LIFESTYLE | LW Book Club: December Reads
“The average CEO reads 60 books a year”
When I was a little girl, I was a TOTAL nerd. I mean it. I would read 5 or 6 books simultaneously, switching off between books whenever I wanted a change. Bookmarked + dog-eared, I would never lose track of the stories. I was able to bounce back and forth and keep every story straight. Fellow nerds might remember those summer reading clubs your local library held, the ones where every kids’ name was on the wall and each time you finished a book you got a sticker or a prize or something and your name was moved up the chart. I LIVED for these summer reading clubs, you guys. Seriously, they got me SO EXCITED. And of course, I always won. Don’t even get me started on the Scholastic Book Fairs at school. Every time it came to town I had excitement butterflies all day daydreaming about browsing the shelves after school and add some beauts to my collection. I was all about reading + writing as a kid, and that is what ultimately led me to study journalism in school (I went to California State University of Fullerton and minored in Anthropology, too.)
Despite how much I still love books, love the way they look sitting on my desk, love holding them in my hands, can’t help perusing Target’s book section every time I visit (books are like always 30% off!), I’m not going to lie. Lately, reading for me has become a chore, and that honestly really bums me out to say. I think the immense responsibility of running multiple businesses, managing a team of planners + interns, handling finances, and the 1638636136 things on my to-do list on the daily has unfortunately taken up so much brain space that when I do have some downtime, I really just want to get to a yoga class (truly a moving meditation for me!) or grab a glass of wine and turn on some standup on Netflix (I am loving Bill Burr + Joe Rogan lately). And because I like to read business + self-development books, reading has become something that I find, and I hate to say this, tedious.
When I do finally get out a book, I oftentimes find myself drifting away from the words on the page and into my own thoughts, pausing to scroll on Instagram, or stop altogether to check my text messages.
Recently though, I have become fed up with my own excuses. That voice in my head that says “You can read tomorrow.” “It’s fine, you’ve had a long day.”
ENOUGH is ENOUGH.
I had been sitting on the same three books for months and finally I got so annoyed having them each 75% finished, that I took this long holiday weekend to finish them all. And man, does it feel good!
Reading is SO good for you, you guys. SO good. Not only do books teach, but they inspire. You can really gain so much from reading just 15 minutes a day, and that is why, with you all as my witness, I am promising, to you, but more importantly to myself, to quiet that voice in my head and NO MATTER WHAT - read for 15 minutes every night before bed. It takes 21 days to create a habit, and my 21 days starts today.
These are my 5 favorite books I’ve read in the past few months that have really resonated with me, added value to my life, and changed my way of thinking, and I hope they do the same for you. I hope you add these to your winter reading list as well, and remember - sometimes the best things for you are the ones you find the most difficult.
The Five Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
WOW, this one is good. It’s crazy to me that five agreements that seem so simple + basic can be so difficult to actually attain in your everyday life. I won’t spoil the book by telling you what the five agreements are, but read this and your life will be forever changed, seriously. Only 90 pages and an extremely easy read, you can easily get through this in just a few days but its takeaways will stay with you for a lifetime.
2. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
As an aspiring minimalist, I LOVED this one. It forces you to take a closer look at what’s really taking up space in your life, which of your belongings truly serve you, which of your belongings bring you joy, and which of your belongings that are just cluttering your space. I love how this book takes a closer look at the effects of one’s space and shows how our belongings, or excess thereof, can really affect our brain space and mental wellbeing overall. This one will literally make you want to purge all of your drawers + cupboards (I know it made me!) and gives a brand new + deeper perspective on something we have been doing all of our lives, but takes it to a whole new level.
3. The Urban Monk by Pedram Shojai, OMD
Take it from me, leaving it all behind to go live in a yurt on a mountaintop, meditate all day with prayer beads and indulge in sound baths while wearing nothing but a cotton shift dress with my hair in dreads sounds prettyyyy appealing sometimes, especially on those super crazy jam-packed weeks. But the truth is, I love what I do, as many of you do as well, and I’m not quite ready to throw in the towel….yet ;) Finding our “inner monk” in the craziness of living in an urban world sounds awesome, right? And according to Dr. Shojai, it’s completely possible. In this book, he offers practical ways of bringing a monk lifestyle to your everyday, resisting becoming a slave to time and social structures, and finding your purpose. Namaste!
4. Crushing It! By Gary Vaynerchuk
Oh, Gary. Every time I read, listen to, or watch something by this man, I immediately feel like I’m not doing enough - but in a good way! Gary has a way of motivating me to the point that I want to scream “I know! You’re right! I SHOULD be DM’ing potential collaborators and clients 7 hours a day! But Gary, WHEN can I find the time?! But you’re right.” The guy is good. Is his second book, “Crushing It!”, Gary delves into anecdotal examples of successful people, just like you and me, who have used the magical power of social media to grow their followings, build their companies,, and crush it in business. Nowadays, it’s all about influence, and for anyone who is an aspiring entrepreneur, content-creator or influencer, this is a must-read. Just be warned: Contents may cause you to want to pull all-nighters and crush it until your eyes literally can’t stay open.
5. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
YASSS. This book is my spirit animal, no lie. From chapters ranging from “Emotions are Overrated” to “How to be a little less certain of yourself” to “Rejection makes your life better”, this very “to the point” approach to making things happen, staying in your lane and not worrying about what others think was just what I needed to read this year. We so easily fall victim to our pasts, our childhoods, our traumas and our stories, while simultaneously being spoonfed delusional ideas that we should always be positive, failure is bad, and that everyone will be a millionaire, or a rockstar, or the president of the United States. This book tells it like it is, and when you’re done with it, you will have an entirely new outlook on life and what it means to give a f*ck.