24 December 2020
2020 in review: Books
About my relationship with books and reading this year.
During the first lockdown I went on a book-buying spree. Pretty sure it was a coping mechanism.
I bought everything and anything: fiction, biographies, comics, self-help, you name it.
At one point I was buying a book a day. But I couldn't bring myself to read anything, so the books piled up in my study.
In the second half of the year my existential dread calmed down and my concentration returned, so I managed to read a few things:
- Inside Apple: The Secrets Behind the Past and Future Success of Steve Jobs's Iconic Brand
- Tim Cook: The Genius Who Took Apple to the Next Level
- Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life
- Hit Refresh: A Memoir by Microsoft’s CEO
- Man and His Symbols
- The Second Sleep
- The Man Who Owns the News: How Rupert Murdoch Took the Wall Street Journal and Almost Everything Else
- Stealing MySpace: The Battle to Control the Most Popular Website in America
Lots of tech-centric non-fiction reading here. Keen to find any insights I can from the giants about their approaches to creation, process, structures, etc.
The two bits of fiction on the list (Microserfs and The Second Sleep) are both tech-centric, too. One more overtly as it's about Silicon Valley culture, and the other in a more secondary way. Both are great.
Probably the most "worthy" book out of the list is Jung, and it's a fascinating read. It's given me a basic understanding of the ideas surrounding dream interpretation, signs, and symbols, western over-reliance on rationalism, and more. Definitely becoming a fan of Jung as I dip my toes into reading around psychology.
More generally I'm just happy to get my reading habit back.
Here's what's on the shelf for early 2021:
- The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer
- Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal
- Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture
- The Discipline of Teams (Harvard Business Review Classics)
- A Single Man
- Spycatcher: The Candid Autobiography of a Senior Intelligence Officer
We'll see how it goes.