For the year 2022, I set a goal to read 15 new books once again as my goal last year was also 15 and I didn’t quite hit it… I came so close yet again this year by finishing the year with a total of 14 new books read! While I tend to be an over-achiever, not reaching this goal for the third time in a row will not set me back. I’m just going to take some time to evaluate what I can do to better help me achieve this seemingly impossible goal and implement some new things for 2023.
With that said, whether or not I reach my goals, they do not define me. Sure, I absolutely love that accomplished feeling which washes over me like the water from a steaming hot shower once I complete a goal that I’d set. But am I a failure if I don’t reach it? Absolutely not! I will just keep trying, again and again, until I am able to reach it. And if I’m unable to reach the same goal 3+ times in a row, I will sit down, evaluate and make sure my goal is actually attainable. Which is exactly what I will do once I’m finished writing this article for you…
But in case you are wondering, yes, my reading goal for 2023 is once again 15 books. Maybe I’ll buckle-down and get halfway done before June to help ensure success this year? Or maybe I’ll choose a few books with smaller page counts than the 250+ page books that I tend to pick up? Better yet, maybe I will find more time to read, most specifically before bed as I have previously discussed in my article, The Bedtime Routine That Regulates My Sleep. Yeah, that last one seems like a real winner. 😉
Before I get too ahead of myself, here’s my list of 14 books that I read throughout 2022. Nine of these fourteen books are considered part of the self-help genre. Three of these books are autobiographies and the remaining two books are fiction – one that I chose to read on my own and one that was part of a Reading Scholarship opportunity at my college. While autobiographies aren’t technically self-help, my opinion of that differs. We learn from the mistakes of others and reading someone’s life story with all of the ups and downs they experienced can benefit our own lives in many different ways.
I hope that you’ll find a few of these books intriguing, that you’ll add them to your reading list and that you will be able to benefit from them as much as I have. Enjoy, my friend!
1. Forgiving What You Can’t Forget: Discover How to Move On, Make Peace with Painful Memories, and Create a Life That’s Beautiful Again by Lysa TerKeurst
I found most of this book to be very helpful. I love how the author uses her real-life experiences to help the reader learn to move on and make peace in their lives. This is my favorite way to learn – through the stories and experiences of others! One thing that I didn’t realize upon first picking up this book was the amount of Christianity references that it included… I actually skipped a chapter or two because they were completely faith-based experiences which I cannot relate to.
For those looking for some guidance in terms of healing from past hurts, this is definitely a great place to start! If you, like me, aren’t about Christianity, just skip the chapters that go into the topic too much and absorb the information that you need. It’s worth reading at least once!
2. Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience by Brené Brown
I’m rating this book 4 stars because it’s not the typical Brené Brown book that I’m used to and always adore… This book is less storytelling and more research-focused. I found the majority of the information super interesting and useful, it’s just not the type of book that I’d expect from Brené. She is amazing at storytelling and while there was some storytelling in this book, there wasn’t enough to keep me from wanting to put it down. Regardless, I do think that this is an excellent read for those of you who, like me, are always looking to better yourself.
3. Bruised Passports: Traveling the World as Digital Nomads by Savi Munjal & Vidit Taneja
I gave this book a rating of 4 stars because there was a lot of repetition in what was talked about throughout the book. Most of which probably had to do with it being written by two people – a husband and wife. Also, I’m a little disappointed that there weren’t more detailed stories of their travel adventures. It was a lot of “self-help” type advice. I tend to read a lot of self-help books, so I’m totally fine with this, although the title itself was a bit misleading as I thought I’d be reading more adventurous tales than learning how to live my life like theirs. Regardless, I think it’s a good book that everyone should read at least once – whether or not travel is on their minds. I appreciate their encouragement to “create your own table” if there’s “no table for you to add your seat”. I’m all for encouraging others to go against the norm and create a life that best suits your individual preferences and this couple does a fantastic job portraying this message!
4. I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai
I’d heard of Malala before, but I was unaware of the magnitude of her story. She really is a brave and incredible woman! Her story captivated me and made putting down this book extremely difficult once I’d picked it up. The edition that I read was written with the help of an additional author, so I assume that it was translated from Malala’s native language (urdu). I really loved how when an urdu word or phrase was used, they always gave the meaning to that word. Not all books with foreign language references do this – they often require that you look it up yourself or use context clues – so I really appreciated the effort with making it easy for the reader to understand.
I think this book is a must-read as Malala’s story is easily one of the most inspiring, especially considering her youthful age at the time in which these monumental events in her life occurred.
5. From Supervisor to Super Leader: How to Break Free from Stress and Build a Thriving Team That Gets Results by Shanda K. Miller
This is a book that I think anyone in a leadership position or looking to grow into a leadership position should read. Then reread again every year for a refresher. I found most of the information useful in some manner, I just wish it would’ve been more fun to read. I enjoy a storytelling format best and this book was not that – it was very much information based.
6. Niche Down: How To Become Legendary By Being Different by Christopher Lochhead
I enjoyed this book a lot as it gave me a new perspective for business – most specifically how to create my own place in any business market that I choose. I felt like some of it was a little redundant as it was written by two authors – something that I’ve decided that I do not prefer in a book. For those of you who are entrepreneurs and are looking for your next idea, I highly recommend that you check out this quick-read first! You may just come up with your next great idea while reading through these thought-provoking messages.
7. The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks
I chose to “randomly” pick up a fictional novel whereas I typically prefer to read non-fiction, specifically self-help books, because I began having horrendous nightmares daily at the beginning of the year. My therapist recommended that I read something light and easy before bed instead of trying to dive into self growth (*insert eye-roll*), hence the reason why you’re seeing this book on my list. She recommended I try reading a Nicholas Sparks book, which I’d never done before. I’ve only seen the movies that are based on them. I love how descriptive Sparks is and his way with words, although I thought that this book was very, very drawn out. I kept thinking to myself, “okay so get to the point already!” Additionally, I feel like the ending was absolutely terrible. It felt like a cliff hanger, yet there is not a sequel (at least not one that I’m aware of). Personally, I felt very disappointed at the end of this novel, though I think I’ll read at least one or two more before I give up on him as an author. If you’ve read this book and have a different opinion of it, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to leave a comment or head on over to the Contact page to send me a personal message.
8. Enneagram Empowerment: Discover Your Personality Type and Unlock Your Potential by Laura Mitenberger
This is a realllllly good tool when working on some self discovery OR if you’re wanting to learn how to better navigate your relationships with others. I already knew that I was an Enneagram 8 before picking up this book, but I learned a few new things about myself and, more importantly, about how I can appear to others. It’s really helped me open my eyes to how I can better accommodate to those around me, as I tend to take up a lot of space in whatever room I’m in. Lastly, I definitely recommend you check out this book if you’re in need of some help navigating a tough work relationship. These types of relationships are unavoidable yet crucial to navigate, and my opinion is that this book is a great tool to help.
9. Untamed by Glenn Doyle
This book was very raw, vulnerable and full of thought-provoking ideas. While I have never been in Glennon’s shoes and I never will, I can imagine just how painful and difficult her life has been. I agree with the majority of her ideas and I am truly impressed with her willingness to be open and vulnerable with her children. In this book, shares a lot of the methods in which she has taught her children how to love, be kind and respond to the world from a place of trying to understand the perspective of others – but she also shares what she has learned from her children.
I find this to be a very powerful tool to help others both learn to understand that it’s okay to go against the flow and teach those who shame people for their choices that there is no “right way” to live.
10. White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson
This was an incredibly informative book. I had no idea that many of these historical events occurred, most likely due to the public school system keeping them out of their teaching curriculums. I’m very glad that I took the time to read this book as it has helped me to better understand the deep rooted issues that the United States has caused due to racism. It’s also sparked my desire to continue my work with anti-racism and helping to further educate/bring awareness to those around me.
One thing that I do want to note about this book is that due to the very detailed historical information and facts, I often found it hard to read at the end of the day. It’s a LOT of knowledge to soak in and absorb, meaning it’s not a very good “bedtime book” and is best read with a clear head.
11. The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Córdova
I was very impressed with this novel! There were so many unexpected twists and turns that kept me glued to the pages so I could find out what happened next. I really identified with the main character, Orquidea, as she experienced a lot of hardships throughout her life along with some harsh rejection from her mother. Additionally, I loved how the setting is in the present-day United States but kept going back to the past to help you learn how Orquidea came to be who she is. If you’re looking for a fantasy fiction novel, this novel should be next on your list!
12. Anti-Racist Ally: An Introduction to Activism and Action by Sophie Williams
I’ve done a good amount of anti-racist work already, but I wasn’t sure what to do next. This book offered me a new perspective and was so easy to both read and comprehend. I still have a lot more learning to do, but I feel confident towards moving to the next steps. Additionally, after reading this book, I’ve begun to find the courage to talk about the often uncomfortable topic of racism in settings where I previously would’ve shied away from. I encourage everyone to read this book – as listed within its own description, it’s great for those just beginning their work on racism, those unsure of where to go next and those looking for a new perspective. Also, I really loved the layout as it’s very fun compared to the traditional layout of a book!
13. Triggers: How We Can Stop Reacting and Start Healing by David Richo
I found a lot of really good journaling topics for further self discovery and exploration around my past traumas and life experiences. This was the biggest takeaway from the book for me and I’m truly grateful for it! I have been working with my therapist for years on healing from my childhood traumas and I found a lot of valuable information and perspectives within this book.
On the other hand, I found that halfway through chapter 7 and beyond was not stimulating enough to keep me engaged and focused. The information given here felt redundant and unnecessary, in my opinion. Regardless, I think this is an excellent book for those working on healing past traumas and learning how to best manage their triggers.
14. Unfuck Your Brain: Using Science to Get Over Anxiety, Depression, Anger, Freak-Outs and Triggers by Faith G. Harper
I loved this book! As an avid self-help reader, I loved the fresh take the author had by using present-day slang, lots of cuss words and many hilarious references. All of this combined made for a very fun learning process, especially for such a tough topic. There were a lot of new ideas and perspectives throughout this book that really got me thinking. Additionally, I found lots of useful information for me to utilize in terms of better navigating my bipolar disorder. If you’ve ever experienced any type of trauma (which is very, very likely) and you love to laugh while you learn, this book is one to add to your shelf immediately!
After checking out my list, which of these have you added to your must-read list? Drop a comment and share your thoughts! 🙂
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