It’s been a little bit since I’ve written one of my fan-favorite book recaps. I lost some fevor for writing them when I realized that I have no critical eye whatsoever (more on this later) and therefore had no place truly reviewing books. But what I can do with a greater sense of comfort is list every book I read in 2020. I’ll also, for the sake of this post not being literally a bullet pointed list of 22 abridged book titles, give you the quick-hit “top 1” book in a number of categories.

The List

  1. Celestial Bodies
  2. Trust Exercise
  3. Handmaids Tale
  4. The MVP Machine
  5. Klosterman’s IV
  6. Bad Blood
  7. Coyote Blue
  8. The Testaments
  9. Klosterman’s X
  10. A Game of Thrones
  11. A Clash of Kings
  12. God Bless You Mr Rosewater
  13. How To Change Your Mind
  14. So You Want to Talk About Race
  15. I Wear the Black Hat
  16. A Storm of Swords
  17. Naked Statistics
  18. A Feast for Crows
  19. Player Piano
  20. But What if We’re Wrong
  21. The Stupidest Angel
  22. The Trial


Fiction Favorite – Trust Exercise

This category was a pretty close call, even looking back with over a year to digest. Reading four GoT books should have given ol’ Georgie Five-Books a fighting chance at taking home this coveted award, but Susan Choi’s Trust Exercise blew away the competition. A nice little mid-book twist had me recommending this book to many others after I received it as a gift at a 2019 end of year raffle at work.

Non-Fiction Favorite – Bad Blood

The trial for Elizabeth Holmes (and Sunny Balwani, but that’s a separate trial) has been dominating the news cycle for a bit now (as of this writing). If you haven’t heard the story, don’t spoil it by reading some shitty recap from Business Insider; instead pick up Bad Blood, a deep dive into Theranos, Holmes, and the downfall of it all.

Essay Favorite – Klosterman’s IV

“But Ryan,” you say “essays are non-fiction.” And you’re right. But I don’t care, and this is my website. Chuck Klosterman, the author of many of my favorite books, deserves his own category. This one was better than I Wear the Black Hat and But What If We’re Wrong, both of which I had very high hopes for but failed to live up to IV.

Least Favorite – The Trial

I bought both The Trial and a large anthology of works by Franz Kakfa on the same day in 2020, determined to crack open a book by the guy who wrote that story you read in high school where the guy turns into a beetle. Turns out, I don’t really like Franz Kafka like, at all. More works about guys turning into beetles please, Franz.