I’ve recently, within the past 5 years, have fallen back in love with reading. I believe reading is the most effective way to expand knowledge, become more creative and provide yourself with quality entertainment. Each year I try to choose 12 books to read. Here is my reading list for 2020:
1. The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power
Starting off the new year with a bang, this is a large book, filled to the brim with a discussion on the ethical use of your data. Gifted to me by my parents for Christmas, I can’t wait to dive into this book. Being app developer, working with large data and loving philosophy and debate, I feel this will be spot on for my interests.
2. Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World
Another book related to digital life that I’ve been aching to read. I love technology, but so much of it can be overwhelming. Our personal belief at 521 Dimensions is technology should solve needs and enhance the human experience, not replace it.
3. The Dichotomy of Leadership
For anyone who hasn’t heard of Jocko Willink, I’d highly suggest you check him out. His life lessons, teachings, and direct communication skills are inspiring, motivating, and most importantly, disciplining. You will learn really fast how much of your life you are responsible for and how to own that responsibility. After reading Leif and Jocko’s first book “Extreme Ownership“, I can’t wait to learn more.
4. How To
Have you read XKCD web comics? Well, the author also writes books and they are wonderful. Just browsing through “How To” and seeing the magic of math and physics applied to completely absurd scenarios makes me beyond excited to read this book. A little comic relief never hurt anyone!
5. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
Definitely a few books this year that focus on what is essential in life and what isn’t, then focusing on what is. I’ve been recommended this book a few times, so I figured I should add it to my list. I’m not one who believes in throwing away all of your things, but I definitely believe in quality over quantity and making the most use of what you have. Any more insight on these ideas, I’m definitely open to and excited to read Greg McKeown’s approach!
6. Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur
To be honest, of all of the books, this is the one I know the least about. After reading Derek Sivers’ interview with Tim Ferriss in “Tools of Titans” (which is one of the best books I’ve read), I knew I had to check out his book. The short snippet on how he approaches It’s been released for awhile, and I’ve seen other references to it, so here goes nothing!
7. Everything Is F*cked: A Book About Hope
Last year I read “The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*CK” which was gifted to me by Jay and it was incredible. Dealing with anxiety, some days I feel as if I give too many f*cks and that can be an issue as well. In this next book by Mark Manson, judging by the reviews, it discusses more about hope. I love his writing style where deep topics are discussed in an enjoyable fashion.
8. The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure
This book looks like one of the more intense and opinionated books I’ll be reading this year. The broad overview is that American’s aren’t being exposed to new ideas or opinions that they may disagree with. Now there are some ideas that are downright bad, but there are some that are just different. I can’t wait to read the arguments and thought processes presented int his book!
9. Acid For The Children
My all time favorite band is The Red Hot Chilipeppers. When I saw Flea wrote a memoir I knew I had to read it. Not only has he lived an incredible wild life, his pursuit of bringing music to everyone is something that really resonates with me. His Silverlake Conservatory of Music is a wonderful model for the dreams of Jay and I of starting our own school.
10. The Magic of Thinking Big
I received this recommendation from Jon Hainstock and instantly added it to my list. Dealing with anxiety myself, and the quality recommendations and reviews of this book, it will fit me very well. Somedays I find myself lost in a very large thought so I really want to find the magic in it!
11. Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-lived, Joyful Life
I’m all about taking control and building a life that is uniquely yours. We have a lot of power over our lives, a lot more than we think, and to find that power to design the life you dream is something I find fascinating. Tying together a variety of topics this year such as finding essentials and self-discipline, making life joyful goes hand in hand.
12. Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World–and Why Things Are Better Than You Think
I really want to read this book for a variety of reasons, but most importantly to see some studies that show positive in the world. One of my all time favorite quotes comes from Fred Rogers: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'”. A lot of what we see in the news are negative facts (scary things) but we rarely see the positive (people helping).
Along the way I plan on sprinkling in some fiction books and other novels. Each year I decide on 12 books I need to read, but end up reading a lot more along the way. Any books that you feel like I’d love to read, feel free to share, by either reaching out to me via my blog or on Twitter (@danpastori). I’d love to hear from you!
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