Quick Thoughts on 15 Books I’ve Read this Year

The more I read, the more excited I am to read. It’s like learning more about what I don’t know. And it’s exciting and also a little bit embarrassing because I start to get paranoid and think, wait, did everyone else already know about this? Given the rates of reading in the world, maybe not.

I’m sure someone will ask how I read so much. Well, it’s easy to read a book a week if you are a type-A neurotic who takes public transportation and also doesn’t have a very exciting social life. I read whenever I’m in a queue to calm the internal rage that comes over me from waiting in line and whenever else I have a spare moment. I only watch one or two TV shows a quarter and they’re all shows that can’t be binge watched – i.e. I don’t have Netflix.  Even so, I’m a little short on a book a week, particularly as one of these “books” is a movie, but I’ve been working like mad recently. I hope to get better!

*These aren’t affiliate links.

1. Dollars and Sense: How we Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter by Dan Ariely

This book focuses on the irrational ways we handle and think about money. The biggest one that I noticed for myself is faulty comparisons. In the book it’s how car salesmen get you to add on extras to your car, because you mistakenly compare the cost of the extras to the car, which make the extras seem insignificant. For me, I’ll nitpick about the cheapest Uber but forget that I used to spend so much money owning a car. Or I remember this one time when my boyfriend and I had just come back from a pricey European vacation and we balked at paying 10 cents to print out a Groupon for a “free” meal on our way back. We were adding the 10 cents to the vacation and were trying to take a stance of “not a penny more!” but that’s a really illogical way to look at money. And vacations. I should have been comparing the 10 cents to the cost of a comparable meal out, not adding it to the tab of the vacations. (Also no one was keeping track of my budget for vacations for me so it didn’t matter to anyone anyway).

In the same way, I’ve always thought budgets were a little odd. Like if your budget is $100 on clothes and you’re already at $100 in April, what does it matter if you buy the dress you like on April 30 v. May 1?

2. Win Bigly by Scott Adams

If you still can’t wrap your mind around how Candidate Trump became President Trump, this one cuts through all the BS.

3. Great at Work by Morten Hansen

Most employees focus on a million different tasks and projects and do middling jobs at them. The best employees focus on fewer things but obsess to be the best at them.

4. In Pursuit of Silence [documentary]

Ok it’s not a book so I’m cheating here. It showcases the negative effects of noise in our lives.

5. Thanks for the Feedback by Douglas Stone

Understand whether you want coaching, compliments or information regarding your position as feedback and interpret any of the feedback you receive as such. This helps you understand others’ feedback for you and communicate your needs for feedback from others.

6. The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish

What I took from this book is that Ms. Haddish is a powerhouse of positivity. I also remember that she wrote that if you’re not having fun on stage, no one’s having fun.

This is the book that finally helped me understand that affirmations were not crap.

The way humans are socialized, we hold a somewhat irrational attachment to our tribes. It’s not that we should break our allegiances but we have to understand others’ allegiances if we are to understand their motivations.

9. The Year of Less by Cait Flanders

Like a coming of age story when it comes to money and someone in their 20s.

10. Barking to the Choir by Greg Boyle

I’m so impressed with Father Boyle’s compassion for former gang members. It really makes it hard to judge anyone after reading this book.

A lot of good emotional work here.

12. The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson

I love this idea of cleaning out your house early so your family won’t have as much to do. And it’s such a hilarious gem of a book too.

Forget the 1%, the upper middle class are keeping income inequality alive.

14. Nonviolent communication by Marshall Rosenberg

This is a way of communicating to de-escalate potentially explosive situations (not necessarily violent in a gang way, but could just be violent in your personal relationships).

15. Getting the Love you Want by Harville Hendrix

I buy into the idea that I’m attracted to people who represent the negative characteristics of my primary caregiver in an effort to subconsciously repair that rift. That’s why I always date men who oddly remind me of my mother.

What are you reading?

2 thoughts on “Quick Thoughts on 15 Books I’ve Read this Year

  1. “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning” sounds so fascinating!

    This year I also enjoyed “The Year of Less,” in addition to “The Financial Diet,” “We Are Never Meeting in Real Life,” and some truly great novels. I detailed all my reviews here if you want some recs: https://taylormundo.com/2018/04/04/2018-book-challenge-april-update/

    I have “This is the Year I Put My Financial Life in Order,” “Meet the Frugalwoods.” and Nell Scovell’s “Just the Funny Parts” on hold at the library. Really looking forward to those! 🙂

    1. The Swedish Death Cleaning book is hilarious, which is strange to say but true.

      I loved Anna Akana’s book too – surprised how real she was. Definitely made me into a fan. And I’m always looking for new books to read. A lot of interesting fiction reads on your list. My sister was also iffy on Crazy Rich Asians – might see the movie though. Seems like it might be opulent and fun.

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