When I set out to read twenty books in 2020 I knew I would need to do it by mixed media. A mix of physical books, audio books, digital books and comic books. I thought this goal would be difficult, then a global pandemic hit. This led to me reading 31 books during the year. I covered both fiction and non-fiction this year, trying to swap every other book. At times I got distracted and found myself reading multiple books at the same time, something I don’t really recommend doing. In 2021 I am going to aim to read 35 books and will hopefully be back with an article like this next year. So without further ado, here is my 2020 book listicle with reviews!

  1. Thrawn (Star Wars) (Star Wars: Thrawn) by Timothy Zahn, Del Rey 2017 – This was my introduction to Thrawn. I never read his legends stuff, but I plan on doing that. I loved this story and it really tied some of the events of Rebels together. 10/10
  2. From a Certain Point of View by Multiple Authors, Del Rey 2017 – Covering the events of A New Hope from minor characters this Star Wars story from different points of view. I really enjoyed this story and the world building it took on. It’s very nice to see the things that are happening with Star Wars outside of and around the Skywalker bloodline. 9/10
  3. Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith Vol 1 by Jim Cheung and Charles Soule, Marvel Comics 2017 – This is the start of Darth Vader’s story. Saberless and hunting for a Jedi who survived order 66 Darth Vader sets out on a journey to prove himself a Sith. 8/10
  4. Star Wars Vol 1 by Jason Aaron and John Cassaday, Marvel Comics 2015 – I am going to cover the 5 Star Wars comic trades in one review. These are fun, there are a lot of gaps in the lore of the original trilogy that these books expand upon. It is nice to see these times explored and they introduce some cool new characters and storylines. I love Jason Aaron’s work on Thor and he really brings his amazing story telling to the Star Wars universe. 8/10
  5. Star Wars Vol 2 by Jason Aaron and Stuart Immonen, Marvel Comics 2016 – For a review see Star Wars Vol 1
  6. Star Wars Vol 3 by Jason Aaron, Marvel Comics 2016 –  For a review see Star Wars Vol 1
  7. Thrawn: Alliances (Star Wars) by Timothy Zahn, Del Rey 2017 – Most likely the weakest of the new Thrawn books this follows a two part adventure, Thrawn and Anakin Skywalker during the Clone Wars and Thrawn and Vader during the height of the Empire. Though it is some nice character building and provides more insight into Thrawn’s insight it isn’t really a Star Wars book to write home about. 6/10
  8. The Nobody People by Bob Proehl,Del Rey 2017 – Find my full review here. 8/10
  9. Star Wars Vol 4 by Jason Aaron, Marvel Comics 2017 –  For a review see Star Wars Vol 1
  10. Star Wars Vol 5 by Jason Aaron, Marvel Comics 2017 –  For a review see Star Wars Vol 1
  11. Thrawn: Treason by Timothy Zahn, Del Rey 2019 – Treason was a real fun book in the first new canon Thrawn trilogy. It was nice to start seeing the teased Chiss space, a spot in the glazy I really hope is explored more. Also the exploration of the flaws of the Empire, and how the politics was part of its major downfall was really nice. This book also tied in real well to Rogue One really expanding the stories and universe during this time. 9/10
  12. Frankissstien by Jenette Winterson, Jonathan Cape 2019 – A read this one for book club. It was a retelling of Frankenstien with events happening during the time of the writing of Frankenstien and modern day events which explored technology and gender in the changing world. Overall this book was interesting but was a slow read with some very confusing parts and events. The flow was off at times too. 5/10
  13. The Rise of Skywalker Novelization by Rae Carson, Del Rey 2020 – I listened to the novelization of The Last Jedi which took a movie I loved and really tied some missing lore together. I do not think highly of The Rise of Skywalker and was hoping the novelization would fill some major gaps and plot holes. Though the book fixed some things it wasn’t enough to really salvage The Rise of Skywalker for me. 6/10
  14. Invasive by Chuck Wendig, Harper Voyager 2016 – Another book club book, I like Chuck Wendig but man does he try to create fears in you. This was a cool look at the dangers of bioengineering animals, in this case ants. At times though the story moved along like a cheese b movie made for the Sci Fi channel. Not a horrible story but there are much better reads from this author. 6/10
  15. Welcome to the Monkey House by Kurt Vonnegut, Dial Press 1998 – During the time of Covid book club continues. This collection of Short Stories by Kurt Vonnegut was good. I am not really a Vonnegut fanboy so I enjoyed the short stories but I would not rave about them. Some of them seemed like plots right out of the original twilight zone which was cool. If you are a Vonnegut fan and have not read these stories I recommend them. 7/10
  16. Darth Plaguis by James Luceno, Del Rey 2012 – The legends book I wish was cannon. Very few events in this book have been struck out by new cannon, and the ones that have are mainly related to Count Dooku. (I will give you the Dooku audiobook that gives a great twist to why Dooku turned to the dark side.) This was an amazing story, one in which many parts need to be made canon sooner rather than later. From getting more of the Sith backstory to Palps turn to the darkside this book was absolutely amazing. If you are reading any legends stories this is a must. 10/10
  17. American Nations: A history of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America by Colin Woodard, Penguin Books 2012 – My dive into non fiction this year included Colin Woodards book which I was much looking forward to. A deep dive into the different cultures that truly make up the United States and North America as a whole, this book pointed out many things I did not know. It also can be looked at for an explanation of why the US seems so divided today. 10/10
  18. The Blood Queen by Dan Wickline, Dynamite Entertainment 2017 – I picked up this comic for free on Amazon Prime reading. It’s a story of dark magic which pulls some of its inspiration from Elizabeth Bathory. It was a quick read and fun but not the greatest story in the world. 6/10
  19. Propaganda by Edward Bernays, Original Publication Date 1928, Ig Publishing 2004 – A classical book looking at the understanding of human behavior and marketing. Though written as a warning at times of deceptive marketing tactics that humans can fall to it often acts as a guide. You can see some of Bernays revolutionary ideas (for the time) still in practice today. 9/10
  20. Ishmael by Daniel Quinn, Bantam 1995 – A philosophical dialogue on the human condition. This explores the errors of humanity, tribalism, and how we can potentially save the world. Many of the issues explored in this 1995 book still plague us 25 years later. 0/10.
  21. Shakespeare for Squirrels by Christopher Moore, William Morrow 2020 – Fairies, Gods, Lords and Squirrels all standing in Shakespeare’s shadow. This retelling of A Midsummer Night’s Dream taking place in Athens is quite fun. The squirrels are silly, the language is blue, and whenever nobles are involved the events are outrageous. 7/10
  22. Story of B by Daniel Quinn, Bantam 1997 – The continuation of the Ismael trilogy explores religion and the pitfalls it can bring to advancing humanity. This book reteaches some of the lessons of Ishmael with a twist. The philosophical concepts continue to be taught within a story, and the story of this book is much more intriguing than Ishmaels. 10/10
  23. A Hundred Thousand Worlds by Bob Proehl, Viking 2016 – Find my full review here. 7/10
  24. My Ishmael  by Daniel Quinn, Bantam 1998 – Continuing the events of the Ishmael trilogy this book takes place concurrently to the original Ishmael book. The teachings on school really stood out as something to ponder. The downfall of this book is the story kind of goes off the rails in a truly unbelievable way. 7/10
  25. Star Wars Thrawn Ascendancy by Timothy Zahn, Del Rey 2020 – Find my full review here. 9/10
  26. The Somebody People by Bob Proehl, Del Rey 2020 – Find my full review here. 7/10
  27. Assassins Creed Gold by Anthony Del Col, Audible 2020 – An audible original that is only audiobook, this book as a great twist to the animus, the assassins whose life we follow is blind so we only get his audio. I love the Assassin’s Creed series but it is going a bit off the rails lately, and this book is no exception. It was a fund short listen though. May the Father of Understanding guide us. 7/10
  28. The Algorithmic Leader: How to Be Smart When Machines Are Smarter Than You by Mike Walsh, Page Two 2019 – What will leadership mean as computer programs take over more and more of our daily tasks? How will humanities jobs change in a world ruled by algorithms. Mike Walsh’s answers revolve around human interaction and how we work to make our products better for our clients. This was a very good business book, and as the pandemic has sped up work from home and other technological advancements I do recommend this read. 9/10
  29. The Institute by Stephen King, Gallery Books 2020 – When it came to fiction apparently I picked a lot of books based around minor “superpowers.” The Institute explores an organization and the means they will justify to “save” the world from itself. This was a quicker read by Stephen King and I really enjoyed it but it isn’t his best work. 8/10
  30. The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek, Portfolio 2019 – I am from Rochester, NY. Anyone here knows Kodak, and how they failed to survive because they could not see the future of digital. Kodak was not playing the Infinite Game, they were playing a game they thought they could win. Simon Sinek is an amazing business writer and in this book he explores how businesses can survive in the infinite game of business. He also explores how the “capitalism” we follow today is a bastardization of the original belief system that changed only 50 years ago. 9/10
  31. Indistractable by Nir Eyal, BenBella Books 2019 – When you are reading this has your phone pinged at all distracting you. Nir Eyal helped to create addictive tech, and fell for it himself. In this book he provides us with models and examples of how to regain our ability to focus. I am even implementing some of the tools like time boxing and daily planning. If you feel like the outside distractions are getting to you, check out this book to gain an understanding on how you can get your control back. 9/10
  32. Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline, Ballantine Books 2020 – I was excited by the sequel to Ready Player One, a book I loved which I thought the movie failed. I have to say Ready Player Two fell short. The first 130 pages are a dragging introduction and once the story starts it moves really fast. It falls for the 12 hour trope which is becoming popular. (See The Rise of Skywalker and the attack in 12 hours!) All in all I enjoyed the ending but thought as a follow up this book kinda failed. Wade didn’t really grow at all and in the end the world never improved. 6/10

I have already started Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens but that won’t be finished until early 2021. So with that, this has been my year in books. Everyone have a great 2021!