What I read in 2020

 

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2020 started horribly for me, and I am not talking about the pandemic which came later. The horrible start of the year forced me to agonise over and introspect about many things that would have never caught my attention normally. The vortex of pain and agony forced me for a much-needed introspection and I tried deepening understanding of mindfulness and meditation. So, I spend a lot of time reading books on meditation and mindfulness. It was not the usual reading from start to finish but more of reflection and cogitation on what I read. 

The Science of Meditation by Goleman and DavidsonI is probably the most informative book on meditation written in a very unbiased way. The second book that I would recommend to any one interested in mindfulness, meditation and vipassana is The Art of Living by S N Goenka. These two books are quite different but give you a very good understanding of meditation and its different dimensions. I also read 10% Happier by Dan Harris and enjoyed it for being a candid take on author’s personal journey of mindfulness. There are at least 5-6 books on Buddhism and Meditation that I started and could not finish. I think one of the key takeaway for me from this year is a deeper understanding of Meditation as I graduated from studying the theories to practicing it (although I had to stop after 4 months, but I am keen to take it to the next level). 

The other topic that I spent quite some time this year was popular non-fiction dealing with climate change and sustainability. While this is the topic that is the focus of my professional life I am very curious about how popular fiction and non-fiction is dealing with one of the worst crisis that humanity is facing. The recent years have seen many books on climate change for common readers. The Uninhabitable Earth” by David Wallace and This Changes Every Thing by Naomi Klein are two outstanding book on this topic. Two very different perspective but very readable and thought-provoking books. Highly recommended. 

I finished three Hindi books as well. Reading Hindnaama- Ek Mahadesh ki Gaathaby Krishna Kalpit was very pleasant experience. This is part poetry, part prose; part history and part commentary on our history. Resplendent with erudition and incisive analysis. A must read. 

I am not going to right much about the other fiction books that I read. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong was the only one that was a standout read. 

Fiction

  • The Gods of Guilt by Michael Connely 
  • Origami Man by Matthew Fitzsimmons 
  • Into the Fire by Gregg Hurwitz 
  • Lazy Bones by Mark Billingham 
  • On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong 
  • Black Lands by Belinda Bauer 
  • Walk the wire by David Baldacci 
  • Cross Justice by James Patterson 
  • The Hard Way by Lee Child
  • The Guest List by Lucy Foley 
  • The Order by Daniel Silva 
  • A Minute to Midnight by David Baldacci 
  • Daylight by David Baldacci 
  • आषाढ का एक दिन – मोहन राकेश 
  • बाबा बटेशरनाथ – नागार्जुन
  • हिंदनामा – कृष्ण कल्पित 

Non-fiction

  • First you write a sentence by Joe Moran
  • 10% Happier by Dan Harris 
  • Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua For
  • The Art of Living by SN Goenka
  • Deep Work by Cal Newport 
  • Never Stop Learning by Bradley R Staats
  • Ways of Seeing by John Berger
  • Let Life Flow by Ramesh Balsekar
  • The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace Wells
  • The Art of Quiet Influence by Jocelyn Davis
  • The Science of Meditation by Daniel Goleman & Richard J Davidson 
  • This Changes Every Thing by Naomi Klein

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