Books used to be a category of clutter I protected while decluttering. I emptied my closets of clothes I never wore and the stuff that didn’t fit. I cleaned out my kitchen by donating appliances I didn’t use along with the extra measuring spoons and coffee cups. All the odds and ends from my office, unused sporting equipment and the contents of my junk drawer went out the door too.
Not the books though. I never thought I’d get rid of my books. I loved my books. When I finally let go and gave almost all my books away, I realized what it is about them that fill my heart. I love the words, the authors, and the way reading fuels new ideas and adventures. Stories I’ve discovered in books have inspired hope, healing, and an opportunity to learn, change and grow.
I read more now than I did when I was collecting books and I get to share what I love most by giving them away when I finish reading them. Sometimes I pass books on to friends or family or I give them away on Instagram. Books aren’t clutter but question why you are holding on. Will you read them again? Are they adding value or serving a purpose sitting on a shelf? The answer may be yes or no, and it might change over time.
You know that feeling when a new book is coming out and you can’t wait to read it (but you have to)? That’s how I feel about some of the following books. They aren’t all available yet but when they are, I’ll be excited to see them in my mailbox.
My Reading List (with a brief description from the publisher + why I want to read each one)
The Secret Lives of Introverts: Inside Our Hidden World On behalf of those who have long been misunderstood, rejected, or ignored, fellow introvert Jenn Granneman writes a compassionate vindication—exploring, discovering, and celebrating the secret inner world of introverts that, only until recently, has begun to peek out and emerge into the larger social narrative. Drawing from scientific research, in-depth interviews with experts and other introverts, and her personal story, Granneman reveals the clockwork behind the introvert’s mind—and why so many people get it wrong initially.
my why: I was an introvert trying to prove myself as an extrovert for a really long time. I think I’ll better understand my need for alone time and how to navigate the world with even more peace after reading this book.
Destination Simple: Everyday Rituals for a Slower Life There’s an ever-growing group of people opting out of a life lived at 110%. They are choosing to slow down, simplify, say no and focus on the things that are truly important. Brooke McAlary is one of them. In Destination Simple, Brooke McAlary shows readers that no matter how busy you are, you too can feel in control of your days; minimize stress; find pockets of peace on even the busiest day; empty your mind and sleep better.
my why: I am all about ritual and routine. Brooke’s step by step, piece by piece, day by day approach resonates with me.
Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone
“True belonging doesn’t require us to change who we are. It requires us to be who we are.” Social scientist Brené Brown, PhD, LMSW, has sparked a global conversation about the experiences that bring meaning to our lives—experiences of courage, vulnerability, love, belonging, shame, and empathy. In Braving the Wilderness, Brown redefines what it means to truly belong in an age of increased polarization. With her trademark mix of research, storytelling, and honesty, Brown will again change the cultural conversation while mapping a clear path to true belonging.
my why: I don’t know much about this book, but every book by Brené Brown speaks to my heart. I’ll always want more from her.
The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People’s Lives Better, Too) During her multibook investigation into understanding human nature, Gretchen Rubin realized that by asking the seemingly dry question “How do I respond to expectations?” we gain explosive self-knowledge. She discovered that based on their answer, people fit into Four Tendencies: Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, and Rebels. Our Tendency shapes every aspect of our behavior, so using this framework allows us to make better decisions, meet deadlines, suffer less stress, and engage more effectively. With sharp insight, compelling research, and hilarious examples, The Four Tendencies will help you get happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative. It’s far easier to succeed when you know what works for you.
my why: I thought I was an Upholder, but after taking Rubin’s quiz, I discovered that I am a Questioner. They had me at “suffer less stress.”
Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self In 2015 Manoush Zomorodi, host of WNYC’s popular podcast and radio show Note to Self, led tens of thousands of listeners through an experiment to help them unplug from their devices, get bored, jump-start their creativity, and change their lives. Grounding the book in the neuroscience and cognitive psychology of “mind wandering” what our brains do when we’re doing nothing at all―Manoush includes practical steps you can take to ease the nonstop busyness and enhance your ability to dream, wonder, and gain clarity in your work and life. The outcome is mind-blowing. Unplug and read on.
my why: Most of my work appears to be happening online, but the truth is it mostly happens when I’m unplugged and noticing the world. I’d love even more proof that doing nothing can be everything.
P.S. I’m bringing the Tiny Wardrobe Tour to Canada in two weeks!