Bookclub

SELF-KNOWLEDGE BOOKS ROUND-UP

This genre takes up a lot of space in my library. There are so many amazing books out there that I have read that have helped me to remember my potential, figure out certain personality traits, and just kick my butt into action. I feel like a few years ago the “self-help” section of the bookstore was one that people might have been embarrassed to be shopping in, or maybe take the cover off to hide what they were reading, but now I think that it is viewed differently. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to improve yourself! In fact, it’s encouraged!

And to be honest if someone thinks differently, well, I’m probably not very good friends with them… or talk to them much.

Since I have been trying to read a lot more lately, I’ve realized that I need variety: meaning, it’s not good for me to keep reading the same kind of book one after the other. So I’ll generally alternate a fiction, non-fiction, self-knowledge read to keep things interesting and my reading vibes going strong. I didn’t always used to read this much but I’ve followed a bunch of amazing accounts and started listening to a bunch of podcasts that give great recommendations for all kinds of books! So having enough books to keep up with my reading isn’t as hard as it used to be.

I trend towards different kinds of self-knowledge books as well! There are so many amazing female entrepreneurs that have decided to share their stories that I find not only inspiring but also illuminating about my business aspirations. Then there are those that have worked in motivational speaking, life coaching and other areas that have given them some amazing writing material. For example, Maria Forleo and Glennon Doyle’s books have been some of my favorite reads of the last two years. I finished both books feeling inspired, and with tools to move forward with personal struggles as well as the tools for some professional goals that I have for the future.

And that’s what I look for from any of these books! Inspiration and the slightest inkling of an idea. Just like with podcasts and articles that I read I always look to leave with something. I never want to finish a book, put it on the shelf, and leave it there. I want to be left with a thought (or multiple) that stay with me, even after the book is put away or donated. For instance Gretchen Rubin’s book The Four Tendencies is one that I continue to reference as well as think about whenever dealing with interpersonal dynamics. It has actually really helped when considering how I speak to my husband and understanding why he may or may not do something. Which, in certain ways still tends to perplex me 🙂

Check out more of these self-knowledge books that I have loved over the past few years, and if you have any recommendations PLEASE put them in the comments below! I would love for everyone to be able to share their own experience with similar books and how they may have helped you along your journey.

Bookclub

20 BOOK REVIEWS

I am still going strong with my resolution to read more. And I have to say, I have been absolutely loving it!! I used to go in phases in the past, a month here, two months there, but now I feel like this might be a long-term deal. My goal was to read 40 – 50 books this year; 40 being the actual goal, just being realistic and 50 being that oh-my-gosh-I-crushed-it goal :-D. Now I’m well over halfway through my realistic goal and we’re not even halfway through the year.

Who knows, maybe I can even be a my oh-my-gosh-I-crushed-it goal… I’ll have to come up with a new name for it if I do. Now I do have to give the quarantine a lot of credit because I spent a lot of time reading that I normally would have been running errands or being social, so, I guess there’s that?

I like to have a mix of books, so lately I have been leaning on Reese Witherspoon’s bookclub, the Book Of The Month recommendations, and Amazon’s bestsellers. I’ve read a good mix of novels, self-help, and business to feel like I have a steady flow and I’m not getting too bogged down with one genre.

Here are my reviews on the first 20 books that I read this year, in chronological order!

 


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Still Me by JoJo Moyes

This was the third book of the series starting with Me Before You which many people might remember as the movie with Daenerys Targaryen (well, the actress). The movie was great and had me crying my eyes out, so I decided to read the following books. I liked this book much more than the second one. Definitely a beach read with drama and romance.

 


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This is Marketing by Seth Godin

Godin is an awesome person to follow if you work in or are interested in marketing and this book held up to my expectations. It was honest, open and totally what someone would need if they are having a hard time getting a grasp on marketing these days or if you just need a kick in the butt!

 


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The Power by Naomi Alderman

I was surprised by this book!! It was shockingly hard to put down and I found the metaphor truly eye opening. While it is plays around with science fiction it gives a spin on the gender roles and power as well as cultural gender roles. I enjoyed it but can definitely understand that it would be for a particular reader/demographic.

 


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Maid by Stephanie Land

This book caught a lot of attention when it came out and I bought it then, but never got around to reading it until now. I thought that it was an incredible story, incredibly eye opening and thought it was a great book. It wasn’t quite the kind that kept you super intrigued. It did in a way because it was such a great story, but it wasn’t one that you would lose track of time reading.


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A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum

Now THIS is a book that you can’t put down. This first-hand look into three different generations of a Palestinian family living in Brooklyn and the woman’s struggles not only to understand each other, but to survive! It is an incredible look into another culture as well as an incredibly written and thought provoking book that you won’t be able to put down until the last page.

 


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Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

This book has been ALLLLL over reading lists for 2020 and IT IS A MUST! This is another book that I couldn’t put down. I absolutely loved it and highly suggest it. Also a beach read full of mystery, family as well as romantic drama!

 


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American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

Disclaimer: I got in trouble for reading/reviewing this book on social media. It has become a very controversial book and many people are not happy with it. And I completely understand and in many ways agree with their reasons. I will be totally honest and say that when I bought it, I literally didn’t know what it was about, but bought it because it was on Oprah’s Book Club. My opinion is very in line with Oprah’s in a quote from her discussion about her deciding to keep it as her January pick: “I fundamentally, fundamentally believe in the right of anyone to use their imagination and their skills to tell stories and to empathize with another story,” Winfrey said

With all of that said, it is a very well written novel that as a reader keeps you engaged, and tells a heart breaking story that will keep you wanting to read. I am in no way agreeing with the stereotypes that it “encourages”.

 


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Brotopia by Emily Chang

This book is RIGHT up my alley! Seriously, every single part of this book is not only something that I agree with, have experienced, and find appalling, but also continues to surprise me! There are stories in here that will make you cringe, there is strength in here that will make you proud to be a woman (if you are a woman :-D) and it is necessary to open many people’s eyes to the reality of gender roles and inappropriate behavior in the professional landscape.

 


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The Giver of Stars by JoJo Moyes

FIVE STARS!!! And yes another Moyes book already but oh my gosh I loved this book. To be honest I can’t totally put my finger on the exact reason why, but between the years that it takes place in, the drama that ensues, the love story that at first you had no idea you wanted out of the book but then realized, holy crap this is everything! I highly recommend… obviously.

 


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A Good Neighborhood by Anne Fowler

This book had me reading on and on to find out what happened. And while I hate what happened and it had me balling my eyes out at the end it was an incredible book. It is unfortunately very appropriate for the world we live in right now and it makes me so angry that it is, but the story within this book will have you feeling all of the emotions.

 


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Everything Is F*cked by Mark Manson

Meh. To be honest wasn’t inspiring or interesting, it was more or less a pragmatic/pessimistic look on things and fairly repetitive of The Subtle Art of Not giving A F*ck, which I preferred. It was a super quick read, but still wouldn’t really recommend.

 


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Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

I was expecting something amazing since it’s now a Hulu series and it was a Reese Witherspoon pick, and the cast of the series alone makes it look awesome! Incredible disappointed. Never really knew when the climax of the story was, felt like it was building to something then all of a sudden the book was over.

 


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Untamed by Glennon Doyle

This book has been getting a ton of pub lately and is also on Reese’s Book Club and this one is a GREAT pick! Absolutely love this book, I highlighted so many things that I want to go back to and note down.

Also really makes me want to read Love Warrior.

 


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The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver

I really enjoyed this book and felt like it was a great way of framing what I think a lot of people go through when they lose a loved one. While when I started it, it felt a little raw for the timing just because there is so much loss happening around us. But as the story went on and it became more about Lydia Bird’s healing, I really enjoyed it.

I also love the ending 🙂

 


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Creative Confidence by Tom + David Kelley

This was an interest book in reframing the way you think about creativity. It’s not just being artistic, or musical or anything but instead using creativity for problem-solving and professional success. Again, had lots of highlights that I’m going to go back and note down because I think that’s something that we all could use help with. Instead of looking as something as black or white (or grey) maybe there are some bright colors in there to mix things up a bit!

 


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Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Oh my gosh this was amazing! I read Flynn’s Sharp Objects last summer and both are so great. Yes, her work is pretty dark so you have to be prepared for that, but this story had me wanting to know what happened every time I put it down, which led me to opening it right back up to find out! If you like mysteries and books that have you gasping at the end, you’ll want to read this book.

 


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The Jetsetters by Amanda Eyre Ward

Well this was a huge disappointment. Another one of Reese’s Book Club picks but have no idea how it made the list. There was no way to connect to any of the characters because it was so choppy, and nothing really happened or was explained until the end, and even when it was it didn’t make sense. I usually think that Reese could do no wrong, but girl, you missed on this one.

 


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The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin

I absolutely love this stuff and this one is spot on! I took the quiz first and didn’t read too much into the restyle before I started the book. I love learning more about different personalities and how they interact and I think that this is a great one for team leaders, or someone in a relationship whose communication might need some help? I had my whole family take the quiz too and everything’s starting to make much more sense 😀

 


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Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan

This is the this and final book in the series that started with Crazy Rich Asians. The second one wasn’t great, but this one was much better! It takes a bit to get into it because there are so many characters and if you read the other books it might take a second to remember everyone, but I think that this wrapped everything up really well and had family drama and intrigue for a great beach read!

 


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In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

I LOOOOOVVVED this book! I read it in one day because I couldn’t put it down for very long. It starts off with a question and as the story goes on you think that you are getting to the solution/the “how” and you do, but not in the way that you think you do! This is a beyond great read and not very long so you could easily finish it on the beach in one sitting.

 


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Shop any of the reads that might have piqued your interest above!

I’m also looking forward to my next 10 books as well! I picked these from the lists I found and put in my post at the beginning of the year. Hopefully these are as good as my first 20!

 


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Bookclub

The first 10 books of 2020

I have made a goal for myself in 2020 to ready 40 books. I would have gone with 50 but wanted to set myself up for success. And 50 just sounded like a LOT! I do have a ton of books on my nightstand that I need to get through, but I do love to look on Amazon for some great new titles, but I’ve also found some great articles recently with some really interesting lists of books. Here are five lists that will be responsible for a looooot of amazon purchases in the future!

  1. The Best Books of 2019, Real Simple (over 100!)

  2. Most Anticipated Books of 2020, Real Simple (15)

  3. The 10 Best Books of 2019, New York Times

  4. The 10 Most Anticipated Books of 2020, Forbes

  5. 10 Career Books By Women, Create & Cultivate

 


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Why We Can’t Sleep and American Dirt was on a ton of different 2020 lists. Disappearing Earth was on a bunch of 2019 lists and I was planning on reading after the New Year, but after I got my kindle that was the first book I downloaded and read in three days. It is a great read! If you have any recommendations that aren’t on this list that you think I should read this year, leave your recommendation in the comments below!

These are my top 10 books that I read in 2019!