• Marcus Kowal

Book recommendations from 2020



Every year when I goal set, I include a number of books to read. When I wrote a post on goal setting in 2020 and how it was even more important for 2021 (to read that article, click here). I mentioned that certain goals had changed for 2020 and instead of 12 books as had been the original goal, I read a total of 18 books. After posting, quite a few people asked me what books I had read and if I had any recommendations. One person asked if I would give my top three picks. However, I read some absolutely incredible books this year, so three were hard to pick out. Also, as the saying goes, “Horses for courses”, I figured I might as well give a full breakdown of the whole list, so here we go (stars out of 5):


  1. The Road Less Stupid - This book is definitely one of my top three books for the year and one of the best books I’ve ever read. It’s a business book and if you’re a business owner, this is a must-read. Five stars!

  2. Red Notice - This is also one of the best books I’ve ever read and what’s even crazier is that it’s true. Bill Browder’s story is absolutely insane and we were fortunate enough to have Bill on our podcast H.U.M.A.N. I have to be honest, I’ve never seen Shane so blown away ever. You can listen to the podcast here. - Five stars!

  3. The Effective Executive - I had heard so much about this book that perhaps I had unrealistic expectations. Definitely good for any business owner or senior manager but I give the book 3.5 stars!

  4. The Tipping Point - Malcolm Gladwell is one of my favourite authors and as always, Malcolm delivers a book that looks at yet another interesting phenomena of business and human behaviour. 4 stars!

  5. Start with Why - Another great book by another amazing author, Simon Sinek. This is a book for anyone trying to figure out their personal or their company’s purpose. Personally, it was a very good book for me when it comes to work with clients. 4.5 stars!

  6. Talking to strangers - Another great book by Malcolm Gladwell, where he discusses more peculiar human behaviours. Five stars!

  7. Good to great - Ironically, I had never read this bestselling giant that every business owner and entrepreneur has to read! I guess it was a bit of the Mandela effect because I was sure that I had read it already and when I picked it up and started looking through the book, I realised I hadn’t actually read it! Another book for every entrepreneur and business owner out there. Five stars!

  8. I will teach you to be rich - A great book on finances. This book was recommended by a friend and even when you have a decent idea how finances work, it has some good diamonds in there. A great book to learn how to start planning financially and the impact consistent financial strategies have. Five stars!

  9. Mindset - the name says it all. Read it and apply the lessons! Five stars!

  10. School of Greatness - Lewis House has done a good job taking lessons and rules from some of the greats to help people improve their habits. School of Greatness is to habit changes what “I will teach you to be rich” is to finances. 4 stars!

  11. Great by choice - Jim Collins and Morten T. Hansen who wrote “Good to Great” wrote this book as well and just as the first one, this has the same mindblowing extensive research and examples. This book might have been even better in certain aspects for entrepreneurs. Five stars!

  12. Atomic Habits - Atomic habits is yet another amazing book and a must read for anyone who truly wants to start making changes in their lives. It explains how tiny changes are what is going to be sustainable yet yield the long term results you seek. Five stars!

  13. New Sales. Simplified - This book definitely had some great nuggets of information but I was unfortunately fairly disappointed. Maybe it was because I had such high expectations for it, because I had been so strongly recommended to me. Three and a half stars!

  14. High Output Management - One of the best ways to being a credible source is to “walk the talk”. Few did it better than Andrew Grove, the CEO and Chairman of Intel. Grove explains his meticulous and disciplined management style. A must-read for any senior manager or entrepreneur. Five stars!

  15. The Champion’s Mind - This was another book that came highly recommended and perhaps that made it hard to live up to my expectations but this book had a few great suggestions and recommendations. Three and a half stars!

  16. Mind Gym - Similar to the Champion’s mind, it didn’t really live up to the expectations but any and all books focusing on how to strengthen the mind will always have some great advice. Three and a half stars!

  17. The Rhythm of Life - This wasn’t really my type of book but it’s still not a bad read. A great read for anyone looking to start understanding one’s journey towards a more mindful life. Three stars!


I hope you enjoy the list and can find some books that you enjoy. Would love to hear your feedback on any of the books you read or already have read! Also, I love receiving book recommendations myself!


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