4 Books You MUST Read (and 4 More You May Enjoy)

There’s no bad time of year to read (or listen to) a great book, but winter makes it especially nice. This week I share the last 8 books I’ve read (or listened to) in case you’re looking to add to your library. Enjoy!

The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream by Paulo Coelho – I have this in audio version which is read beautifully by Jeremy Irons. After seeing this title on multiple “must read” lists, I gave it a try. I listened to it for the first time several months ago, and have almost finished listening to it again (this is a rare occurrence for me). It’s a short book, but such a powerful fictional story about an Andalusian shepherd boy who travels from his home in Spain to the Egyptian pyramids in search of a treasure. He meets others along the way and learns many valuable life lessons. This story is told in such a way as to ensure the reader relates to it and applies their own life situation to the lessons learned throughout. (MUST READ)

Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential by Joel Osteen – This is another book that I’ve revisited. It’s like The Secret for Christians. Many similar messages about how God (or the Universe in the case of The Secret) wants you to succeed in life. It’s about dreaming big and having faith that God will provide. Osteen shares 7 steps to living to your full potential: Enlarge your vision; Develop a healthy self-image; Discover the power of your thoughts and words; Let go of the past; Find strength through adversity; Live to give; and Choose to be happy. Positive messages that apply to all circumstances and not preachy.

Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Dave Evans and Bill Burnett – Told through the lens of design, these educators share how in design, everything is built with the end-game in mind. Using examples like the creation of the lightbulb, the printing press, and the internet, they teach us how to design a life through curiosity, action, reframing of problems, and collaboration. I read a lot of these types of books, and this one is a keeper. In fact, I listened to the audio version before purchasing the hard copy of the book in print. This is great for career choices, too!

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson – This alternate approach to self-help books is spot on. The author pretty much emphasizes that you’re not special, or at least the problems you face aren’t. He takes the rainbows and butterflies found in most self-help books out, and replaces them with rain clouds and thunder – throwing an umbrella your way just in the nick of time. Doesn’t sound very motivating, but his delivery is filled with humor, self-deprecating stories, and a whole lotta F-bombs (sometimes a few too many, but forgivable). It makes for an entertaining, and accurate read. This is another audio version I bought the print version of. (MUST READ if you don’t mind naughty language)

Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick – I’m not sure exactly what prompted me to get this book. I mean, I like Anna Kendrick and several of the movies she’s done, but I wouldn’t consider myself a diehard fan. It may have been the title. I’m all about the underdog, and this seemed to be a story about an underdog making it. To be honest, I wasn’t sure I was enjoying the story (on audio) at first. It wasn’t especially long, which may have been what motivated me to continue, but the story, and Anna, kind of grew on me the further along I went. I think I most enjoyed her authentic portrayal of herself (at least I think it was authentic, but she is an actor after all), and her inside stories of show biz. It was good, but not great for me.

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah – I LOVED this book. I highly recommend listening to the audio version read by the author. His voice and inflections bring his stories to life. This comedian from South Africa (and host of The Daily Show) shares stories of growing up during the apartheid and after. Not only will you get a dose of history, but you are guaranteed to laugh out loud. His telling is filled with both humor and tragedy. You’ll be left wanting more. (MUST READ)

The Like Switch by Marvin Karlins and Jack Schafer – I tend to geek out on psychology and human behavior. If you can relate, you’re going to like this book. Written by a former special agent for the FBI, you will get super cool stories from the field (like espionage) and how behaviors, even the really subtle ones, tell a lot about what we’re thinking and how we’re feeling. The same techniques used in undercover operations can be used in real life to get others to like you. This is valuable in personal settings as well as professional ones.

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes – This book came out in 2015 and I remember hearing all the fuss, but I didn’t get it until a few weeks ago. The creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, and executive producer of How to Get Away with Murder shares her story of being a shy introvert to living life to the fullest. It started a bit slow for me in the beginning, but once I got to the “yes” parts, I was locked in. She embraces who SHE is, and once she really started recognizing her own worth, she was unstoppable. Inspiring and unapologetic, it’s a great lesson for all of us, particularly women. (MUST READ)

There you have it. The last 8 books I’ve read or listened to. I enjoy listening during all my travel, but sometimes, I want a good book in my hands. I purchase all my audio books through my Audible monthly subscription. Although Audible and the Kindle work together, allowing you to listen to a book audibly, then switch to reading the Kindle version right where you left off, I purchase the majority of my print books from Barnes and Noble. They may cost a little more than Amazon, but there’s no playground I love more than getting lost in the bookstore, so I’m happy to support them. Virtual just isn’t the same for me.

Sharing is caring…share in the comments section any books you would highly recommend. What’s on your MUST READ list or what books, fiction or non-fiction, do you return to?

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Comments

  1. Reading “Beautiful Money-a holistic approach to increasing your net worth” by leanne jacobs. About so much more than just money-it is a game-changer

    • Ooooohh! That sounds FABULOUS, Carol!! Thanks so much for sharing – it is now added to my reading bucket list! (AND it’s on Audible!!!)

  2. Ok, what does it say about me that the one that jumps out at me immediately is “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck”? So many great reads, so little time! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Ooh! I love a good book list. The subtle art of not giving a f*ck and The Like Switch really stand out for me, I’ll need to add them to my wishlist on Audible. I’ve got so many I’d love to recommend in fiction and non-fiction. For a rest from business books, I love reading travel related books. Peter Mayle’s books on the south of France (he has a number of them) are favourites.

    • I haven’t tried travel-related books before, Angela. Looks like I’ll have to give them a try! Thanks for the suggestion!

  4. I love a book list and as an avid reader…it is on my editorial calendar to share one in a blog post too as I get asked about it all the time. Thanks for such a varied list…and all books, except #1, I’ve not read. Will be adding them to my list.

  5. oh, how i love a title that states you MUST read a book! (haha) and i am not familiar with MOST of your selections. how fun it will be to check them out! (i think i am most intrigued by “the like switch” . . .)

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