2020 Holiday Reading List


We're looking forward to putting 2020 in the rear-view mirror. As the year comes to a close, we hope you find some time to yourself this holiday season to exhale, sit by a cozy fire and dig into one of our favorite reads. Our fourth annual Holiday Reading List captures some of our favorites from this year. Whether you're looking for something new to read or the perfect gift for family and friends, please enjoy these books as much as we have.

Happy Holidays from all of us. - The MERU Team

Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art
by James Nestor An overlooked component of our health is the way we breathe and the impact it has had on our skeletal composition, general well-being and ability to perform at the highest levels. Underpinned by scientific research and experiments led by the author, this book will teach you the importance of proper breathing techniques and the positive impact it can have on your daily life, and yes, it has breathing exercises within the book! - Josh
Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art


Winning Now, Winning Later
by David M. Cote 

Under Cote’s leadership, Honeywell International’s market cap grew from $20 billion to $120 billion and delivered returns of about 800 percent, two and a half times greater than the S&P 500. In this book, Cote talks about his approach and the principles he used, the value of execution, and the importance of not wavering on things that appear to be too difficult to tackle at first. - Nick

Winning Now, Winning Later


Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood
by Trevor Noah 

This #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER chronicles Noah's childhood in South Africa as a mixed race kid. Using humor as his shield, Noah carefully articulates how apartheid functioned in the South African society. The narrative becomes more shocking as the reader realizes that the events in the book happened in the 1980's and 1990's. - Samiksha

Born A Crime by Trevor Noah


American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road
by Nick Bilton This gripping tale is about a twenty-six-year-old computer programmer, Ross Ulbricht, who launched the "Amazon" of the Dark Web black market, known as the Silk Road. The true story of the rise and fall of his billion-dollar online drug empire takes us through the thrilling cat and mouse game between Ulbricht and the federal government, who launched an epic two-year manhunt for the site’s elusive proprietor.
If you’re looking for a modern true crime thriller, you won't be able to put this book down! - Samir


Very Important People: Status and Beauty in the Global Party Circuit
by Ashley Mears 

Ashley Mears is a sociology professor who is also a former fashion model. Her anthropology of the club circuit and the commodification of beauty and status takes readers inside the velvet rope into a world of shocking gender inequality. Her frank descriptions of scenes from the Meatpacking District to St. Tropez remove the sheen from a glittery world and make the reader feel sorry for everyone involved except for "clients" (the ones buying the bottles). - Kyle

Very Important People


If you're still looking for a gift for the twenty-something year old women in your family, these two award-winning Aussie podcasters have written a sort of self-help book about that "weird gap in life that's fueled by cheap tacos and even cheaper tequila – also known as our twenties." This is a smart, funny, relatable and incredibly honest collection of essays, listicles and conversations covering everything from mental health and career setbacks to why it feels so good to ghost out of a friend's party. Being podcasters, the authors have also created an excellent Audible edition to cover those millennials who have already Marie Kondo'd their bookshelf. - Alissia
The Space Between Book


Selected as a must-read by the likes of Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and former president Barack Obama, Sapiens is a mind-blowing read if you are at all interested in the history of our species, how we got to where we are today and how we innately think and behave. Incredible. - Tanner
Sapiens Book


The official puzzle book from Britain's top-secret intelligence and security organization, this is the first book of the series of two, and is a great way to keep your mind ticking over the holidays. - Kathryn
GCHQ Puzzle Book


A real-life political thriller about an American financier in the Wild East of Russia, the murder of his principled young tax attorney, and his dangerous mission to expose the Kremlin's corruption. Red Notice tells the true story of the communist winddown and the de-privatization of massive Russian corporations leading the way for a massive power and wealth grab that created the modern day oligarch. Bill Browder navigates his way through the crooked, and oftentimes dangerous, world of Russia to find value, until one day the music stops. - Geoff
Red Notice


Beyond Basketball: Coach K's Keywords for Success
by Mike Krzyzewski with Jamie K. Spatola 
Coach K has led the Duke Blue Devil’s to five NCAA Men’s Basketball Division I titles. In this book, Coach K and his daughter, Jamie Spatola, provide forty short essays to describe the ways in which he leads, inspires and motivates his team both on and off the court. His lessons will help any leader create a stronger team. - Sean B.
Beyond Basketball


This book (now a Netflix film) encourages you to chase your dreams and to never give up. JD Vance’s story of his rise from humble beginnings to Yale Law School inspires us to pursue goals we may have thought were impossible. The book gives a glimpse into why society looks the way it does today and gives a voice to those whose stories are seldom heard. It's a must-read for anyone looking to gain perspective that they won't find elsewhere. – Jake
Hillbilly Elegy Book Cover


The Stormlight Archives
by Brandon Sanderson 
If you enjoyed Tolkien, Rowling, or George RR Martin, this series should be next on your list. While long-winded, Sanderson is a master in the art of world building and the conclusion of each book is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat. The series' 4th installment released last month to much acclaim and each book in the series has been highly rated with over 4.5 stars. - John
The Way of Kings Book cover