At the beginning of the year, I made a goal regarding the number of books I wanted to read.
I love books, and it’s been a journey discovering how much books can teach me. It has been one of my biggest mentors and plays a huge part in my personal growth journey.
And since I know the impact one book can make in my life (or in anybody’s life), I also wanted to make sure I’m intentional. So this year I decided to track my progress.
This is one of the basics in setting a goal.
Set a goal -> Track the progress -> Achieve the goal -> Celebrate
I know I’m making a big deal about how many books I am reading this year, but you know how easy it is to lose track of it as I am so busy with life and I can find all the great excuses for not doing it.
Also, I got inspired by my son. Well, his LAL (Language Arts Literacy) teacher made them track their reading using a Reading Logger. This gave me the idea to create my own reading logger that you can also download for free.
So this blog is about sharing with you the books I’ve read so far and which ones I recommend.
Goal: 30 Books in 2021
*Conditions: it can be hardcover or Audible, and it can be a book I’ve already read in the past.
Synopsis: Man’s Search for Meaning is a 1946 book by Viktor Frankl chronicling his experiences as a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps during World War II, and describing his psychotherapeutic method, which involved identifying a purpose in life to feel positive about, and then immersively imagining that outcome.
2. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
Synopsis: Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one rainy afternoon in the unlikeliest of places: a city bus. “The days are long, but the years are short,” she realized. “Time is passing, and I’m not focusing enough on the things that really matter.” In that moment, she decided to dedicate a year to her happiness project.
In this lively and compelling account—now updated with new material by the author—Rubin chronicles her adventures during the twelve months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier. Among other things, she found that novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness; that money can help buy happiness, when spent wisely; that outer order contributes to inner calm; and that the very smallest of changes can make the biggest difference.
3. Humor Seriously by Jennifer Aaker
Synopsis: Aaker and Bagdonas unpack the theory and application of humor: what makes something funny and how to mine your life for material. They show how to use humor to make a strong first impression, deliver difficult feedback, persuade and motivate others, and foster cultures where levity and creativity can thrive—not to mention, how to keep it appropriate and recover if you cross a line.
4. More Myself by Alicia Keys
Synopsis: An intimate, revealing look at one artist’s journey from self-censorship to full expression
As one of the most celebrated musicians in the world, Alicia Keys has enraptured the globe with her heartfelt lyrics, extraordinary vocal range, and soul-stirring piano compositions. Yet away from the spotlight, Alicia has grappled with private heartache―over the challenging and complex relationship with her father, the people-pleasing nature that characterized her early career, the loss of privacy surrounding her romantic relationships, and the oppressive expectations of female perfection.
5. Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller
Synopsis: The StoryBrand process is a proven solution to the struggle business leaders face when talking about their companies. Without a clear, distinct message, customers will not understand what you can do for them and are unwilling to engage, causing you to lose potential sales, opportunities for customer engagement, and much more.
In Building a StoryBrand, Donald Miller teaches marketers and business owners to use the seven universal elements of powerful stories to dramatically improve how they connect with customers and grow their businesses.
6. Get Out Of Your Own Way by Dave Hollis
Synopsis: Dave Hollis used to think that “personal growth” was just for broken people.
Then he woke up.
When a looming career funk, a growing drinking problem, and a challenging trek through therapy battered Dave Hollis, a Disney executive and father of four, he began to realize he was letting untruths about himself dictate his life. As he sank to the bottom of his valley, he had to make a choice. Would he push himself out of his comfort zone to become the best man he was capable of being, or would he play it safe and settle for mediocrity?
7. Believe IT by Jamie Kern Lima
Synopsis: In Believe IT, Jamie Kern Lima, founder of IT Cosmetics, shares the wild but true story of how a once struggling waitress turned her against-the-grain idea into an international bestselling sensation, eventually selling the company for over a billion dollars and becoming the first female CEO of a brand in L’Oréal’s 100+ year history. Faced with self-doubt, body-doubt, God-doubt, down to her last few dollars and told “No one is going to buy makeup from someone who has your body,” Jamie reveals for the first time what really went down, how she almost didn’t make it, how she learned to trust herself, and the powerful lessons you, too, can use to go from underestimated to unstoppable.
8. High Performance Habits by Brendon Buchard
Synopsis: After extensive original research and a decade as the world’s highest-paid performance coach, Brendon Burchard finally reveals the most effective habits for reaching long-term success. Based on one of the largest surveys ever conducted on high performers, it turns out that just six habits move the needle the most in helping you succeed. Adopt these six habits, and you win. Neglect them, and life is a never-ending struggle.
We all want to be high performing in every area of our lives. But how? Which habits can help you achieve long-term success and vibrant well-being no matter your age, career, strengths, or personality? To become a high performer, you must seek clarity, generate energy, raise necessity, increase productivity, develop influence, and demonstrate courage. This book is about the art and science of how to practice these proven habits.
9. Atomic Habits by James Clear
Synopsis: No matter your goals, Atomic Habits offers a proven framework for improving–every day. James Clear, one of the world’s leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results.
If you’re having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn’t you. The problem is your system. Bad habits repeat themselves again and again not because you don’t want to change, but because you have the wrong system for change. You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. Here, you’ll get a proven system that can take you to new heights.
10. Greenlights by Mathew McConaughey
Synopsis: A book about finding oneself by a process of elimination. Unlike many other autobiographies, the anecdotes he chooses to tell are not picked to generate headlines, but to give an insight into how he has become the man he is.
11. Sunshine Girl by Julianna Margulies
Synopsis: As an apple-cheeked bubbly child, Julianna was bestowed with the family nickname “Sunshine Girl.” Shuttled back and forth between her divorced parents, often on different continents, she quickly learned how to be of value to her eccentric mother and her absent father. Raised in fairly unconventional ways in various homes in Paris, England, New York, and New Hampshire, Julianna found that her role among the surrounding turmoil and uncertainty was to comfort those around her, seeking organization among the disorder, making her way in the world as a young adult and eventually an award-winning actress.
12. Brave, Not Perfect by Reshma Saujan
Synopsis: Saujani explains why she thinks this happens: From a young age, boys are lauded when they take risks. Girls, on the other hand, are told to be perfect, but steer clear of taking chances. Coding, and jobs in tech in general, are all about taking risks.
13. Essentialism by Greg McKeown
Synopsis: Essentialism is more than a time-management strategy or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution toward the things that really matter.
By forcing us to apply more selective criteria for what is Essential, the disciplined pursuit of less empowers us to reclaim control of our own choices about where to spend our precious time and energy—instead of giving others the implicit permission to choose for us.
Essentialism is not one more thing—it’s a whole new way of doing everything. It’s about doing less, but better, in every area of our lives. Essentialism is a movement whose time has come.
I love all of these books, so I can say I recommend them all!
But if you tell me “okay, give me one I should read by now,” I would say: I recommend listening to the Audible book More Myself by Alicia Keys. It is read by the author and is worth listening to her story in Alicia Keys’ voice.
The next one, which is hilarious and full of great life messages is the Greenlights by Mathew McConaughey.
The best book where I read the hardcover first and then the Audible next was Jamie Kern Lima’s book, Believe IT. This is an extraordinary book. Seriously, if you need a good lesson about courage, read this book.
I even wrote a blog about the book when I finished reading it. Read more about The Fearless Squirrel Tool to Beat Self -Doubt here.
Definitely, this book goes to my Top 10 List of Books for Personal Development which I also shared with you a while ago. See here.
Remember, if you want to have a copy of my free template where you can track your reading, click the image below for the Book Logger.
What is your favorite book so far this year? Share it in the comments below so I can add it to my list!