I absolutely love reading!
This year I got more into memoirs, and going back to my trusted New Yorker articles, but my favourite books still continue to be those that inspire or are related to personal growth or spirituality.
These are some of the books – if not all – that I read last year.
I’ve shared the ones that I think were “skippable”, the ones that were enjoyable, and my top 5 below.
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb
Ahh, I loved this one.
This is a great read for everyone, just because there are so many accessible points in it. It’s an objectively great memoir, is written well, and has so much wisdom and truth in it.
Lori Gottlieb shares her life story of navigating different career paths and being single into her 30s and trying to plan for a family, while also weaving in stories from her therapy practice. It is SO good and written so well. I loved it.
Also a great book to normalize therapy and how beneficial it can be, and the humanity that unites us all.
Loving What Is – Four Questions to Change Your Life by Byron Katie
I had seen Byron Katie speak years ago and wow – she is powerful.
This was my first time reading one of her books however, and it really easily lays out “The Work” that she teaches, which is all about asking ourselves 4 questions to help us inquire with our minds what it is thinking about, and then to question those beliefs.
Ultimately, it’s our thinking that gets us into trouble more than anything, and these 4 questions are really helpful any time that you are getting too in your head.
In this book, she also runs through how she uses the 4 questions by narrating through different workshops she’s held and what different attendees were saying.
This is a great book for those of you on your spiritual journey or journey of personal growth.
The 10 Pillars of Wealth: Mind-Sets of the World’s Richest People by Alex Becker
I’ve read a lot of books on money manifestation because I’m always try to up-level through those blocks, and this has been one of my favourites.
The reason being is that Alex Becker is hilarious and it’s just a fun read, but also because he lays out these really simple yet powerful truths about building wealth for yourself.
It’s a very masculine approach, but I appreciate that.
If you are looking for a book that inspires you to level up and take control of you life, this is a great one.
Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence – Esther Perel
I love Esther Perel. I first saw her because of her Ted Talk, just like you may have.
I loved this book because Esther Perel shares so many truth nuggets about partnership and desire.
Especially with so many of us in lockdown in the last year, her words about desire needing to be stoked, but now hard it is when we don’t have opportunities to be separate and different when still “in captivity” of quarantine was a really interesting exploration.
Similar to Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, she weaves stories of the couples that she works with into the book. Very relatable!
Highly recommend for anyone who is curious about relationships and intimacy.
Quit Like a Woman: The Radical Choice to Not Drink in a Culture Obsessed with Alcohol – Holly Whitaker
This is another one that was also incredibly written. Holly Whitaker is a great writer, but in this book is sharing about her relationship with alcohol. Unlike other “drink-lit” books, this one explores the marketing of alcohol toward women, how it permeates the culture, and what it is, exactly.
It was a really fascinating read to explore drinking, and why we drink, and especially as women, how this can affect us and our systems, and whether it’s all worth it.
For some, the choice to drink alcohol doesn’t outweigh the cons, and if you’ve been questioning your relationship to drinking, Holly Whitaker is a helpful guide to explore whether you wish to continue drinking or not.
It’s a really fascinating book for any woman, no matter your relationship with drinking, to help you become more mindful of your consumption, exploring sobriety, or unpacking why so many of us drink in the first place. While I choose to drink, the book helped me question and explore when and why I am making that choice mindfully, and where it doesn’t serve me or isn’t a nourishing choice.
- The Betty Body: A Geeky Goddess’ Guide to Intuitive Eating, Balanced Hormones, and Transformative Sex by Stephanie Estima (great for an overall understanding to women’s health, and how to structure our work lives in accordance with our hormones and cycles).
- Jesus Over Everything: Uncomplicating the Daily Struggle to Put Jesus First by Lisa Whittle (a great and hilarious book on faith, even when we don’t want to have faith or God/Universe is testing us)
- The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron (a classic designed to inspire creativity).
- The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes (a hilarious memoir about an unconventional approach to surrender)
- What Would Frida Do?: A Guide to Living Boldly by Arianna Davis (a great, accessible overview of Frida Kahlo’s life and how we can all be more like Friday)
- Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport (another great one inspiring more focus)
- Ask and Is Is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks (a classic on the law of attraction)
- The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times by Pema Chödrön (another classic on Buddhist wisdom to incorporate in difficult times. Thoughtful and easily digestible)
- A Radical Awakening: Turn Pain into Power, Embrace Your Truth, Live Free by Dr. Shefali Tsabary (I had a love hate with this one – parts of it I absolutely loved, and parts of it I didn’t. Dr. Shefali is incredible, and I know that the parts that didn’t connect with me were showing me ways of thinking that I might be too rigid).
- Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be by Rachel Hollis (Say what you want about Rachel Hollis – I was curious to learn about her after she had quite a backlash in the last year. I enjoyed the book! It’s more entry-level approach, but is ultimately inspiring to ensure you take full responsibility for your life)
- A Beginner’s Guide To Bitcoin by Matthew R. Kratter (This is a great overview for those of you new to cryptocurrency that explains it in a really easy to digest way)
- Difficult Mothers, Adult Daughters: A Guide For Separation, Liberation & Inspiration by Karen C.L. Anderson (For anyone with a complicated relationship with their mother, or who are needing to detach in new, healthy ways – this had some great nuggets of wisdom).
Books I Read That Were “Meh” and Wouldn’t Recommend
The reason why most of these ones were added to this list were because there were too surface or basic. There are other books on all of these topics that are far more fulsome or interesting.
In addition, most of them, in my opinion, were written in a way that I find too be too “fluffy” so didn’t enjoy the reading experience. The same comment from above applies – there are other books on all of these topics that written better.
Influencer: Building Your Personal Brand in the Age of Social Media by Brittany Hennessy
Moonology: Working with the Magic of Lunar Cycles by
The Greatest Secret (The Secret) by Rhonda Byrne
The Art of Extreme Self-Care: 12 Practical and Inspiring Ways to Love Yourself More by Cheryl Richardson
Get Rich, Lucky Bitch: Release Your Money Blocks and Live a First-Class Life by Denise Duffield Thomas
It’s Not Your Money: How to Live Fully from Divine Abundance by Tosha Silver
E-Squared: Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality by Pam Grout
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma
Everything Is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo
The Book of Moods: How I Turned My Worst Emotions Into My Best Life by Lauren Martin
Dodging Energy Vampires: An Empath’s Guide to Evading Relationships That Drain You and Restoring Your Health and Power by Christiane Northrup
Trust Within: Letting Intuition Lead by Molly Carroll
The Psychology of Selling: Increase Your Sales Faster and Easier Than You Ever Thought Possible by Brian Tracy
How to Do the Work: Recognize Your Patterns, Heal from Your Past, and Create Your Self by Nicole LePera
Raise Your Vibration: 111 Practices to Increase Your Spiritual Connection by Kyle Gray
The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles
Can’t Hurt Me : Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds by David Goggins
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