Reading a little bit of a book each night is my ideal way to wind down and take the time to learn something new for myself. I love hearing stories and learning new things (why I love podcasts) so most of the books I gravitate towards are non-fiction and maybe even have a little bit of science or history thrown in there.
With so many amazing books this year, here are the top five books that I read in 2017!
- Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark Manson
This book was amazing! It really helped me understand that how I react to things is what affects my viewpoints and overall happiness. I applied the general lesson of letting things that I cannot control go as I would drive to work from my home in Orange County. Instead of getting angry that there is traffic or people are horrible drivers, I realized that there is nothing I can do about it- I’m already here and driving, I can’t go back in time and have left 15 minutes earlier. It was easy for me to apply that mindset while driving but other areas of life were a bit more difficult and I’m still practicing every day.
- You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero
I just finished reading this book and it was everything I expected it to be! It was so real and took everything that I started to learn this year from other books like Subtle Art or just my general interest in manifesting and living a life of creating and excitement and really broke it down for me. This book was everything that I needed to hear in a voice that felt very similar to my own and as the year comes to a close, it was that final push that I needed to really take on my future and plan out a life that I want to live. This year had so many massive changes with school, work, moving, and who I surround myself with and as I settle into my new surroundings, this book has really inspired me to fully take charge.
- Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
I got this book as a gift last Christmas and read it over a week in January and Anna Kendrick is hilarious and relatable. Of course, she makes references to her height and tells stories about being the smallest kid in school, which I can’t relate to at all, but her voice is amazing. She grew up in a pretty normal way and doesn’t know always how to approach new and different situations but reading how she got through it and has become so successful made her book a big hit for me! Ever since reading this book, I have become an even bigger Anna Kendrick fan and if you are too, I recommend listening to her episode on The Nerdist podcast!
- The Upright Thinkers by Leonard Mlodinow
This year I read three of Leonard Mlodinow’s books: The Upright Thinkers, Subliminal, and The Drunkard’s Walk. I read them in that order but they were written in the opposite order. I bought The Drunkard’s Walk a long time ago and tried reading it and was really interested but it was so dense that I couldn’t get very far. After a little break, I bought The Upright Thinkers and loved it! It also made references to Subliminal, which I was then able to understand and Subliminal made references to The Drunkard’s Walk, which I was later able to finally finish. This book goes through the evolution of humans in a social way and how we went from essentially cavemen to having amazing scientific breakthroughs. It also showed how our social settings and early societies were the perfect backbone to creating and discovering everything that we know today.
- Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
While this one was most definitely the longest read, but also one of the best reads! It had research and data broken down into an easy to understand way and breaks down how two parts of your mind work together. He describes the mind as having a System 1 which thinks fast and is based off of intuition and current emotions, this is your subconscious mind, and a System 2 which is slower and thinks things through with more logic, this is your conscious mind. Kahneman makes System 1 and System 2 into characters and uses their actions and reasoning to describe our minds in different situations and why we think different things at any given time. As a science-geek deep down who loves to read about psychology and social science, I really enjoyed this book and even kept having to pause to really think about everything I was learning from it.
I hope you enjoyed this mini-list! I have a whole list of books (and a long Book Wish List on Amazon where I throw one into my cart each time I buy something) that I plan on reading in 2018. If you have any fantastic books that you’ve read recently, I would love to hear about them!
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