Al Roker's favorite reads of 2020

Chris Schluep on November 11, 2020

Al Roker's favorite reads of 2020

Al Roker is a man of many facets. You know him from the Today show, but did you know that in 2014 he set the Guinness World Record for delivering an uninterrupted live weather report? He reported for 34 hours straight. You might know that he writes books, but did you know that he has written narrative nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and more? His latest is titled You Look So Much Better in Person: True Stories of Absurdity and Success, and in it he offers advice on how to weather life's storms. In encouraging us to embrace happiness and the power of saying "yes," he provides humorous and poignant tricks and tips for success. Who would you rather have alongside you, offering advice and consolation, during life's ups and downs?

Let's face it. Just about everyone thinks it would be great to have Al Roker as a friend. But we can't. However, we can get some book recommendations from him—and that's great, too.

Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own by Eddie S. Glaude Jr.

A fascinating look at the playwright, poet, and novelist who was best known for writing essays on being a black man in America. As this country continues to face civil unrest, this finely tuned biography is a source of hope, and has spurred me to read more James Baldwin.

The Awkward Black Man: Stories by Walter Mosley

I thought this might be a book about me. Thankfully, it’s not. It’s actually 17 of Mosley’s most captivating stories gathered in one collection, featuring an odd lot of characters who will entertain and delight.

Queens of the Resistance by Brenda Jones and Krishan Trotman

Jones and Trotman have produced a quick and lively series of biographies featuring some of today’s most formidable women: Nancy Pelosi, Elizabeth Warren, Maxine Waters, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. These books provide a vital dose of inspiration. Full disclosure, Krishan is the publisher of my last book, and while this could be seen as an attempt to suck up, these really are terrific reads.

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

I love this book so much, I have put it down in a futile attempt to stave off finishing this wonderful story. When Count Alexander Rostov, a wealthy count, writes a poem that the Bolsheviks find too rabble rousing, he’s put under house arrest in one of Russia’s most luxurious and famous hotels. This delightful novel exudes old-fashioned elegance and will help those cold winter afternoons fly right by.

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