by | Jan 21, 2020 | 11 comments

As a child, one of my favorite things to do was build a “fort” of sheets in the corner of the living room between two couches, and hide away with as many  books as I could find and a bag of Chex Mix and glass of fruit punch (I know!  Look at me now!).  My favorite picture of me ever is me at three years old, sitting cross legged in a rocking chair reading a book out loud in Harbor Town on Hilton Head Island.  My most relaxed state is me, in Colorado or on a beach, reading quietly.  My favorite part of my morning routine is the 10 minutes of reading.  OK, I think you get the point!  I love reading!

If reading more is one of your 2020 goals, I’m here to help you out.  Asking me to choose my 20 favorite books would be inciting way more stress than it’s worth, so I’m not putting that pressure on myself!  Instead, these are 20 books that I think might help you in 2020.  I may have just read them last year, or they may have popped back into my mind recently.  Enjoy!

Health and Nutrition Books

  1. Food: What the Heck Should I Eat? If I could only recommend one nutrition book ever, it would probably be this one. Enough said! Mark Hyman is one of my all time favorite health experts.
  2. Genius Foods One of my favorite books of 2019.  Specifically targeted nutrition advice for clearing brain fog, improving memory, and  preventing chronic diseases like Alzheimer’s, but the advice applies to health in general as well.  Max Lugavere does a great job telling the story of his mother’s brain health decline, and has dedicated his life towards spreading the message of health so that others don’t have to go what she went through.
  3. Super Human If you’re looking for an easy read, stick with the above recommendations. If you want to get a little “nerdy” with the science, though, check out this book by Dave Asprey.  I got more ideas for my personal health from this book than any other!
  4. The Urban Monk This book is a few years old now, but I think Pedram Shojai’s ideas have the potential to make all of us healthier humans.
  5. Why We Get Fat I’m not a fan of the title, but this book is the best I’ve read at explaining why we have an obesity crisis on our hands.  Gary Taubes is a researcher, not a nutritionist, so he doesn’t have inherent bias but has uncovered the science that will help us all be healthier.

Personal Development Books

  1. The Universe Has Your Back Gabrielle Bernstein has a way with words that makes me feel reassured and at peace.  If you need a reminder that things will all work out, and that releasing your grip of (pseudo-) control is helpful, I recommend this one.
  2. Atomic Habits Small steps do add up to big results. It’s something I preach over and over to my clients, and this book makes the case for it strongly.
  3. The Confidence Code If you struggle with self-confidence, this book will open your eyes as to why, and  help you overcome it.
  4. Mindset One of the most classic and well-regarded self-help books for a reason, Carol Dweck does a great job at laying out how we often stand in our own way, and how we can fulfill our potential.
  5. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance One of my favorites that I’ve been recommending a lot lately, illustrating the power of determination and perseverance, even in the absence of incredible talent.
  6. You Are a Badass My most commonly gifted book. I believe most people need to hear this, and could use the push to stop getting out of their own way with self-doubt and negativity.  You’ll laugh and feel inspired (but, as the title would imply, there is some adult language)!

Business and Productivity Books

  1. The Passion Paradox If there was a book that laid out exactly what goes on in my head 90% of the time, this would be it! The authors discuss how passion is a double-edged sword … it makes work and life fulfilling, but can also drive you to destroy yourself in the process if you don’t take care of yourself.
  2. Girl Code For any female entrepreneur, this fun and easy read will inspire and motivate you, and help you realize that you’re not alone.
  3. The One Thing Basically putting this on the list because I need to re-read. This is not my strong suit, but I believe in the benefits.  Rather than frantically trying to do 89 things at one, we are far more productive when we delve into intense focus and productivity on one thing.
  4. The E-Myth Revisited If you’re starting a business in 2020, GO YOU! The E-Myth Revisited is a must-read for entrepreneurs.

Bonus: What I’m Reading Now and What’s Next on My List

  1. Currently reading: What it Takes by Steve Schwarzman. Great read if you’re interested in finance.
  2. Currently reading: Cutting for Stone. Although I didn’t recommend them above, I’m constantly reading novels at night before I fall asleep. I’m really enjoying this one!
  3. Next up: Brain Wash. I cannot wait for this pre-ordered book from Dr. David Perlmutter.
  4. Next up: Big Potential. I’ve had this forever, and I can’t believe I haven’t read it yet!  I love Shawn Achor’s work and  am excited for the book.
  5. Next up: The Infinite Game. I love all of Simon Sinek’s work, so I am looking forward to this one.

Now it’s your turn … Do you enjoy reading?  I’m going to read 30 books (or more!) in 2020 … have any recommendations for me?

11 Comments

  1. Debbie Milovic

    Thank you Megan.
    Will put a lot of those on my list this year!

    Reply
  2. Michael Anderson

    Cool recommendations – I am working towards a goal of 24+ books myself (finished 3, more than halfway through #4 & 5, so feeling pretty good!). Have wish-listed some items on your list.

    My recommendation is a bit silly but also gets you thinking in new ways, and is one I finished late last year: “How To …” by Randall Munroe, creator of the xkcd web comic. Here is part of the description:

    “For any task you might want to do, there’s a right way, a wrong way, and a way so monumentally complex, excessive, and inadvisable that no one would ever try it. How To is a guide to the third kind of approach. It’s full of highly impractical advice for everything from landing a plane to digging a hole.”

    It tends to lean a bit into the engineer/scientist mindset, so perhaps not for everyone.

    Reply
  3. Celia Hall

    A very interesting book about Texas history is on my “favorites” list: Love Is a Wild Assault by Elithe Hamilton Kirkland. Not what you would expect.

    Reply
  4. Denise Austin

    I loved Cutting for Stone. Just finished Of Beetles and Angels. It’s a quick read by a fellow Harvard graduate. Think you’d enjoy it. It’s a very uplifting true story.

    Reply
  5. Aleesha

    Where the crawdads sing! This is fiction and would fall into your for pleasure category! It’s one of the best books I have read in a long time. Maybe it’s already on your list for the year! Next on my list is Little Fires Everywhere. Reese witherspoons book club Instagram gives a lot of good pleasure ideas!

    Reply
  6. Maryanne Odom

    Thanks for these recommendations, Megan. I am currently reading David Brooks’ The Second Mountain-the quest for a moral life. It’s about the four commitments that define a life of meaning and purposes and focuses on people who live a life of joy. I have really enjoyed it as I am an empty nester and want to choose wisely how to spend my time and use my
    talents.
    I too love to read and listen to books. My goal this year is lofty at 50 books! Audible really makes such a goal achievable.

    Reply

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Megan Lyons Headshot

Hi! I'm Megan Lyons,

the voice behind The Lyons’ Share. I love all things health, wellness, and fitness-related, and I hope to share some of my passion with you. Thanks for stopping by!
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