Wednesday, January 1, 2020

8 Powerful Books to Read in the New Year

Happy 2020 Everyone!! I'm so excited about this new year, but more specifically this fresh decade upon us. I have a lot of new posts planned and something I want to share more is the books I recommend (and I want to hear what you're reading too)! A classy woman is always looking for ways to continually learn and educate herself, improve her knowledge in a variety of areas so she can hold an interesting conversation and live a better quality life. I also find that it's quite relaxing to read a real book before bed, instead of an electronic version on my iPad- it's just one of my secrets for a better night's sleep!

Raise your hand if reading more books was on your list of goals for this year! *hand raised over here!* This has been something that I've been more intentional about, especially as I encourage our 6-year-old daughter Lily to sit quietly and read on Saturday mornings with mommy and daddy so we can all begin our day in a relaxed state. Ideally I'd like to be reading one new book I can add to my library every single week (or approximately 50 new books per year), but the reality is that I'm often driving in the car listening to Podcasts as well as audio books along with reading to/having Lily read out loud to us. 

During our 2019 summer vacation I got to read a few hard copy books uninterrupted as we lost ourselves in the moment and our surroundings, where were the stunning views in Tuscany. As I added to my list of books I'd happily recommend or gift to others, I decided it was time to share a fresh round of book recommendations with you. As we've entered the new year many wish to hit a reset button of sorts, tackle new goals and clear out old patterns. The books I'm sharing address everything from healthier eating habits to adding more gratitude to your day, they are books I proudly display in my library and my hope is that they will be a welcomed addition to your own bedroom nightstand.

1. The Art of The Good Life- What I love about this book  written by Rolf Dobelli (which focuses on the shortcuts to happiness, wealth and success) is that it's broken down into 52 little mini chapters- concepts you can incorporate into your own life and thinking. Rolf couples modern psychology with ancient philosophy which is rooted in Stoicism, so if that's not your thing then this book may not be for you. I found his insights and examples provided refreshing and truly provided food for thought-this book could make for a fun conversation starter as it encourages us to live a more engaged, intentional and authentic life . Dobelli breaks the myth that their is one answer to solve  with  that you could reach each day or as the topic numbers dictate, you could read a new one each week on a Sunday for example and complete it in a year or finish it in a day. Personally, I have gotten more out of it by not rushing though and instead letting each idea sink it. You can pick it up any time, one to keep on your bookshelf to refer back to your favorite dog-eared chapters when you need a reminder. I also like that this one makes a great gift for virtually anyone male or female and bonus points because it looks pretty on a coffee table. B added his bestselling book "The Art of Thinking Clearly" to our library a few years ago but it's new for me, so I'll be adding that to my reading list.

2. The Universe Has Your Back- I cannot say enough good things about this book written by Gabrielle Bernstein, it is a must-read for everyone in my opinion!!  If you follow me on social media you may have seen me share it because it was life-changing for me. I make an effort to practice the power of positive thinking, understand the laws of attraction and faith is a huge part of my life. That said, I was feeling stuck a few years ago as I navigated un-chartered territory: life as a divorced woman and newly single mother who just moved across the country to start fresh. I stumbled upon Gabby's book in a book store one Sunday afternoon around the time I was ready to begin dating. I had so many fears at that time that I would get over in moments and then they'd pop back up again. Being a praying woman, I of course made the bible my main go-to but this was right next to it on my bedside table. I was able to see things differently and noticed amazing shifts taking place. I always knew I was in the driver's seat of my life and had already made many bold moves but this book is one that I've referred back to many times and just recently picked up her Universe Has Your Back 52-card deck of affirmations which are a lot of fun to select a daily card to be reminded up and inspired by. If you have a friend struggling with overcoming certain fears and longing to live in a place of faith, I highly recommend this as a resource.

3. The Clarity Cleanse- I discovered this book by Dr. Habib Sadeghi via a Podcast as several celebrities have read and endorsed it (there is a forward by Gwyneth Paltrow) so I ordered it and decided to read it during our flights while we flew to Europe this summer. I began the first couple chapters of the book at home curled up on the couch but got to more in-depth chapters while traveling. I was so impressed with his ability to make his insight easy to understand, his extensive medical knowledge-the man healed himself of cancer! His story is so inspiring and he unpacks how our unresolved and stored-up emotions actually impact us and express themselves in physical pain, illness and more. As I listened to his story, it struck a nerve and helped me unpack my own deeply-rooted beliefs reminding me of some childhood and teenage experiences I had, it triggered me in a way that I needed but one caution (which was my own fault) is that I do not recommend reading this one in public or during vacation for that matter! It was like having a therapy session while on vacation. LOL. I ended up sobbing during one leg of our trip and it actually brought up some negative feelings I was working through (abandonment issues from my childhood when my parents separated) which in moments didn't positively affect the emotions I had while my sweetie and I were trying to begin a beautiful and relaxing holiday together. That said, I had the good sense to tuck this powerful and transformative read away for the rest of the trip.  This book is not a light, fluffy read- it is truly for someone who is ready to do the work of creating clarity and cleansing their life of what no longer serves them, releasing emotions that have unbeknownst to you, held you back. So, if you're ready for that, I believe it's a brilliant guide, causing you to go deeper in a way that I haven't seen other authors do.

4. Judgement Detox- This was my second book by Gabby Bernstein and while I think it's an important read for everyone, it was more challenging and the work was a lot deeper that in her first book I mentioned above. Why I'm ultimately sharing it with you here is because I believe we live in a time where we're surrounded by judgement-we judge others AND ourselves constantly. This book helps us free ourselves of those perceptions and instead align ourselves in a greater place of love and acceptance. While Gabby has shared herself that this is not her most popular book (and one that many don't end up finishing because it requires us to go deeper and deal with our judgement in a way that we're often not ready to give up), if you're ready to do some major self-reflection and release the beliefs that hold you back in life, then this one is a clear winner in my opinion.

5. Everything is FigureoutableI've long followed Business and Life Coach Marie Forleo via her MarieTV episodes that I found on accident 7 years ago. Her fun, witty style always grabbed my attention while simultaneously adding to my knowledge base as she's filled with incredible insights and advice for business and life. Imagine my excitement when I found out she was writing a book and the very title was named after her famous phrase 'everything is figureoutable' encouraging all of us that there is no challenge or circumstance that can hold us back, we can overcome anything! I digested this book and took away SO many nuggets of wisdom. She herself is proof that it is all possible with dedication, determination and hard work. She deep dives into how exactly to do just that. One of my favorite chapters included the excuses we need to stop using and telling ourselves. Reading the breakdown of just how many hours are dedicated to social media and TV, and how many full 24-hour days of time that translated into if we chose to redirect our efforts and become less distracted struck a nerve and made me ultra-committed to ensuring I don't waste time on things that don't matter. Marie's book touches every area of life and I can't say enough good things about it, plus she is just such an amazing woman and I was proud to support her work by buying this book. Bottom line: Get yourself a copy ASAP, you will be armed with the wisdom you need to achieve all of your dreams!

6. Ketotarian-Switching gears for a moment, let's dive into a fabulous book by Dr. Will Cole for everyone who is looking to add more energy, experience better mental clarity and eliminate brain fog, burn fat, lose weight and keep it off in a healthy, sustainable way following a mostly plant-based approach while doing my favorite thing about keto-eliminating cravings! Anyone who knows me well (or follows my IG stories) knows that I go between the keto diet indulging in grass-fed red meat for the essential minerals I can't  balanced out with a huge adoration for the plant-based diet- my body actually craves the flavor and vibrancy of fruit and veggies but I've learned the key to staying full is with healthy fats and a lot of them (especially needed for brain function and to prevent degenerative mental diseases). This book marries the two and balances out both of these for me, plus I get to eat a lot of guac, so there's that! ;)  Ketotarian is filled with recipes that are almost entirely plant-based (with a bit of seafood and dairy) however, because I choose to be mostly dairy-free due to allergies, I just omit that when it's called for. So, if you are vegan, vegetarian or prefer a plant-based diet but feel the keto diet could never be for you because you don't eat things like bacon, steak, cheese or coat your veggies in butter, I would recommend reading this for a completely fresh perspective.

7. Celery Juice- Is it just me or was 2019 the year of the celery juicing movement? Some tried it and didn't love the taste, others raved about the incredible benefits that the simple act of juicing one ingredient-celery, had on their body. Anthony William (AKA Medical Medium) wrote this NY Times bestselling book which reveals why celery juice is having such a profound affect in the lives of so many people, particularly those suffering from skin conditions however it extends well beyond eczema, acne and psoriasis. The sodium cluster salts within this humble veggie have already healed millions worldwide. You all know I love my celery juice, I've shared many IG videos of Lily helping me juice and enjoying drinking it with mama. He explains in depth as to how specifically celery juice works within our body and why. I learned so much from him and I consider myself someone who knows far more than the average person with regards to health and wellness as I've studied it for over 20 years. Anthony's instagram feed showcases testimonials of the many people who have reversed disease and improved their life with this one simple change. If you are experiencing any health issues at all, I think his books and free information is incredibly eye opening. He is one of the most truly knowledgeable people in the health space that I've come across and has a following of over 2 Million on Instagram alone. You can prepare celery juice 2 different ways, he explains the 'blender method' as well as using a juicer. I personally prefer the juicer method even though we own a Vitamix that I use daily for smoothies, I don't find the clean up of a juicer to be a pain at all. I tend to make mass batches at once buying several bunches of organic celery instead of juicing daily. This is the juicer that Anthony and I both use which is the masticating type (vs. centrifugal) which allows the juice to be stored for up to 72 hours because of the way it breaks down the juice vs. 24 hours so I only end up juicing about twice per week when consuming it daily, then I use these 32 oz glass mason jars to store them in my fridge. I've had my juicer for 5 years without any issues at all and although it's a bit of an investment, it is the Ferrari of Juicers!

8. Super Attractor- This is my favorite of all Gabby's books and it's her most recent release! I wholeheartedly believe this book will change lives! I read it in a few days, I also picked up the audible copy so I could listen to it while driving in my car which just reinforces the methods and wisdom as daily reminders. That is the beauty of this book, not only is a great one to gift a loved one as we begin 2020 filled with desires in our heart to fulfill, but it is my daily go-to when I feel stuck, as thought I'm caught up in a negative thought pattern and need to redirect and "choose again" -just one method from this gem of a read. Lily and I begin most mornings with the morning mantra inside and I've referred to it on an almost daily basis. If you're looking to manifest amazing things into your life, stop blocking the blessings and opportunities you desire and instead learn how to draw them to you like a magnet, I encourage you to pick up a copy. As many of you know I'm a Christian and this book was not 'new age' to me, it is rooted in the spirit of God/Universe or what we each define it as. The author herself believes in God but doesn't push that on her readers, it is inviting to all. I was honored to get to see her speak live here in San Francisco a few months ago and picked up another autographed copy of her book along with the Super Attractor journal and then I later picked up the Super Attractor 52-card deck of affirmations. Lily and I like to pick 2 cards every single day and now I'm doing the same with her other deck. One day the card I randomly chose moved me to tears as it spoke directly to where I was at in that specific moment. My intention and focus this year is to have more joy and truly listen to my own intuition, I get myself into trouble every time I ignore it.


One last book I'd like to recommend is this Simply Grateful journal! I gave a copy away during our 30 Day Giving Challenge on Facebook and own a copy myself. It is a beautiful high quality gratitude journal that is sustainably sourced and I can't believe it's only $12! These make great little hostess, birthday or 'just thinking of you gifts'. 

Have you read any of these books recommendations? What are you reading right now? I'm always up for something new!


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