Byron's Babbles

Top 10 Books Of 2020

2020 was an incredible year of reading. I finished reading 119 books this year. I was an extremely tough chore to pick my top 10 and then put them in order. I love books because for a brief moment in time, books release us from the constraints of our own reality. They take us beyond our own small place in the world and into another person’s real or imaginary one. Each of us has a unique and valuable role in life. When experiencing life through the eyes of another, we encounter diverse angles on life’s most common situations. I have read such great books this year by very talented writers. Finally, I am a better person and understand many more diverse perspectives from reading 119 books this year.

Here are the posts that give the posts influenced by books I read in 2020 by each quarter:

The First Quarter Of An Incredible Year Of Reading

Second Quarter 2020 Book Inspired Posts

2020 Third Quarter Book Inspired Posts

The Books That Opened My Eyes In The Fourth Quarter Of 2020

Here is my video revealing my Top 10 Books Of 2020:

The Books That Opened My Eyes In The Fourth Quarter of 2020

Well here they are; the collection of blog posts inspired by great authors and great books in the last quarter of 2020. There has been so much great learning from books this year. So many times it might be just a sentence or paragraph that makes me pause and reflect, make me want to study something a little (or a lot deeper), or make me want to read another book. That’s why I always seem to have three to four books started at the same time. I know, that would drive many of you crazy, but it is how my mind works. Everything we read fills our mind with new information. We never know when those new bits of information might come in handy. The more knowledge we have, the better-equipped we are to tackle challenge we may face. You might want to consider allowing yourself some time to read each day. Because of all the distractions available to us now we don’t spend much time on any one thing. When you read a book, if you’re like me, all of your attention is focused on the story, I get lost in the content and the rest of the world just falls away, and you can immerse yourself in every fine detail you’re absorbing.

I’m sure I am going to need to update this post as it is just the 28th and I know of two or three posts I am formulated that are inspired by great books I am reading right now, but I wanted to go ahead and get this out there and will update before the end of the year. I’ve already posted about the posts inspired by books from the first three quarters of the year in these three posts:

The First Quarter Of An Incredible Year Of Reading

Second Quarter 2020 Book Inspired Posts

2020 Third Quarter Book Inspired Posts

Here are the posts inspired by great books for the fourth quarter of 2020:

October, 2020

Do Not Look Outside Yourself

Shine Brighter

Take Off The Mask & Cut Out Those Frustrations

Safety Nets Instead of Safety Barriers

Approaching The World With A Sense Of Childlike Wonder

November, 2020

Becoming The First Me

Getting Wound Around The Axle

What Are Your Filters

Catch Me And Prop Me Up!

Leading With Artisanship

Building A Community

Beyond COVID-19

The Education Catapult

Do Ideas Cause Change Or Does Change Cause Ideas?

Spreading The Wealth

December, 2020

Do You Feel Like I Do On Christmas 2020?

Building The Cocoon

The Language To Open Our World

Adding Fiction To The Reading Diet

Going Platinum

If Only We Would Just Ask

A Great Unknown

A Penguin Inspired Quest


Adding Fiction To The Reading Diet

Posted in Bad Blood, Bibliophile, Educational Leadership, Global Education, Global Leadership, Leadership, The Warehouse by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on December 19, 2020

I love to read and I am a bibliophile. It is very typical for me to read between 115-130 books a year. My preferred genre tends to be historical/biographical books. Additionally, I read a great number of leadership books. I love it when someone gives me a personal recommendation of a book that they believe will help me grow. For example when traveling (I know it’s hard to remember what that is) back in January I had some new made friends highly suggest reading Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou.

First of all the book was great, but I also learned so much and even found many parallels to other interactions I was having with others in my professional life. That book made me more aware of things going on around me and a better leader. In fact, that book inspired two of my blog posts: Passion At Ambition’s Command and When Purpose & Passion Turn Into Ambition.

Another recommendation that I finally heeded from someone who I consider a mentor was to read more fiction. So, ok, I only read one fiction novel last year, but that was one more than the year before. Don’t judge! I’m making progress. I do have one picked to start in 2021, too. The one I picked this year was awesome; The Warehouse by Rob Hart. It was an incredible book and I believe I grew professionally and personally as a result of reading it. Here are the resulting blog posts:

Why read fiction? Because novelists develop and fully describe the inner life of the characters as imagined. Think about it; take any real person and we cannot know everything. But, a made up character, we can. It’s like a made up case study. That’s what made The Warehouse so thought provoking for me; the competing values, competing obligations, and competing responsibilities.

Some reviews of The Warehouse say it is a peek into the future. Actually, I would argue some of it is already here. More importantly, however, the book gives us a chance to wrestle with ethical complexities. As President Truman so aptly pointed out: leadership is nuanced. With non-fiction it is hard to get the nuances. Sometimes when reading non-fiction I say, “Has the person writing this ever really been in this situation?” Usually, the answer is no. With fiction, the nuances are created and revealed. The reader has to work the complexities and competing pieces out for themselves.

I’ve also read that reading fiction brings about increased social acuity and a sharper ability to comprehend other people’s motivations. Both important traits for a leader to be honing. So, as I consider my “to read” library for next year I will be considering more fiction. How about you?

PS: some of you might be wondering what fiction book I’ve already picked to start in 2021. It is The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. This book was named the winner of the fiction genre of the Goodreads Choice Awards 2020.

A Clouded Social Critique

Posted in Compassion, Freedom, Global Leadership, Honor, Leadership, Storytelling, The Warehouse by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on January 25, 2020

The WarehouseThe Warehouse by Rob Hart

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is an absolute genius work of art. The story is told from the three main characters points of view. I believe the most innovative part of Hart’s writing in this novel is that one cannot distinguish between who is protagonist or antagonist. And, I was left still pondering this after I had read the last words. Additionally, all characters have internal and external conflicts. Two of the main characters, Paxton and Zinnia, are dynamic in their character development and again we are left wondering where this development will leave them. Gibson is the only, round, or fully developed main character. One finds him in the book for what he is, a person who talks great core values, but is caught up in ambition over purpose. I blogged about this in “It has been an Honor To Live This Life”: https://byronernest.blog/2020/01/23/i… The book gives us different versions of the same truth. This really reads as a social critique on America. The business, Cloud, that the novel is written around really almost becomes a character in and of itself. This book treads the blurred line very closely to what is real, not so far off in the future real, and still out there a ways – or at least so I hope. There are parts of this book that seem so real that they should worry us. I blogged about this in “Remember, Freedom Is Yours Until You Give It Up”: https://byronernest.blog/2020/01/25/r… This is a must read book because of the great literary art that it is, but also because of its thought provoking nature.

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