The Jack of all Hacks

Simple solutions to life's
most inefficient problems

What were some of our favorite books to read in 2020?

One of the few good things about 2020 was how many books I was finally able to read. If you’re looking for some ideas to add to your Kindle for your next vacation, you’ve come to the right place.


Introducing the JOAT’s first annual favorite book list:


Business Books:


“No Filter – The Inside Story of Instagram” by Sarah Frier

One of the books of the year. Amazing detailed account of how Kevin Systrom built the app that has now consumed (ruined?) all of our lives.


“The Ride of A Lifetime” – Bob Iger

This came out in 2019 and might be the first book I’ve read which fired me up about the corporate world. Bob is a remarkable guy with a remarkable life story from humble beginnings to brokering deals with Steve Jobs and leading Disney into the 21st century.



Shoe Dog

“Shoe Dog” – Phil Knight

While “Ride of a Lifetime” might be the best book I’ve read about leadership and navigating the corporate world, “Shoe Dog” is the best book I have read about being an entrepreneur and the difficulties of turning a dream into a business. If you run your own business, thinking about starting your own business or simply have ever worn a pair of Nikes, you’ll love this firsthand account of what Phil Knight went through to grow what was Blue Ribbon Sports into the ~$200 billion company Nike is today.


“Never Split the Difference” – Chris Voss

Hands down the best negotiation book I have read. It’s almost more of a psychology/emotional intelligence tutorial.


Personal Books


“Can’t Hurt Me” – David Goggins

I try to read this book every 6 months or so just to fire me up. You’ll want to run through a brick wall after reading it. David has one of the most inspiring stories you will ever read coming from a broken household and being overweight/depressed to becoming a decorated military veteran who runs extreme marathons. While I wouldn’t recommend following his approach to conquering physical feats, the mental tools he has developed to overcoming fear/anxiety in any scenario can be so useful to all of us.


“The Fifth Vital” – Mike Majlak

I started following Mike a few years ago when he launched his first channel The Night Shift and he’s become one of my favorite Youtubers. He had a fairly normal childhood in Connecticut before getting entangled in the drug scene and quickly becoming another victim of the opioid epidemic. For all intents and purposes, he probably should have died or been sentenced to life in prison but instead he recovered, moved to LA and has become one of the more popular influencers/vloggers in the game. Great read for anyone who is dealing or has dealt with addiction.


“How to Break Up With Your Phone” – Catherine Price

The title explains it all. Every single one of us needs to read this book and take it seriously. Yes it’s become cliché to say that phones and social media are really affecting our collective mental health. But the way Catherine breaks it down is illuminating and encourages a lot of self reflection. Moreover, she offers many practical suggestions to help develop a healthier relationship with your phone/social media. The pandemic has caused all of us to turn to our phones even more often. If you’ve been feeling unexplained anxiety this year beyond that of which you’d expect to feel from professional/health related stress, it’s worth looking inward (or in this case down) and reexamining your relationship with your phone.


Don’t like reading physical books and tired of using the Kindle app on your phone? Check out our pick for best e-reader.