of the intersections of race, class, and identity. His work challenges readers to confront the legacy of colonialism and systemic racism, advocating for a more just and equitable society.
Fiction: Escaping into Realms of Fantasy and Imagination
  • The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson:
    Robert Jordan's epic fantasy series, completed by Brandon Sanderson, transports readers to a world of magic, adventure, and political intrigue. The story follows a group of young heroes as they embark on a quest to save the world from the forces of darkness. With its intricate world-building, compelling characters, and thrilling plot lines, The Wheel of Time is a captivating series that will enthrall readers of all ages.
  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo:
    Leigh Bardugo's fantasy duology, Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom, follows a group of talented thieves as they attempt to pull off an impossible heist. Set in a vibrant and dangerous city, the story is filled with action, humor, and intricate character dynamics. Bardugo's writing is superb, creating a rich and immersive world that readers will find themselves lost in.
  • Elantris by Brandon Sanderson:
    Another gem from Brandon Sanderson, Elantris is a standalone fantasy novel that tells the story of a once-glorious city now cursed with a mysterious disease that transforms its inhabitants into living statues. As a prince and a scholar investigate the curse, they uncover a web of secrets and must confront the darkness that threatens to consume Elantris. Sanderson's imaginative world-building and compelling characters make Elantris a captivating read.
  • Normal People by Sally Rooney:
    Sally Rooney's contemporary novel, Normal People, explores the complex relationship between two young people, Connell and Marianne, as they navigate the challenges of adolescence and early adulthood. Set in Ireland, the story delves into themes of love, friendship, class, and mental health. Rooney's writing is both细腻 and insightful, capturing the nuances of human emotion and experience with remarkable accuracy.
  • The Original by Brandon Sanderson and Mary Kowal:
    A unique blend of science fiction and fantasy, The Original is an audio-only experience that tells the story of a cloned woman tasked with hunting down and killing her original self. Set in a dystopian future, the story explores themes of identity, morality, and the nature of consciousness. Sanderson and Kowal's collaboration results in a gripping and thought-provoking narrative that pushes the boundaries of storytelling.
As we bid farewell to 2020, these extraordinary books stand as testaments to the power of literature to entertain, enlighten, and transform us. Whether delving into the depths of human psychology, exploring the complexities of social issues, or losing ourselves in fantastical worlds, these literary masterpieces offer a profound and enriching experience that will linger long after the final page is turned.
##FAQ: Q1: Which book made a significant impact on your life and why?
A1: "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" by Donald Miller left a lasting impression on the viewer. It prompted self-reflection on the meaningfulness of their life and the pursuit of challenging goals. The realization that a fulfilling life often involves overcoming obstacles and embracing conflict as essential elements of a compelling story resonated deeply.
Q2: Can you elaborate on the concept of moral taste buds mentioned in "The Righteous Mind"?
A2: In "The Righteous Mind," Jonathan Haidt proposes the concept of six moral taste buds that influence our moral intuitions. These taste buds are: Care, Fairness, Loyalty, Authority, Sanctity, and Liberty. Individuals tend to respond differently to these taste buds, leading to variations in moral perspectives. Understanding this concept can foster empathy and bridge divides across political and ideological spectrums.
Q3: What key insight did you gain from "The Psychology of Money" by Morgan Housel?
A3: The book challenged the viewer's perception of money as a purely rational subject. It highlighted the significant role of emotions and psychology in shaping our financial decisions. The idea that paying off a mortgage, though not economically rational, can provide psychological comfort shifted the viewer's perspective on financial choices.
Q4: What is the significance of "Storyworthy" by Matthew Dicks, and what impact did it have on you?
A4: "Storyworthy" emphasizes the value of storytelling as a means of improving communication, building relationships, and experiencing life more fully. The viewer found the book transformative, recognizing the power of storytelling in enhancing social skills and creating memorable experiences. The practice of "Homework for Life," which involves reflecting on and recording the most story-worthy moment of each day, proved to be a valuable tool in shaping the viewer's daily routine.
Q5: Among the fiction books, which one stood out for you, and why?
A5: The viewer particularly enjoyed the "Wheel of Time" series by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson. Despite its length, the viewer found the intricate fantasy world and character development utterly engrossing. The final books in the series were especially lauded for their masterful storytelling.

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7th February 2024

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