Another year has gone by – can you believe it?! A lot of amazing things happened in 2018: I moved into my first apartment on my own, I lived in sunny Santa Monica for 6 beautiful months, and I moved to Chicago! Overall, 2018 was an incredible year full of incredible change.

In addition to my New Year’s resolutions, I also like to make a book/reading goal for the year. For the last few years, I’ve had a goal of reading one book per month. Unfortunately, in 2018 I was two books shy of my goal as I totally stopped reading during the two times I moved this year (le sigh) – but that’s okay! I launched my blog at the beginning of 2018 so I was definitely focusing a lot on that. For 2019, I want to up my book game: my goal for the year is to read two books per month! We’ll see if I can do it 😊

But, getting back to the whole point of my post: I wanted to share some of my favorite books from 2018!

The Universe Has Your Back by Gabby Bernstein

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Over the last year, I put a lot of focus into my mental health and well-being. One thing I learned a lot about and started practicing revolves around the law of attraction. Upon learning more about this concept, I came across this book by the amazing Gabby Bernstein. It was by far one of the most eye-opening and life-changing books of the year. It took me a chapter or two to finally get locked into the book, but once I did I was hooked. I do my best to live my life knowing that no matter what, the universe has my back. The things that are meant for me won’t miss me, and those that miss me weren’t ever meant for me. I trust in the timing of my life and know everything happens for a reason. I realize some of you may or may not be spiritual, but I think if you go into this book with an open mind, you’ll really enjoy it.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

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With over 12,000 reviews on Amazon and plenty of recommendations, I went into this book with high expectations and I was definitely not disappointed. This is a simple tale with many incredible lessons to be learned throughout. It combines a level of spirituality and “mysticism” that you will need to have an open mind about, but overall it is a fantastic worthwhile read. One passage that stood out to me:

“When I had my sheep, I was happy, and I made those around me happy. People saw me coming and welcomed me, he thought. But now I’m sad and alone. I’m going to become bitter and distrustful of people because one person betrayed me. I’m going to hate those who have found their treasure because I never found mine. And I’m going to hold on to what little I have, because I’m too insignificant to conquer the world.”

I think this passage stood out to me because it sounds so ridiculous when you read it, and yet so many of us live our lives in this way.

The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris

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I would definitely recommend this book if you need some motivation to start living the life you’ve always dreamed of. Tim Ferris shares great insights that I had never considered and he provides valuable resources as well. Here are a few of my favorite takeaways:

  • “You don’t want a million dollars, you want the lifestyle you think having a million dollars will get you.”
  • “Worker smarter, not harder.”— take a look at the things you’re spending time on each day and decide if there could possibly be another way to get the same (if not better) results without spending the same amount of time.
  • “Focus on being productive instead of busy.”— super easy to get the two confused. Never show up to work or sit down to your computer without a list of priorities in mind.
  • Timing will never be right— so do the things you want to do now, not later.
  • Doing something unimportant well won’t make it important 👌🏼

Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

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Full disclosure: While I didn’t love this book, I didn’t dislike it either. Rachel shares extremely intimate details about her life which I appreciated. She is also super funny! I love being able to have a good laugh while reading personal/self development books 😂The thing I didn’t like was not being able to relate to every chapter. Each chapter was framed around a ‘lie’ people tend to believe, such as “Loving him is enough for me” and “I should be further along by now”. Because some chapters were about topics I couldn’t relate to (i.e. motherhood or being a wife), I felt myself skipping ahead. With that being said, the chapters I could relate to were great, and the chapters I couldn’t relate to were still okay. Either way, she offers an interesting perspective on handling the lies in life many of us face.

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

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I’ve saved the best for last: this book was an absolute page-turner. I’m still in awe over how incredible this book was. I read a lot of personal/professional development books, but I’m trying to get back into reading more fiction. By the end of this book, I was so emotionally invested in the characters that I was in tears. To give a brief synopsis: the book is about a young girl living in Germany during WWII. Death is the narrator of the book, which I thought added an interesting layer. The girl is witness to the atrocities of war, love, loss and other life-changing events. This book is sure to be one that will tug at your heart strings and keep you wanting more.

 

There it is! Unfortunately I didn’t get to read as much as I would have liked to in 2018, so this list is rather short. But either way, if you haven’t yet had a chance to read these books I would definitely recommend picking them up. I’ve also created a ‘Recommended Reading‘ Pinterest board if you’d like to give me a follow! Also, if you have any book recommendations I would love to hear them!

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