The Gist: The ten best books I read in 2020.
What was your favorite book of 2020? Anything you’d recommend to me?
Below are my top 10 (out of 128). If you have enjoyed my reviews and terrible cartoons, consider forwarding this email to a friend, acquaintance, passerby who might also enjoy them!
The Top 10 Books I read in 2020:
1. Margaret Thatcher: From Grantham to the Falklands by Charles Moore – The definitive biography of the kind of conviction politician we should all hope to be represented by. Read my review by clicking here: My Heroine.
2. Legal Systems Very Different From Ours by David Friedman – A very provocative cross-cultural study of how vastly different legal systems – from the Amish to the Somalis to the Norse – resolve disputes.
3. The Four Pillars of Investing by William Bernstein – Describes how to navigate the history, theory, business, and psychology of investing. Also exceptionally good is Bernstein’s booklet Deep Risk, about how to plan for runaway inflation, deflation, confiscation, and devastation. Read my review of Four Pillars here: Get Rich Slow
4. Fiasco: A Game of Powerful Ambition and Poor Impulse Control by Jason Morningstar – The uproariously fun guide to creating your very own Coen Brothers story with friends.
5. The Tech Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in its Place by Andy Crouch – As much a meditation on tech as family, this practical book helps you say no to the glow and yes to life. Read my review by clicking here: Intervention.
6. The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder – The best biography of an investing superhero. Read my review by clicking here: My Warren Report.
7. The Second World Wars by Victor Davis Hanson – If you know nothing about WW2, read something else because this is no beginner’s guide. But if you do know the war, VDH will open up deep insights in his non-chronological telling.
8. Your Money and Your Brain by Jason Zweig – A book about how to be cautious of your mind’s shortcuts amidst investing and spending. A great companion to one of my favorite books: Thinking, Fast and Slow by economics Nobel prize winner Daniel Kahneman. Partially reviewed here: Many Happy Returns, about how money actually can buy happiness – and pretty cheaply – if it is spent on certain non-things.
9. From Third World To First by Lee Kuan Yew – The autobiography of the man who led Singapore from being a poor colonial administrative center to a rich city state the envy of the world.
10. 10% Less Democracy by Garett Jones – Honestly, this makes the top 10 on the strength of a single very creative chapter (The rest was worth reading but I had more mixed feelings about.) Check out my review: A Very Different Idea for Ending Spending.
Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this, forward it to a friend.
I read over 100 non-fiction books a year (history, business, self-management) and share a review (and terrible cartoons) every couple weeks with my friends. Really, it’s all about how to be a better American and how America can be better. Look forward to having you on board!