About two years ago, a woman at work I admire/have a major girl crush on were talking and she told me that I should record all the books I read and a brief “What I learned from them.” So now I do this at the end of each year and here we are for round 2! You can see last year’s list here.
Friends, 2019 was a good year for reading for me. I didn’t read as much as I wanted (do we really ever?), but I loved most of what I was able to read. Here is my list for this year and my thoughts on them–not including a few textbooks for classes, three books that are currently in-progress, and the 1000 times I read We’re Going on a Bear Hunt to my daughters (it’s my two year old’s favorite and we all have it memorized now).
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The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown
Ohhhh Brene! Can you believe I didn’t read this until this year? I’d watched her stuff online, but hadn’t read anything before. I’m so glad I did! This book was the first one I read this year and it aligned so well with my theme of “Be Intentional.” It left me with a great desire to live wholeheartedly and not be ashamed of my story. I really like that she had specific things that get in our way of living wholeheartedly and what we can do to overcome them. I advocate using the library, but this is one I plan to add to my personal collection because I think we need reminders. As I write this, I’m thinking that I need to re-read it and freshen up my skills.
Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch
This was fascinating! As an adult, I’ve never really been into dieting. I got really comfortable with my body and loved it. However, after having kids, my body has changed a lot and it’s not always easy to appreciate my body. This book helped me renew my love for my body, regardless of what it currently looks like. I think so many of the principles are critical for maintaining a good relationship with our physical selves and leads to a healthy body + mind.
The Latte Factor by David Bach
What a fun book this ended up being. I first heard him on a podcast (Rachel Hollis I think) and loved how he talked about personal finances, so I checked out his new book from the library. This book tells the story of a woman early in her career who gets some unexpected financial advice that changes her life. I loved the simple explanation of how to build wealth and live a rich life. I think that podcast he was on and this book were really the last push I needed to start tracking our finances more carefully. Since August, my husband and I are moooostly on the same page with our finances and just working out some kinks to being more intentional with our money and budget. Definitely recommend this book!
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Not a fan of this one. It’s not that the premise was too woo-woo for me, because I could appreciate that part to an extent. I love the idea of trying to live a more creative life and giving yourself space for that, but I really did not enjoy the writing style or that it went on and on forever. It felt like the book could’ve been about 30 pages long and that would’ve been enough. I know some people super love this, but after admitting that I hated it, I’ve met many others who feel the same. Even the ones who loved Eat, Pray, Love. So, give it a try, but if you hate it, just trust me that you can stop reading because the things you don’t like about it aren’t going to improve.
This is Marketing by Seth Godin
This was a pretty cool book. Even though I don’t have my own business, I love reading business books and find marketing fascinating. I loved Godin’s approach to marketing and really getting down to how we serve people through our marketing. It felt a little long and points were repetitive, but definitely enjoyable, with great anecdotes and case studies. I particularly liked how much this book taught me about people in general.
The Non-Designer’s Design Workbook by Robin Williams
This was actually a nice short read, especially for what is essentially a short textbook. It gave a pretty basic foundation of design and typography, in an easy-to-follow format. If you’re looking for some guidance in this area, this is a quick, enjoyable read with opportunities to practice what you learn and develop your designer’s eye.
Death in Ten Minutes by Fern Riddell
Looooved this! What a great biography of a warrior woman! This biography of Kitty Marion taught me stories of women’s suffrage in Britain that I had no idea existed. It was fascinating to read her history and see what lead her to becoming a suffragette, and what lead the movement to literally terrorizing Britain. My heart broke for the abuse she endured in her childhood & career, betrayal of friends, and for the over 200 force feedings she endured from the government while on hunger strikes in jail. She just wanted freedom to support herself in peace. It’s a weird mix of admiration and horror for the things they did, because I can’t condone their methods, but I get why they did it. This is another one that I hope to add to my personal library in the future, I definitely think it’s worth it! I highly recommend this review of such an important time in history.
That’s it! Again, not as much as I wanted, but almost all of them I love, love, loved. These books were all so different from each other. Self-help, health, finance, biography, design, business–I was all over the place and it was awesome! People talk about multi-passionate entrepreneurs, and I’m pretty sure I’m just a multi-passionate learner. And I am A-OK with that!
What good books did you read this year? Leave them in the comments so I can add more to my list for next year!
PS ALSO: If you too would also like to memorize We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, you can watch our favorite video of one of the authors telling it. He basically sings it and it’s awesome for car rides.