Reading Books: Top New Habit of 2020

In this post I introduce my new habit – reading books. 
I discuss how I read books, what kinds of books I read, I list all the books I read in 2020 and my top recommendations.
Finally I look ahead to 2021… Enjoy!

A new habit is formed

 In the spirit of personal development, one of my 2020 year resolutions was to read more books.. A LOT more books.
  • Why? – because I believe that it’s one of the most efficient ways to gain knowledge and improve yourself. In just a few hours you can extract years of work and experiences of others, distilled over months into their bare minimum essence.
  • What kinds of books? Well, literally anything that sounds interesting and that, in my opinion, will be worth my time.

How do I read books: I tend to read multiple books at once.. Not in a literal sense, but more like multiple books in the same time period but each at different days / places or times of the day. This is a technique I learned from Juvoni Beckford through his appearance in one my favorite podcasts “The Great Man Within“. For example, I read spirituality-related books only in the morning right after I get up or in the evening right before I go to sleep. I read more technical books usually on the computer while sitting in my office and I listen to audiobooks only during exercise, walks, runs or while commuting and I usually tend to listen to books narrated by the authors themselves. I do this for a few reasons. Reading a particular piece at a certain place and/or time enhances the neural associations in the brain so as it helps to remember what you read better. In addition, I use the timing of book reading / listening to help with current activities. i.e. Spirituality books help with calmness and mindset, thus they can help you fall asleep or start your day in a good state of mind. Motivational books can be great companions during exercise, while personal development books are great during walks. Whatever works for you!

Book reading list of 2020:

So without further ado, in 2020 I read the following books cover to cover. I provide links to, a great community of book enthusiasts where I get most of my information about books and where I regularly post book reviews (check out my profile here).

  1. Atomic Habits by James Clear
  2. Talking To Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell
  3. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson
  4. The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday
  5. Stillness Is The Key by Ryan Holiday
  6. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
  7. Outwitting The Devil by Napoleon Hill
  8. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
  9. A New Earth by Eckhard Tolle
  10. The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery
  11. A Guide To The Good Life by William Irvine
  12. Misbehaving by Richard Thaler
  13. How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  14. Experimentation Works by Stefan Thomke (read my book summary here)
  15. The Power Of Experiments by Michael Luca and Max Bazerman (read my book summary here)
  16. The Ethical Algorithm by Aaron Roth and Michael Kearns (read my book summary here)
  17. Ggplot2: Elegant Graphics For Data Analysis by Hadley Wickham
  18. R For Data Science by Hadley Wickham and Garrett Golemund

In 2020 I listened to the following audiobooks:

  1. Becoming by Michelle Obama
  2. Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins
  3. The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida

My favorite books of 2020 and top 4 recommendations:

This book presents easy-to-implement tips and tricks that can help build better habits and break bad ones.
Warns against "drifting" - passing through life aimlessly and without a purpose. Helps readers to become more intentional.
A beautiful roadmap to spirituality, connectedness and living in the present moment.
A well crafted summary and interpretation of the ancient Stoic teachers and teachings with easy to understand applications.

Lessons learned and looking ahead to 2021


Along with new ways to workout, reading books has been one of the highlights of 2020 for me, a habit that has certainly come in handy in this especially strange year, and certainly one that I wish I keep up for years to come. Reading books has helped me escape the stress of uncertainty I’ve been facing, improve my workouts, connect the dots of the bigger picture, become more creative, make better decisions, sleep better and become more mindful and intentional in my everyday life. 

For 2021 my goal is to continue this new habit. The following books are ones that I’m currently actively reading or have partially read in 2020 and hope to finish this year.

  1. The Book of Why by Judea Pearl
  2. David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell
  3. Kettlebell: Simple and Sinister by Pavel Tsatsouline
  4. On Purpose Leadership by Dominick Quartuccio
  5. Influence by Robert B. Cialdini
  6. Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Also in my list for 2021 are the following books:

  1. Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport
  2. A Promised Land by Barrack Obama
  3. King, Warrior, Magician, Lover by Robert Moore
  4. Competing In The Age of AI by Karim R. Lakhani and Marco Iansiti
  5. The Elements of Statistical Learning by Trevor Hastie, Robert Tibshirani and Jerome Friedman

Happy 2021 and get busy reading!

Hit me up with any suggestions for books to read next, book reading techniques or questions!

Get in touch

Please do get in touch if you have any questions or concerns. I’m glad to discuss new ideas and suggestions for research or other work. Shoot me an email, text me on skype or write your message in the box below. I’ll get back to you as soon as time permits.

Andreas Aristidou

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