• Jorge Diaz

The 50+ Books I read in 2020

Updated: Apr 22

The year 2020 has been a crazy, sad and challenging one, and it hasn't ended yet. I won't mention why, I guess we all know the reasons, but hopefully 2021 will be a better one. At the moment of writing this post, Health Canada announced the approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. That's a good one!


My 2020 Habit's Revolution


Well, I have to say that 2020 took a hit (also) on my habits. The kids were at in-da-house every day from March-June, and both my wife and I had to re-schedule everything to make things work at home. It was literally an all-new order, and all habits we took years to build got to a sudden halt.


The gym, for example, was open until March, then closed until July, then again open until October and then closed since. My morning routine got shaken, and as a domino effect, all other morning, noon, afternoon and evening habits after that. I started to wake up late again, got lazy and started working later than usual. Obviously, at 9 p.m. I couldn't easily fall asleep, so I went to bed later than before.. and then the infinite cycle started over again. My goal of getting to 80 books in 2020 vanished away as early as in April.


On the other hand, this is one of the years I've enjoyed the most time with my kids. The quarantine at home, plus the mobility-limited to only some parts of Canada, made us really enjoy parts of the country we never planned to visit before. Camping, hiking, travelling, enjoying nature and safely hitting the road was something we did A LOT. That plus cooking new recipes, playing soccer on the backstreet, riding a bicycle... I guess we all adapt and evolve in the end.


The Book List


That said, and still a little bit "ashamed" of being that far from my 2019 numbers, I'm happy things are working out and getting back on track. I hope during 2021, things get back to the new "normal," and I can catch up with my goal of averaging 70-80 books per year.


This year, the balance tilted more into investing & business books than during 2019. The scenario of the March stock market crash and the opportunity to learn during the uncertainty period around the economic impact was a solid "contextual" school. I had to lay off myself from my business and take care of allocating our resources to eventually thrive the pandemic impact. Regarding that, I wrote a post on how did we manage to get our company alive during the first wave period. Also did another one about the value of diversification to deal with personal finances during a crisis.

Summarizing:

  • Most books are investing & business-related.

  • I read my first book in French (yay!)

  • I re-read multiple books a second (and some a third) time. I needed to apply lots of studied methods to our current situation that required going back to the library/purchasing the copies.

Here, there 53 books I read during 2020:

  1. The Little Book of Common Sense Investing by John Bogle

  2. Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It by Chris Voss (read it early in January before renewing a contract)

  3. Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Handley

  4. Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs by John Doerr

  5. Bitcoin billionaires: a true story of genius, betrayal, and redemption by Ben Mezrich

  6. Influencer by Brittany Hennessy

  7. Company of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business by Paul Jarvis

  8. UnSelling: The New Customer Experience by Alison Kramer and Scott Stratten

  9. The Membership Economy: Find Your Super Users, Master the Forever Transaction, and Build Recurring Revenue by Robbie Kellman Baxter

  10. Retirement's harsh new realities: protecting your money in a changing world by Gordon Pape

  11. Gap Selling: Getting the Customer to Yes: How Problem-Centric Selling Increases Sales by Changing Everything You Know About Relationships, Overcoming Objections, Closing and Price by Keenan (had to give it a second read as I've been working on Sales a lot)

  12. Mastering the Market Cycle: Getting the Odds on Your Side by Howard S. Marks

  13. Fix This Next: Make the Vital Change That Will Level Up Your Business by Mike Michalowicz (read it two times)

  14. Dormir, je le veux! : 222 méthodes pour trouver le sommeil et mieux dormir by Kim Jones (my first full French book)

  15. Launch: An Internet Millionaire's Secret Formula to Sell Almost Anything Online, Build a Business You Love, and Live the Life of Your Dreams by Jeff Walker

  16. Million Dollar Story: Secrets of 10 Entrepreneurs Who Had to Lose and Pivot to Profit and Win with Purpose by multiple authors

  17. Make Sure it's Deductible by Evelyn Jacks

  18. Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller (the second read. we are working on a LeaseCosts rebranding)

  19. One Up On Wall Street by John Rothchild and Peter Lynch

  20. Investing Between the Lines by L. J. Rittenhouse

  21. Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less by Joe Pulizzi

  22. The Richest Man in Babylon by George Samuel Clason

  23. The Geometry of Wealth: How to Shape a Life of Money and Meaning by Brian Portnoy

  24. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Blake Masters and Peter Thiel

  25. How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

  26. Content Inc.: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses by Joe Pulizzi

  27. Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts by Annie Duke

  28. The Value of Debt in Building Wealth by Thomas J. Anderson (read it a second time)

  29. The eventual millionaire: how anyone can be an entrepreneur and successfully grow their startup by Jaime Tardy

  30. The lean entrepreneur: how visionaries create products, innovate with new ventures and disrupt markets by Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovits

  31. 7 Secrets to Investing like Warren Buffet by Mary Buffet

  32. The behaviour gap: simple ways to stop doing dumb things with money by Carl Richards

  33. The 5 mistakes every investor makes and how to avoid them: getting investing right by Petter Mallouk (read it in March 2020)

  34. Never Fly Solo by Waldo Waldman

  35. Optimizing AdWords: a guide to using, mastering, and maximizing Google AdWords by Paige Miller

  36. Aftershock: protect yourself and profit in the next global financial meltdown by David Wiedemer, Cindy S. Spitzer, Robert A. Wiedemer

  37. In your best interest: the ultimate guide to the Canadian bond market by W. Cunningham

  38. Bonds for Canadians: how to build wealth and lower risk in your portfolio by Andrew Allentuck

  39. People love you: the real secret to delivering legendary customer service by Jeb Blount

  40. The 5 mistakes every investor makes and how to avoid them: by Petter Mallouk (read it again in May 2020)

  41. Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It by Chris Voss (read it in August as part of a sales training)

  42. Objections!: the art and science of getting past no by Jeb Blount

  43. ETF investment strategies: best practices from leading experts on constructing a winning ETF portfolio by Aniket Ullal

  44. Way of the wolf by Jordan Belford.

  45. Top 50 indoor plants and how not to kill them! (yes, I'm trying to diversify on topics)

  46. Eat their lunch: winning customers away from your competition by Anthony Iannarino

  47. Hacking sales: the ultimate playbook and tool guide to building a high-velocity sales machine by Max Altschuler

  48. Let's close a deal: turn contacts into paying customers for your company, product, service or cause by Christine Clifford

  49. The Art of War by Sun Tzu

  50. Stay the course: the story of Vanguard and the index revolution by John Bogle

  51. The intelligent REIT investor: how to build wealth with real estate investment trusts by Brad Thomas and Stephanie Krewson-Kelly

  52. Your Next Five Moves by Patrick Bet-David

  53. The Nuclear Effect by Scott Oldford


How to Stay In Touch


Every week I publish book recommendations from books I read on my Instagram account. You can also subscribe to the leantrepreneurship.com mailing list to receive updates from this website.


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