Book Challenge

When 2020 rolled around, I started to think about a good challenge for myself. Notice that I’m not talking about new year resolutions. I think the fact that you call them that conditions your brain to believe that they are optional and you’ll fail. I even described it in my new year’s article called “Forget about new year resolutions. Form habits instead” and provided some strategies in a how-to for them. The first challenge for this year is a book challenge. I’ll try to read 30 books in 2020.

To keep me honest, I created a new section and add a new tag, where you can see the new habits that I’ll try to gain this year. I think that making things public keeps you honest, makes you accountable, and, above all, pushes you to keep your objectives.

With some discipline and enjoyable books, I think it’s entirely doable, but you’ll find the result and my progress on this page.

Finally, I’ll only publish books I finish. I start a lot of books, but if I’m not interested, I stop and start with the next one. There are so many good books out there that it doesn’t make sense to waste time in one I’m not enjoying, and there’s no place in my recommended books for the ones I don’t even finish.

I hope you find something you like, and please let me know on Twitter or comment with your thoughts.

Let’s start this incredible adventure together. Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash

The total number of books: 41 (of 30 for 2020) (of 50 for 2020)

Goal achieved on June 27th, 2020, and still half the year to go! Stretch goal to 50. 🎉🎉🎉🎉

Two-thirds achieved in April! 🎉

Halfway Point Passed in March! 💪

Last update: September 27th, 2020


Jump to the section:


September 2020

The Knight in Rusty Armor by Robert Fisher

The Knight in Rusty Armor

by Robert Fisher

It’s an allegory of our ordinary times. People have hard armors that they keep on to protect themselves from pain and suffering, but they forget that they need to take the armor out to feel something from those who love them. Also, people don’t need to prove that they are “the best knight” and take things a little bit slower. Putting everything on top of appearances makes you unhappy like the knight and even can let to complex paths like separation, heartbreaks, and difficult roads to get rid of your armor.

Booksellers

Fragmented (The Game is Life Book 8) by Terry Schott

Fragmented (The Game is Life Book 8)

by Terry Schott
If you reach this one and you’re not confused congratulations. I have to admit that I have to stop and consolidate these worlds in my mind continually, but it’s a pleasurable experience. The character development continues, and they are taken in unexpected directions, with twists and turns all the time. It’s a real joy to read to follow Brandon, Cooper, Carl (one of my favorites) in their interactions and world jumping. It doesn’t look like Terry Schott it’s going to stop, and we’re all happy for that.

Official Website

August 2020

Cyber (The Game is Life Book 7) by Terry Schott

Cyber (The Game is Life Book 7)

by Terry Schott
I have to stop writing this about the “Game is Life” saga, but this gets more complex as stories go. More doors open, but what keeps me engaged is that the characters evolve in some entirely unexpected twists and turns. Cyber is no different where we go through another VR world, this time more like a game than others. A family comes back from the dead, and society collapses and comes back under new rules. More doors open, not a lot close, but still a great adventure reading and following them.

Official Website

Vlad the Impaler: A Captivating Guide to How Vlad III Dracula Became One of the Most Crucial Rulers of Wallachia and His Impact on the History of Romania by Captivating History

Vlad the Impaler: A Captivating Guide to How Vlad III Dracula Became One of the Most Crucial Rulers of Wallachia and His Impact on the History of Romania

by Captivating History
My God, this guy is as scary as he is fascinating. Captivating history has an excellent way of approaching these figures. They take the known facts and present them to you and show them in the context of the time they lived. Then, they offer the lore, history, and legend around the person. I’m not a history buff at all, and I enjoyed this book, so give it a try.

Captivating History

Grigori Rasputin: A Life From Beginning to End by Hourly History

Grigori Rasputin: A Life From Beginning to End

by Hourly History
Rasputin was a well-known figure to me, but I was always curious about his life. He was called by many as the “mad monk,” and that’s telling something about him. I’m not one for historical books, but he is too entertaining to be boring. From being able to predict deaths to heal the most dreadful diseases, he made a name for himself as one to be loved and feared. It is a fantastic story of a peasant from a poor village in Siberia being on Russia’s tsar side at all times, influencing the way of some significant events in history.

Hourly History

Digital Evolution (The Game is Life Book 6) by Terry Schott

Digital Evolution (The Game is Life Book 6)

by Terry Schott
It seems that each time I write about a book of this series, I say something on the lines of “it answers some questions but opens a lot more doors to the world.” This book is not an exception. It’s a fantastic continuation of the saga where we continue to follow Brandon, Cooper, Thorn, and the old man (everyone’s favorite) all the other amazing characters that Terry has created. The evolution of each character continues, but try to keep up in all the twists and turns and worlds that he throws at us.

Shadows (The Game is Life Book 5) by Terry Schott

Shadows (The Game is Life Book 5)

by Terry Schott
Now that we know where Brandon comes from and the world is in chaos, it’s time to learn when Samson Thorn comes from. So if you thought you were going to read another book and know a little more, you’re correct. Still, you are also right in guessing that this will open more doors to the beautiful world that Terry Schott created in “The Game is Life.” As everyone, Samson, Sam in this book has a family and what a family that shows him that his childhood and upbringing were everything but conventional.

July 2020

Virtual Prophet (The Game is Life Book 4) by Terry Schott

Virtual Prophet (The Game is Life Book 4)

by Terry Schott
Right after the brilliant interlude where we learn about Brandon and where he comes from, we get immersed again in the multiple worlds and complex dynamics between them. Saving one world is not easy, but with the help of some well-placed people with the right skills, salvation is at hand. But will the Dreamers will be able to wake-up and start rebuilding the society that is in pieces — an extremely complex storyline to keep up due to all the different worlds and characters. But I assure you it’s a pure pleasure to read. It will be tricky to close the opening plot lines, but I’ll have a lot of fun figuring it out.

Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin

Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

by Seth Godin
I’ve written this somewhere, but Seth Godin has a unique way of telling stories. He’s amazingly knowledgable, and his books are a pleasure to read, but if you think that this is a “do this, and you’ll be successful” book, you’ll be mistaken. There’s no road to success; there’s work and lot more that he describes in the book. The whole point is for you to become something special—a Linchpin. Someone so good that becomes indispensable. A book that makes you think and challenges you to become someone better that people can’t ignore you, transforming what you do in something you love.

Interlude-Brandon (The Game is Life Book 3) by Terry Schott

Interlude-Brandon (The Game is Life Book 3)

by Terry Schott
I like this book because it answers a lot of questions. Where do some characters come from (actually a lot of characters) and their origin stories? But if you think it will make you understand everything that happened so far, you’re entirely mistaken. It does explain some things, but it opens a lot of new doors and plot points that it’s becoming harder and harder to keep pace. There’s a lot of twists and turns and multiple realities to keep track of, but that’s what makes it fun. A page-turner that will make you confused and entertained in equal amounts and well worth your time.

Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds by David Goggins

Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds

by David Goggins
Saying that David Goggins had a rough childhood is the understatement of the year. It’s not everyone that has that kind of abuse and grows up to be a fully functioning adult. He did much more than that. He became obsessed with being better and overcoming the biggest challenges that he could find. From ultra-marathons to beating the pull-up word record to complete elite training in the most challenging US military branches, he’s a source of inspiration in everything he does. He provides us with actionable exercises that we can do to overcome even the most challenging objectives.

June 2020

Digital Heretic by Terry Schott

Digital Heretic (The Game is Life Book 2)

by Terry Schott
If you read the first book of this series, you were probably expecting a more in-depth exploration of the world that Terry Schott developed and you got it in a big way. Digital Heretic opens more doors to this fantastic world, so be prepared to think and keep up because things go DEEP. In each chapter, he enriches the overall story arch of each of the characters and introduces new amazing ones that you will love and hate in equal parts. I guarantee that you won’t take long to read this book.

Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

Outliers: The Story of Success

by Malcolm Gladwell
“Outlier” is a scientific term to describe things or phenomena that lie outside a typical experience. Malcolm Gladwell takes us on a journey of exceptional outliers like Bill Gates and explains their success and how it’s not only from being really smart or hard workers but for something else entirely. It is a fantastic book that will make you think about how you approach things and better understand how some extraordinary people reached where they are today.

The Game (The Game is Life Book 1) by Terry Schott

The Game (The Game is Life Book 1)

by Terry Schott
If you subscribe to the current belief that we’re in a computer simulation, this book is for you. A company launched a computer simulation called “Earth” where they send kids to learn about life. It replaced everything as the schooling system, entertainment, professional games, and even social interactions. Everything runs around the “Game” how it’s called, and their players are superstars. A great saga that takes you to some amazing places and some surprises.

Towers: The Exigency Chronicles:Book 1 by Terry Schott

Towers (The Exigency Chronicles Book 1)

by Terry Schott
Terry Schott keeps on starting fantastic sagas, and this one is not the exception. A post-apocalyptic scenario where humanity survived (barely) and lives in small villages protected by towers that keep a protection border around the town. Its function is to keep everyone out and in since anyone who touches it is instantly vaporized. The first girl born in this town turns 16 with extraordinary power to “hear” the towers speaking.

Finish by Jon Acuff

Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done

by Jon Acuff
If you never read a book written by Jon Acuff, you have to read this one. He has a fantastic sense of humor applied to complex topics like finishing a goal or a project that we all struggle with. A must-read if you’re one of the 92% of people that quit your new-year goal objectives in January. It’s hard to believe, but it’s that many people. Motivate yourself to finish the project, gain a new habit, or kick a bad one. We all want to do more stuff, but only a few succeed. I hope you’re one of those who do.

May 2020

The Ghost of Orion by S. F. Lopez

The Ghost of Orion (The Orion Series)

by S.F. Lopez
A lot of time has passed since humanity destroyed parts of the world with nuclear blasts and other wars. One girl’s mission, after her father was murdered, is simple. Survive.

Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us by Seth Godin

Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us

by Seth Godin
Building a tribe is not easy, but it is essential if you want to go forward. Seth Godin explains to us the importance of a tribe, what is a tribe in the first place, and how we can build one.

The Magic of Thinking Big by Dr. David J. Schwartz

The Magic of Thinking

by Dr. David J. Schwartz
The Magic of Thinking Big is a self-help book where Dr. David J. Schwartz gives us strategies to be our better selves and success in the areas that we want to be the best you can be.

The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? by Seth Godin

The Icarus Deception

by Seth Godin
Seth Godin takes us on a journey based on the legend of Icarus that had wings made of wax. His father told him not to get too close to the sun; otherwise, the wings would melt.

April 2020

The Best Laid Plans of Mice by Scott Baron

The Best Laid Plans of Mice: An anthology of odd short stories

by Scott Baron
The Best Laid Plans of Mice is a beautiful set of small and quite odd stories that grab you until the end, some of them with quite some twists and turns.

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Foundation by Isaac Asimov

Foundation (Book 1)

by Isaac Asimov
For 12,000 years, the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Only Hari Sheldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future, to a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last 30,000 years.

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Power (The Girl in the Box Book 10) by Robert J. Crane

Power (The Girl in the Box Book 10)

by Robert J. Crane
The most extended character introduction that I’ve seen. Ten books to show who Sienna Nealon is. I won’t spoil anything, but I have to give it to Robert J. Crane for writing all of then in 2 years.

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Nightfall by Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg

Nightfall

by Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg
In another world, entirely a planet where there’s always light due to the six suns circling it. Until a day, all suns disappear, and people see the stars for the first time. How do you think the whole population would react?

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Destiny (The Girl in the Box Book 9) by Robert J. Crane

Destiny (The Girl in the Box Book 9)

by Robert J. Crane
With fewer and fewer allies, the fight and salvation of her race stand in the shoulders of Sienna Nealon. After meeting Sovereign and see what he’s capable of, can she fight Century with their 100 best of the best?

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

March 2020

Legacy (The Girl In The Box 8)

Legacy (The Girl in the Box Book 8)

by Robert J. Crane
With all organizations destroyed, Sienna, a 19-year-old, is forced to gather the team under the supervision of the FBI. She has to lead the few existing metas to fight against Century lead by Sovereign.

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

The Robots of Dawn (The Robot Series)

by Isaac Asimov
Detective Elijah Baley, now famous due to his work on Solaria, is called this time to Aurora, to investigate the robotocide of a humaniform robot similar to his friend R. Daneel Olivan while dealing with agoraphobia.

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

The Naked Sun (The Robot Series)

by Isaac Asimov
We continue following Detective Elijah Baley, and it’s partner R. Daneel Olivaw to solve a murder in the strange and peculiar world of Solaria while dealing with the unusual sensation of open-air for example.

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

23 Hours Short Story

by Kevin Riley
A Zombie’s short story. Although they are not called Zombies, it’s quite obvious that they are. Our hero tries to save a little boy and get him to the hospital before worse happens. Excellent quick read but nothing earth-shattering.

⭐️ ⭐️

Enemies (The Girl in the Box Book 7)

Enemies (The Girl in the Box Book 7)

by Robert J. Crane
Following our young, powerful meta going into a death spiral and taking a position of control. Other metas will follow her, but will she be able to tip the scales in the war that’s occurring between metas to dominate the world.

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

February 2020

The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov

The Caves of Steel (The Robot Series)

by Isaac Asimov
A detective story masterfully told by the master of science fiction. Suspense, twists and turns, Spacers, and robots. Proof that Asimov can make everything exciting and fun to read.

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Robot Visions by Isaac Asimov

Robot Visions Short Stories

by Isaac Asimov
Some essays show up in I, Robot, but there are some from Asimov himself talking about its sagas and speculating, with amazingly precise accuracy, about the future.

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Nemesis by Isaac Asimov

Nemesis
A Novel

by Isaac Asimov
The first book outside the Foundation world based on a planet called Rotor that escaped to an unknown red dwarf star, a girl with a fantastic brain, and a threat to the future of Earth.

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Broken (The Girl in the Box Book 6) by Robert J. Crane

Broken (The Girl in the Box Book 6)

by Robert J. Crane
The sixth book of the series, a fantastic set of events around a girl with special powers with some nice twists and turns. Start from the beginning and don’t be surprised if you can’t stop reading.

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Fantastic Voyage by Isaac Asimov

Fantastic Voyage A Novel

by Isaac Asimov
A submarine miniaturized to travel in the human body, trying to save someone from certain death. But there’s more. Conspiracy and a hint of what we experienced as the “Cold War.”

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Omega (The Girl in the Box Book 5) by Robert J. Crane

Omega (The Girl in the Box Book 5)

by Robert J. Crane
The fifth book of the series, a fantastic set of events around a girl with special powers with some nice twists and turns. Exploration of the strengths and where they may lead her.

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️


January 2020

The Positronic Man by Asimov and Silverberg

The Positronic Man A Novel

by Asimov and Silverberg
A masterpiece about a robot with unprecedented capabilities that wanted to become a real man.

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Azazel by Isaac Asimov

Azazel Short Stories

by Isaac Asimov
Isaac Asimov, as a fantasy writer, brings us a small demon that can be be invoked at will and grants wishes with mixed results.

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Robot Dreams by Isaac Asimov

Robot Dreams Short Stories

by Isaac Asimov
A set of amazing short stores. Each of them could result in a book by the master himself.

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Family (The Girl in the Box Book 4) by Robert J. Crane

Family (The Girl in the Box Book 4)

by Robert J. Crane
The fourth book of the series, a fantastic set of events around a girl with special powers.

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

I, Robot by Isaac Asimov

I, Robot The Robot Series

by Isaac Asimov
I, Robot is a fantastic set of short stories or essays based on the three laws of robotics.

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️