2020 reading list

I made it a point to read every day in 2020. Most days I read first thing every morning and every night before bed; sometimes it would be no more than a few pages, but even that adds up over time. Altogether I read 54 books, with a few rereads.

The general themes of this year were history, political philosophy, Kierkegaard, and technology. I generally found books through recommendations from authors, Tyler Cowen, or the citations of books I found good.

In the coming year I am striving to read specific authors and topics deeply. I am thinking I will continue reading Kierkegaard, political philosophy, and perhaps progress studies. I always appreciate recommendations if you have them.

These were my top reads of the year:


Here’s this year’s reads, starting with what I read most recently:

  1. Has the West Lost it? by Kishore Mahbubani

  2. Making Moonshots by Rahul Rana

  3. Stubborn Attachment by Tyler Cowen

  4. The True Believer by Eric Hoffer

  5. Working in Public by Nadia Eghbal

  6. The Kierkegaard and Girard Option by Charles K. Bellinger

  7. Notes from the Underground by Dostoevsky

  8. History has Begun by Bruno Maçães

  9. Existential America by George Cotz

  10. Inventing The Individual: The Origins of Western Liberalism by Larry Siedentop

  11. Exile and The Kingdom by Albert Camus

  12. The Decadent Society by Ross Douthat

  13. An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back by Elisabeth Rosenthal

  14. Lifespan by David Sinclair

  15. Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling: a reader by Clare Carlisle

  16. The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer by Elizabeth Blackburn

  17. Thinking in Bets by Annie Duke

  18. The Present Age by Kierkegaard

  19. Kierkegaard on The Present Age by Gordon Marino

  20. The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus

  21. The Tycoons by Charles R. Morris

  22. The Art of Doing Science and Engineering: Learning to Learn by Richard Hamming

  23. Zero to One by Peter Thiel

  24. Philosopher of the Heart: The Restless Life of Soren Kierkegaard by Clare Carlisle

  25. History Has Begun by Bruno Maçães

  26. The Sickness Unto Death: A Christian Psychological Exposition for Upbuilding and Awakening by Soren Kierkegaard

  27. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

  28. Letters to a Young Contrarian by Christopher Hitchens

  29. How Asia Works: Success and Failure in the World's Most Dynamic Region by Joe Studwell

  30. The Concept of Anxiety: A Simple Psychologically Oriented Deliberation in View of the Dogmatic Problem of Hereditary Sin by Soren Kierkegaard

  31. The Pursuit of Glory: Europe 1648-1815 by Timothy C.W. Blanning

  32. The Death of Jesus by J.M. Coetzee

  33. The Year 1000: When Explorers Connected the World and Globalization Began by Valerie Hansen

  34. Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World by Rene Girard

  35. The Evolution of New Markets by P.A. Geroski

  36. The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect by Judea Pearl

  37. The Future and Its Enemies: The Growing Conflict Over Creativity, Enterprise, and Progress by Virginia Postrel

  38. Synthetic: How Life Got Made by Sophia Roosth

  39. The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee

  40. The Beautiful Cure: Harnessing Your Body's Natural Defences by Daniel M. Davis

  41. Long Shot: Vaccines for National Defense by Kendall Hoyt

  42. Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier and Happier by Edward L. Glaeser

  43. Create Dangerously: The Power and Responsibility of the Artist by Albert Camus

  44. Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

  45. Dynasty: The Rise and Fall of the House of Caesar by Tom Holland

  46. Reputation and Power: Organizational Image and Pharmaceutical Regulation at the FDA by Daniel Carpenter

  47. The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority by Martin Gurri

  48. The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success by Ross Douthat

  49. The Quotable Kierkegaard by Gordon Marino

  50. Dominion: How the Christian Revolution  Remade the World by Tom Holland

  51. Why Liberalism Failed by Patrick J. Deneen

  52. A Culture of Growth: The Origins of the Modern Economy (Graz Schumpeter Lectures) by Joel Mokyr

  53. Thinking in Systems: A Primer by Donella H. Meadows






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