the top 5 books that have been recommended to me

Aug 25, 2022

living, self-work

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More than once, I have asked friends for book recommendations, or they have willingly shared books that they believe I’d benefit from reading. I always note these recommendations on my phone and tally how many times the books come up. When I’m ready for my next book, I head to the list on my phone. Below are the 5 most popular books recommended to me.

atomic habits

Atomic Habits by James Clear

People say this book is not only life-changing but really enjoyable to read. It has tangible takeaways that are straightforward with tips for implementation. It is digestible! I love that for a non-fiction book. I don’t want it to feel like homework. Plus I love that this can be applied to so many different areas of life.

A summary: No matter your goals, Atomic Habits offers a proven framework for improving–every day. James Clear, one of the world’s leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results.

The problem isn’t you if you’re having trouble changing your habits. The problem is your system. Bad habits repeat themselves repeatedly, not because you don’t want to change, but because you have the wrong system for change. You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. You’ll get a proven system that can take you to new heights here

colleen hoover

It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover

Sometimes it feels like I’m the only person on the planet that hasn’t read a Colleen Hoover book. Maybe it is overwhelming to know where to start– any suggestions? The summaries of the books also don’t pull me in as others do. However, I have been told that her writing style is approachable yet captivating.

A summary: Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town where she grew up—she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. And when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life seems too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He also has a total soft spot for Lily. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan—her first love and a link to the past she left behind. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.


Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I’m actually currently reading this! Malibu Rising and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo are both at the top of the recommended list. When I was first getting back into reading, I started with Evelyn Hugo, and it was perfect ease that kept me captivated. Malibu Rising is simply enjoyable in the best way. There are two plot lines that keep you invested.

A summary: Malibu: August 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas. Together the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over—especially as the offspring of the legendary singer Mick Riva.

By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come rising to the surface.


The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

This book has been recommended to me not only often but by a variety of people– some older, some younger, etc. Someone shared with me that if you are in a funk, this book will get you out of it! Nothing like a good perspective shift! It’s “self-help,” but

A summary: Manson makes the argument, backed both by academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited—”not everybody can be extraordinary, there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault.” Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek.

There are only so many things we can give a f**k about so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real-talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.


Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Being a creative, it makes sense this book is in the top 5 of the list. I’ve returned to this book several times over the past couple of years. There are a lot of great takeaways, and if you read it too quickly, it can be hard to truly marinate on each. I read it until I get a light bulb moment and then take a break and return when I need another. This isn’t typically how I read, but really works for this book! It really changes you outlook on being creative and having new ideas.

A summary: Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work,  embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.

Any books you would add? Have you read any of these?

If you enjoyed this post, check out Autumn Book Recommendations

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