My Reading List for the Upcoming Year
I’ll be completely honest here! Last year I failed to meet my reading objectives for the year. Instead of writing down my goals, I simply thought I’d average a book a month. Ultimately, I ended up halfway to my goal. I started 2018 off by reading the classic, The Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut and ended it with Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Both completely different books on separate recommendations. One is from a family member and another being from a good friend of mine.
My favorite book I read in 2018 was A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. I just loved its simplicity, charm and how it makes you think twice about judging a book (or person in this case) by its cover.
I read another book on blogging, one about money, and a book that was a bit of a personal indulgence by finishing a Star Wars novel that completed a three-part series I started 20 years ago.
This year I plan on reading with a purpose and I am adamant on finishing the year with at least 12 books read. I’m looking for quality money management and inspirational books. I love the variety and appreciate a range of authors and topics, especially those that allow me to think about circumstance or perspectives I may not be familiar or aware of.
Reading, at least in my opinion, is an undervalued resource that stimulates the mind and allows us to unlock thoughts, opinion and critical thinking that we might not have prior to opening our minds up to essentially trying something new.
I’m completely open to suggestion, so after reading my list and learning what I’m looking for, feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below. Maybe I can squeeze an extra book or two into this year’s reading!
I’ll come back here and post a brief update on my thoughts about each book on my list once I finish them. I don’t plan on reviewing them since I don’t particularly believe my opinions about another person’s work should deter anyone from giving them a chance.
My 2019 Reading List – In No Particular Order
The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy by Thomas J. Stanley: Yes, I know the follow-up book is coming out this year, but I bought the original book last summer and haven’t read it yet. I’ve heard nothing but great things about it and very much look forward to cracking it open and getting started.
You Are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero: This one just intrigues me. I’ve seen it on the shelves for quite a while now and have had the intention of reading it soon. I look forward to what the author has to say about getting into the mindset of wealth.
Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry by Helaine Olen: I’ve worked in the nonprofit debt management industry for almost 16 years and love what I do. That being said, the author brings up a point I’d like to explore further, which is a disdain for some ‘guru’s’ that sell products that I feel should be made available, such as financial education, at no cost, to those seeking to improve themselves and their situation. I’m not entirely sure I’ll agree with what I read here, but I’ll have another perspective.
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch: This book beckons me primarily because it addresses a lecture that the author gave after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. His lecture was about “Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” and for someone that has received news like he had (he ultimately succumbed to Pancreatic Cancer), I am considerably impressed with his attitude in the face of such dark news.
Find Your Happy by Shannon Kaiser: The premise of this book sits right with me. The author explores areas that I find important such as self-improvement through transforming our outlook and perspective. It sounds like an insightful book from an author that has been featured in one of my all-time favorites, the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. I particularly look forward to reading her book.
The Art of Happiness by Dalai Lama: Okay, what gives? Two happiness related books in a row. In case you’re wondering, no I don’t think I’m not a happy person already. I think I do pretty good in that area. Not that I couldn’t stand to be a little happier at times…but I’m always open for a perspective that provides those moments of clarity and enlightenment when things make a little more sense. Life’s hectic, fast-paced – somewhat of a go-go-go at times, for me this could be a good reminder to stop and smell the roses occasionally. This book has been on my list for some time now and some of the topics that are covered are ones I want to explore further.
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini: Years ago I read A Thousand Splendid Suns by the same author. I walked away from that wonderful book with a greater insight into a culture I scarcely understood. It was an emotional roller-coaster and I believe I’m better for having read it. I’ve meant to read the Kite Runner and look forward to the author’s way with words and emotions.
The Behavior Gap: Simple Ways to Stop Doing Dumb Things with Money by Carl Richards: I wasn’t so sure about this one, in fact, I’m still not completely sold on it. I suppose it’s because I don’t believe there are always “simple” ways to do things, or what may be “simple” for one person can be nightmarishly dreadful for the next. I quote from the book on Amazon gives me hope that there is some real insight to be gleaned from this book. The quote is as follows: "It's not that we're dumb. We're wired to avoid pain and pursue pleasure and security. It feels right to sell when everyone around us is scared and buy when everyone feels great. It may feel right but it's not rational." That makes complete sense to me, I’m curious as to the author's views on behavior and finances and will give it a read.
Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping by and Get Your Financial Life Together by Erin Lowry: Well, I must admit, I’m not a millennial! I learned last year that I’m a Xennial. Hopefully that doesn’t disqualify me from reading this book! Seriously though, I’m nothing short of impressed at how some millennial’s have done some serious work in the arena of personal finance. Millennial’s, in my opinion, have each other’s backs in ways that perhaps we haven’t seen before and I think I’ll see some of that shine through in Erin’s book.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho: This fable sounds wonderful to me. An adventure that leads to the protagonist learning to listen to his heart and follow his dreams. The book has been well regarded as having the unique ability to make a permanent impact on its readers. I think this will be the first book I read this year! I’ll admit it now, I already have it on Audible so this ‘read’ might be a ‘listen’ which hopefully doesn’t count as cheating! I used a free credit for it after all.
How to Make Your Money Last: The Indispensable Retirement Guide by Jane Bryant Quinn: Alright, I’m not quite 40 but it’s a reality that is certainly staring me in the face! I wanted to add a book that provided insight into retirement and help formulate some opinions on what I will need to do and perhaps what I could be doing better now, to successfully navigate retirement. I know her book has been well received and from what I’ve seen, comes with solid information aimed at making sure your funds are what you need when you’re finally working days are finished.
On the Road by Jack Kerouac: I’ve always been a bit of a free spirit. I love hitting the road, not quite wandering, but not quite with a destination in mind as well. I read maybe a chapter or two years ago and I aim to finish what I started this year. The book is about two friends that want to experience America, in their own sense, with their own eyes. Not from what they’ve necessarily already seen or been exposed to, but from a fresh lens and perspective, really to absorb everything around them. I kick myself for not finishing it the first go-around, but it’s never too late to pick up a good book!
And there you have it, my book a month list in no particular order! If you’re looking for inspiration for a good book to read hopefully this list has helped! Again, if you have any books you suggest, please, feel free to comment below and let me know if you think I’m missing out on a great read. I’m always up for suggestions!