Most important (secular) books that I read in 2020:
1a. 1984 by George Orwell
1b. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
2. Bully of Asia: Why China's Dream is the New Threat to World Order by Steven W. Mosher
3. United States of Socialism: Who's Behind It. Why It's Evil. How to Stop It by Dinesh D'Souza
Why are these books important?
1a./1b. Both these books taken together explain and emotionally inform how elites and non-elites conform to social/financial top-tier elites and governments.
1984 explains how the elites manipulate mostly other elites to think how Big Brother wants them to think and live.
Brave New World explains how the non-elites cope with their circumstances by lulling themselves into submission - at least getting them out of the way of the elites - by drugs and entertainment. Think opium crisis and entertainment-imbibing as reason for/ends of living. Marx had it backwards: real, life-directing religion leads people to stand up to oppression (think Pope Saint John Paul II in Poland, "We want God.") while atheism leads to laissez-faire hedonism (often a type of Buddhism).
These books should be standard reading for all high school students.
2. Dr. Mosher (China expert who is fluent in Chinese) powerfully explains that China's effort to be the world's superpower is more than simply spreading communism. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) thinks, much like the former Chinese emperors, that Chinese culture/race is the best in the same way that the Nazi's believed that their culture/race was the best. That culture/race should be dominant over all aspects of the world's life and governments. China is to be the sole world hegemon.
3. Mr. D'Souza's most important contribution in his book is showing, in eye-popping detail, how the currently-attempted Socialist/Marxist takeover of the US parallels almost exactly with the takeover of Venezuela. This includes the race wars, gun confiscation, removing statues/rewriting history, and overall political rhetoric.