January 15, 2018

Best of 2017: My Top 12 Favorite Books

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Good morning!  I am so excited to share my top twelve favorite books I read in 2017 for today's blog post!  I read 43 books last year.  I try my best to read at least one hour a day.  For example, I read at lunch, before bed, and sometimes when I work out (i.e. on a stationery bike and sometimes on the elliptical).  I read mostly non-fiction books on business and personal development, leadership, entrepreneurialism and books on successful people. For 2018, my goal is to incorporate more fiction and biographies/autobiographies into the mix.  Also, I'd love to read an autobiography of all of the women Supreme Court Justices.  I have reviewed all of the books I read in 2017 throughout the year.  If you want to go back and see my reviews as well as get some good reading inspiration, you can find my monthly reading at the bottom of this post.  I divided my reviews by months.  These twelve books were my favorites.  I highly recommend not only reading each of these books, but adding them to your collection and coming back to them as words to live by.  Enjoy!

The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea, Bob Burg, John David Mann
I highly, highly recommend everyone read this little book- it is excellent!!  The Go-Giver is a modern-day business parable that teaches the five laws of stratospheric success.
1. The Law of Vale- your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment;
2. The Law of Compensation- Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them;
3. The Law of Influence- Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people's interests first;
4. The Law of Authenticity- The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself;
5. The Law of Receptivity- The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.
This was my favorite book over the last year.  A very dear friend of mine recommended this to me.  It is so, so good and should be required reading!  I absolutely plan on giving this book as a gift.

2. The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz
This book is excellent and should be required reading!  The Four Agreements is based on ancient Toltec wisdom and reveals the source of self-limited beliefs that create unnecessary suffering and rob us of happiness and inner peace.  This is a quick read, but is full of so many good nuggets (so much of the principles in The Four Agreements is common sense, but things we all forget, or let life/our minds get in the way of and we just don't live by these principles).  You will look at the world differently after reading this book.  Your thought process will change entirely.  You will handle negative situations/people better and will not dwell on them.  I flagged this book a ton and plan to read it once a year!  

The Four Agreements (in a nutshell):
1. Be impeccable with your word; 
2. Don't take anything personally; 
3. Don't make assumptions; 
4. Always do your best.  
Seriously, buy this book and give it as a gift- it will change your life!

In Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill explains that all achievement begins with an idea.  According to Hill, you literally become (and achieve) what you spend your time thinking about all day long.  In order to control your life, you must control your thoughts.  There are so many great nuggets on building wealth, success and achievement in this book.  I highly recommend it and earmarked a ton of pages!

4. The Art of War, Sun Tzu
The Art of War is an ancient Chinese military treatise dating back to around 5th century BC.  The Art of War has often been referred to as one of the best business books ever written for its advice on military strategies and tactics, which can be applied in business.  It is divided into thirteen sections, each of which focuses on a different aspect of war.  It is an easy read (even though it was written so long ago).  I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it!
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo

5. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo
After reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I now understand the fuss behind Marie Kondo.  Kondo explains that if you tidy your home well enough, you will never have to do it again.  The Kondo Method calls for readers to declutter their homes in categories and only keep items that spark joy- and get rid of the rest.  My goal is to go through my entire house and get rid of a ton of unnecessary items.  This book is a game-changer!

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It, Chris Voss

6. Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It, Chris Voss
I first heard of Chris Voss on Lewis Howe's "The School of Greatness" podcast where Voss talked about his time as an FBI international hostage negotiator.  Never Split the Difference is an excellent read for attorneys, women in business, or, anyone who has to negotiate and make deals on a daily basis.  Voss shares a lot of tips from his time as a hostage negotiator and applies them to the business world.

Mindshift: Break Through Obstacles to Learning and Discover Your Hidden Potential
Mindshift reveals how we can overcome stereotypes and preconceived ideas about what is possible for us to learn and become- regardless of age.  This is an excellent book for anyone considering making a career change, and has quite a few personal stories of people changing careers from various industries.  I also learned about the Massive Open Online Class ("MOOC") and am obsessed!  A MOOC is an online class  (usually free) for anyone wanting to continue learning.  Although, I think you can pay a nominal fee to get a certificate for the class to help you advance at work.  There are a lot of different websites, such as Coursera that offer MOOC's on tons of different topics from very prestigious universities such as Stanford and Duke.  I almost took one on Copyright before speaking at a conference, but ran out of time.  I definitely want to take some in the near future!

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers, Tim Ferriss

Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss is an excellent book full of very valuable information from many well-known greats, such as Tony Robbins.  It is over 600 pages long, so it definitely takes some time, but it is totally worth it. The book is divided into three sections: healthy, wealthy and wise.  It is part business, part philosophy and part story.  Ferriss distills some of the most valuable lessons he has learned in his own career, as well as from interviewing many successful people on his podcast from all industries and walks of life.  This would make a great graduation gift!

The Woman I Wanted to Be- Diane von Furstenberg
9. The Woman I Wanted to Be- Diane von Furstenberg
In The Woman I Wanted to Be, DVF reflects on her remarkable life from being born to Holocaust survivors to building a global fashion brand, all the while becoming the woman she wanted to be.  This book is an easy (and fun) weekend read.  I was fascinated by all of her life experiences, especially when it came to traveling and all of the other business and licensing deals she was involved with.  If you like books on fashion startups, this book is for you!

Outliers, Malcom Gladwell
In Outliers, Malcom Gladwell explores different factors that make people successful or unsuccessful. He provides many cases studies, including The Beatles, Bill Gates and other software geniuses, as well as explains why Asians are generally very good at math and how some of the early Jewish attorneys transformed the legal profession due to their exceptional work ethic.  A fascinating read!

In Money Master the Game, Tony Robbins interviews fifty of the world's most successful business people and shares their secrets to success and personal insights into money.  This book is full of golden nuggets and I highly recommend it!  Plus, who doesn't LOVE Tony Robbins??

Rework, Jason Fried & David Heinemeier
Rework is a non-traditional career development book full of golden nuggets of business advice. I love how the book is broken down into small sections that are very straight-forward and to the point.  Each section is better than the last section.  It was so hard to put this book down.  This is a must-read for all business owners and creatives.

Thanks so much for stopping by!!  Happy reading!!  Please feel free to leave your favorite book recommendations in the comments below!  I'm always looking for a new book to read!

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