I have friends who read 50+ books each year.
I envy their dedication to reading.
I also like to read, and each year shoot for at least one book per month. To some, this might not seem like a lot, but I take each one as a victory.
And it's not about comparisons. It's about the process and the learning, right?!
In 2023, I finished 13 books and I didn't just read business books and rockstar autobiographies like in the past.
Last year's mix included business books, best sellers, and several that simply caught my interest because of the topic, like grief.
Some of the books I picked up because I was influenced by y'all Instagram posts, and others jumped into my cart because it was just meant to be.
This past year's book list included:
When by Daniel Pink (all about timing, and how you can plan the timing of your actions for optimal impact)
Grit by Angela Duckworth (psychological examination of the concept of grit)
I'm Glad my Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy (former child star explores the ways in which her acting career and her entire identity are inextricably linked with her difficult, often traumatic, relationship with her controlling mother)
What Happened to You? by Bruce D. Perry and Oprah Winfrey (explores how childhood experiences shape our lives and relationships, and offers insights and tools to nurture healing, resilience, and self-awareness)
Bad Mormon by Heather Gay (follows Gay's journey from a devout Mormon to a single mother and businesswoman)
Triggers by Marshall Goldsmith (guides us to change what we can, anticipate and prepare for what we can't and engage in self-reflection to monitor and accelerate progress toward our desired behaviors and actions)
Life's Messy, Live Happy by Cy Wakeman (about dramatically changing the level of happiness you feel in your daily life, by learning to disconnect happiness from external forces, stop worrying about the future, and realize that most of your negative feelings are about things that never even happened)
Shoe Dog by Phil Knight (memoir chronicles the history of Nike from its founding as Blue Ribbon Sports and its early challenges to its evolution into one of the world's most recognized and profitable companies)
Spirit Junkie by Gabby Bernstein (lessons that shaped Gabby's spiritual journey: how we become accustomed to fearful ways of thinking, how to recognize and change those thought patterns to make way for bliss, and how to maintain our happiness and share it with the world)
Look for Me There by Luke Russert (one man's journey to find himself, spread out across 3 years and 6 continents, after his famous father dies suddenly)
Everything is Fine by Vince Granata (imperfect memoir of how Granata's brother Tim, suffering from schizophrenia, bound their mother's wrists with duct tape one July afternoon in 2014 and killed her in the family room of their house in Orange, Conn.)
The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han (bubble-gum, coming-of-age story about love, friendship, and growing up)
The Woman in Me by Britney Spears (chronicles Spears's journey to stardom, the publicized challenges she faced, and her endeavors to break free from a longstanding conservatorship that once controlled her life)
The best of 2023? Hard to say. They each made me think deeply and I found nuggets of awesome in each read, no matter if it was a coming of age story, a difficult reflection of mental health, or a story I thought I knew about one of my generation's most popular icons.
The worst book? I'd have to say the McCurdy book. I don't know why it is as highly rated as it is. I was never a watcher of iCarly, so maybe that's why.
There were additional books I picked up during the year, yet didn't finish. Some will be picked back up this year including The Body Keeps Score, Women Who Run with the Wolves (I've been working on this one for YEARS, literally), and the Creative Act by rocker, Rick Rubin (which was started during the last week of the year and will be the first book I finish in 2024).
What's on YOUR list for 2024? Drop your recommendations in the comments and remember:
"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." - Dr. Seuss