In 2020, I spent too much time doomscrolling and otherwise distracted by the world. As a result, I spent less time reading/listening to books. I continued the 2019 approach of reading from the Pulitzer Prize list and relied on some excellent recommendations from friends.

Here are the books I read or listened to in 2020 in the order that I consumed them:

  • Why We Sleep: Unlocking the power of sleep and dreams by Matthew Walker
  • Directorate S: The C.I.A. and America’s Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan by Steve Coll
  • The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
  • Spies of no Country: Secret lives at the birth of Israel by Matti Friedman
  • Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss
  • How the Other Half Banks by Mehrsa Baradaran
  • The Color of Money: Black banks and the racial wealth gap by Mehrsa Baradaran
  • The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright
  • The Mastermind by Evan Ratliff
  • The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York by Robert A. Caro
  • Sandworm: A New Era of Cyberwar and the Hunt for the Kremlin’s Most Dangerous Hackers by Andy Greenberg
  • American Gods: A novel by Neil Gaiman
  • The Devil’s Highway: A true story by Luis Alberto Urrea
  • Why nations fail: The origins of power, prosperity, and poverty by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson
  • Turing’s Cathedral: The origins of the digital universe by George Dyson
  • (not a book, but a great podcast) In The Dark (especially season 2)
  • Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power by Steve Coll