50 Books I Read This Year (And The Books I Do NOT Recommend)

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I receive a commission for purchases made through these links, at no cost to you.

So much can change in just 1 year. Your relationships, career, where you live, and your financial state can be in a totally different place in just one year from now.

I owe SO much of my growth to reading. So much can change in your life just from a simple book. Reading 1 book a month is 12 books a year. You can learn and take action in your life all by reading the best books available. 

I read books from the library, Amazon Kindle Unlimited, Blinkist (summed up versions of the book), and from Overdrive.

This list will consist of a split between the books I recommend and the books I do NOT recommend. 

Before we get started, make sure to sign up for my free resource library and get access to exclusive printables all about saving money and building wealth, meal planning, and more.

I recommend reading…

Genre: Personal Growth

1. The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

The Compound Effect is a fun and easy read that will help you get great results in your life. You learn how to achieve goals, get rid of bad habits, how to stay motivated, and the secrets of superachievers. 

I loved this book because it shares a lot of helpful tips that you can use right away, especially if you have trouble creating good habits. 

You can get The Compound Effect here.

Rating: 4/5

2. Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brene Brown

I had no clue who Brene Brown was until I watched her documentary on Netflix called The Call To Courage (which you must watch). Since then, I’ve been hooked on what she teaches on shame and vulnerability. 

Brene Brown shares that we’re in a crisis of disconnection. She shares that clarity and courage are what we need to find ourselves and each other. Being courageous and vulnerable can be scary, but the rewards are worth it.

You can get Braving The Wilderness here.

Rating: 5/5

3. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

Do you find yourself overwhelmed? Does your life feel cluttered and spread out thin? Then you need to read Essentialism.

This book teaches you how to get the right things done, instead of trying to get everything done. I loved this book and believe everyone should read it, especially as our lives seem to get more hectic. 

You can get Essentialism here.

Rating: 5/5

4. You Are A Badass Every Day by Jen Sincero 

This is the first personal development book I’ve ever read. I bought it on a whim when I was traveling to Las Vegas and it was a life-changing read.

It’s such a refreshing and fun read that will help you become the most badass version of yourself. You learn how to identify and change self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that are stopping you from getting the life you want. 

You can get You Are A Badass here.

Rating: 5/5

5. Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear

I wasn’t a huge fan of Atomic Habits, but I figured I’d put it in the recommended reading section as it’s highly reviewed online. I’m assuming my experience with this book wasn’t as good as others because I listened to it on an audiobook.

Atomic Habits teaches you how to make time for new habits, overcome a lack of motivation, how to design your environment to make life easier, and how to get back on track when you fall off course. 

You can get Atomic Habits here.

Rating: 3.5/5

6. Awaken The Giant Within

Awaken The Giant Within is a must-read, even if you’re not a huge fan of Tony Robbins. It’s filled with a ton of amazing information that can help you with personal growth. 

This book is *thick* and will take you quite a while to read, but it’s worth it. I’m pretty sure this book is on Blinkist if you’re looking for a shorter, condensed version. 

You can get Awaken The Giant Within here.

Rating 5/5  

7. The 12 Week Year by Brian Moran

The 12 Week Year is a quick and fun read that explains how to leverage the power of a 12 week year to get the results you want in your life.

There is some fluff and common sense stuff in here, but it’s worth the read if you’re trying to create massive results in your life. 

You can get The 12 Week Year here.

Rating: 5/5

Genre: Entrepreneur 

8. DotCom Secrets by Russell Brunson

If you run a small business, you know by now that a large part of this work is marketing. Marketing is everything.

DotCom Secrets will give you step-by-step marketing funnels and sales scripts that will make sure your business succeeds. You just have to do the work.

This is a great book to have on hand in the house so you can go back to it at any time. 

You can get DotCot Secrets here.

Rating: 5/5

9. Company of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business by Paul Jarvis

This is a must-read if you’re running a business, whether it’s big or small. I loved reading this book because it taught me bigger and more isn’t always better.

Sometimes I get asked when I’m going to start hiring and creating a team for my blog and business, and my plan is never. I do hire freelancers and graphic designers, but I don’t ever plan on making the team larger.

Company of One teaches you how to create an amazing business with equally amazing revenue all on your own. 

You can get Company of One here.

Rating: 5/5

10. Expert Secrets by Russel Brunson 

If you run a small business, you absolutely need to read Expert Secrets.

This is a book filled with practical advice and tips you can apply right away to your business. The book tells you exactly how to transform your business and serve your clients better. 

It’s a page turner and will make you super excited to take things further in your business.

You can get Expert Secrets here.

Rating: 5/5 

11. Everything Is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo

This is the perfect book for someone who is having trouble achieving their goals or someone who has trouble with lacking time and money. When I finished this book, I felt so good! It honestly felt like anything in my life could be figureoutable, which is the whole learning point of this book.

Everything Is Figureoutable stands out among other books because it’s brutally honest and has a bit of cussing, so if that’s not for you, skip it.

You can get Everything Is Figureoutable here.

Rating: 4/5

12. Building a Story Brand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller

This is a must-read for anyone building a business because you learn exactly how to send a message to customers, which means potentially making more money AND changing more lives with your services or products. 

Quick read and a ton of useful information you can apply right away. 

You can get Building A Story Brand here.

Rating: 4/5

13. Crushing It! by Gary V.

I’m not a follower of Gary V. (though it seems like everyone else is), so I was eager to read his book and see why everyone’s obsessed with him. In Crushing It!, Gary dissects every current major social media platform so that anyone can clearly understand how to amplify their brand on each. 

Gary’s style of writing is active and fun. Once I picked up the book, I wanted to finish it as it was a quick read that gives a lot of quick tips and advice to implement right away. A pretty good read for entrepreneurs and people who run a small business.

You can get Crushing It! here.

Rating: 4/5

14. 13 Things Mentally Strong Women Don’t Do by Amy Morin

This was such a fun and thought provoking read that I believe all women (and even men!) could benefit from reading.

You dive into topics like sexism, social media, social comparison, social pressure, and get thought advice and practical tips to overcome certain issues women face. Each chapter is laid out neatly and you take away practical tips you can use in different areas of your life. 

You can get 13 Things Mentally Strong Women Don’t Do here.

Rating: 5/5

15. Unstuffed: Decluttering Your Home, Mind & Soul by Ruth Soukup

If you need help decluttering your mind and home, this is a quick read that will help you make changes. 

You’ll learn how to create a vision for your home to improve its overall function, how to overcome the frustration of your kids’ influx of stuff, how to create a schedule that isn’t overstuffed and a lot of other helpful takeaways. 

You can get Unstuffed here.

Rating: 4/5

16. Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals by Rachel Hollis

I was surprised by how much I loved this book – not anything against Rachel Hollis, but because I randomly got this book and didn’t expect to read anything that I didn’t already know.

Women can benefit from reading this book by learning so many new things to help you navigate through life. You learn how to let go of excuses, behaviors to adopt, and the skills you need to achieve growth and confidence in yourself. 

You can get Girl, Stop Apologizing here.

Rating: 5/5 

17. The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life: Before 8AM by Hal Elrod

The Miracle Morning is a must-read if you’re trying to take massive action in your life. You can change your life before 8AM just by making a few changes in your morning. Taking a few steps in the morning can create huge changes in the rest of your day. 

This is a relatively quick read that leaves you with an example Miracle Morning schedule – so you know exactly what to do. 

You can get The Miracle Morning here.

Rating: 4/5 

18. The Little Book of Lykke: The Danish Search for the World’s Happiest People by Meik Wiking

The Little Book of Lykke is a quick and fun read filled with beautiful graphics. Definitely a page turner. 

You get to see how the happiest people in the world live – and exactly what makes them happy. It might surprise you. 

You can get The Little Book of Lykke here.

Rating: 4/5

Genre: Finance 

19. The Infographic Guide to Personal Finance: A Visual Reference for Everything You Need to Know by Michele Cagan

This is a fun and quick read on everything personal finance. You’ll learn how to build an emergency fund, choose a financial planner, the different kinds of insurance to get, etc.

I read this book in under 30 minutes and it’s great for people who are new to personal finance. 

You can get The Infographic Guide to Personal Finance here.

Rating: 4/5

20.  Refinery29 Money Diaries by Lindsey Stanberry

Refinery29 Money Diaries is unlike anything I’ve ever read. I love getting to see how other people spend their money, their money goals, and even what they’re struggling with. Personal finance is personal and this book really shows that. 

This book will teach you how to: 1) Repay your loans in a way that fits your lifestyle 2) How to start an emergency fund even if you live paycheck to paycheck 3) How to negotiate your salary and ask for a raise 4) How to make saving for your future fun.

You can get Refinery29 Money Diaries here.

Rating: 4/5

21. Broke Millennial Takes On Investing: by Erin Lowry

Are you struggling with learning how to invest? How to save for retirement? If so, you need to read this.

Broke Millennial Takes On Investing is an easy-to-digest book that breaks down investing into understandable terms. 

You learn things like: Should I invest while paying off student loans? How do I buy and sell stock? What about robo-advisors and apps? You learn pretty much everything you need to know about investing. This is a great read for millennials new to investing.

You can get Broke Millennial Takes On Investing here.

Rating: 5/5

22. Work Optional: Retire Early the Non-Penny-Pinching Way by Tanja Hester

I read Work Optional twice in 2019 and highly recommend you do the same. I don’t necessarily have plans to retire early, but this was still a great read as I received a ton of investment and retirement advice.

The author, Tanja Hester, retired from a high-stress career in her late 30’s. She helps you discover what your retirement lifestyle looks like, how to protect yourself from recessions and the future unknowns, and how to achieve a life of purpose, even after retirement. 

You can get Work Optional here.

Rating: 5/5 

23. The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing by Larimore, Taylor

This is a great read for someone new to investing who wants to learn from financial experts. I thought I was going to find this book boring, but it was a pretty fast read with a lot of helpful info. 

You’ll learn how to diversify your portfolio, invest regularly, and get started investing to achieve your retirement goals. 

You can get The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing here.

Rating: 5/5

24. Playing With FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) by Scott Rieckens

Playing With FIRE is written by Scott Rieckens, an entrepreneur living in Southern California. The book is a classic tale about a husband and wife building the *dream life* by buying fancy cars, houses, etc., but underneath it all, he felt unfulfilled and was essentially living paycheck to paycheck yet making a six-figure income. 

Then one day, he listened to a podcast that changed everything. He quit his job 5 months later, moved, and cut expenses in half.

This book is a must-read for families who want to retire early and live life on their terms. 

You can get Playing With FIRE here.

Rating: 4/5 

25. The Index Card: Why Personal Finance Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated by Helaine Olen

The Index Card started as a challenge. A University of Chicago professor asked Helaine Olen, a financial journalist to write everything you need to know about managing your money onto one index card. He grabbed a 4” x 6” card, wrote down a few rules, and posted the index card online. 

The post went viral and has now become a book. He explains the 10 simples rules that are on the index card in this quick read. 

You can get The Index Card here.

Rating: 4/5

26. Money Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom by Tony Robbins

I’m not going to lie, this is a LONG read that isn’t much of a page-turner, but it’s packed with a lot of good information. 

Tony Robbins interviews some of the most well-known finance experts in the world, including Warren Buffet and Steve Forbes, so you get to hear their advice when it comes to investing and saving money.

The book is broken into 7 steps to take for financial freedom, making it a must-read for anyone trying to take control of their money.

You can get Money Master The Game here.

Rating: 5/5

27. Everyday Millionaires: How Ordinary People Built Extraordinary Wealth–And How You Can Too by Chris Hogan

Everyday Millionaires is all about ordinary people building ordinary lives by taking their finances in their own hands. This whole book is based around the largest study ever conducted on 10,000 millionaires living in the United States.

Most people think becoming a millionaire is out of reach, but it’s not and you’ll see that when you read Everyday Millionaires. If you’re willing to do the work that Chris Hogan teaches, you can become a millionaire. 

You can get Everyday Millionaires here.

Rating: 4/5

Genre: Real-Life  

28. The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton

In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder. He was just 29 years old and knew it was a case of mistaken identity. He thought the truth would set him free.

The Sun Does Shine is based on a completely true story that will rock you to your core. Anthony Ray Hinton spent almost 30 years in prison. You’ll end the book feeling angry because of how corrupt the criminal justice system is. 

Despite Anthony’s tragic story, he ends it on the best note possible by transforming the lives of his fellow inmates. With the help of a civil rights attorney, Hinton was released in 2015. 

This book is a must-read. 

You can get The Sun Does Shine here.

Rating 5/5

29. Talking As Fast As I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls by Lauren Graham

Unless you’re obsessed with Gilmore Girls, I’d skip this read as you won’t find any interest in it…

However, if you’re absolutely obsessed with Gilmore Girls like I am, you need to read it! This book is by Lauren Graham and shares her unique journey through life, and you get to learn fun facts about Gilmore Girls, behind the scenes. 

You can get Talking As Fast As I Can here.

Rating: 4/5

30. Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff by Chip Gaines

If you’re a serial entrepreneur or obsessed with all things the Gaines family, you should read Capital Gaines. Chip grew up with a huge entrepreneur-spirit as you’ll see in the book. He shares life lessons he’s learned and you get to hear about Joanna behind the scenes, too.

It was a fun read if you’re fans of Chip and Joanna. 

You can get Capital Gaines here.

Rating: 4/5

31. Strangers Assume My Girlfriend Is My Nurse by Shane Burcaw

This is a book unlike any other. The author, Shane Burcaw has spinal muscular atrophy and lives quite a normal life. He’s breaking down stereotypes and sharing his life with others to show that he’s not that different at all.

This book is a collection of essays about living an amazing life in his body – which most people would consider a tragedy. 

Shane Burcaw is hilarious and the book is, too. He shares stories about people mistaking his girlfriend for a nurse, awkwardly patting him on the head as if he’s a baby, and how he tackles awkward situations with humor. 

You can get Strangers Assume My Girlfriend Is My Nurse here.

Rating: 5/5

32. Laughing At My Nightmare by Shane Burcaw

Also by Shane Burcaw, Laughing At My Nightmare shares the challenges Shane faces as a young 20-something with spinal muscular atrophy. This is another must-read to see life from another person’s point of view. 

You can get Laughing At My Nightmare here.

Rating: 4/5

33. Not So Different: What You Really Want to Ask About Having a Disability by Shane Burcaw

This is a fun and very quick read for kids. As someone who worked in the field of disabilities for 6 years, I’ve seen way too many kids stare longingly at people with disabilities and even sometimes ask, why do they look like that? 

This book will help kids better understand people with disabilities and realize they’re not so different after all.

You can get Not So Different here.

Rating: 4/5

34. Alone On The Wall by Alex Honnold 

Alex Honnold is a free solo climber (meaning no ropes or protective gear) who was the first person to free solo climb Yosemite’s 3,000 foot high El Capitan.

If you have Hulu or Disney+, Free Solo is a must-watch. Free Solo is a documentary that shares Alex Honnold’s journey up El Capitan. And yes, it’s absolutely insane. 

You can get Alone On The Wall here.

Rating: 4/5 

35. The War On Normal People by Andrew Yang

Do you ever wonder what automation and robots are doing to jobs? Yeah, I never wondered or even knew about the thousands of jobs lost to this. As companies move toward automation (to save time and money), millions of jobs are being lost. 

One recent estimate predicts 45 million American workers will lose their jobs within the next 12 years – jobs that won’t be replaced.

The War On Normal People is essentially about what the United States needs to do about the upcoming job loss due to automation because something needs to be done. 

You can get The War On Normal People here.

Rating: 5/5

36. Dangerous Personalities: An FBI Profiler Shows You How to Identify and Protect Yourself from Harmful People by Joe Navarro

I read this book after a bunch of weird things happened to me where I currently live involving men. I wanted to become more aware of my surroundings and find out how to protect myself.

This book is a really interesting and fun read. Not only that, you get to learn from an FBI Profiler who knows about horrors that most of us have no clue even happen. It’s smart to get an insider’s look from someone who deals with bad people on a regular basis. 

You can get Dangerous Personalities here.

Rating: 4/5

37. What Every Body Is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People by Joe Navarro

Another must-read by the same FBI Profiler as the book above, Joe Navarro teaches regular people how to read someone’s body language, which can reveal a lot about someone and if they’re lying. 

After reading this book, I started reading everyone’s body language and it became so easy to detect when someone was most likely lying, nervous, or telling the truth. 

You can get What Every Body Is Saying here.

Rating: 4/5 

Genre: Health

38. The Doctor Will See You Now: Recognizing and Treating Endometriosis by Tamer, Seckin

I’ve had a few friends diagnosed with endometriosis and always knew it was a real problem that can derail women’s lives. 

If you don’t know what Endometriosis is, it’s when the tissue that’s inside the uterus sheds, but doesn’t exist the woman’s body during their body. Instead, it grows outside of the uterus and spreads to the organs and nerves in and around the pelvic region. The pain from this is physically and mentally exhausting and can dramatically affect a woman’s life.

Unfortunately, endometriosis is widely misdiagnosed as most doctors don’t have any education on this major problem. This book helped me understand what so many women are going through and what I can do to help.

You can get The Doctor Will See You Now here.

Rating: 5/5

39. The Vagina Bible

The Vagina Bible is a must-read for women (and even men!). 

You learn about the best genital hygiene habits, hormone myths, how your diet impacts your vagina’s health, cosmetic vaginal surgery, changes to expect after pregnancy and childbirth, and so much more. It’s so empowering to know all of this information and be able to make informed decisions on my health. 

You can get The Vagina Bible here.

Rating: 4.5/5

Genre: Fiction

40. Wolfhunter River (Stillhouse Lake, #3) by Rachel Caine

Rachel Caine is one of my favorite authors, so I knew WolfHunter River (#3 in the series) would be amazing. If you’re looking for a suspense series to read, read the Stillhouse Lake series.

I don’t want to give anything away, especially since this is #3 in the series, so I recommend starting with Stillhouse Lake. 

You can get started with Stillhouse Lake here.

Rating: 5/5

Books I Do Not Recommend 

41. Zero Sugar Diet

This is a great book to read if you’re trying to ditch sugar, but as far as health books go, you should take a little from each book to discover what works best for you.

There is a little bit of confusion in the book as far as cheat meals go – the author recommends them in the beginning of the book, but then at the end of the book says cheat meals don’t work. The meals he recommends in the book are not healthy in my opinion (red meat, dairy, bacon, etc.). Overall, there’s good advice to ditch added sugar and stick with sugars that come from whole fruit in it’s natural form. 

You can get the Zero Sugar Diet here.

Rating 3.5/5

42. Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell

Pumpkinheads is a graphic novel that is a great read for the autumn season. I personally liked it, but I wouldn’t say you need to read it. If you love everything about the autumn season and Halloween, it’s a fun, quick read.

You can get Pumpkinheads here.

Rating: 3.5/5

43. The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes

This book has helpful advice regarding making sales in your business. However, I couldn’t get through the book and had trouble staying awake throughout it. 

For some, the advice may be elementary, but others seem to really love this book. As all books go, you might like, even if I didn’t. 

You can get The Ultimate Sales Machine here.

Rating: 3/5

44. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

I have yet to find a book I like that is by Gretchen Rubin, yet people love her stuff. I could barely get through this book and I don’t have many takeaways to share. I wouldn’t recommend it. 

You can get The Happiness Project here.

Rating: 2/5 

45. Meet the Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living by Elizabeth Willard Thames

This was an interesting read about a couple who worked 9-5 jobs and had dreams of becoming homesteaders in rural Vermont. While the book has a lot of practical tips and advice, I didn’t enjoy the read as much as I hoped I would. It’s worth a read if you’re wanting to live a similar lifestyle and want to see their journey of creating their life. 

You can get Meet The Frugalwoods here.

Rating 3/5 

46. The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking

I found this book to be pretentious and condescending and filled with a bit of fluff, which is interesting because I enjoyed The Little Book of Lykke. 

Skip this book and save your time. 

You can get The Little Book of Hygge here.

Rating: 2/5 

47. My Zero-Waste Kitchen: Easy Ways to Eat Waste Free by Kate Turner

I’m doing my best to create less waste and was looking for books to help me learn how to just that. There’s nothing against this book, but I found that you can find most of the information on zero-waste by looking up a quick article online. 

You can get My Zero-Waste Kitchen here.

Rating: 3.5/5

48. Eat Dirt: Why Leaky Gut May Be the Root Cause of Your Health Problems and 5 Surprising Steps to Cure It by Josh Axe

You may enjoy this book more if you have trouble with leaky gut, which is why I may have struggled reading it.

You learn how to heal your leaky gut and eliminate digestive and autoimmune problems. I may consider giving this book another try. 

You can get Eat Dirt here.

Rating: 3/5

49. The Motivation Manifesto by Brendon Burchard 

I’m probably one of the few people in the world that don’t enjoy Brendon Burchard’s books. I don’t enjoy the style of writing and I honestly feel like the weird person for not enjoying his books.

The Motivation Manifesto teaches you how to reclaim your life and find your personal freedom. 

Similar to what the comments said in the reviews, I also think I high too high of expectations and that may have messed with my experience. 

You can get The Motivation Manifesto here.

Rating: 2/5

50. High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard 

Also by Brendon Burchard, High Performance Habits teaches you 6 habits that will make you extraordinary. I might try reading this again as it’s highly reviewed. 

You can get High Performance Habits here.

Rating: 2/5

Have you read any of the books on this list? Tell me in the comments! If you have books you recommend that I should read, please share in the comments below.

Don’t forget to sign up for the free resource library and get exclusive access to free printables & planners related to saving and making money, meal planning, and more!

Like this post? Share it!

Free Printable Resource Library

Join 10,000 others to get access to 20+ free printables related to achieving financial freedom, starting a side hustle, and other fun goodies!

We will never send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit