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2020 Goal: Reflection

Time to reflect on my goal from last year and think about upcoming goals for 2021. I’m excited that I was able to meet my objective this year! I think that it was an invaluable experience. Although it was incredibly valuable, I do not think that setting the same goal for 2021 is my best option. I would love to read and reflect on 52+ books again this year, however, I think that other goals will need to receive priority. But I anticipate that I will continue to read and post, just not as frequently.

A few of the general themes from 2020 include Merlin and King Arthur, business, Buddhism, Christianity, C. S. Lewis, psychology, and poetry. My favorite book from this year was “Till We Have Faces,” and my least favorite was “What’s the Future and Why It’s Up to Us.” I think that “Till We Have Faces” was my favorite because it was totally engaging and provoked a strong emotional response from me. Close seconds for my favorite books were “CODE” because of how much I learned about computers and circuits, and “Garden City” because of the connection that it created between religion and work for me. On the other hand, I disliked “What’s the Future and Why It’s Up to Us” because I felt like most of the content was simply the author bragging about his accomplishments. I also disliked “Don Quixote” which kind of surprised me. “Don Quixote” is considered a classic, so I thought that I would enjoy it; obviously, I missed most of the humor that is supposed to make it entertaining. I think it’s noteworthy to mention that I felt a strong emotional connection with the main character of my favorite book, whereas I was strongly appalled by the pride exuding from the pages of my least favorite book.

Summary of book posts from 2020

  1. “The Crystal Cave” ~ Mary Stewart

  2. “The Last Enchantment” ~ Mary Stewart

  3. “The Hollow Hills” ~ Mary Stewart

  4. “The Four Loves” ~ C. S. Lewis

  5. “The Once and Future King” ~ T. H. White

  6. “The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York” ~ Robert Caro

  7. “All the President’s Men” ~ Bernstein and Woodward

  8. “Till We Have Faces” ~ C. S. Lewis

  9. “Jungle of Stone” ~ William Carlsen

  10. “The Mythical Man-Month” ~ Frederick Brooks

  11. “The Abolition of Man” ~ C. S. Lewis

  12. “CODE” ~ Charles Petzold

  13. “What’s the Future and Why It’s Up to Us” ~ Tim O’Reilly

  14. “Siddhartha” ~ Hermann Hesse

  15. “Before Amen” ~ Max Lucado

  16. “The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

  17. “Surprised by Joy” ~ C. S. Lewis

  18. “The Miracle of Mindfulness” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

  19. “Anxious for Nothing” ~ Max Lucado

  20. “You and Me Forever” ~ Francis Chan & Lisa Chan

  21. “Steppenwolf” ~ Hermann Hesse

  22. “Notes from Underground” ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky

  23. “Everybody Always” ~ Bob Goff

  24. “The Double” ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky

  25. “White Nights” ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky

  26. “The Magician’s Nephew” ~ C. S. Lewis

  27. “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” ~ C. S. Lewis

  28. “The Horse and His Boy” ~ C. S. Lewis

  29. “Prince Caspian” ~ C. S. Lewis

  30. “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” ~ C. S. Lewis

  31. “The Silver Chair” ~ C. S. Lewis

  32. “The Last Battle” ~ C. S. Lewis

  33. “Never Split the Difference” ~ Chris Voss

  34. “Wild at Heart” ~ John Eldredge

  35. “Don Quixote: Part I” ~ Miguel de Cervantes

  36. “Don Quixote: Part II” ~ Miguel de Cervantes

  37. The Book of Daniel: Study by Beth Moore

  38. “Amazing Grace in the Life of William Wilberforce” ~ John Piper

  39. “Thinking in Bets” ~ Annie Duke

  40. “The Hiding Place” ~ Corrie Ten Boom

  41. “Synchronicity” ~ Carl Jung

  42. “The Way of a Pilgrim” ~ unknown

  43. “The Pilgrim Continues His Way” ~ unknown

  44. “The Divine Comedy: Inferno” ~ Dante Alighieri

  45. “No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention” ~ Reed Hastings & Erin Meyer

  46. “Parents Who Lead” ~ Stewart Friedman & Alyssa Westring

  47. “Garden City” ~ Mark Comer

  48. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” ~ William Shakespeare

  49. The Book of Job: Study by J. I. Packer

  50. “The Meaning of Marriage” ~ Timothy Keller

  51. “Hamlet” ~ William Shakespeare

  52. “Macbeth” ~ William Shakespeare

  53. “Julius Caesar” ~ William Shakespeare

  54. “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” ~ Donald Miller

  55. “Answer to Job” ~ Carl Jung

Other posts from 2020

  1. 2020 Goal: To Read One Book & To Write One Reflection Per Week

  2. “The Chronicles of Narnia” Books 1-7 Summary

  3. 2020 Goal: Midpoint Evaluation

  4. The Book of Daniel Summary

  5. “Will You Marry Me” ~ Charles Krouse

Most notably, I am getting married in 2021, which will produce a significant life change. I’m not sure what to expect in terms of balancing marriage with career, exercise, personal goals, and other relationships, but I think that because of this new stage of life I will need to be flexible with some of my personal goals.

Possible goals for 2021

  1. Specific career goals and aspirations

  2. Read through the entire Bible and write a blog post to summarize each Book of the Bible

  3. Improve my marathon time to Boston qualifying time (under 3 hours)

  4. Repeat the 2020 goal of reading one book per week and writing a reflection on that book

  5. Learn to speak Mandarin Chinese

  6. Dissect existing programs to learn more about programming and software development

Books that I want to read in 2021

  1. “Enuma Elish”

  2. “Jerusalem: The Biography” ~ Simon Sebag Montefiore

  3. “Plutarch’s Lives: Volume 1” ~ Plutarch

  4. “Plutarch’s Lives: Volume 2” ~ Plutarch

  5. Deuterocanonical Books of the Bible (Book of Tobit, Book of Judith, Book of Wisdom, Book of Baruch, Letter of Jeremiah, Ecclesiasticus, First Book of Maccabees, Second Book of Maccabees)

  6. “The Divine Comedy” ~ Dante Alighieri

  7. “Fooled by Randomness” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb

  8. “The Black Swan” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb

  9. “Thinking Fast and Slow” ~ Daniel Kahneman

  10. “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” ~ Stephen Covey

  11. “The Biggest Bluff” ~ Maria Konnikova

  12. “Nine Questions People Ask about Judaism” ~ Dennis Prager

  13. “Ordinary Men” ~ Christopher Browning

  14. “The Things They Carried” ~ Tim O’Brien

  15. “Romeo and Juliet” ~ William Shakespeare

  16. “Neuromancer” ~ William Gibson

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