I Read 50 Books in 5 Months. Here's What I Liked and Didn't Like.

50 books in one year. Seems like a pretty daunting feat when you say it out loud, doesn't it?

This is the goal I set for myself for 2020 after numerous articles came out last year discussing that big name CEOs such as Bill Gates read 50 books a year, or a little under one book a week. Why did I set that goal for myself you may ask? Well, first of all I enjoy setting goals for myself. I think we can all agree that having something specific like reading 50 books in 365 days helps you focus on dedicating the time necessary to completing the task at hand.

In addition to the fact that...Your girl's gonna be a B-O-S-S and don't you forget it!

But in all seriousness, as I made my way home to Northern California to be with family for Quarantine, I realized that it was a great opportunity to truly implement reading into my daily schedule versus saving it for only thirty minutes before bed or weekends spent relaxing at home. That being said, I started finding gaps in my working from home schedule such as lunchtime, two hours after I closed my laptop down for the day at 5pm and again for 1-2 hours when I crawled into bed at the end of the night.

Averaging 2-5 hours of reading a DAY, sometimes even more on weekends, I found myself devouring book after book after book and quickly realized that my goal of 50 books might happen a whole lot sooner than anticipated. So I moved my goal. That's right - MOVED it! From December 31 to my birthday, June 10. 50 books before my 27th birthday. 50 books in 5 months.

I am extremely fortunate in that I am able to dedicate the time to reading as I know many people cannot do the same. Whether you have children to homeschool or you're frantically shifting your business to at-home, I recognize that not all of us have as much time as we would like to read. However, like I say about anything, if you REALLY want to do something, you will find the time for it. That could be anything from working out to journaling, if something is important to you you'll find the time.

Reading is important to me because it challenges me, helps me to grow, learn new things, escape to faraway places and inspires me to show up as the best version of myself every single day.

With that being said, I wanted to share the 50 books I read from January 1-June 10 of 2020 as well as my recommendations based on what I read and enjoyed. As you can see, my taste in reading varies but I hope that you're able to find something within this robust list that speaks to your reading fancy. Enjoy!

1.Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Recommend? -- YES!

"At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her."

2. The Girl: Marilyn Monroe, The Seven Year Itch and the Birth of an Unlikely Feminist by Michelle Morgan

Recommend? YES!

"When Marilyn Monroe stepped over a subway grating as The Girl inThe Seven Year Itch and let a gust of wind catch the skirt of her pleated white dress, an icon was born. Before that, the actress was mainly known for a nude calendar and one-dimensional, albeit memorable, characters on the screen. Though she again played a "dumb blonde" in this film and was making headlines by revealing her enviable anatomy, the star was now every bit in control of her image, and ready for a personal revolution.

Emboldened by her winning fight to land the role of The Girl, the making ofThe Seven Year Itch and the eighteen months that followed was the period of greatest confidence, liberation, and career success that Monroe lived in her tumultuous life. It was a time in which, among other things, she:

  • Ended her marriage to Joe DiMaggio and later began a relationship with Arthur Miller;

  • Legally changed her name to Marilyn Monroe, divorcing herself from the troubled past of Norma Jeane;

  • Started her own production company;

  • Studied in private lessons with Lee and Paula Strasberg of the Actors Studio and became a part of the acting revolution of the day

The ripple effects her personal rebellion had on Hollywood, and in trailblazing the way for women that followed, will both surprise and inspire readers to see the Marilyn Monroe in an entirely new light."

3. Extreme You: Step Up. Stand Out. Kick Ass. Repeat. by Sarah Robb O'Hagan

Recommend? YES!! (One of my fave books this year)

"...In every challenging situation, personal or professional, individuals face the pressure to conform to the accepted norms. But doing so comes with heavy costs: passions are stifled, talents are ignored, and opportunities are squelched. The other, far bolder, choice is to embrace what Sarah calls Extreme YOU: to confidently bring all that is distinctive and relevant about yourself to everything you do. You’ll achieve more if you’re willing to step up—and out—of line.

Inspiring, surprising, and practical, EXTREME YOU is her training program for becoming the best version of yourself."

4. The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own by Joshua Becker

Recommend? No (Unless really interested in learning about becoming a minimalist)

"...In The More of Less, Joshua Becker helps you...

• Recognize the life-giving benefits of owning less

• Realize how all the stuff you own is keeping you from pursuing your dreams

• Craft a personal, practical approach to decluttering your home and life

• Experience the joys of generosity

• Learn why the best part of minimalism isn’t a clean house, it’s a full life

The beauty of minimalism isn’t in what it takes away. It’s in what it gives."

5. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Recommend? No

"When Death has a story to tell, you listen.

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement."

6. Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

Recommend? Yes.

"An angry rebel, John dropped out of school and enlisted in the Army, not knowing what else to do with his life--until he meets the girl of his dreams, Savannah. Their mutual attraction quickly grows into the kind of love that leaves Savannah waiting for John to finish his tour of duty, and John wanting to settle down with the woman who captured his heart.

But 9/11 changes everything.

John feels it is his duty to re-enlist. And sadly, the long separation finds Savannah falling in love with someone else. "Dear John," the letter read...and with those two words, a heart was broken and two lives were changed forever. Returning home, John must come to grips with the fact that Savannah, now married, is still his true love--and face the hardest decision of his life."

7. Starbucked: A Double Tall Tale of Caffeine, Commerce and Culture by Taylor Clark

Recommend? No.

"In Starbucked, Taylor Clark provides an objective, meticulously reported look at the volatile issues like gentrification and fair trade that distress activists and coffee zealots alike. Through a cast of characters that includes coffee-wild hippies, business sharks, slackers, Hollywood trendsetters and more, Starbucked explores how America transformed into a nation of coffee gourmets in only a few years, how Starbucks manipulates psyches and social habits to snare loyal customers, and why many of the things we think we know about the coffee commodity chain are false."

8. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Recommend? Yes!

"When New Yorker Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home and quality time with the man she hopes to marry. But Nick has failed to give his girlfriend a few key details. One, that his childhood home looks like a palace; two, that he grew up riding in more private planes than cars; and three, that he just happens to be the country’s most eligible bachelor.

On Nick’s arm, Rachel may as well have a target on her back the second she steps off the plane, and soon, her relaxed vacation turns into an obstacle course of old money, new money, nosy relatives, and scheming social climbers."

9. The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest that will Bring Purpose to your Life by Chris Guillebeau

Recommend? Yes!

"...The more Chris spoke with these strivers, the more he began to appreciate the direct link between questing and long-term happiness, and he was compelled to complete a comprehensive study of the phenomenon. InThe Happiness of Pursuit, he draws on interviews with hundreds of questers, revealing their secret motivations, their selection criteria, the role played by friends and family, their tricks for solving logistics, and the importance of documentation. Equally fascinating is Chris’s examination of questing’s other side. What happens after the summit is climbed, the painting hung, the endurance record broken, the at-risk community saved?

A book that challenges each of us to take control—to make our lives be about something while at the same time remaining clear-eyed about the commitment—The Happiness of Pursuit will inspire readers of every age and aspiration. It’s a playbook for making your life count."

10. Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies: And Other Rituals to Fix Your Life, From Someone Who's Been There by Tara Schuster

Recommend? YES! (Another one of my top FAVE reads this year)

"...Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies is the story of Tara’s path to re-parenting herself and becoming a “ninja of self-love.” Through simple, daily rituals, Tara transformed her mind, body, and relationships, and shows how to

• fake gratitude until you actually feel gratitude

• excavate your emotional wounds and heal them with kindness

• identify your self-limiting beliefs, kick them to the curb, and start living a life you choose

• silence your inner frenemy and shield yourself from self-criticism

• carve out time each morning to start your day empowered, inspired, and ready to rule

• create a life you truly, totally f*cking LOVE

This is the book Tara wished someone had given her and it is the book many of us desperately need: a candid, hysterical, addictively readable, practical guide to growing up (no matter where you are in life) and learning to love yourself in a non-throw-up-in-your-mouth-it’s-so-cheesy way."

11. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck

Recommend? Yes!

"After decades of research, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., discovered a simple but groundbreaking idea: the power of mindset. In this brilliant book, she shows how success in school, work, sports, the arts, and almost every area of human endeavor can be dramatically influenced by how we think about our talents and abilities. People with a fixed mindset—those who believe that abilities are fixed—are less likely to flourish than those with ag rowth mindset—those who believe that abilities can be developed.Mindset reveals how great parents, teachers, managers, and athletes can put this idea to use to foster outstanding accomplishment."

12. The Joy of Missing Out: Live More By Doing Less by Tonya Dalton

Recommend? YES! (Another fave!)

"Tonya Dalton, CEO and productivity expert, offers you a liberating shift in perspective: feeling overwhelmed isn't the result of having too much to do -- it's from not knowing where to start.

Doing less might seem counterintuitive, but doing less is more productive, because you’re concentrating on the work you actually want to be doing. Through this book, you can learn how to:

  • Identify what is important to you and clarify your priorities.

  • Develop ways to streamline your specific workflow.

  • Discover your purpose.

Named Top 10 Business Book of the Year by Fortune magazine, The Joy of Missing Out is chock-full of resources and printables. This is a legitimate action plan for change. Once you reject the pressure to do more, something amazing happens: you discover you can finally live a guilt-free, abundant life."

13. How Full is Your Bucket? by Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton, Pd.D

Recommend? Yes!

"The #1 New York Times and #1 Business Week bestseller, How Full Is Your Bucket? reveals how even the briefest interactions affect your relationships, productivity, health, and longevity. Organized around a simple metaphor of a dipper and a bucket, and grounded in 50 years of research, this book will show you how to greatly increase the positive moments in your work and your life -- while reducing the negative."

14. Help Me! by Marianne Power

Recommend? Yes!

"...Marianne decided to finally find out if her elusive “perfect existence”―the one without debt, anxiety, or hangover Netflix marathons, the one where she healthily bounced around town and met the cashmere-sweater-wearing man of her dreams―really did lie in the pages of our best known and acclaimed self help books. She vowed to test a book a month for one year, following its advice to the letter, taking what she hoped would be the surest path to a flawless new her. But as the months passed and Marianne’s reality was turned upside down, she found herself confronted with a different question: Self-help can change your life, but is it for the better?"

15. You Do You: How to Be Who You Are and Use What You've Got to Get What you Want (A No F*cks Given Guide) by Sarah Knight

Recommend? NOOO.

"Being yourself should be easy, yet too many of us struggle to live on other people's terms instead of our own. Rather than feeling large and in charge, we feel little and belittled.

Sound familiar? Bestselling "anti-guru" Sarah Knight has three simple words for you: YOU DO YOU.

It's time to start putting your happiness first -- and stop letting other people tell you what to do, how to do it, or why it can't be done. And don't panic! You can do it without losing friends and alienating people. Knight delivers her trademark no-bullsh*t advice about:

The Tyranny of "Just Because" The social contract and how to amend it Turning "flaws" into strengths -- aka "mental redecorating" Why it's not your job to be nice Letting your freak flag fly How to take risks, silence the doubters, and prove the haters wrong"

16. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Recommend? Yes!

"They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose . . .

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

A Love Story for this generation and perfect for fans of John Green’sThe Fault in Our Stars,Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks,What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?"