Original: March 7, 2020; Updated: July 3, 2020; Updated: December 17, 2020
Here’s a rundown of the page-turners that have captured our attention in 2020. It’s only March (update: the year’s about over now), so we have a lot of reading yet to come this year, so we’ll continue to keep this list up to date so you can always find a good book to read for personal or professional development or just for fun.
Many of these books line the shelves at Haven, and if you’re in person, take a peek and feel free to borrow them. We encourage you to borrow books from us anytime; leave a note or your business card when you return it so the next person who reads it will know who they can reach out to for a good conversation on the topic.
Personal Development Reads
The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery by Ian Morgan Cron
If you’ve been hearing your friends talk about their Enneagram number or have seen memes about it all over your Instagram, this book is for you. Learn the background of the Enneagram as well as uncover your number and everything it helps you discover about your motivations and behavior.
Own Your Everyday: Overcome the Pressure to Prove and Show Up for What You Were Made to Do by Jordan Lee Dooley
Jordan shares very personal stories about her journey to stop trying to prove herself and start leading a purposeful life. Many of her stories are relatable and you’ll get a lot of tips along the way that feels doable.
Untamed by Glennon Doyle
Although this memoir by Glennon is her third, and it’s not truly a how-to or self-help book, there is a lot here to enjoy and learn from. This book is a reminder and wake-up call about striving for more in life. It also encourages us to see the beauty that is a part of the struggle and not simply at the end of our perceived journeys.
The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women by Naomi Wolf
Thirty years have passed since Naomi Wolf first published this book, but it’s still relevant today. If you’ve wasted one minute today worried about how your hair looks, whether your thighs look ok in your new shorts, or if your camera angle works for you during your Zoom call, then this book is for you. While the book sometimes winds or drones for too long on a given topic, it is essential reading because it’s things like the beauty and diet industries that play crucial parts in the way we view one another in society and keep women distracted while men continue to enjoy dominant roles.
How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
This book by Ibram X. Kendi shares the differences between racism and antiracism through storytelling. Instead of these stories being about our racist ideas, he focuses on how his own have changed over time. It’s illuminating and thought-provoking at a time when we need more of both.
High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard
Maybe there’s a bit too many sales pitches in here and maybe it’s a bit repetitive, BUT, everything Brendon talks about in this book for how extraordinary people become that way is impossible for you to replicate. Try his suggestions for improving the habits that matter and you’ll feel the difference in your life and in your relationships. Trust us.
Professional Development Reads
Everything Is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo
So, this is one we’re gonna recommend you listen to, if possible because Marie reads her own book and you’ll get a kick out of hearing her voice as she shares personal stories. We laughed at times, but we mostly walked away with a newfound belief in ourselves.
The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael Gerber
This book may be an oldie, but it’s still a goodie and if you’re thinking of starting your own business or you have one that is struggling, read this book. Gerber walks you through the three steps in the life of a startup and gives lessons on how small businesses can learn from franchises how to create systems that
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries
As a lover of the lean process, this book did a great job of breaking it down in a new and digestible way. It reintroduced the idea that perfection is overrated and what really matters is listening to customer feedback. Especially in this season of innovation that we’ve all been experiencing, this book can help you understand how to think like a developer and use basic software design and iteration principals in your own business processes.
The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy by Jon Gordon
If you’re looking for a simple read that gets your mind right, this is a great place to start. Fueled with practical ideas for mindset change, it can snap you right out of the funk you may be feeling right now (and who could blame you?). We love (re)reading this book because it provides an accessible way to think about a positive mindset and has even helped us have productive conversations around feelings.
Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett
Another timely read. Using design thinking, this book shows how you can actually craft a joyful life. It asks you to work through the areas of your life that actually make life more joy-filled and provides a simple framework for improving what is not serving you in a practical way.
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
The creatives in the room should pick up this book NOW. Elizabeth Gilbert shares the inner workings and beliefs around creativity throughout this book in ways that are enlightening and magical. If you have the openness to believe in magic, don’t pass up this book.
Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
What a page-turner! This big-hearted story is about race and privilege as seen through the eyes of a babysitter and her employer.
The Fever: A Novel by Megan Abbott
Teenagers will be the undoing of this small town as they fear a mysterious illness that’s tearing apart relationships. Guilt … lies … desire. Need we say more?
The Testaments: The Sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood can spin a tale. This is a fabulous follow up to The Handmaid’s Tale. She goes into detail on the inner workings of Gilead and continues to weave in our current political climate in a way that allows us to connect with the characters. Couldn’t put this one down!
Wilmington’s Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy by David Zucchino
In 1898, David Zucchino writes, the North Carolina port city was thriving. Then, by train and streetcar, a lynch mob arrived. This historical event wasn’t one we ever learned about in school but should be so it is never forgotten. In telling us about the story of this horrific tragedy, Zucchino also opens our eyes to our current circumstances.
Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory
A beautiful couple, falling in love, getting to know one another at the deepest level. At the heart of this romance are the different races and backgrounds of the two people falling in love. Enjoy the beauty of deep conversations and new perspectives in this fun summer read.
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
A page-turner, and a half! The stories of these family members overlap and connect in trying and beautiful ways. Learn something new along the journey these twins take in their lives and gnaw on it for a while. You might not agree with the decisions they make, but you’ll certainly feel the emotional aftermath vividly.
We highly encourage you to support our local bookstores, so if you prefer to, make a note of some good reads then venture out for a true IRL book shopping experience. In Columbus, we love The Book Loft, Prologue Bookshop, and Two Dollar Radio.