Books I read in 2020

ian leslie
1 min readDec 31, 2020


For a slightly incomplete but annotated version of this, see my Twitter thread.

Rings of Saturn, W.G Sebald

The Cello Suites, Eric Siblin

Handel In London, Jane Glover,

Albert Speer: His Battle With Truth, Gitta Sereny,

The Shortest History of Europe

The Saturday Caller, Georges Simenon

The Sleepwalkers, Arthur Koestler

Science and Government, C.P. Snow

One Nation Under a Groove: Motown and American Culture, Gerald Early

Quack This Way: David Foster Wallace and Bryan Garner Talk Language and Writing

Believe In People: The Essential Karel Čapek.

The Driver’s Seat, Muriel Spark

Isaac Newton, James Gleick

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Haruki Murakami

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Girls of Slender Means, Muriel Spark

Lady Sings The Blues, Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday: The Musician and the Myth, John Szwed

For Esmé, With Love and Squalor, J.D. Salinger

Just Kids, Patti Smith

The Evolution of Everything, Matt Ridley

A King Condemned: The Trial and Execution of Charles I, C.V. Wedgwood

No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention, Erin Meyer and Reed Hastings.

Flaubert’s Parrot, Julian Barnes.

The Undoing Project Michael Lewis

The Smile Revolution: In Eighteenth Century Paris, Colin Jones.

The Fire of Joy, Clive James

The State of Disbelief, Juliet Rosenfeld

The Lion and the Unicorn, Richard Aldous

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, John Le Carré.



ian leslie

Author of 'CONFLICTED: How Productive Disagreements Lead to Better Outcomes’ (Faber/HarperCollins) Twitter: @mrianleslie Substack: The Ruffian https://ianleslie