Read Any Good Books Lately?

Books and a Mug

I’ve always loved to read. Lately I’ve made reading at least 10 pages per day in a non-work related book one of my habits. One of the best things that happened when I left the PhD program about two and half years ago was that I was able to go back to reading whatever books I wanted, guilt free. I didn’t have to read anything about educational theory, etc. I could pick up something by a favourite author or on a topic of interest to me that had nothing to do with higher education. It was glorious.

I use the Goodreads app to track what I’m reading and see what some of my friends are reading. For 2017 I set a “reading challenge”, which is a Goodreads thing to read, I believe 24 books. I read 12 including one related to politics, three young adult novels that I read to my daughter, two by Charles Duhigg, two by Todd Henry, one by Brendon Burchard, one from Brene Brown, and autobiographies from Maya Angelou, Phil Collins, and Jeff Bauman. I enjoyed most of them.

For 2018 I set a the more modest “reading challenge” to read 12 books. With two and half weeks to go, I just finished my 15th book of the year. Here’s the list in the order that I read them and a brief note about each:

The Accidental Creative – Todd Henry. I like everything he’s written.

The School of Greatness – Lewis Howes. This was an audio book and I enjoyed most, but not all of it.

Grit – Angela Duckworth. This and Mindset by Carol Dweck should be read together to give you interesting perspectives. Grit was also an audio book for me.

The 5 Second Rule – Mel Robbins. Another audio book with great stuff, but maybe don’t listen to it with young children in the car as Mel doesn’t filter her swear words.

Die Empty – Todd Henry. Again, I love his work.

The Coaching Habit – Michael Bungay Stainer. A good book for those who coach or are interested in getting into that area.

Change Your Questions, Change Your Life – Marilee G. Adams. This is another one related to coaching, but also great stuff for coaching yourself.

Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert. I gave this one five stars, which I don’t often do. Reading this really inspired me to get more back to being more serious about my writing.

Hungry Heart – Jennifer Weiner. This is her autobiography and I found it very relatable, very funny, and very sad. It was another that got five stars from me.

The Rooster Bar – John Grisham. I’ve read several Grisham novels over the years and this was, well, not my favourite.

Good in Bed – Jennifer Weiner. In her autobiography she talked a lot about this, her first of many novels. My wife warned me that it’s not her best, which is true, but it was still a good and easy read.

The Happiness Advantage – Shawn Anchor. This is a good read with some interesting ideas. I picked it up because I thought there might be some ideas for dealing with depression and I did find a few take-always.

The Happiness Project – Gretchen Rubin. This was actually a reread from about ten years ago. It’s entertaining and gave me some things to think about. As I noted in my blog post from about a month ago, when I was reading it “is all about Rubin’s process for for becoming happier, with much of it really about her being a better person (doing more for others, being kinder to her husband, etc.).”

Atomic Habits – James Clear. Last year I read the The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, which I enjoyed. This was even better, earning my third five start for the year (I only gave five stars to one of Todd Henry’s books in 2017).

You Learn By Living – Eleanor Roosevelt. The former first-lady and amazing woman in her own right gives advice on everything from parenting to politics. Some of it is dated, while other parts could have been written today.

Finally, I just started reading Originals by Adam Grant and expect it to bring me to a grand total of sixteen books for the year, just in time to set my 2019 “reading challenge”.  Any suggestions for next years reads?

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