One of my big goals for the year is to read! I have always loved reading, but have not prioritized it the last few years. I made this list of books I wanted to read in 2018 that were related to my goals. It has already grown since New Years and I thought I’d leave my reviews for you all about what I’ve thought of them and some of the big lessons I’ve gleaned. These will be listed in the order I read or listened to them.
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If Life Were Easy, It Wouldn’t Be Hard by Sheri Dew
This was written by an LDS author that I admire for many reasons, including that she’s a pretty bomb businesswoman. This book talks a lot about faith and trials. It also has a big section on having charity (love, not money) for others and how that helps us work through trials. Though I didn’t agree with all of her positions on some social issues, I think the principles behind what she talks about are solid and I was uplifted from reading this.
The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands by Dr. Laura Schlessinger
Not a fan of this one. It wasn’t that her suggestions for specific things to do were bad or not in line with what marriage experts/therapists purport, but I couldn’t stand her premise. Basically, feminism has ruined marriage. That’s the gist that she loooves to bring up. I’m not blind to how some women treat men in the name of feminism, but to argue that feminism is the huge reason why marriages are in trouble is ridiculous. I also didn’t care for how she dumbed men down by saying they only need food, sex, and not to be nagged to be happy. I think my husband is a little deeper than that. And with the issues that men currently face in society, I think it does them a huge disservice to not address their needs. I kept getting mad as I read through, but pushed through because I thought it had to get better. It didn’t. I’m not even linking to this on Amazon because I don’t think anyone should read it. There are much better books on marriage out there.
The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor
This has been my favorite so far. The Psychology student in me was geeking out on all of the case studies and the employee in me was eating up all the ways I can be happier at work. The premise is that we’re taught that if we’re successful then we’ll be happy, but science shows the opposite: when we’re happy, we become more successful. It’s fascinating and he gives specific ways to become happier. Not fake happy–really happy. This is a book that rings true to my soul, I love it!
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
I first heard of this book when I was 19 and it has been on my list, but for some reason I never checked it out. I finally checked out the audio-book and I have mixed feelings. Spoiler alert: the answer is to focus on others. He goes into more detail about strategies to do so, but that’s what it all boils down to. That’s not a bad premise, I think we could all do better with seeing others’ points of view. However, at times the book comes off as disingenuous, which kind of defeats the whole purpose. Also, I struggle with the thought that we always need to be agreeable. Too often, it ends up equating to being a doormat–especially for women. I think it’s worth a read, but be cautious with implementation.
Parenting with Love and Logic by Foster Cline & Jim Fay and Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood: Practical Parenting from Birth to Six Years by Jim Fay and Dr. Charles Fay
I really enjoyed these books. I started off with the original Parenting with Love and Logic and found that I really enjoyed this parenting style and giving my daughter options, but I found that I didn’t know how to apply a lot of it to a three-year-old. Luckily, they had another book that teaches you how to apply it to little kids. I really like the tangible strategies they offer and the respectful way they address children. My three-year-old has some behavior stuff that isn’t really addressed in it and we’re getting help from a play therapist, but I still try to follow a lot of the principles in it. I’m also starting to implement it with my 18-month-old and hopeful it will help her as she grows too. I think they’re both fantastic books and plan to revisit the original as they get older!
At the beginning of 2018, I had a big list of books to read that I was excited to tackle. However, I had not planned on applying to graduate school, but when the opportunity presented itself, I jumped on it. So my list was put on hold in order to read all.the.textbooks and academic papers for my courses. Even though my list ended up different, I still had a fantastic year of learning and growth. I’m still planning on getting to the rest, but it’ll be at a much slower pace. Out of the ones I did read, however, The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor was my favorite. I highly recommend it and implementing ways to take ownership of your happiness!