I read a lot of great books in 2020, and excited to share the list here!
I typically read a mix of non-fiction and personal development books and that was the case this year.
My recent goal for reading has been to learn about topics such as ethics, economics, and politics — humanities areas I’ve skipped over while being so focused on art, science, and tech my entire life. I’ve also wanted to get more specific about my political beliefs and informed for the election this year. I started pursuing this process of filling in the gaps toward the end of 2019, and really proud of how better balanced I’ve become. I am better equipped to have (and stay engaged in) conversations about topics I was clueless about even a couple years ago. This is a path I want to continue going down.
Another aspect of developing my understanding on these topics is that by gaining more knowledge, I become less neutral, and that is meaningful as a means for making sure I am as considerate and impactful as I can be in my career in tech.
I categorized the books into the following groups: Environment, Ethics/Social Justice, Politics/Economics, Personal Development, and Art/Design. However, I imagine there would be other ways to group them, so please take the categories with a grain of salt.
A specific topic addressed by multiple titles here is systemic racism in technology. I was asked to research this topic for projects at work, so that specific topic is represented pretty prominently this year (alongside titles about racism more generally, which I had set out learn more about for the Democratic Primary debates early this year as well as during the social justice discussions this summer).
Thanks to everyone who has recommended these books to me! I gain a lot from others’ suggestions so I find joy in keeping the good karma flowing 🙂
Without further ado, here’s my 2020 reading list!
Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code by Ruha Benjamin
Design Justice: Community-Led Practices to Build the Worlds We Need by Sasha Constanza-Chock
Moneyland: The Inside Story of the Crooks and Kleptocrats Who Rule the World by Oliver Bullough
What You Should Know About Politics But Don’t by Jessamyn Conrad
The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein
You Are Enough: How To Elevate Your Thoughts, Align Your Energy And Get Out of the Comparison Trap by Cassie Mendoza-Jones*
No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering by Thich Nhat Hahn*
The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman
Game Programming for Artists by Jarryd Huntley and Hanna Brady