I’m a self-proclaimed knowledge junkie.  I love to read.  But I know that if you’re reading this, you are probably also an overextended semi-crazy person, so I thought I’d create two lists.  Books that you should absolutely read.  And books you can probably skim if you’re in a time crunch or you want to use the book as a “tool.”  I’ll suggest fiction and non fiction, business books and novels.  I may even throw in a children’s book that spoke to me!


  • The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin – this one is sort of obvious.  This was the inspiration for this site in the first place.
  • The Checklist Manifesto:How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande – an excellent “non business” book.  It’s amazing how much better we’d all be at just about EVERYTHING if we started at the beginning.
  • The Confidence Code by Katty Kay & Claire Shipman – I didn’t love this book the first time I read it, but the second time through I found some gems.  My favorite is the chapter titled “Dumb Ugly Bitches” and Other Reasons Women Have Less Confidence
  • The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman – this taught me a lot about my relationships.  And not just with my husband.  But also with my friendships and my colleagues.  Some of it is a little cheesy, but the information is totally true and has REALLY helped me in multiple areas of my life.  If you have children in your life, read The Five Love Languages of Children, too.
  • Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell.  The 10,000 hour rule really spoke to me.  I expect everything to come quickly and easily.  The knowledge that it generally takes about 10,000 hours before someone truly becomes an “expert” at something really helped me gain perspective on my skills and my deficiencies.  With limited “free time”, it’s easy to get frustrated when something takes too long to achieve.
  • 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works-A True Story by Dan Harris.  I wrote a blog about this one.  So good.  And realistic.  Don’t expect any journey to make you 100% happier.  But 10% is realistic and that’s something!
  • Grit by Angela Duckworth.  Wow.  Just wow.  Passion and perseverance go farther than pure talent.  If you put the work in, the results come out.  LOVE this.
  • You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero.  A lighthearted “how-to” on making things happen and implementing significant changes in your life.  She’s funny and witty. It’s this kind of self-talk that actually gets me motivated.
  • The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod.  I hate this, but I love it.  I don’t do all of the things that Elrod suggests, but I do most of them and it has helped me feel more productive.


  • Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg – I HATED this one the first time around.  I mean, it’s easy to “lean in” when you’re a millionaire and you can outsource so many facets of your life but most of us don’t have that luxury (I’m working on it, though.)  The second time through, though, I was able to see some merit.
    • Sidebar: The more I reflect on this one, the more I recognize that I’m a bitch and am actually contributing to the “mean mom” problem we have in this world.  Just because she’s wealthy and has a lot of advantages that many of us don’t, doesn’t mean she misses her children or her family any less than the rest of us.  I apologize for my initial reaction to this book.  Her points are valid and, frankly, I applaud her success and accolades.  Now excuse me while I go eat some humble pie.
  • The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni.  It’s a fable so it’s easy to read.  I have it in the “skim” section only because you can still have major takeaways if you read it piecemeal.  I do recommend reading it cover to cover at least once, though.
  • Eat that Frog! by Brian Tracy.  Time management basics with concrete strategies for implementation.  I recommend this book to all of my clients.
  • I’m Good Enough, I’m Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me: Daily Affirmations by Stuart Smalley Really by Al Franken.  It’s hilarious.  And sometimes we just need to laugh.  Pick it up and read any page and you’ll get the giggles

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