While I am not big on goal-setting, this year I wanted to reach a point where I read 2-3 books per week. That’s where I am now 🙂 When I posted this on my social channels, the feedback generally consisted of the following: “how the hell do you have time for that many books?” and “what do you read?”
I will start by answering the latter. I genuinely believe that the people who say they don’t like to read or have a difficult time focusing on reading, just haven’t found the right book. If you’re not a reader, jumping into this world isn’t about getting the #1 bestseller on the NYT list and forcing yourself to read it because thousands of other people are.
You have to read books on the topics that you like. Recently, I’ve been downright obsessed with learning about the human mind, the way our brains work, how & why we think the way that we do, attachment styles, etc. What I learn not only supports the decisions I make in my daily life but also in my interpersonal relationships and in my travels. Because I am so interested in these topics, I look forward to reading about them and I benefit from every book in the same way that I do, for example, from consistently working out.
This leads me to my next point: time.
There is really no such thing as not having enough time. One might argue that time doesn’t exist, but that’s a conversation for another day. The only things that you don’t have time for, are the ones that you don’t prioritize. Think about that, because it goes for everything in your life. I read every day because I made a habit out of it and now it is part of my daily routine, like brushing my teeth or drinking coffee in the morning. The more interesting the book, the more time I will spend reading and the key is to make it a habit.
You don’t have to spend hours a day reading and you don’t have to read 2-3 books per week. Start by allocating 15-30 minutes of your day or if you’re more goal-oriented, read 30-50 pages per day (for example). Measurable goals help you get into flow and make the activity more enjoyable (if you don’t know about flow, I recommended a book on it below!) Regardless of the method, the more consistent you’ll be, the quicker it will become a part of your routine. The final point I’d like to make is that it’s OK if you don’t finish a book! If you gave it a fair chance and it’s not bringing you pleasure: drop it. Pick up another one. When it’s the right book, I promise you’ll want to finish it and that always feels like an accomplishment in itself.
The books on my list are split up into categories … see if there is one that interests you more than the rest. The list is also relatively short because I know that having too many choices can feel discouraging. I picked some of the top books I read or re-read recently that I really enjoyed and gained a lot from. For some of them, you will see a difficulty level in parenthesis. If you found a book you love from this list, please leave a comment or send me an email to let me know! Likewise, if you want to recommend a book that left an impact, drop it in a comment!
Self Development, Self Discovery, and Mastering Your Mind
Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer
Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Joe Dispenza – he also has a great show called “Rewired”
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Reality Transurfing by Vadim Zeland (difficult)
The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron
Lighter by Yung Pueblo (easy)
The Mountain is You by Brianna Wiest (easy)
101 Essays that will Change the way you Think by Brianna Wiest
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Note: I believe that some books will only speak to you when the time is right. Some self-development topics (ie. how quantum physics and the human mind connect) did not appeal to me in the past at all. Now, it’s a topic I am deeply interested in. If something isn’t making sense to you and you gave it a fair chance – that’s ok 🙂 Maybe in the future, it will. Don’t force it.
Non Fiction that will move you & teach you (story format)
Getting There by Gillian Zoe Segal (easy)
Blowing My Cover by
Fallout by Lesley Blume
Operation Overflight by Francis Gary Powers
Evicted by Matthew Desmond
The Abu Dhabi Bar Mitzvah by Adam Valen Levinson
Gaddafi’s Harem by Annick Cojean
The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Adrenaline (The Sam Capra Series) by Jeff Abbott
I am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes
Business & Beyond
Launch by Jeff Walker
Marketing Made Simple by Donald Miller
Business Made Simple by Donald Miller
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
Rich Dad Poor Dad by
The Culture Map by Erin Meyer
Profit First by Mike Michalowicz
Note: I read almost everything exclusively on my Kindle Fire tablet (which is on sale now). I still love print books but on the Kindle, it’s very easy to highlight and take notes. I have a long list of excerpts from every book that I read and it’s just a lot more practical on the tablet. I recommend highlighting or making notes of the things that resonate with you and coming back to them from time to time.
This is not an exhaustive list by any means and if you’re interested in more recommendations you can find a longer list here that was submitted to me by my readers and followers.