Last year a friend of mine posted on Facebook asking her friends to share life changing books they have read. The list of comments was extensive and full of variety. I got sucked into this comment thread in a way that no one on it would have ever anticipated. I was in a place where I needed a list like that. I added most of the books to my Audible wishlist and then consumed them ravenously. Since then I’ve read 30 books from that list. What follows is my thoughts on the books those unassuming individuals shared.
Top Ten Life Changing Books
My top ten life changing books list is filled with books that drastically shifted my perspective, taught me things about myself that wowed me, or gave me actionable tools to drastically improve my life and relationships. If you read nothing else this year, prioritize reading these books.
I love Jordan Peterson’s insights on life. He doesn’t have a problem with thinking out of the box, filling in gaps in modern thinking, and shifted my perspective on multiple levels. I am now reading his Book Maps of Meaning, and anxiously awaiting the release of his next book. Get 12 Rules for Life.
Attached dives into adult attachment. We often think of attachment styles with children but it was wildly eye opening to see how that translates into adult attachments. This life changing book dives into how attachment styles impact adult relationships. Anyone in any kind of relationship should read this book. Get Attached.
This book is fantastic at illustrating how many of us neglect to understand how to implement proper boundaries and how if we learn to do so it can transform our lives positively. Get Boundaries.
Crucial conversations primarily focuses on work place relationships, which I felt was a little unfortunate, but the principles can be applied to all relationships and communication situations with other people. I don’t often reread books but plan to read this one again in the next few months. Get Crucial Conversations.
If a book could be a life coach or motivational speaker, then it would be this book. There are dozens of tidbits and examples in this book that demonstrate and instruct how to change your life, and they are all valuable and helpful if implemented. Get The Success Principles.
If I was passing out awards to this book list, The Upside of Stress would get the award for most surprising new information to me. There is so much information out there about how to reduce stress, and how stress is negative. I’ve even written a few blog posts on the matter. This book undoes a lot of the theory behind stress being negative. If you struggle with stress this is an absolute must read. Get The Upside of Stress.
This book is loaded with lots of self evaluation questions that you probably have never considered asking yourself. These questions then help you shift into higher performance and a more abundant and happy life. Get High Performance Habits.
I think this is the first financial wellness book I have ever read. The information in it answered a lot of questions I had about financial security and business. I finished the book knowing that I have some work to do in creating better financial wellbeing, and I’m now armed with knowledge to get me on the right path. I plan on reading more books by Robert T. Kiyosaki. Get Rich Dad’s Cashflow Quadrant.
Love Sense is a great book to be paired with Attached. Both talk about attachment theory, this book just dives into things differently and more broadly. Get Love Sense.
This book is a great addition for anyone that wants better intimacy. The author discusses lots of ideas about how our minds impact our moods and responses, as well as how to connect mentally with your partner better, so that you can then connect better physically. Get Come as You Are.
This is THE book for making new habits or healthier habits easy to implement and stick with. The process for applying the concepts in this book are easy and totally worth the minimal effort. Get Atomic Habits.
Not So Life Changing Books
What comes next may land me with a pile of ridicule. The following books are wildly popular. Personally, I found all three lacking in being life changing. In their defense, all three authors are very good storytellers. I found the books to be interesting but light. My soul was not penetrated by anything that was going to cause me to take great pause or redirection.
I know that there is a ton of hype about Untamed. I might get the most backlash for my unfavorable opinion on this one. Here’s the thing though… If you’ve seen a quote or two from Glennon Doyle’s book Untamed, then that is all you need. There are a couple of really great thoughts, but the rest is just a story by someone that honestly seems to still need a lot of help on her journey.
The Year of Yes
I’ll be honest, I really did enjoy hearing about her life. Who she is, her upbringing, and her life now is so far removed from anything I am familiar with that I was deeply fascinated by the story side of The Year of Yes. As far as being life changing goes, I felt like it didn’t offer actionable steps to implement growth or change. Also, I think it can be dangerous to encourage people to say yes more often, when in fact there are an awful lot of people who need to learn to say no.
Girl Wash Your Face
Ok, this one is another book that just doesn’t quite bring the umph I thought it would. She wraps up a lot of old advice in new packaging. She also spreads toxic positivity, and body shaming. I’m not the only one that feels this way either. If You are really curious what’s up, check out the below video.