My Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2020

Aman Manazir

For me, the best thing about 2020 is that I started to read books again. Here’s a list of my top 10 non-fiction books of this year, in no particular order.

The 4-Hour Workweek

By Tim Ferriss

This book is the foundation of most of the “tech bro” mindset. It covers passive income, efficiency, outsourcing, and the nomadic lifestyle. While a lot of its wisdom is commonplace now, it was nice to go to the source.

I’d recommend it to anyone who is questioning the classic 9-5 life script.

The Magic of Thinking Big

David J. Schwartz

This book showed me that I wasn’t crazy for having big dreams. It centers around the idea that thinking big is necessary for success.

While some people say it didn’t really affect them, it was important that I read it right as I started putting myself out there.

Why We Sleep

Matthew Walker

This book is the one that most changed my life. Before reading this, sleep was never priority. It was something I had heard about, but never really examined.

Now, everything in my life revolves around my set sleep schedule.

Atomic Habits

James Clear

Almost all of our daily actions are habitual. We just don’t realize it.

This book taught me how to harness the power of habits, and use them to create effective lifestyle systems.

The Art of Learning

Josh Waitzkin

Learning how to learn is the ultimate meta-skill.

This book teaches you the core principles of learning any art while taking you through the life of a Chess, Tai-Chi,  and Jiu-Jitsu master.

The Elephant in the Brain

Kevin Simler and Robin Hanson

While trying to deceive others, we end up deceiving ourselves. This book covers the evolutionary basis for the hidden motivations that permeate our everyday life.

Understanding our true motivations is the first step to truly understanding ourselves.

How To Take Smart Notes

Sönke Ahrens

My entire system for taking notes on books, articles, and podcasts in Roam Research is based off of this book. (The Zettlekasten Method)

If you do a lot of thinking/writing, you should read this book.


Nassim Taleb

This book is pretty difficult to parse, but it’s extremely dense with useful insights. It covers antifragility, and the ability to thrive in chaos.

The strongest systems are those that improve with each failure.

Waking Up

Sam Harris

I’ve heard about meditation/mindfulness for years, but I never really understood the philosophical basis for it.

This book teaches you how to live a scientific yet spiritual life.

The Third Door

Alex Banayan

This book is very relatable. It’s about a 19 year old kid who realized he had a dream, and through sheer willpower and tenacity, he achieved it.

Banayan interviews people like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Lady Gaga to find out how they became successful. He catalogues his journey in this book.

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