The First Half of 2018: My Favorite Reads

If you don't yet know, I'm a voracious reader.

When I was a child, my book-loving grandfather used to always say, "If you need to know something, ask a librarian."

As a type-A student, my curious grandfather always had my back. If I was truly stumped on a homework question (pre-Google), he insisted that we call the library to find the answer. The librarian could surely recommend a resource to help. My homework was NEVER turned in incomplete.

A couple of decades later and I am still soaking up as much knowledge and wisdom as I can from between the lines. Personal development, memoirs and classics tend to me my favorite.

In random order, here are my reads from January to June that are still on my heart as we move into the second half of 2018:

Where There’s Hope: Healing, Moving Forward, and Never Giving Up (Elizabeth Smart) - This is my favorite new read of 2018 so far - the book that I just can’t stop thinking about. I got to meet Elizabeth at her New York City book signing and was profoundly moved by her poise, luminous spirit and compassion. While Elizabeth’s story is extraordinary, she makes it clear in this book that there is no purpose to comparing tragedies. We all have our challenges to overcome and our burdens to bear: the key is how we deal with them and find hope for our future.

The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery (Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile) - Ever since reading Anne Bogel’s Reading People, I’ve been fascinated with the Enneagram personality framework. This framework digs deep into the motivation behind out actions, and this is the best book I’ve read on the topic so far. If you’re new to the Enneagram, be sure to take the Enneagram Institute’s online quiz to learn more about yourself.

Reach Out: The Simple Strategy You Need to Expand Your Network and Increase Your Influence (Molly Beck) - If you’re like me and you consider “networking” a scary term, then this book is for you. Beck demystifies the whole concept of reaching out, networking, connecting and relationship building in a way that is positive, generous and entirely doable. The premise of the book is that wonderful things will happen when you reach out to someone every single day. While I recently have fallen off the bandwagon, Beck’s theory proved true for me after only a short time of reaching out.

Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less (Alex Soojung-Kim Pang) - This book essentially explains that active rest, such as pursuing a hobby, is more restorative and energizing than numbing or passive activities, such as scrolling through social media or watching TV. While this surely isn’t a surprise to anyone, it really made me think about specifically what I am doing to rest and whether or not those activities actually rejuvenate me to not. Sometimes the results are counter-intuitive to what one might think would be restful.

Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done (Laura Vanderkam) - I am a huge fan of time management expert Laura Vanderkam’s work, and this quickly became my favorite of her books. I already listened to the Audible version twice and plan to listen a third time before summer’s end. In this book, Vanderkam explores time perception: what makes some people feel less busy and others feel more busy? She looks at people who work full time and have children so that the time demands in their lives are similar. If you feel there are never enough hours in the day, pick up this book!

They’re Playing Our Song: A Memoir (Carole Bayer Sager) - While this book felt a little gossipy at times, it offered an incredible peak into the life of one of America’s most beloved lyricists, her equally-beloved collaborators, and the stories behind some of my all-time favorite songs. If you are a fan of her work, this is a must-read.

Jane Eyre (Charlotte Brontë) - One of my favorite books of all time! While this pass was a reread, this might have been the first time I went straight through the novel. In the past, I always read disordered chunks and then stopped to study and analyze. Gentle readers, words cannot express how much I love this story.

Check out my Library page to see more of my favorite reads. And, if you want to see everything I’m reading, be sure to follow along on Goodreads to stay in-the-know!

What is the best thing you've read so far in 2018? Please tell! I always love adding things to my TBR list.