Personal Development Reading Recommendations


More ‘Me Time’ = More Reading

I have been getting a lot of interest in the books I have read in the past couple of months.  So without further ado, motivated by Eric’s Recommended Reading List For Success, I am creating my own personal development reading recommendations.  These are books that have had a significant impact on my lifestyle and/or mindset.

Reading Recommendations Book Covers

Power Your Happy: Work Hard, Play Nice, and Build Your Dream Life

By: Lisa Sugar

I started slowly reading this book just before quarantine then finished it during the first week of being at home.  This book is meaningful for women early in their professional careers.  Prior to reading this, I often found myself unsure of what my ‘next step’ was professionally.  I also fell victim to the mental trap of assuming I wasn’t being successful being my path post-grad school did not follow my initial expectations.  Reading about Lisa Sugar’s experiences early in her career helped me take ownership in my journey.  She describes how she fostered flexibility and adventure to obtain the skills and knowledge of starting her own business.  I recommend this book for anyone looking to reflect on and take ownership of their professional life.  She also shares valuable life tips and recommendations!

Together, Closer: The Art and Science of Intimacy in Friendship, Love, and Family

Together, Closer: The Art and Science of Intimacy in Friendship ...

By: Giovanni Frazzetto

I actually read this book in January and I loved the message and writing of it enough to add to my list.  I would say that the title pretty much sums up what the book discusses.  The author’s writing is unique and really makes the book.  He starts each chapter with a short fictional story that focuses on a theme.  Following the story, he shifts gears and pulls in research to discuss the concept/theme.  This way of storytelling was unique to me and I loved it.  I thought that it added more meaning and real-life examples of the concepts he focused on.

Girl, Stop Apologizing

Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and ...

By: Rachel Hollis

This book is magic.  That is all I will say to introduce it.  This book is great for anyone who, like me, lacks self-confidence at times.  Rachel Hollis hits home in the way she sums of the lessons we were taught as young girls.  Then, she challenges this narrative in a motivational and clear-cut way.  Rachel clearly lays out actionable tips and suggestions for boosting your confidence and using that to promote yourself.  Throughout the book, it seems like her main audience is business-owners and entrepreneurs.  However, there is meaning in her message even if you don’t fall into that category.

The Book of Joy The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World ...

By: Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, & Douglas Abrams

I’ll be honest, I read this book over a year ago so I do not remember much from it.  The quality of the book and its meaning stuck with me, though, and that is why it is on my list.  This book is an extremely insightful and enjoyable read.  It provides the reader with an inside look into the lives and habits of two great leaders and focuses on how they cultivate joy.  It is a quick and easy read!


Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less: McKeown, Greg ...

By: Greg McKeown

This book is one that has the potential to change your life if you let it.  Greg McKeown discusses how readily people fall into ‘non-essentialist’ patterns.  By this, he refers to always saying yes, having too much on your plate, and feeling like you have to do it all.  Controversially, a essentialist is someone who sticks to their ‘vital few’ – the few things that are truly important to you – and deprioritizes the things that do not fall into that category.  In the book, Greg shares the what and why of essentialism then continues to provide valuable tips of how to live like an essentialist.  Like I said, this one can change your life if you let it!

Happier at Home

Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon Self-Control, and ...

By: Gretchen Rubin

I first discovered Gretchen Rubin by listing to her Happier podcast.  Given that I enjoyed and agreed with her content, I figured it was about time to actually read one of her books.  My logic for starting with this one was because I was safe at home during quarantine so it seemed fitting.  For this book, Gretchen creates a plan for focusing on a different area of life each month.  Within each month, she has action items that she completes in order to help foster happiness in that area of life.  I think part of the reason that I enjoyed this book so much is because I felt like I related to Gretchen quite a bit.  This resulted in a lot of her reflection and advice to be meaningful to me.  Overall, I found it to be a fun read and I enjoyed her style of writing.

Braving the Wilderness

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the ...

By: Brené Brown

The final book on this list is the one I finished most recently.  I feel like it took me a long time to get through the book considering its relatively short length.  The reason for that is simply because there was a huge amount of meaningful content.  I was constantly re-reading excerpts and pausing to sit in what I had just read.  Since I rented this book from the library and read it on my kindle, I could not highlight anything.  Because of this, I actually ended up taking pictures of the passages and quotes that I wanted to remember – and I ended up with a lot of pictures!  Brene Brown uses this book to share how to belong to yourself and how doing that can contribute to making the world a better place.

Final Thoughts

I have never considered myself an avid reader.  When I do read, personal/self-development books are hands-down my favorite.  Anything that leaves me feeling empowered and motivated to live my life better is my favorite kind of book!  These seven books are my current personal development reading recommendations.

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