I’ve been reading a lot this year- Yay me!! It was kind of a mini new years resolution. I also decided that I was going to buy physical books rather than e-books because I needed something that wasn’t on a screen. Working in front of a computer all day, watching TV after work, using a computer for blogging, and my addiction to things like Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/You Tube on my phone was starting to get a bit much for my poor eyes so I had to get them a non screen related hobby. Should I have picked exercise? Probably… but nope.
Anyway, turns out this reading thing has been really helpful not only for my eyes, but for my overthinking mind. Instead of thinking about the meaning of life, what I need to buy at the supermarket, how I’m going to get through 3 more days of work, how I should probably be working in the garden on my days off, but I really need to go to town and buy that moisturiser from Lush that makes you sleep better at night, and not to mention I’m out of eye cream, I should probably pick some of that up too.. I can give my mind a break and focus on what comes out of someone else’s head and onto the nice smelling pages of a brand new book that I didn’t even have to go to the shop for because Book Depository has free delivery world wide. Can you feel my brain rejoicing from there? I can!
Turns out the books I’ve been reading have a bit of a pattern and that is the general topic of self help/empowerment. Just a whole lotta books about how to get out of a rutt and make some positive changes in your life, or overcoming the odds and kicking life’s ass. As much as I feel like I should be ridiculously embarrassed by the fact that I now read self help books as a hobby, I’m actually not because the books I’m about to list are some of the best books I’ve ever read. Some are not officially self help, and some have been described as anti-self help, but they’ve all added something positive to the hours of 8.30pm-9.30pm (and yes, that is often what time I’m tucked up in bed.. you know you’re jealous)
Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**K: How to stop spending time you don’t have doing the things you don’t want to do with people you don’t like by Sarah Knight
I feel like I’m going to start of each of these descriptions like ‘just read this book, just promise me you’ll read it’. That’s all I have to say about them really. Especially this one. I don’t usually read books more than once (unless it’s Harry Potter) but I could read this book over and over again. There’s so much good material in it. The title sums up the book perfectly. I did a seperate review which you can read here, but long story short is that this book teaches you to care less about things that don’t matter to you, and more about the things that DO matter to you.. and not be an asshole while you’re doing it.
Get Your Sh*t Together: How to stop worrying about what you should do so you can finish what you need to do and start doing what you want to do by Sarah Knight
The title of this book reminds me of that scene in Freaky Friday where Jamie Lee Curtis (Anna in the body of Anna’s Mum) goes on the Dotti Robinson show to talk about her book and tells the audience to stop doing the housework “just don’t and say we did” So funny! ANYWAY!!!!
It’s the follow up book to The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**K. Honestly, I did’t find it quite as amazing as the first one, but after reading the Life Changing Magic… I needed more and this delivered. Once you’ve done the mental decluttering in book one and made some decisions on what to give a f**k about, this book talks you through how to actually do stuff with your life. Its so refreshing. The best bit about both of these books is that they’re not ‘woe is me’ style they’re very matter of fact. And even more exciting is that Sarah Knight is writing ANOTHER book called You Do You, and oh dear god I cannot wait to read it!!!
If you haven’t heard of the book then you’ve probably heard of the Netflix series. Let me save you the trouble- read the book, don’t watch the series. It has a completely different feel to it. This book is about Sophie Amoruso and how she founded Nasty Gal an online vintage store.. which ironically enough (and correct me if I’m wrong) has had a few financial difficulties of late and had to get bailed out.. but that’s not why I liked the book. She was basically a young girl that couldn’t settle and then found something she was really passionate about and turned it into a business without having any official experience (or money). I loved it because she became successful despite not doing all of the ‘proper’ things you’re meant to do to become successful. It’s a great book to read when you’re feeling really stifled and stuck.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*CK: A counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson
I expected this book to be similar to The Life Changing Magic, but other than a similar title and theme the similarity stops there. The writing style feels a little bit more serious than the other. I basically giggled my way through Life Changing Magic, but this one I put my ‘I’m responsible for my own happiness’ hat back on and settled in. This book was more blunt but in a very insightful way. One of the main things I took out of it is that happiness isn’t just a whole lot of positive thinking, it’s deciding what you’re willing to suffer for. Is the pain worth it? It sounds very down in the dumps, but I promise you if you read the book you’ll see that it’s actually the opposite. Not only that, it takes the pressure off the whole concept of being ‘happy’. What does being happy even mean? If I’m not posting positive and mindful quotes on Facebook or taking 12 selfies for Instagram a day am I really happy? Turns out you can be (weird).
Oh how I related to this book! It’s about a girl in her early 30’s who has just left her fancy job in Melbourne to return home to live with her parents in Rockhampton while she figures out what to do with the rest of her life. I can’t relate to the fancy job in Melbourne.. or living in Rockhampton for that matter, but it was awesome to read a story about a 30 something having a ‘what am I doing with my life’ dilemma rather than a book about a twenty something… my 20 year old dilemma is long gone. I’ve upped the pace to a 30 year old dilemma. The book is funny and just so so relatable. I couldn’t put it down. It’s a bit more light hearted than the other books and obviously it’s fiction and not self help but I still loved the story. Plus there’s a dog called Glenda. It’s worth it just for that.
So technically I think it’s actually a kids book, but I’ve just started reading it anyway. I have an inner child that is loving it- no I’m not pregnant.. I mean ME.. I’m the inner child! Geez Mum, settle down. The book is beautiful too so even if you never read a word inside it’s still worth having on your book shelf. Each page is dedicated to a female who has overcome the odds to do something amazing. They’re very brief stories but they’re so interesting and empowering (have I said empowering enough in this post yet? I feel like I’m on the Bachelor, but I’m switching up #connection and #journey for #empowerment… #loser… #toteshilare)
No joke, it really is the only money guide you’ll ever need. Just promise me you’ll read it. Seriously!! The book is so well written that I actually laughed. I laughed while reading a finance book!! It’s full of practical tips that you can use to get yourself out of a financial pickle and set yourself up for the long term. Even if you’re not in a pickle it’s awesome to have a list of things that you should have in order to set yourself up for life. Not to mention it’s a great feeling when you see a few tips you’re already doing. It’s broken down into weeks so you can go on a ‘Barefoot Date Night’ and talk about particular topics. Since reading the book I started a new superannuation account and rolled all my other accounts into the one. If that’s the only thing you do out of this entire book then it’s already worth it. I’ve also started spending MORE!! Can you believe it. I swear to god it tells you that you’re allowed to spend money and feel good about it! It even tells you you’re allowed to spend money on good pillows so I bought 5 new pillows today. Overkill? Probably. Do I care? NOPE.. the good finance book told me to do it.
So there you have it, 7 books that I’ve recently read that have helped improve my life without being overly patronising. I can’t think of anything worse than being patronised. Anyway. Let me know what you think and if you’ve already read some of them. Are there any others that you’ve read that you think I should add to the list? I’m always on the lookout for more.
**This post contains affiliate links from sites I personally use.