As the year comes to a close, I spent time looking back at all of the books I read (thanks for helping to track, Goodreads!). I love to read both fiction and non-fiction, but this year, the non-fiction books really stood out. My 12 favorite books for 2017 are as follows (in no particular order):
Radical Candor: This book offers an incredible framework for giving feedback, which fundamentally changed the way I think about doing so. It is super practical and full of great insights. A must read for everyone at work, especially managers.
The Universe Has Your Back: This is one of those books that I read at exactly the right moment in my life. Everyone has some version of fear show up in their own life, and this book helped me discover how to turn my own fears (which I didn’t think I had) into faith (the spiritual kind, not religious).
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: I did not think I was going to like this book, but I have now recommended it countless times. The general premise is on honing in on what you really care about and putting all of your energy into that – instead of giving a f about things that don’t align with what you care most about.
The Anatomy of Peace: A friend told me that this was one of the most influential books they had read, so I checked it out of the library immediately. And it was. It is hard to really capture the essence of this book in a couple sentences, but it falls into the category of best books I’ve ever read and changed the way I think about conflict, relationships, and the self.
Another Day in the Death of America: This is a book of stories about how gun violence took ten young lives in America. Yes, it is heart-wrenching, and yes it is important to read and understand. There is so much happening in the gun control conversation at the moment, and this book plays a small but important role in the narrative surrounding it.
Option B: I was surprised at how much I liked this book. It is a book about resilience, a topic which I find incredibly interesting – how for some it is built at an early age, and for others, comes much later. Whether you lost someone close to you as Sheryl Sandberg did, you are trying to understand how to support someone else, or you are interested in overcoming any obstacle, this is a good read.
How Not To Hate Your Husband After Kids: As many of you know, I do not have kids yet, but I did get a husband this year. This was a funny, interesting, and very thought-provoking book. I found Jancee’s insights helpful for marriage in general, and I feel like I have a strong head start on getting ready for balancing marriage with kids in the future.
The Gifts of Imperfection: I love Brené Brown, and have read many of her books. This was an outstanding one and is focused on the tension we all feel about who and what we should be. This booked is full of practical advice and stories, and is an easy and engaging read.
Braving The Wilderness: Another from Brené Brown, this was amazing. This was one of the only books that I’ve ever read twice in the same year – and in this case, in the same week. This is an extremely important book for everyone to read, and my favorite sentiment is the need to stand for what is right, even if and when you are alone. This is just so good, I can’t recommend it enough.
Quiet: This book had been on my ‘to-read’ list for years. As an extrovert (though I do need restorative alone time), this book helped me better understand the needs of introverts in a way that I had never thought about in a structured way before. This book made me realize how our world is really built for extroverts, and why we all need to work to change that .
We Need To Talk: After reading Radical Candor early in the year, it was great to round out the year with this book. It is another practical book about having difficult conversations – something so few of us are good at. Celeste has an ability to connect with the reader in a way that is accessible is empowering, and I left the book feeling more prepared to take on tough conversations with grace.
The Wisdom of Sundays: There isn’t too much to say about Oprah and her ability to connect with incredible minds and talk about important issues in a relatable way. This book is comprised of many conversations from her Super Soul Sunday series, and is now a coffee table book for both my mom and I. I read it in one sitting, and know I’ll go back to it for years to come.
What were your favorite books of 2018 and what should definitely be on my list going into the new year?