10 books you’ll want to read to get ahead in 2020

With the holiday season here and much-needed relaxation on the horizon, there’s a way to spend your down time aside form binge-watching TV. Get ahead of 2020 and read one of these books which can be consumed for both business or pleasure.

No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions at Work by Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy (Amazon)

Navigating through the modern workplace isn’t a walk in the park by any stretch, but Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy’s new book, No Hard Feelings might be the closest guide to helping leaders and employees hurdle past today’s obstacles. From finding the right work-life balance on vacation to managing new hires trying to follow you on social media, No Hard Feelings aims to teach readers how to handle emotions in the workplace by harnessing the ones that matter and understanding which are worth letting go in order to bring your best self into the office every day.

That Will Never Work: The Birth of Netflix and the Amazing Life of an Idea by Marc Randolph (Amazon)

Long before the days of mobile streaming, former Netflix CEO and co-founder Marc Randolph was calling the shots at the entertainment giant. In That Will Never Work, Randolph gets to tell his side in a memorable memoir that dives in the story of Netflix and how the company found its footing before the digital wars. It’s a unique look at how a company starts from the ground up and a worthy lesson for all leaders in similar positions today.

The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks to You by Julie Zhuo by Julie Zhuo (Amazon)

Whether you’re a soon-to-be manager or a seasoned veteran, every manager has a “what to do” moment at some point. No manager is an expert by any stretch and it’s important to acknowledge that. The Making of a Manager is a helpful guide created by Facebook’s VP of Design Julie Zhuo, who draws upon her own managerial experience to offer tips and pointers for trust-building, interviewing, and just about every other question managers have. Check out Zhuo’s blog for a teaser into some of her advice.

The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company by Robert Iger (Amazon)

Robert Iger, the CEO of Disney, lets readers get a rare glimpse at the lessons he’s learned while running Disney. When Iger took over The Walt Disney Company in 2005, he had a tough task at revitalizing perhaps America’s most iconic entertainment brand and did just that. With Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and 21st Century Fox now under Disney’s umbrella, Iger’s The Ride of a Lifetime shares some of the lessons he’s learned at the helm of Disney including four key principles he thinks are necessary for any leader: optimism, courage, decisiveness, and fairness.

Persuasion: Convincing Others When Facts Don’t Seem to Matter by Lee Hartley Carter (Amazon)

Persuasion is a powerful tool in the workplace. It can be used to your advantage to help drive points across and can even lead to a pay raise, but it needs to be done carefully. Communication expert Lee Hartley Carter tells her secrets at the art of persuasion on how to change someone’s mind. It’s a useful read into learning how to hone your strengths and get the answers you want.

Make, Think, Imagine: Engineering the Future of Civilization by John Browne (Amazon)

There’s always going to be an argument for why technology is bad for people. Some say social media robs us of our privacy. The rise in artificial intelligence already has taken jobs away from people and it’s even being used as a training mechanism to help deal with interpersonal conflict. But does that mean we have to stop advancing in technology? Former BP CEO John Browne argues society should march forward with technology and embrace it as it could be the key to innovation and a better future.

The Black Cathedral by Marcial Gala (Amazon)

Award-winning Cuban author Marcial Gala makes his debut in English with a dark, comic novel spoken through a cast of narrators as a religious family, the Stuarts, move into a small community where Arturo believes God has told him to build a temple to make Cienfuegos the new Jerusalem. But as Arturo’s dream grows, so does passion and grit as The Black Cathedral explores a dream deferred in modern Cuba.

I Used to Be Charming: The Rest of Eve Babitz by Eve Babitz (Amazon)

I Used to Be Charming explores nearly 50 nonfiction pieces of Eve Babitz’s journalism career that spans across two decades including her deep dive into Italian fashion icon “Fiorucci” to chumming with celebrities around Hollywood. It’s a dense time machine that collects the thrills of Los Angeles’ celebrity life from being on the set of “The Godfather II” to the happenings at West Hollywood’s iconic Troubadour.

Drive-Thru Dreams: A Journey Through the Heart of America’s Fast-Food Kingdom by Adam Chandler (Amazon)

As much as Americans hate to admit it, there’s always a soft spot for fast-food. While its image has changed over the course of time, fast food is an ever-present cog of Americana. Author Adam Chandler explores the complicated relationship between the industry that brought us the Big Mac in a super-sized book that’ll leave readers salivating for their next quick bite.

The Dolphin Letters, 1970-1979: Elizabeth Hardwick, Robert Lowell, and Their Circle (Amazon)

The correspondence between one of literature’s power couples, The Dolphin Letters is a heartbreaking collection of letters between Elizabeth Hardwick and Robert Lowell which reads like a novel at times as it moves from the couple’s breakup of their marriage to their eventual reconciliation. If you’ve ever been interested how the war between art and personal life, The Dolphin Letters is the closest glimpse at that internal struggle