2020 Reading

By Alex Priest

By Alex Priest

Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers Investigation of Illicit Money Networks and the Global Elite

Jake Bernstein


A fascinating read, but a bit dense and ultimately I decided not to finish it. If you opt not to read the book, at least go watch "The Laundromat" movie (based on this book).

Law School Confidential: A Complete Guide to the Law School Experience: By Students, for Students (Revised, Updated)

Robert H. Miller

$24.99 $22.99

This book convinced me not to go to law school.

The Fate of Africa: A History of the Continent Since Independence

Martin Meredith


My copy is actually called "The State of Africa," but I'm 99% sure this is simply a revised and updated version.

Never Let Me Go

Kazuo Ishiguro

$16.00 $14.72

I was prepared to love this. I did not.

The Dark Tower V, 5: Wolves of the Calla

Stephen King and Bernie Wrightson

$19.99 $18.39

β˜… They are all so good. But you have to read them in order, so start with "The Gunslinger".

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

James Clear

$27.00 $24.84

β˜… This was a little predictable, but there were more gems and useful bits than I honestly expected.


Dan Simmons

$8.99 $8.27

β˜… Such a literary sci-fi treat.

The Dark Tower VI, 6: Song of Susannah

Stephen King and Darrel Anderson

$19.99 $18.39

β˜… They are all so good. But you have to read them in order, so start with "The Gunslinger".

The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

Eric Ries

$28.00 $25.76

Perhaps it's just that I have my own startup experience to guide me, but this felt dated and not as valuable as it may have been 9 years ago.

Letters to a Young Poet

Rainer Maria Rilke

$18.00 $16.56

β˜… Incredible, essential read. One of my all-time favorites.

An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back

Elisabeth Rosenthal

$18.00 $16.56

While I agree the system seems remarkably doomed, I wish Rosenthal did a better job laying out a productive case and solutions. Instead it felt like an elaborate venting session, peppered with one-sided statistics and loosely backed by anecdotes. The last third of the book was by far the most compelling and useful, laying out clear tactics for individuals to survive the system, as well as some decent recommendations for how healthcare in America could be reformed to solve some of these issues (although on the latter front, I think trying to lay out healthcare reform in <100 pages of bullet points is a fool's errand).

The Dark Tower VII, 7: The Dark Tower

Stephen King and Michael Whelan

$19.99 $18.39

β˜… They are all so good. But you have to read them in order, so start with "The Gunslinger".

This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life

David Foster Wallace

$16.00 $14.72

β˜… Worth reading nearly every week. It's short (it is a transcript of a commencement speech, not your typical DFW novel), and every single sentence packs a punch.

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch

Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

$29.99 $27.59

A clever read, but not as good as I remember from my first time around (years ago).

The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials Into Triumph

Ryan Holiday

$25.00 $23.00

Generally good stuff, but the organization of this book didn't really gel with me on first read through, for some reason.


Frank Herbert

$30.00 $27.60

β˜… A close second to the "Foundation" trilogy for all-time favorite science fiction. Can't wait for the movie.

So You Want to Talk about Race

Ijeoma Oluo

$27.00 $24.84

A very good guide to one of the thorniest topics in America. Important read for anyone who wants to be more thoughtful and proactive about tackling issues of race.

The Overstory

Richard Powers

$27.95 $25.71

β˜… I started reading this in a tent on a rainy day in Olympic National Park. And I read various parts of this book through our travels to Crater Lake, Mt. Hood National Forest, Redwoods National & State Parks, Lake Tahoe, Big Sur, Kings Canyon NP, Sequoia NP, and all of New England. While the settings for my reading no doubt helped, this book is just excellent. Please read it.

How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy

Jenny Odell

$26.99 $24.83

β˜… This book was delightful. Far more than your average ditch-your-facebook-account narrative, Odell draws from philosophy, art, and nature to paint a beautiful portrait of how to live a meaningful, intentional life.

The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics

Mark Lilla


β˜… I read this the day after the election, and I wish I could gift this to everyone. It's a sharp criticism of today's leftist identity politics and offers strong direction for a more inclusive democratic party.