I truly believe a great book can change your life. However life changing books are useless if you don’t read them.
This year I decided to focus on reading more books and scrolling less.
Don’t get me wrong, I like reading articles online, but I find that once I start reading them I can’t stop. Then I get sucked into a rabbit hole of articles that aren’t super helpful or educational.
This summer we spent two weeks at the beach and instead of scrolling mindlessly through Instagram I decided to read as many books as I could. A few months ago I posted the list on Facebook.
I didn’t think any thing of my book list until I started getting texts from friends.
“Thanks for recommending this book… it was life changing.”
The more I thought about the messages, the more I realized that some of them were truly life changing books.
I started recommending some of my favorites to more people. (even buying them for my friends) I found myself referring to them in casual conversation. After doing this for months I realized it was time to share them with as many people as possible, so naturally I’m sharing them here.
Finally, I read most of these books on a Kindle Paperwhite. For years I’ve advocated for paper books. Digital books didn’t “feel right” to me. However I realized that I read less because I couldn’t read at night (didn’t want to keep my husband awake with a light) or I needed to find my glasses to read, or I didn’t want to carry around a bag of books. (I tend to read multiple books at the same time)
The Kindle Paperwhite changed everything. First it’s waterproof so I can read by the pool, beach, etc and not worry about ruining it. Second it’s super bright so you can read outside and still see all the text. Third I don’t need glasses to read on the paperwhite because you can make the text HUGE .
As I mentioned earlier, some of the books I read this summer were truly life changing.
Other books I read were interesting and useful and I know they will help me grow as a person. I also read a few bad books (some not mentioned below because I couldn’t get through them) and a few books that were just ok.
One important lesson I learned this summer is that it is ok to stop reading a book if you don’t like it. This was actually a very freeing action for me. Before I would slog through books I didn’t like because I thought maybe it would get better. Or I would feel guilty because I had purchased the book.
Now I realize my time is more valuable than a bad book. If I’m not loving a book by the 4th chapter I’m done reading it. There are so many amazing books out there and I only have so much time to read them. It’s not worth wasting that time on a book that isn’t right for me.
Life Changing Books I Read this Summer
I’m almost finished with this book by one of my favorite speakers/ authors Jon Acuff.
I’ve known I was a bit of a perfectionist since I was young, however I didn’t realize how much it affected how I operate until I started reading this book.
While reading Finish I’ve had multiple “a-ha” and “that’s so me” moments. If you struggle with perfectionism, read this book! The books is also laugh out loud funny so don’t read it at night while someone else is sleeping.
BUY THIS BOOK. So good. One of the best books I’ve read in a long time. I would read bits and pieces of it aloud to anyone who would listen to me last week.
If you struggle to get things done, or have goals in your life you can’t seem to hit this book is awesome. I consider myself a fairly disciplined person and I learned a ton from this book.
Atomic Habits gives you lots of practical tips and techniques to create systems to be more productive and actually accomplish the things you want to do.
I read this book earlier in the year after a friend recommended it. I haven’t followed Brene’ Brown much, but after reading this book I added several of her other books to my list.
From Amazon: Brown explains how vulnerability is both the core of difficult emotions like fear, grief, and disappointment, and the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, empathy, innovation, and creativity. She writes: “When we shut ourselves off from vulnerability, we distance ourselves from the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives.”
This book changed my perspective on relationships and helped me to realize that being vulnerable with the right people is healthy. (I tend to keep things to myself)
It also helped me realize that not sharing things with people who aren’t in my inner circle is ok too. Everyone doesn’t have to know everything about you. (This can be really hard when you live your life online).
This is a powerful book and I highly recommend it.
This book was recommended to me on Amazon because of other books I had read. Tiny Hot Dogs is part memoir, part lessons learned in building and growing a small business. I’m not sure I’ve ever read a memoir before but it was entertaining. The author is a great story teller and there’s life lessons woven through each chapter plus a recipe. YUM.
If you are a small business owner, or trying to start your own business this book is a great source of encouragement, example and humor. Read it!
Get ready for several laugh out loud moments in this book, including a hilarious section about the author having a crush on Alec Baldwin (the old and chunky Alec, not the young and dashing Alec) and then meeting him in real life. I had tears rolling down my face during this part I was laughing so hard.
I LOVED this book. Well-written and funny, I was sad when it ended. It’s basically about how to sell… anything to anyone.
This book impacted me so much I’m reading it again now. The author’s story is powerful and motivating. While the book is about selling, it’s really about being comfortable in your own skin, taking risks, and standing up for yourself.
Even if you don’t have a business it’s worth reading.
Even if you don’t negotiate in your business, you negotiate every day in life. A MUST READ.
This book is all about negotiating, and was written by a former FBI negotiator. It was full of interesting stories (I really do like a good story) which he tied back into business, life, and just about everything else.
There is story in the book about the author negotiating for a car. That section alone is worth the price of the book if you are planning on buying a big ticket item in the future.
A few friends have told me they thought this book started a big slow (I didn’t think so). So if it seems slow, power through the book, it will be worth it.
This is probably the best memoir I’ve ever read. (Well I’ve only read two… but this one is the best) Written by Phil Knight, founder of Nike, I couldn’t put this book down.
Even though I know how the story ends (Nike survives and grows in to a massive successful business) this book hooked me from the beginning. In Shoe Dog, Phil details how he built Nike, including all the struggles and hardships that an entrepreneur or business owner faces.
I was completely captivated by this book and was actually sad when it ended. This book is a must read.
I’m a little late to the party with this book as I think it was popular a few yers ago.
This book is definitely written for women who are in corporate America, however I think any female in business can learn from this book.
I love the author’s positive perspective and found the book helpful.
My sister recommended this book to me while she was visiting this summer. I read it in a few nights and loved it!
It’s a great mixture of laugh out loud funny and things that make you think a little more about your world view.
I found myself reading passages of this book out loud to anyone who would listen.
I expected to not be impressed by this book, but it was free on Kindle Unlimited. Nothing mind blowing, but it did reinforce a few things.
A. Always invest in your education (buy courses, read books, go to conferences)
B. Join a Mastermind and be held accountable.
If you are thinking about starting a blog it might be worth reading.
Not sure why I decided to read this book, probably because Amazon put it in my feed every 2-3 hours. I painfully made my way through it.
If you need some convincing that you are one, message me and I’ll give you a pep talk. You do not need to read this book.
This was another book Amazon recommended to me. I’m almost finished with it.
It’s one of those books that is filled with interviews of successful entrepreneurs. I’m not a huge fan of books that are primarily short interviews of other people, however I did enjoy learning about other successful business owners.
The primary message in this book is for women to stop tearing each other down and start building each other up. Unfortunately this is something I’ve seen far too much of being in the blogging world for all these years.
It is a great reminder that there is room at the table for everyone… you don’t have to pull someone down to build yourself up.
I know I previously said that Shoe Dog was my favorite memoir, but I read Educated this winter and could not put it down. It was riveting. Educated is the story or Tara Westover, who grew up in rural Idaho with a family that didn’t believe in formal schooling, modern medicine, and a slew of other things.
Her story captivated me from the first chapter and I read this book in less than a day. I could not put it down.
A friend of mine recommended Talking to Strangers. I had no idea what the book was about before I added it to my Kindle.
How do we make sense of people we don’t know. Do we assume people are good or do we assume people are naturally out to harm us. Talking to Strangers analyzes several familiar events in history to try and figure out why humans act (and more importantly react) the way we do.
I found this book fascinating.
Don’t dismiss this book because you may not be a fan of the Obama administration. I try to stay out of politics as much as I can, but I loved this book.
It is well written and it gives a very unique glimpse into the life of Michelle Obama. Ms. Obama has the privilege of being in a small group of people who have lived in the White House and I love her perspective on what it took for them to get there.
The toll it took on her family, relationships and what life is like raising two small kids in the most famous address in the world.
Don’t let your political ideologies keep you from reading this book!
I’ll be adding to this list as a I finish more books this year. If you aren’t in the habit of reading a new books each year I want to encourage you to start! Most of these books are available for free at your local library. If you don’t love to read many of these books are available on audio.
Instead of mindless scrolling in carline, try reading a book. It might be life changing for you as well.
In case you missed it