MY favorite books OF 2020

Posted: 11/12/2020 | November 12th, 2020

This year hasn’t been what any individual expected. As COVID has reminded us, you never know what tomorrow will bring. And, this year, it didn’t bring too lots of great things (especially for folks like myself working in the tourism industry).

However, if there’s been one silver lining, it’s that being home this much has allowed me to supercharge my reading. While this year started off slow, considering that COVID, I’ve been averaging a book (sometimes two) a week. (I mean, after all, what else am I going to do?) books that have sat in my bookcase for a long time were finally opened.

So, as I look back on this year as it pertains to an end, I can find at least one good thing about it!

And, considering that it’s been an entire year considering that I a post about my current favorite reads. (As we head into the holiday season, a book is always a good gift idea!) here are all the books I’ve read this year that I’ve loved:

Looking for Transwonderland, by Noo Saro-Wiwa

This was one of the best travel books I’ve read in recent memory. I absolutely loved it. author Noo Saro-Wiwa returns to her Nigerian homeland from London to learn a lot more about her heritage, country, and her father. It’s filled with brilliant descriptions, engaging prose, and terrific dialogue that gives a lot of insight into the country and diversity of Nigeria. It’s a must-read.

Buy on Amazon | get on Bookshop

The undetectable Hook, by Peter Leeson

This book is about the economics of piracy in the 1700s. It’s a fascinating look at how pirates created constitutions, workers’ compensation programs, governed themselves, and used branding to lessen battles. Turns out, everything you think you know about pirates is just flat wrong. You wouldn’t think a book on “the economics of piracy” would be interesting but you’d be wrong on that account too!

Buy on Amazon | get on Bookshop

Atomic Habits, by James Clear

This cultural bombshell of a book teaches us that small changes to our routines can create big results and help us create systems to achieve our goals. It was a good guide to how to structure your life for maximum pleasure (like waking up early to read!). While I do a lot of what he suggests, there were some tidbits that made me rethink my own habits. It’s the most functional routine creation book I’ve read.

Buy on Amazon | get on Bookshop

See You in the Piazza, by Frances Mayes

Frances Mayes is popular for sitting under the Tuscan sun, but in this book she and her husband Ed take you off the vacationer trail and around thirteen regions in Italy. just as wonderfully written as Under the Tuscan Sun, this look at Italian food and culture was inspiring and informative, and it will fill you with wanderlust. It makes me want to go to Italy as soon as all this COVID stuff is over.

Buy on Amazon | get on Bookshop

An Arabian Journey, by Levison Wood

Levison wood is a British author who likes to go on long walks. He’s walked the Nile, the Himalayas, and the Americas. In this book, he spends months walking across the middle east during the height of the Syrian civil war. I’m a big fan of Wood: his engrossing stories are filled with people and interesting facts about places. I found myself devouring this book as swiftly as his previous ones.

Buy on Amazon | get on Bookshop

The great Influenza, John M. Barry

This is a fascinating look at the 1918 flu pandemic, covering how the flu works, public health measures, and other aspects of what happened during the outbreak. There are a lot of lessons here that we could (re)learn as we battle COVID. skip the entire first section though: it’s a really boring history about the main scientists and doctors and not needed at all. After that, though, the book really picks up.

Buy on Amazon | get on Bookshop

Stardust, by Neil Gaiman

I love the motion picture Stardust and it was only after listening to Neil Gaiman’s MasterClass did I realize it was based on a book that he wrote! So, I picked it up and devoured it in a few sittings. The story kept me saying, “And then what happened?”, which is what you want any book to do. It’s a very terrific book that will have you daydreaming about adventure.

Buy on Amazon | get on Bookshop

Meeting Faith, by faith Adiele

Faith Adiele is a very talented travel writer and also incredibly great — one of my favorite humans. This book chronicles her life in Thailand and how she became the first black Buddhist nun in the country. It’s a exceptional book about finding your place in the world.

Buy on Amazon | get on Bookshop

Nerve, by Eva Holland

Written by fellow travel writer Eva Holland, this book is on the science of fear. מה גרם לזה? how do we get over it? and how does it relate to adventure? using her desire to get rid of her own fears, she deep dives into the science of concern and what we can do about it. Eva is one of my favorite writers and sheknocks it out of the park with her first book.

Buy on Amazon | get on Bookshop

Tracks, by Robyn Davidson

This book follows Robyn Davidson as she travels solo across the Australian outback in 1980. It was riveting, and as someone who has checked out some of the places she went, I found it to be a incredibly interesting account of what they looked like long before I came through. I was captivated from page one of this thrilling tale of grit and adventure.

Buy on Amazon | get on Bookshop

The Three-Body Problem, by Liu Cixin

Some friends turned me onto this sci-fi trilogy that involves aliens, space exploration, human psychology, and the scary concept of “a dark forest” that I haven’t stopped thinking about. The third book is my favorite. It’s maybe one of the greatest sci-fi trilogies I’ve ever read and I’m incredibly psyched Netflix is making it into a series!

Buy on Amazon | get on Bookshop

The Yellow Envelope, Kim Dinan

This book by Kim Dinan was an engaging travelogue about a woman who felt uneasy in her marriage and life in Portland. After convincing her husband to travel the world, they head on an adventure that tests their marriage. Along a journey that lasts longer than they thought, Kim finds her place in the world. It’s a stoy found in lots of travel books but I took pleasure in her writing and tales very much.

Buy on Amazon | get on Bookshop

Talking to Strangers, by Malcolm Gladwell

This is probably now my favorite Malcolm Gladwell book. It’s an fantastic look at how we (frequently fail to) communicate with each other. It talks about how we default to truth and make assumptions about people’s intentions. We often don’t put ourselves in the other person’s shoes to understand why they are reacting the way they are — and normally fail to ask too.

Buy on Amazon | get on Bookshop

Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman

After Stardust, I picked up another Gaiman book. In this fantasy, an everyday Londoner, Richard, gets caught up in “London Below,” a world where the supernatural takes place without people above knowing about it. exceptionally well written and filled with brilliant imagery, this is my favorite novel of the year.

Buy on Amazon | get on Bookshop

Ten Years a Nomad, by me!

And, finally, considering that I haven’t pointed out it in a few months, if you haven’t picked up a copy of my book, now’s a great time to do so. My memoir follows my ten years backpacking the world and talks about the ups and downs of life as a permanent nomad. It’s my treatise on long-term travel and something I poured my heart and soul into. Be sure to come to our December book Club meeting on it!

Buy on Amazon | get on Bookshop

This has been a great year for reading, and I’ve found some terrific titles and extraordinary new authors. COVID may have ruined my travel plans, but I’m an even a lot more devout reader now. If you have any suggestions, drop them in the comments.

Want a lot more book suggestions?

Join my book club and get 3-5 suggested books sent to you each month. 

Name:Yes, send me some good reads

נ.ב. – If you’re seeking to get any of these books and are from the us or the UK, I highly recommend Bookshop. It supports independent booksellers — and still makes sure you get your books fast. The discounts aren’t as big, and obviously, there’s no Kindle, but if you’re still getting hard copies, please support your local bookstore. I know it’s incredibly hard not to use Amazon (I default to it too often), but these small stores need our help!

Book Your Trip: Logistical ideas and Tricks
הזמן את הטיסה שלך
מצא טיסה זולה באמצעות SkyScanner. It’s my favorite search engine because it searches web sites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned.

הזמן את הלינה שלך
אתה יכול להזמין את ההוסטל שלך עם OstelWorld. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use as they consistently return the least expensive rates for guesthouses and hotels.

אל תשכח ביטוח נסיעות
Travel insurance will secure you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s detailed protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it lots of times in the past. החברות האהובות עלי שמציעות את השירות והערך הטוב ביותר הן:

SafetyWing (הכי טוב לכולם)

להבטיח את הטיול שלי (לאלה מעל גיל 70)

מדג’ט (לכיסוי פינוי נוסף)

מוכנים להזמין את הטיול שלך?
עיין בדף המשאבים שלי לקבלת החברות הטובות ביותר להשתמש בו כשאתה נוסע. אני מפרט את כל אלה שאני משתמש כשאני נוסע. הם הטובים ביותר בכיתה ואתה לא יכול להשתבש להשתמש בהם בטיול שלך.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Post