Brenda’s 2020 reading list

 In Books and Resources

My new COVID-era reading mantra is this: If you don’t LOVE it or at least really like it, then stop reading it!

Life is too short to not be INTO a book you are reading. If the writer does not grab you with the story of the fiction book, the learning of the non-fiction, or the compelling life laid out in the memoir, that is not your problem. Set it aside for another time or pass it along to someone else.

Here is my crazy times-COVID-reading list for 2020.

Non-Fiction and Biography

The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir by Samantha Power

I learned so much reading this excellent, large book.

The Reluctant CEO: Succeeding without Losing Your Soul by John Calia

This gent had the same publisher as I did for my book Outsmarting Crazytown. It too is a business parable. Very good.

The 9 Types of Leadership: Mastering the Art of People in the 21st Century Workplace by Beatrice Chestnut

The perfect read for leaders into the Enneagram.

Fragile Power: Why Having Everything Is Never Enough; Lessons from Treating the Wealthy and Famous by Dr. Paul L. Hokemeyer

Oh, how I love books about the work of psychologists in therapy. This was no exception.

The Extraordinary Coach: How the Best Leaders Help Others Grow by John Zenger (Author), Kathleen Stinnett  (Author)

The most thorough, well done, manager-as-coach book on the market.

Stillness Is the Key by Ryan Holiday.

I will forever compare all of his books to the excellent The Obstacle is the Way. Stillness is a little light.

The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick) by Seth Godin

I read this a lot. Quick. Profound if you are trying to make a decision.

The Non-Obvious Guide to Emotional Intelligence by Kerry Goyette

The best, most common sense EQ book I have read to date.

Reversing the Senses by Martin Hubbard

A nice, quickie self help book.

Defining You: How Smart Professionals Craft the Answers to: Who Are You? What Do You Do? How Can You Help Me? by Mark LeBlanc, Kathy McAfee & Henry DeVries

A must-do exercise for those trying to speak or start consulting.

The Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living: A Guide to ACT by Russ Harris

Good, basic psych stuff for those in need.

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith & Mark Reiter

I would only give this to help someone who was a real ASS, because that is who this book is targeted for.

Unfuck Your Brain: Getting Over Anxiety, Depression, Anger, Freak-Outs, and Triggers with science (5-Minute Therapy) by Faith Harper PhD LPC-S ACS ACN

I love profanity as much as the next guy, but this had too much. Otherwise, very good.

The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter by Michael D. Watkins

A must read for any professional starting a new role.

The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People’s Lives Better, Too) by Gretchen Rubin

The free quiz of the same name was just as good.

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

A MUST-LISTEN memoir audible book. You will not believe his story and he is a brilliant storyteller. He does use profanity so heads-up if you have kids in the car. As if!

YouMap: Find Yourself. Blaze Your Path. Show the World! by Kristin Sherry

A great DIY career exploration book.

60 Seconds & You’re Hired by Robin Ryan

The interview prep in this book is second to none. No wonder she is a NY Time Bestseller.

Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World by Tim Ferriss

One of my favs this year. Must listen, however (Audible Exclusive) as it is 18 hours.


3 Women by Lisa Taddeo 

A telling, sometimes painful look at what women endure.

Surfside Sisters: A Novel by Nancy Thayer

Needed escape! This did the trick.

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed by Lori Gottlieb 

A therapist in therapy. Brilliant.

A Gentleman in Moscow: A Novel by Amor Towles

This was my major lock-down read so it was only appropriate that I read about a former Russian diplomat on house arrest in a fancy Moscow hotel.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng 

Read it, loved it. Watched it, loved it.

The Clan of the Cave Bear: Earth’s Children, Book One by Jean M Auel

On my shelf for at least 15 years and suddenly it was time. Fascinating read.

The Valley of Horses: Earth’s Children, Book Two by Jean M Auel

The next in the series of the Clan of the Cave Bear. Excellent but I decided to stop there.

The Heart of Devin MacKade (MacKade Brothers Book 3) by Nora Roberts 

Escape? Yep. Loved it.

The Fall of Shane MacKade (MacKade Brothers Book 4) by Nora Roberts 

Escape some more. Yep, loved it too.

Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner 

Well done for this prolific writer. Page turner.

Girls of Summer by Nancy Thayer 

Need it, loved it.

Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer 

For Twilight fans who suffered with the author after her unfinished manuscript for this book was leaked years ago, this was worth the long, long wait.

Molokai by Alan Brennert 

Whoa! So much I did not know about Leprosy and the stigma it held. Beautifully written.

Daisy Jones & The Six: A Novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Read this in 2 days. A brilliant story about a famous band in the 1970s!

The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory 

Predictable? Well yes, but sometimes we need predictable.

From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home by Tembi Locke 

This surprised me because it is a memoir, lovely story with food undertones.

When We Believed in Mermaids: A Novel by Barbara O’Neall 

Possibly my favorite. Surprised me what a page turner this was.

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