Every Book I’ve Read in 2020

I wanted somewhere that I could have a long list of the books I’ve read, instead of having just the installments of five books at a time.

This will be an extensive list that I will keep updating as the year progresses and hopefully before the end of the year I will reach number 52 which has become my target for the year.

The reviews here will be a lot shorter than the ones you can find in my five book blog updates that are added on Fridays. For the full reviews, you can find those by clicking on the book titles below.

If you want to keep up to date on social media, I add each book that I read to my Orlagh Claire Instagram story highlights, but I also have a separate Instagram, @ocbookshelf where I post more in-depth reviews.

Here are all of the books that I’ve read so far in 2020:

1. YOU ARE A BADASS BY JEN SINCERO

I loved this book. It’s definitely one of the best motivational books I’ve read in a long time. It was an easy read and cut the crap about why we aren’t being our best selves, why we procrastinate and gives you the motivation to get your life in order.

2. THE SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE BY STEPHEN COVEY

This book took me quite a while to read as it’s lengthy and very technical. It was first published back in 1989 and a lot of the anecdotes in the book are relevant for that time, more so than now. However, the majority of teachings in this book are still relevant today.

3. THE CHALLENGER SALE BY MATTHEW DIXON AND BRENT ADAMSON

I won’t have too much to say about this book. I was in the midst of not having any new books and wanting to read a book without having to spend $20. One of the interns gave me this book that he had been given to read for work. I can see why he hadn’t bothered to read it.

4. GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER BY SARAH KNIGHT

Have you ever wanted to quit your job and move to the Dominican Republic? Well you will after you read this book. It does what it says on the cover and basically tells you how to get your shit together.

5. THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF NOT GIVING A F**K BY SARAH KNIGHT

I had read this book before during my second year of university as it had been a Christmas present along with my #GirlBoss book. I’ve re-read that #GirlBoss book many a time, but this was my first re-read of Sarah Knight’s book.

This book literally says, “You do you hun!”

6. SO GOOD THEY CAN’T IGNORE YOU BY CAL NEWPORT

I borrowed this book from my flatmate, wanting to read it ever since I saw it on his bedside table. The title of the book is one of my favourite quotes. It’s a quote by Steve Martin, the actor and comedian.

The book talks about not doing what you love for a living. Instead of following your passion, follow your skills. In my humble opinion, I think you can do both. You can be passionate about the skills that you possess in a certain industry. I believe that you can have your dream job if you really want it.

7. WHAT I KNOW FOR SURE BY OPRAH WINFREY

loved this book. It was such an easy read that I read it in two days. The book is made of short columns that Oprah has written over the years for her O Magazine.

The book gave an insight into her extravagant life, her connections to the Universe, her love for meditation and love for friends and family. It’s an uplifting book and so good that I might even go back and read it again.

8. A NEW EARTH BY ECKHART TOLLE

I had read another of Eckhart Tolle’s books, The Power of Now which I reviewed in June 2019. I wasn’t a huge fan of that book because a lot of it went over my head and I found it too technical. I think if I went back and read it now, I would have more understanding of its teachings.

A New Earth was an easier read and made me think about things a lot differently. It teaches you about the Ego and how you can attach your Ego to things to make them yours. It’s an enlightening book and may make you change the way you see the world and more importantly, yourself.

9. REPORTING THE TROUBLES BY DERIC HENDERSON & IVAN LITTLE

Quite different from my usual reads, but I wanted to add a history book and a fiction book into my book order for isolation. I think it’s good to mix between genres and not to get stuck reading psychology books forever.

As I come from Northern Ireland, I had a deep interest in this book and didn’t take long to finish it as I wanted to read all of the stories in one sitting. The book is a compilation of short stories from journalists that covered the Troubles during the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s.

The Troubles is quite a taboo subject back home, and it’s not often that people like to talk about it as they were very dark days. I would definitely like to learn more about it, but this book is a great way to start, if you would be interested in reading about the troubled history of Northern Ireland.

10. THE UNIVERSE HAS YOUR BACK BY GABRIELLE BERNSTEIN

I liked this book, but I didn’t love it. I love reading about the ‘Universe’ or the ‘Source’ or whatever name other people have for that higher power that dictates what happens to us. Some people call it God, but a lot of people have different names for it.

There are a lot of great teachings in the books, and it helped me get back on track with how I put things out into the ‘Universe’ in order for them to happen. It’s quite like manifesting in that what you ask for, you shall receive.

11. MINDSET BY DR. CAROL DWECK

This book taught me that there are two types of mindset – a growth mindset and a fixed mindset. From what I can tell, growth minded people are open minded people. They want to learn, are open to new viewpoints and being wrong.

It’s a great book to learn more about mindset and also the mindset of sports stars, business leaders and every day people like you and me.

12. POSITIVE THINKING BY NEIL FRANCIS (GIFTED)

I read this book in two sittings. It was an incredibly easy read but also a very insightful read. The author, Neil Francis, suffered a stroke at the age of 41. He was a top man in business with a family and a lot going for him.

There are a lot of benefits to positive thinking. In his book, Neil Francis outlines a lot of them and gives a real-life perspective. A great book.

13. INSPIRING INNOVATION BY GILES LURY

Another book that I read very quickly in just over two days, this was an easy read but also a very engaging read. The book compiles 75 products and brands and tells the story of how they began.

14. ATOMIC HABITS BY JAMES CLEAR

This is one of the best self-help books I’ve read in a while. There are so many things to learn from this book, but it’s so brilliantly written. There are models you would see in textbooks, references to psychologists and even some mathematical formulas, but James Clear makes it so easy to understand.

15. THE ENERGY BOOK BY RICHARD MADDOCKS (GIFTED)

This book had 50 chapters of 50 different energy-boosting techniques. An easy read, and something that you can pick up and open at random at any time that you may need.

16. POSITIVE MENTAL HEALTH BY DR. SHAUN DAVIS & ANDREW KINDER (gifted)

First off, you don’t need to have a mental health problem to read this book. The subtitle of the book may be “Overcoming Mental Health Problems,” but it is not a requirement to read it.

Just like a book that I’ve previously read and like to recommend, Lost Connections: Why You’re Depressed and How to Find Hope, you don’t need to be feeling down or mentally-ill to understand its contents and to learn from it. 

17. EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT LOVE BY DOLLY ALDERTON

I loved this book. It’s a memoir of Dolly Alderton’s life until she turns 30. It covers growing up, boys, men, relationships, friendships, getting older, employment, living in London, heartbreak and death.

The book reminded me of how much I liked that kind of genre – fiction and biography-style. It was a welcome change to the non-fiction that I’ve been reading recently and I think I’m going to keep alternating between genres, just to keep things interesting.

It’s a great book, and one I would heavily recommend.

18. GRACE UNDER PRESSURE BY LISA WENTZ (gifted)

I’m not the best at public speaking, so when it comes to tips and tricks, I need all of them. This book is a very helpful guide to public speaking and covers all bases.

19. A LUCKY LIFE INTERRUPTED BY TOM BROKAW

I had never actually heard of Tom Brokaw before reading this book. The book was left in my apartment by previous tenants, and I thought I would just give it a go as it’s not something I would usually buy for myself.

A very famous news anchor and TV personality for NBC, Tom has a lot of famous friends and had a very successful career. The book covers Tom’s battle with Multiple Myeloma cancer and his journey of treatment.

20. THE BUSINESS OF GETTING BUSINESS BY JOE MANAUSA (gifted)

This book is a guide to digital marketing for small businesses. Although I don’t own a small business, the book details the basics and more advanced processes of digital marketing.

21. ASK AND IT IS GIVEN BY ESTHER AND JERRY HICKS

I heard about this book through Irish social media influencer, Sinead Hegarty’s Instagram stories and she recommended it along with The Secret, The Power of Now and other books in the same genre.

If you’re into manifesting and positive thoughts, the Law of Attraction and that kind of thing, then I would fully recommend it. If you’re more of a fact-focused person then this one may not be for you.

22. TENDER IS THE NIGHT BY F. SCOTT FITZGERALD

Although this book was written in the 1920s, it was actually a very enjoyable and easy read. I have read The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald two or three times, so thought I would also enjoy another of his books.

The book is set mainly in France and other parts of Europe. It’s a very good book about love, affairs, and living a luxurious lifestyle in the 1920s.

23. NORMAL PEOPLE BY SALLY ROONEY

I read this book in the space of two days, maybe a little less. I had seen the TV show and heard the book was very similar, if not identical to the show, so wanted to read it for myself.

24. THE PERFECT WORLD OF MIWAKO SUMIDA BY CLARISSA GOENAWAN

What a book. I read this in two days, just like Normal People. It seems like I’m getting through the fiction books a lot quicker than the non-fiction. I think my love for fiction has been fully restored.

25. BECOMING BY MICHELLE OBAMA

What a book. And what a time to read this book. Five stars, without a doubt.

26. SHOE DOG BY PHIL KNIGHT

I read Shoe Dog in the space of three days. It was personal, funny and a great insight to the beginnings of the Nike sports brand.

The book was a 5/5 for me as I hadn’t the slightest clue about the brand, how it came about or that it started in Oregon. It’s a truly great book that shows how something so small can grow into something much larger than you ever imagine.

27. WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING BY DELIA OWENS

Oh my word, what a book. At the beginning, I wasn’t convinced and it did take me a while to get into it as the book flits between past and present quite a lot. However, I’m so glad I stuck with it as it took me two full days to read.

An excellent book that is written so perfectly. I can even imagine that this book might be made into a movie in the future.

28. THE TATTOOIST OF AUSCHWITZ BY HEATHER MORRIS

Another book I couldn’t put down, I finished reading The Tattooist of Auschwitz in just one day. It’s a relatively short story, so was easy to get through quickly, but the story is what kept me reading. A harrowing, awful insight into the concentration camps during the second world war, this book tells of a Slovak prisoner who finds love within the camp walls.

29. THE ONE THING: THE SURPRISINGLY SIMPLE TRUTH BEHIND EXTRAORDINARY RESULTS BY GARY KELLER

I purchased this book on New York-Irish influencer @retroflame’s recommendation, but I have to say, I didn’t really rate it. The entire book was centered around the ‘one thing’.

The ‘one thing’ you could do right now that would get you closer to your goals. The ‘one thing’ you could do this week, this month, this year etc. I just feel like this could have been written as a blog post instead of a book.

30. BIG LITTLE LIES BY LIANE MORIARTY

I watched the TV series in the space of two days last summer and I was obsessed. I was so eager to read the book to see how it would compare.

I loved this book. I got through all 500 pages in the space of one weekend because it was so easy to read. There were a few changes from the TV series, like the setting and the ending, but other than that, I couldn’t put it down.

31. A SPARK OF LIGHT BY JODI PICOULT

A Spark of Light focuses on the topic of abortion. The story works backwards from a hostage situation where a gunman storms an abortion clinic in Mississippi.

The concept of the book was very good, but I wasn’t totally gripped by the telling of the situation. The book is split in chapters by the hours of the day and told by everyone’s accounts.

32. LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE BY CELESTE NG

This is the book of the recent TV series starring Reese Witherspoon on Hulu and I was greatly anticipating reading this as I had heard great things about the TV series and wanted to read the book before watching the show.

If the book is anything to go by, I don’t have great hopes for the TV series.

33. THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME BY MARK HADDON

It took me just over a day to read the book as it’s quite a short story. I really enjoyed it and loved that it was told from the perspective of Christopher who has autism.

The book really gives you his perspective and why he acts the way that he does and the way that his brain works. A great book, a great story and a great narrative; very well written.

34. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD BY HARPER LEE

There’s a reason that this book is on every ‘must-read’ list, because everyone should read this book at least once in their lifetime and then pass it on to someone else.

A story of race, injustice and the operations of the Deep South in 1930’s America, told by 8-year-old Scout Finch. The book teaches that sometimes children are the best of all of us.

35. BITTER IS THE NEW BLACK BY JEN LANCASTER

I really, really enjoyed this book. I thought it would just be another run-of-the-mill chick flick kind of book, but Jen Lancaster talks about her career and how she was unemployed for two years.

It was interesting to see her go from designer handbags to having $5 in her bank account very quickly. The book teaches you what you should value in life and that no matter how hard you work and how much you earn, you can come crashing down to the ground very quickly.

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