#readon November Edition

#readon November Edition

I have been a reading MACHINE these past few months, just taking information in left and right. The majority of it has been non-fiction which I’ve come to really love, and has helped me add countless beneficial habits and mental shifts shifts to my life.

I’ve gone through so many great reads recently, and thought I’d start sharing some of this information with others, because really that’s the point of great books- to be shared!

Below are some of the books I’ve completed recently. Under each title I’ve given a quick snapshot overview as well as points I’ve been working to apply in my life.

Have you read any of these books? Did you find them as inspiring as I did, or kind of ‘meh’? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Also, if there are any suggestions you have for what I should pick up next (in addition to the list I mention at the bottom of this post) please share!!

#readon my friends!

PS. I did NOT read all of these in November (obviously…it’s only half way through). It took me most of the summer to read these, I’m just calling it the November edition because I plan to make this a monthly post. Future ones will probably be a lot shorter :p



Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 12.10.01 PMEssentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
Author: Greg Mckeown
(I read the Kindle Edition)

Quick Overview:
We’ve been raised in this “I can do anything and everything”, multitasking, super fast paced era, and this book breaks down why this way of thinking and life is actually holding us back- and how to live as an essentialist. This was a fantastic read, he kept my attention with examples, stories and enthusiastic writing. It was definitely full of ways to directly apply it to all areas of your life.

What I’ve personally applied:

  • I’ve been trying to give my sole focus to the essential aspect in each part of my life, and to stop multi-tasking as much as possible (this has been really hard, but I do notice a huge boost in my productivity and overall sanity)
  • Play is an essential part of life: I’ve been trying to think back to the things I did as a kid that put me in that ‘flow’ state (you know, when you’re just ‘in the zone’) and replicate that in my adult life. Consequently I’ve been doing a lot more drawing and painting. It’s really helped get my creativity flowing and gives me some much needed mental breaks
  • Before making any purchases I ask myself if this thing is really essential to enhancing my life (has definitely helped with buyer’s remorse)
  • Before going into a meeting, starting a new project or brainstorming for work I ask myself: what is the main objective of this? What is the ONE thing I need to get out of this that will make the rest of the project easier?
  • When faced with a new opportunity or decision I’ve been taking some advice from the book which is if I don’t feel a gut reaction of “HECK YES”, then say no.

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 12.10.07 PMThe War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win your Inner Creative Battles
Author: Steven Pressfield
(I read the Kindle Edition)

Quick Overview:
This is a FANTASTIC book and must read for anyone struggling with their creative ambitions. It’s all about setting a routine to do your work everyday. The author is a writer (duh, right?) so he generally discusses art from a writing perspective, but the concepts can be applied to anything you are doing. I, like many others, thought that creative epiphanies just struck people- and while they sometimes do- the majority of all creative output in the world has been done by sheer persistence.

What I’ve personally applied:

  • Setting aside specific time each day to work on my paintings, whether I feel like it or not.
  • Creating a ritual around my work: I strive to have a specific set of actions, and create a unique environment for each type of work I do to fully immerse myself in that zone
  • Trusting that if I just push through and work, the output will follow (and it has!)

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 12.11.10 PMThe Miracle Morning 
Author: Hal Elrod
(I read the Kindle Edition)

Quick Overview:
While I already consider myself a morning person- this book really pushed me to diligently get up early and to make that time something I actually really look forward to and enjoy. It helps you strategize a specific routine for yourself that puts you in the right mindset to start your day. More than that, after reading this you’ll have crafted for yourself a way to squeeze in all the activities needed for personal growth and to make you an overall better person.

What I’ve personally applied:

  • The whole concept of this book is about application so first and foremost I’ve created a morning routine for myself based off of it. However, I did already have somewhat of a routine set up prior to reading this…what’s changed though since is that I’ve been more focused and diligent about having a consistent routine, despite what time I need to get up throughout the week (which varies a bit). That way, no matter what time I need to get up I’m still accomplishing everything I’ve planned.
  • I’ll be going into my own morning routine in a later post, in case anyone is interested!

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 12.11.14 PMMindset: The New Psychology of Success
Author: Carol S. Dweck, PH.D.
(I listened to the audio book)

Quick Overview:
This book is almost like therapy in the sense that it forces you to think about the type of mindset you’ve had up until reading it. I can definitely pinpoint the times in my life when I’ve had the limiting mindset vs. the growth mindset and can easily see the consequences of both. She gives thorough psychological reasonings as well as real world examples of how these mindsets work and how they affect our lives. It’s made a huge shift in my perspective and I feel it’s a book everyone should read…I seriously wish I would have read this in high school!

What I’ve personally applied:

  • I’m trying more things now, like painting again, and training for a half marathon, and writing- things that I struggled with before because I felt like since I wasn’t good at those now then it wasn’t worth continuing. Trying to employ the growth mindset has pushed me to try more activities with the focus of growth as the goal (not success or even completion)
  • One interesting thing I’m also trying to do based off of this information is changing the way I talk to kids. Instead of saying things like “that was great, you are so good at that!”, I’m trying to focus on encouraging them to TRY things and be ok with not being good by saying “that’s so great you tried that! Wasn’t that fun to do? Keep practicing!” She focuses a lot on how so many people are conditioned growing up that you are either good at something or you’re not, instead of conditioned to work hard and try…so I’m trying to encourage that growth mindset in my conversations with others.

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 12.10.13 PMLean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead
Author: Sheryl Sanberg
(I listened to the audio book)

Quick Overview:
Awesome book for both men and women to read. Obviously she focuses a lot on women in the workplace, and how they can increase their value and be heard despite some of the obstacles set by both society and women themselves.

What I’ve personally applied:

  • One point I really took to heart was that the majority of women when offered a job just accept what is offered, while men almost always negotiate for more. In life in general whenever an opportunity comes up I’ve been trying to be bold in asking for more instead of being satisfied with the status quo.
  • Of course, I’ve also been trying harder to ‘lean in’ and not shy away from stating my opinion, asking questions and in general being present in situations versus waiting for others to jump in first.

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 12.11.17 PM#GIRLBOSS
Author: Sophia Amoruso
(I listened to the audio book)

Quick Overview:
This was such a fun, spunky book. I loved her voice, and she had a lot of great general business and life advice throughout. It was definitely a little more of a memoir, but I think those are just as valuable as other more informational reads. It was full of hilarious and interesting stories that have wisdom anyone can apply in their life. It was kind of fun to see how this read tied into some of the other books in this list, it’s like a real life example of how applying these mindsets and actions actually work.

What I’ve personally applied:

  • Delegating and reaching out to others for help- especially with areas that I’m not the best at (and that’s OK!)


My current and upcoming reading list (anything I should add?):

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