No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance. - Confucius
At the beginning of 2018, I made it a goal to read 52 books. That’s around 1 a week. I read some really good books that will change the way I think and act in the next few years. Here’s my entire list. Most are non-fiction as I tend to like those better, but I did try to include one or two fiction every few weeks. I have my top 3 recommendations for the following categories: Health, Personal Finance, Environment, Minimalism and Other Topics. The full list is included. Note that the links are affiliate links. See Disclosures for details.
A Note on Libraries
I do recommend heading to your local library to find these books. If I had purchased these books at an average price of $12, I would have spent over $600 dollars. Heading to the library also means you can browse, see and touch book covers that call out to you instead of letting an algorithm decide and determine what you should read next. Let the serendipity of what you’ll find expose you to new topics, authors and news ways to thinking.
Top 3 Books on Health
Top 3 Books on the Environment and Consumption
The Full List of Books for 2018
The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino - about a boy who grows up and lives in the trees. Reminded me of when I was younger climbing up on guava trees in the Philippines.
Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker - wealth is really all about mindset
The Futures by Anna Pitoniak - a kind of love story with the heartbreak as can only happen in New York.
Garbage: Gone Tomorrow by Heather Rogers - an eye-opening look at what really happens with all of our garbage and what we can do about it
Meditations: On the Monk Who Dwells on Daily Life by Thomas Moore - the lessons of monastic life on daily life
The Green Book
Dead Feminists: Historic Heroines in Living Color by Chandler O’Leary, Jessica Spring and Jill Lepore - gorgeously illustrated letterpress-inspired book telling the stories of famous feminists
Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism by Fumio Sasaki - Beautifully simple book about our attachment to things and how to finally let go
I Will Teach You to be Reach by Rami Sethi - a re-read because the content remains as relevant today. I first read this book as a newly minted college grad and help me establish a money system to save more and do more.
Women & Money: Owning the Power to Control Your Destiny by Suze Orman - explains why women need to think about money differently and how to take ownership
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline - for the sci-fi and 80’s geek in me about a quest inside a game.
The Longevity Diet by Valter Longo, PhD - how fasting and eating a better diet can help you live longer
Eating Animals by Jonathan Foer - the truth about eating animals
The Automatic Millionaire Homeowner by David Bach - helped me to erase doubts of our first home purchase
The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel - tells the true story of a man who lived alone in the woods of Maine by himself for years
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis - needed to read something light
Empire of Things: How We Became a World of Consumers from the Fifteenth Century to the Twenty-First by Frank Trentmann - not a light read, but fascinating history on the world of things and consumer life and culture (ready my summary here)
The Financial Diet: A Total Beginners Guide to Getting Good with Money by Chelsea Fagan - great personal finance book that look at the whole of everything
It Can’t Happen Here by Lewis Sinclair - a novel that foreshadowed Donald Trump’s appeal. Eerily has a lot of parallels with today’s world.
The Smart Cookies Guide to Making More Dough by The Smart Cookies - a group of women talking about personal finance which inspired me to start Sisters for Financial Independence and hold local meetups to discuss money and finances
Milk & Honey by Rupi Kaur - short book of poems and poetry about survival
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - feminism for the 21st century
Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brenee Brown - has some helpful tips on how to cultivate true belonging in communities and culture
More Important Than Money: An Entrepreneur’s Team by Robert Kiyosaki - the people around us can mean the different between success and failure. Encourage me to find a good accountant and realtor for current and future investments.
The International Guide to Living Overseas on a Budget by Suzan Haskins- read it to help me understand how my parents retirement overseas would affect them. Planted in me the idea of being able to live overseas at some point in the future for full cultural immersion for my family.
The World is Waiting for You: Graduate Speeches to Live By by Tara Grover and Isabel Ostrer
Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss - short advice from some of the world’s best
Your are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living An Awesome Life by Jen Sincero - confidence boosting read along with some mindsets that we all need to move away from
Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis - more focuses on the lies, misconceptions we hold on to as women and how to get over it
The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding From You by Eli Parser - the importance of understanding how the internet is manipulated in real-time to show or hide information from you. As a former adtech PM, I can attest to some of these things being done.
Outnumbered: The Algorithms that Control Our Lives by David Sumpter- why it’s important to know how algorithms so that we know exactly why we see or don’t see the things on our social media feed or search results
The Light of the Stars: Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth by Adam Frank - written by a leading astrophysicist, it asks the question “What can the likely presence of life on other worlds tell us about our own fate? He shows how we as a civilization can only hope to survive climate change if we recognize what science has recently discovered: that we are just one of ten billion trillion planets in the Universe, and it’s highly likely that many of those planets hosted technologically advanced alien civilizations. What’s more, each of those civilizations must have faced the same challenge of civilization-driven climate change.“
Make Your Kid A Money Genius by Beth Kobliner - guide for different age groups on how to help kids understand money. Helpful if you are a parent. Remember, talking about money does not make money-hungry kids.
The Teen Money Manual by Kara McGuide - personal finance book for teens
Totally Awesome Money Book for Kids by Adriene Berg and Arthur Berg Bochner - written with the help of a thirteen year old so has some examples of how teens think about money
You Need a Budget: The Proven Systems to Breaking the Paycheck-to-Paycheck Cycle by Jesse Mecham - written by the person who invited the very popular app YNAB (You Need a Budget). A new way to look at budgeting and thinking of the age of your money.
The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin - a new personality profile list. It help me understand where my accountability comes from and how to get it so that I can get more done.
Soulful Simplicity: How Living with Less Can Lead to So Much More by Courtney Carver - minimalism and simplicity guide
Pogue’s: Money Basics by David Pogue - from my favorite tech guy. Less personal finance, more about tips and shortcuts to save money.
Essentialism: The Discipline Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown - so much great advice on this list to prioritize your life before someone else prioritizes it for you.
Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and Business of Keeping Us Hooked by Adam Alter - great insight into how apps, tech, games are designed with behavioral psychology in mind to keep us hooked and coming back for more.
You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth by Jen Sincero - I like her writing style. It’s no non-sense and this one put a lot of perspective into some old money mindsets I was keeping.
The China Study by T. Colin Campbell - the most comprehensive book that looks as studies to show the best diet for health. This, along with many other books convinced me to lower my meat intake.
Hooked: How to Build Habit Forming Products by Nir Eyal - if you want to build a great product, he has a set of rules to follow to ensure success, but this can be applied to anything as well as gives you an idea of how products are made to keep us hooked.
Dollars & Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter by Dan Ariely and Jeff Kreisler - love looking at the psychology of our behavior when it comes to money and economics
Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robins, Joe Dominguez and Mr Money Mustache - one of the few personal books I’ve read that actually looks at the relationship of money and our planet
Invest Like You Give a Damn: Make Money, Change the World, Sleep Well at Night by Marc D Souza-Shields - a look into options for why to invest and what it means to invest sustainably
Just Sit: A Meditation Guidebook by Sukey Novogratz and Elizabeth Novogratz - nicely illustrated book on meditation for people who don’t want to sit
The Nature of Investing: Resilient Investing Strategies Through Biomimicry by Katherine Collins - uses principles from the natural world to explain a new way of investing which is more sustainable
Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook by Tony Robbins - received this after attending Unleash the Power Within. Discusses step-by-step on how to transform your financial life.
The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money by Ron Lieber - how to talk about, explain and show kids about money.
Financial Freedom by Grant Sabatier - not yet released
How to Read More
Commit to Reading an X Number of Books a Month
Be it one a month, commit to a number so that the idea remains in the back of your mind to finish at least one book. It also helps to prioritize things you want to read.
Get A Book From the Library
Library books have deadlines so use that as impetus to get reading done faster. This may be good if you need external accountability.
Commit to a Screen Free Bed Time Routine
Keep your phone away from your bedroom. Instead have your books by your side so that you can turn to it before bed and finish off a few pages.
Put Your Phone on Airplane Mode
If you read books on your phone, place it on airplane mode so that you don’t get distracted to check mail or social media.
Encourage Family Members to Read
Creating a family ritual around reading can help slow down everyone and allow you to spend more time with each other. Having a discussion around books or articles read can also be good practice for expressing opinions and sharing summaries.
Join or Start a Book Club
If you need accountability to get reading done and meet new people, check your libraries or local meetups for a book club. If not, start one yourself. Use social media to connect with others and have discussions online.