Best Self Improvement Books to Read this Year

December 17, 2019

Looking for the next good book? I have put together a long list of the best self-improvement books to read or listen to this year! I am a big reader and love peppering in self-improvement books throughout the year.

While I enjoy the act of reading a physical book, this year I relied heavily on Audible to listen to all of my books. I have found that by downloading the audio version, I actually listen to the books more than once!

8 self help book recommendations for 2020

My Favorite Self-Improvement Books

Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo – This book is a great listen! Marie Forleo shares how to live by the philosophy that “everything is figureoutable” and follow your dreams. Her story is inspirational and she really did convince me that everything is figureoutable!

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates – This is a really important listen. In a letter to his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates shares his experience growing up in America with a black body. As a white woman, I found this book very enlightening and sad that I didn’t understand these challenges sooner. Opening our eyes to other people’s life experiences is the first step towards meaningful change.

When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink – This is a fascinating book about the right timing. Daniel Pink dives deep into why we behave the way we do and how timing affects how we react to life events. He answers questions around the best time to get married, when you are most likely to run a marathon and when you may be most productive.

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth – This is a great book about why some people succeed while others fail. Angela Duckworth lays out her case for why she believes “grit” is the common denominator with high achievers and not talent. If you are starting out on a new career path, this is an encouraging book.

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown – In an age where everyone is always so “busy” this is a fantastic book that teaches you how to cut out all of the nonessential tasks in your life. This book helps you to figure out what is most essential to reach your goals and without getting overwhelmed. If you are looking for guidance on time management, I would recommend this book. I am currently listening to it for a second time to continue to improve my time management skills!

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Action by Simon Sinek – If you are the leader of a team or starting your own business, this is the perfect book to read. This takes a look at the most influential leaders in recent times and breaks down how they think, act and communicate the same way. If you are in a position where you want to influence others in a positive way (shout out to all of my influencer friends!) check this book out.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson – If all of these positive thinking, self-help book recommendations don’t sit well with you, then this may be your book! Personally, I think it is sharing the same message but in a blunt and non-sugar coated way. Yes, never giving up and keeping a positive attitude is great as you are trying to create a wonderful life, but not everything comes easy. Many steps on your journey are going to suck and you are going to be scared. Once you learn to accept these emotions, you will be able to achieve your goals faster.

Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness by Ingrid Fetell Lee – I have talked about this book A LOT this past year because it really had a big impact on me! This book is great for people who love design! I loved how this book made me look at everything around me with a fresh perspective. Why do fireworks universally make people happy? What is it about a cluster of bright balloons that captures our attention? Spoiler alert, you will find the answers in this book! Love, love, love this book.

Talking to Strangers: What we Should Know About the People We Don’t Know by Malcolm Gladwell – In this book, Malcolm revisits well-known stories where many of us made immediate judgments and dives deeper into each situation. He shares fascinating research on everything from facial expressions to media bias. I believe we must all be aware of this bias to avoid misjudging others based solely on this disconnect. I could go on and on about this book but you should just check it out for yourself!

Untamed by Glennon Doyle – I first discovered Glennon Doyle with her first book – Love Warrior, and was hooked! In this book, she shares her experience of falling in love with her wife. She talks about the gender roles we grow up believing, and how to identify them. She also covers tough topics like and gender and race biases in our culture. This book was an easy listen and I really enjoyed hearing about her fascinating life.

Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller – This book helps business owners identify what makes them unique to their customers. I started my business a few years ago and have constantly struggled with clarifying our message. I frequently replay this audible book to remind myself how to stay on message.


Looking for a more interactive experience for your self-improvement journey? Check out my recap of my three-day mediation retreat at Tao Mago in Sedona. It was an eye-opening experience and a great way to start a new year!

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8 Self Improvement Books to Add to Your 2020 Reading List #newyearsresolutions #selfimprovement #bookrecommendations #selfhelpbooks #readingrecommendations

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