• Casey Kidwell

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?"




17. After You by Jojo Moyes

Recommend? Yes!

"How do you move on after losing the person you loved? How do you build a life worth living?

Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started.

Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding—the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future. . . .

For Lou Clark, life after Will Traynor means learning to fall in love again, with all the risks that brings. But here Jojo Moyes gives us two families, as real as our own, whose joys and sorrows will touch you deeply, and where both changes and surprises await."





18. Still Me by Jojo Moyes

Recommend? Yes!

"Louisa Clark arrives in New York ready to start a new life, confident that she can embrace this new adventure and keep her relationship with Ambulance Sam alive across several thousand miles. She steps into the world of the superrich, working for Leonard Gopnik and his much younger second wife, Agnes. Lou is determined to get the most out of the experience and throws herself into her new job and New York life.

As she begins to mix in New York high society, Lou meets Joshua Ryan, a man who brings with him a whisper of her past. Before long, Lou finds herself torn between Fifth Avenue where she works and the treasure-filled vintage clothing store where she actually feels at home. And when matters come to a head, she has to ask herself: Who is Louisa Clark? And how do you find the courage to follow your heart—wherever that may lead?

Funny, romantic, and poignant,Still Me follows Lou as she discovers who she is and who she was always meant to be—and learns to live boldly in her brave new world."




19. The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology that Fuel Success and Performance at Work by Shawn Achor

Recommend? YES!

"Our most commonly held formula for success is broken. Conventional wisdom holds that if we work hard we will be more successful, and if we are more successful, then we’ll be happy. If we can just find that great job, win that next promotion, lose those five pounds, happiness will follow. But recent discoveries in the field of positive psychology have shown that this formula is actually backward: Happiness fuels success, not the other way around. When we are positive, our brains become more engaged, creative, motivated, energetic, resilient, and productive at work. This isn’t just an empty mantra. This discovery has been repeatedly borne out by rigorous research in psychology and neuroscience, management studies, and the bottom lines of organizations around the globe.

In The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor, who spent over a decade living, researching, and lecturing at Harvard University, draws on his own research—including one of the largest studies of happiness and potential at Harvard and others at companies like UBS and KPMG—to fix this broken formula. Using stories and case studies from his work with thousands of Fortune 500 executives in 42 countries, Achor explains how we can reprogram our brains to become more positive in order to gain a competitive edge at work."




20. For One More Day by Mitch Albom

Recommend? Yes (Mitch Albom books are quick, feel-good reads)

"This is the story of Charley, a child of divorce who is always forced to choose between his mother and his father. He grows into a man and starts a family of his own. But one fateful weekend, he leaves his mother to secretly be with his father - and she dies while he is gone. This haunts him for years. It unravels his own young family. It leads him to depression and drunkenness. One night, he decides to take his life. But somewhere between this world and the next, he encounters his mother again, in their hometown, and gets to spend one last day with her - the day he missed and always wished he'd had. He asks the questions many of us yearn to ask, the questions we never ask while our parents are alive. By the end of this magical day, Charley discovers how little he really knew about his mother, the secret of how her love saved their family, and how deeply he wants the second chance to save his own."




21. Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court by John Wooden

Recommend? Yes!

"Evoking days gone by when coaches were respected as much for their off-court performances as for their success on the court, Wooden presents the timeless wisdom of legendary basketball coach John Wooden.

In honest and telling passages about virtually every aspect of life, Coach shares his personal philosophy on family, achievement, success, and excellence. Raised on a small farm in south-central Indiana, he offers lessons and wisdom learned throughout his career at UCLA, and life as a dedicated husband, father, and teacher."





22. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

Recommend? Yes!

"Eddie is a grizzled war veteran who feels trapped in a meaningless life of fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. His days are a dull routine of work, loneliness, and regret.

Then, on his 83rd birthday, Eddie dies in a tragic accident, trying to save a little girl from a falling cart. He awakens in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a lush Garden of Eden, but a place where your earthly life is explained to you by five people. These people may have been loved ones or distant strangers. Yet each of them changed your path forever.

One by one, Eddie's five people illuminate the unseen connections of his earthly life. As the story builds to its stunning conclusion, Eddie desperately seeks redemption in the still-unknown last act of his life: Was it a heroic success or a devastating failure The answer, which comes from the most unlikely of sources, is as inspirational as a glimpse of heaven itself."




23. Life Is Short, Wear Your Party Pants by Loretta Laroche

Recommend? No (Outdated. The author is definitely speaking to an older audience).

"...Loretta gives you dozens of proven techniques for recognizing the ten simple truths that will lead you to an intense, happy, successful life: resilience, living in the moment, optimism, acceptance, humor, creativity, moderation, responsibility, meaning, and connection. Loretta’s wisdom evolved from her own life—one filled with the demands of being a single mother of three; of starting her own business when she was broke; and of the wacky invasiveness of her Italian family. She’s like all of us: real, flawed, stressed out, and on edge. Her magic comes from an ability to not take herself too seriously, and to always shift her focus away from the self-destructive and toward the truly important things in life. In her work, Loretta has seen tens of thousands of people who live their lives as if they’re sitting in a waiting room, hoping that their turn comes up next. This book will show you that life is not something to be endured, but is something to be truly appreciated. We need to remember how to access our inner abundance, which allows us to be heart-centered, joy-filled human beings. As Loretta says: "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift—that’s why they call it the present.""




24. Leonardo by Martin Kemp

Recommend? Yes! (Challenging read, not a book I would typically pick up but interesting nevertheless).

"Martin Kemp offers us exceptional insights into what it was that made this Renaissance man so special, and the "real" meaning behind such masterpieces as theMona Lisa and theLast Supper. Tracing Leonardo's career in all its variety, we learn of his unfulfilled dreams, relationships with powerful patrons, and the truth about his views on God, humanity, and nature. The famous notebooks are the key to understanding the secret of Leonardo's success and genius, Kemp shows, as they clearly reveal the workings of his mind and display the truly innovative and investigative nature of his creative vision. In these notebooks, over 20,000 pages of drawings and notes detail his incredible discoveries and inventions--from the workings of the human eye to designs for flying machines and giant crossbows. Bringing the story up to the present day, Martin Kemp considers what he means to us today, investigates the "Leonardo industry," and speculates about what he would be doing if he were alive today."




25. Own Your Everyday: Overcome the Pressure to Prove and Show Up for What you Were Made to Do by Jordan Lee Dooley

Recommend? Yes! (Definitely has religious overtones but still a good read!)

"An influential millennial widely recognized for her tagline turned international movement, “Your Brokenness is Welcome Here,” Jordan has become a go-to source that women around the world look to for inspiration in their faith, work, relationships, and everyday life.

Now, in this approachable but actionable read that’s jam-packed with practical tools, Jordan equips you to

• tackle obstacles such as disappointment, perfectionism, comparison, and distraction

• remove labels and break out of the box of expectations

• identify and eliminate excuses and unnecessary stress about an unknown future

• overcome the lie that you can’t live your God-given purpose until you reach a certain goal or milestone

If you ever feel you need to shift your mindset but don’t know how, this book will help you overcome shame, practice gratitude, and redefine success."




26. Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

Recommend? YES YES!

"Nine people gather at a remote health resort. Some are here to lose weight, some are here to get a reboot on life, some are here for reasons they can’t even admit to themselves. Amidst all of the luxury and pampering, the mindfulness and meditation, they know these ten days might involve some real work. But none of them could imagine just how challenging the next ten days are going to be.

Frances Welty, the formerly best-selling romantic novelist, arrives at Tranquillum House nursing a bad back, a broken heart, and an exquisitely painful paper cut. She’s immediately intrigued by her fellow guests. Most of them don’t look to be in need of a health resort at all. But the person that intrigues her most is the strange and charismatic owner/director of Tranquillum House. Could this person really have the answers Frances didn’t even know she was seeking? Should Frances put aside her doubts and immerse herself in everything Tranquillum House has to offer – or should she run while she still can?

It’s not long before every guest at Tranquillum House is asking exactly the same question."





27. Brave, Not Perfect: Fear Less, Fail More and Live Bolder by Reshma Saujani

Recommend? Yes!

"Imagine if you lived without the fear of not being good enough. If you didn’t care how your life looked on Instagram. If you could let go of the guilt and stop beating yourself up for making human mistakes. Imagine if, in every decision you faced, you took the bolder path?

As women, too many of us feel crushed under the weight of our own expectations. We run ourselves ragged trying to please everyone, pass up opportunities that scare us, and avoid rejection at all costs.

There’s a reason we act this way, Saujani says. As girls, we were taught to play it safe. Well-meaning parents and teachers praised us for being quiet and polite, urged us to be careful so we didn’t get hurt, and steered us to activities at which we could shine. As a result, we grew up to be women who are afraid to fail. 

It’s time to stop letting our fears drown out our dreams and narrow our world, along with our chance at happiness."




28. The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea by Bob Burg

Recommend? Yes!

"The Go-Giver tells the story of an ambitious young man named Joe who yearns for success. Joe is a true go-getter, though sometimes he feels as if the harder and faster he works, the further away his goals seem to be. And so one day, desperate to land a key sale at the end of a bad quarter, he seeks advice from the enigmatic Pindar, a legendary consultant referred to by his many devotees simply as the Chairman.

Over the next week, Pindar introduces Joe to a series of “go-givers:” a restaurateur, a CEO, a financial adviser, a real estate broker, and the “Connector,” who brought them all together. Pindar’s friends share with Joe the Five Laws of Stratospheric Success and teach him how to open himself up to the power of giving.

Joe learns that changing his focus from getting to giving—putting others’ interests first and continually adding value to their lives—ultimately leads to unexpected returns."




29. Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life: How to Unlock Your Full Potential for Success and Achievement by Brian Tracy

Recommend? No. (A lot of Tracy's ideology is just archaic).



30. The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

Recommend? Yes!!

"...YOU WANT LESS. You want fewer distractions and less on your plate. The daily barrage of e-mails, texts, tweets, messages, and meetings distract you and stress you out. The simultaneous demands of work and family are taking a toll. And what's the cost? Second-rate work, missed deadlines, smaller paychecks, fewer promotions--and lots of stress.

AND YOU WANT MORE. You want more productivity from your work. More income for a better lifestyle. You want more satisfaction from life, and more time for yourself, your family, and your friends.

NOW YOU CAN HAVE BOTH ― LESS AND MORE. In The ONE Thing, you'll learn to * cut through the clutter * achieve better results in less time * build momentum toward your goal* dial down the stress * overcome that overwhelmed feeling * revive your energy * stay on track * master what matters to you The ONE Thing delivers extraordinary results in every area of your life--work, personal, family, and spiritual. WHAT'S YOUR ONE THING?"






31. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink

Recommend? Yes!

"Most people believe that the best way to motivate is with rewards like money—the carrot-and-stick approach. That's a mistake, says Daniel H. Pink (author ofTo Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Motivating Others). In this provocative and persuasive new book, he asserts that the secret to high performance and satisfaction-at work, at school, and at home—is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.

Drawing on four decades of scientific research on human motivation, Pink exposes the mismatch between what science knows and what business does—and how that affects every aspect of life. He examines the three elements of true motivation—autonomy, mastery, and purpose-and offers smart and surprising techniques for putting these into action in a unique book that will change how we think and transform how we live."




32. The Magic by Rhona Byrne

Recommend? Yes!

"One word changes everything...

For more than twenty centuries, words within a sacred text have mystified, confused, and been misunderstood by almost all who read them. Only a very few people through history have realized that the words are a riddle, and that once you solve the riddle—once you uncover the mystery—a new world will appear before your eyes.

In The Magic, Rhonda Byrne reveals this life-changing knowledge to the world. Then, on an incredible 28-day journey, she teaches you how to apply this knowledge in your everyday life.

No matter who you are, no matter where you are, no matter what your current circumstances,The Magic is going to change your entire life!"




33. You've Got to Read This Book!: 55 People Tell the Story of the Book That Changed Their Lives by Jack Canfield and Gay Heindricks

Recommend? Yes! (A bit outdated but an interesting read about the power of stories)

"There's nothing better than a book you can't put down—or better yet, a book you'll never forget. This book puts the power of transformational reading into your hands. Jack Canfield, cocreator of the bestsellingChicken Soup for the Soul®series, and self-actualization pioneer Gay Hendricks have invited notable people to share personal stories of books that changed their lives. What book shaped their outlook and habits? Helped them navigate rough seas? Spurred them to satisfaction and success?"




34. The No Complaining Rule: Positive Ways to Deal with Negativity at Work by Jon Gordon

Recommend? Yes!

"Negativity in the workplace costs businesses billions of dollars and impacts the morale, productivity and health of individuals and teams. "InThe No Complaining Rule: Positive Ways to Deal with Negativity at Work, Jon Gordon, a bestselling author, consultant and speaker, shares an enlightening story that demonstrates how you can conquer negativity and inspire others to adopt a positive attitude." Based on one company’s successful No Complaining Rule, the powerful principles and actionable plan are practical and easy-to-follow, making this book an ideal read for managers, team leaders and anyone interested in generating positive energy."




35. The 4 Season Solution: A Groundbreaking New Plan for Feeling Better, Living Well and Powering Down our Always-On Lives by Dallas Hartwig

Recommend? Yes!

"...Packed with crucial research and clear-eyed writing,The 4 Season Solution provides a new, sustainable model for living in sync with the natural world. By making small but meaningful changes to the four keys of wellness—how you sleep, eat, move, and connect—over the course of the year, you will reclaim your health, regain your energy, and let go of excess weight. At once a bold new philosophy and an accessible plan to live well all year long,The 4 Season Solution is a new health paradigm for an increasingly unhealthy world."




36. Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle

Recommend? YES!!

"A memoir of betrayal and self-discovery by bestselling author Glennon Doyle, Love Warrior is a gorgeous and inspiring account of how we are all born to be warriors: strong, powerful, and brave; able to confront the pain and claim the love that exists for us all. This chronicle of a beautiful, brutal journey speaks to anyone who yearns for deeper, truer relationships and a more abundant, authentic life."




37. Dare To Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. by Brene Brown

Recommend? No (LOVE Brene as a speaker but I didn't connect with her as an author)

"Leadership is not about titles, status, and wielding power. A leader is anyone who takes responsibility for recognizing the potential in people and ideas, and has the courage to develop that potential.

When we dare to lead, we don’t pretend to have the right answers; we stay curious and ask the right questions. We don’t see power as finite and hoard it; we know that power becomes infinite when we share it with others. We don’t avoid difficult conversations and situations; we lean into vulnerability when it’s necessary to do good work.

But daring leadership in a culture defined by scarcity, fear, and uncertainty requires skill-building around traits that are deeply and uniquely human. The irony is that we’re choosing not to invest in developing the hearts and minds of leaders at the exact same time as we’re scrambling to figure out what we have to offer that machines and AI can’t do better and faster. What can we do better? Empathy, connection, and courage, to start."




38. Untamed by Glennon Doyle

Recommend? YES YES!

"Soulful and uproarious, forceful and tender, Untamed is both an intimate memoir and a galvanizing wake-up call. It is the story of how one woman learned that a responsible mother is not one who slowly dies for her children, but one who shows them how to fully live. It is the story of navigating divorce, forming a new blended family, and discovering that the brokenness or wholeness of a family depends not on its structure but on each member’s ability to bring her full self to the table. And it is the story of how each of us can begin to trust ourselves enough to set boundaries, make peace with our bodies, honor our anger and heartbreak, and unleash our truest, wildest instincts so that we become women who can finally look at ourselves and say:There She Is."




39. It's Not How Good You Are It's How Good You Want to Be: The World's Best Selling Book by Paul Arden

Recommend? Yes!

"It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want to Be is a handbook of how to succeed in the world - a pocket 'bible' for the talented and timid to make the unthinkable thinkable and the impossible possible. The world's top advertising guru, Paul Arden, offers up his wisdom on issues as diverse as problem solving, responding to a brief, communicating, playing your cards right, making mistakes and creativity, all notions that can be applied to aspects of modern life. This book provides a unique insight into the world of advertising and is a quirky compilation of quotes, facts, pictures, wit and wisdom, packed into easy-to-digest, bite-sized spreads. If you want to succeed in life or business, this is a must!"




40. The Upside of Being Down: How Mental Health Struggles Led to My Greatest Successes in Work and Life by Jen Gotch

Recommend? YES!

"...With humor and candor, Gotch shares the empowering story of her unlikely path to becoming the creator and CCO of a multimillion-dollar brand. From her childhood in Florida where her early struggles with bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety, and ADD were misdiagnosed, to her winding career path as a waitress, photographer, food stylist, and finally, accidental entrepreneur, she illuminates how embracing her flaws and understanding the influence of mental illness on her creativity actually led to her greatest successes in business and life."




41. The Multi-Hyphen Life: Work Less, Create More and Design a Life that Works for You by Emma Gannon

Recommend? Yes yes and YES! (Another fave from this year)

"In The Multi-Hyphen Life, award-winning British author-podcaster Emma Gannon explains that it doesn't matter if you're a part-time PA with a blog, or an accountant who runs an online store in the evenings—whatever your ratio, whatever your mixture, we can all channel our own entrepreneurial spirit to live more fulfilled and financially healthy lives.

Technology allows us to work wherever, whenever, and enables us to design our own working lives. Forget the outdated stigma of “jack of all trades, master of none,” because having many strings to your bow is essential to get ahead in the modern working world. We all have the skills necessary to work less and create more, and The Multi-Hyphen Life is the source of inspiration you need to help you navigate your way toward your own definition of success."




42. The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company by Robert Iger

Recommend? Yes!

"Robert Iger became CEO of The Walt Disney Company in 2005, during a difficult time. Competition was more intense than ever and technology was changing faster than at any time in the company’s history. His vision came down to three clear ideas: Recommit to the concept that quality matters, embrace technology instead of fighting it, and think bigger—think global—and turn Disney into a stronger brand in international markets.

Today, Disney is the largest, most admired media company in the world, counting Pixar, Marvel, Lucas film, and 21st Century Fox among its properties. Its value is nearly five times what it was when Iger took over, and he is recognized as one of the most innovative and successful CEOs of our era.

In The Ride of a Lifetime, Robert Iger shares the lessons he learned while running Disney and leading its 220,000-plus employees, and he explores the principles that are necessary for true leadership."




43. The Skinny Gut Diet: Balance Your Digestive System for Permanent Weight Loss by Brenda Watson C.N.C., Leonard Smith, M.D., Jamey Jones, B.Sc

Recommend? Yes! (For those of you who may have stomach issues like I do, otherwise the "science-y" elements of it may not interest you.)

"...In The Skinny Gut Diet,New York Times bestselling author, public television icon, certified nutritional consultant, and digestive health expert Brenda Watson offers an insightful perspective on the little-known connection between weight gain and an underlying imbalance of bacteria in the gut, or what she calls the “gut factor”—the overlooked root cause of weight gain. Drawing upon the latest scientific research, Brenda illuminates the inner workings of the digestive system and provides instructions for achieving a healthy bacterial ecosystem that spurs weight loss by enabling the body to absorb fewer calories from food, experience reduced cravings, and store less fat. The premise is simple: curtail sugar consumption (and its surprising sources) and eat more healthy fats, living foods, and protein to balance the gut bacteria. The result? A skinny gut."



 

44. City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

Recommend? Yes!

"...In 1940, nineteen-year-old Vivian Morris has just been kicked out of Vassar College, owing to her lackluster freshman-year performance. Her affluent parents send her to Manhattan to live with her Aunt Peg, who owns a flamboyant, crumbling midtown theater called the Lily Playhouse. There Vivian is introduced to an entire cosmos of unconventional and charismatic characters, from the fun-chasing showgirls to a sexy male actor, a grand-dame actress, a lady-killer writer, and no-nonsense stage manager. But when Vivian makes a personal mistake that results in professional scandal, it turns her new world upside down in ways that it will take her years to fully understand. Ultimately, though, it leads her to a new understanding of the kind of life she craves - and the kind of freedom it takes to pursue it. It will also lead to the love of her life, a love that stands out from all the rest.

Now eighty-nine years old and telling her story at last, Vivian recalls how the events of those years altered the course of her life - and the gusto and autonomy with which she approached it. "At some point in a woman's life, she just gets tired of being ashamed all the time," she muses. "After that, she is free to become whoever she truly is." Written with a powerful wisdom about human desire and connection,City of Girls is a love story like no other."





45. Hold On, But Don't Hold Still: Hope and Humor from my Seriously Flawed Life by Kristina Kuzmic

Recommend? No (Unless you're a parent! I had a hard time relating to a lot of her message being that I don't have children myself but a sweet memoir for those of you who do).

"Kristina Kuzmic has made herself a household name, speaking directly to mothers from the trenches of parenthood via her viral videos and social media presence. She is now bringing her message of self-acceptance, resilience, and joy to book readers. With a refreshingly unpretentious, funny, and galvanizing voice, Kuzmic goes behind the scenes to reveal how she went from broke and defeated to unshakably grounded and brimming with thankfulness. Illuminating the hard-won wisdom from a life always spent one step behind--whether it was as a high school student new to America, a suddenly single mother to two kids, remarried and juggling two teens and a toddler, or the unexpected recipient of Oprah's attention and investment--Hold On, But Don't Hold Stillis the book every mother needs to reassure her that she's not only fine just as she is, but that she already has more tools and support than she can possibly imagine. Sparkling with wit, this heartfelt memoir is like a long coffee date with a best friend, or the eleventh-hour text message that gives you just the boost you need to get through the night."



46. Brain Wash: Detox Your Mind for Clearer Thinking, Deeper Relationships and Lasting Happiness by David Perlmutter, MD and Austin Perlmutter, MD.

Recommend? Yes! "Fight back against a modern culture that is rewiring our brains and damaging our health with this practical, doctor-approved plan for healing that includes a ten-day boot camp and forty delicious recipes.

Contemporary life provides us with infinite opportunities, along with endless temptations. We can eat whatever we want, whenever we want. We can immerse ourselves in the vast, enticing world of digital media. We can buy goods and services for rapid delivery with our fingertips or voice commands. But living in this 24/7 hyper-reality poses serious risks to our physical and mental states, our connections to others, and even to the world at large.

Brain Wash builds from a simple premise: Our brains are being gravely manipulated, resulting in behaviors that leave us more lonely, anxious, depressed, distrustful, illness-prone, and overweight than ever before."




47. The Longevity Paradox: How to Die Young at a Ripe Old Age by Steven R. Gundry, MD.

Recommend? YES! Such an interesting read!

"...From the moment we are born, our cells begin to age. But aging does not have to mean decline. World-renowned surgeon Dr. Steven Gundry has been treating mature patients for most of his career. He knows that everyone thinks they want to live forever, until they hit middle age and witness the suffering of their parents and even their peers. So how do we solve the paradox of wanting to live to a ripe old age—but enjoy the benefits of youth?

This groundbreaking book holds the answer. Working with thousands of patients, Dr. Gundry has discovered that the “diseases of aging” we most fear are not simply a function of age; rather, they are a byproduct of the way we have lived over the decades. In The Longevity Paradox, he maps out a new approach to aging well—one that is based on supporting the health of the “oldest” parts of us: the microorganisms that live within our bodies."




48. The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams and Reaching Your Destiny by Robin Sharma

Recommend? Yes! A classic, must read for everyone!

"Wisdom to Create a Life of Passion, Purpose, and Peace.

This inspiring tale provides a step-by-step approach to living with greater courage, balance, abundance, and joy. A wonderfully crafted fable, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari tells the extraordinary story of Julian Mantle, a lawyer forced to confront the spiritual crisis of his out-of-balance life. On a life-changing odyssey to an ancient culture, he discovers powerful, wise, and practical lessons that teach us to:


  • Develop Joyful Thoughts,

  • Follow Our Life's Mission and Calling,

  • Cultivate Self-Discipline and Act Courageously,

  • Value Time as Our Most Important Commodity,

  • Nourish Our Relationships, and

  • Live Fully, One Day at a Time."




49. How to be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life by Lilly Singh

Recommend? YES!

"...Now Lilly wants to share the lessons she learned while taking the world by storm, and the tools she used to do it.How to Be a Bawse is the definitive guide to conquering life. Make no mistake, there are no shortcuts to success, personal or professional. World domination requires real effort, dedication, and determination. Just consider Lilly a personal trainer for your life—with fifty rules to get you in the game, including


• Let Go of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out): Temptation will try to steer you away from your goals. FOMO is just a test of your priorities, a test that a bawse is ready to pass.

• Be Nice to People: Treat niceness like an item on your daily to-do list. People will go out of their way to help and support you because you make them feel good.

• Schedule Inspiration: Lack of motivation isn’t permanent or a sign of weakness. Expect it and proactively schedule time to be creative.

• Be the Dumbest: Challenge yourself by surrounding yourself with people who know more than you do. It’s a vital way to learn and improve.


Told in Lilly’s hilarious, bold voice and packed with photos and candid stories from her journey to the top, How to Be a Bawse will make you love your life and yourself—even more than you love Beyoncé. (Yes, we said it!)"




50. The Big Five for Life by John Strelecky

Recommend? Yes! Another classic read.

"This book will inspire you. It will change your life in ways you can’t know now, but you’ll understand completely once you’re done reading it.It will also forever enhance the way you look at your role as a leader. That includes the way you lead at home, at work, in your community...and especially the way you lead you. At every given moment we are all called to be leaders. If for no other purpose than to lead ourselves.After all, someone has to inspire you to get out of bed each day. And that someone, is you.It is told from the perspective of Thomas Derale, a man viewed by the people around him as the greatest leader in the world. At fifty-five years of age he learns he is dying. Yet even in that—the act of dying—he inspires everyone around him to live.The principles in this book, such as the Big Five for Life and Museum Day Morning, have positively impacted millions of readers around the world. Each in their own unique way as they have applied them to their life, their situation. Get your copy, begin to read, and let them inspire you."



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