Category: Books to Read

Your Money or Your Life

Your Money or Your Life

As an introduction to financial independence, and the foundation of what it means to live richly no matter what your income is, the book hits the nail on the head.  Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez have made waves with their 9 step program published in Your Money or Your Life since 1992.  This is definitely a great book to – in frugal fashion – check out from the library.

“Your money or your life?”  If someone thrust a gun in your ribs and said those words, what would you do?  Most of us would turn over our wallets. The threat works because we value our lives more than we value our money.  Or do we?

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StrengthsFinder 2.0

StrengthsFinder 2.0

I took a StrengthsFinder course through my employer, which presented the information in the first part of the book and then had activities for developing talents.  I bought StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath (it’s essentially a companion to the test) after attending the course. The most useful piece of this book is the code to take the StrengthsFinder assessment online for yourself, and most of the other information is available through the Gallup website.  The biggest thing I gleaned from the course and the book was to stop wasting time trying to develop talents that are not innate, and to instead focus on my talents I do have.

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The First 90 Days

The First 90 Days

Michael D. Watkins hit the nail on the head with his book The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter.  When you make a move, the ability to transition and get to the break-even point (where you have contributed the same amount of value you have consumed) as quickly and effectively as possible is critical in your new role.  If you’re taking on a new role, pick up this book.  It’s geared toward those in management, but is great for everyone.  It’s one of the best investments you can make in your growing career.

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13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do

Psychotherapist Amy Morin has suffered many personal losses and hardships, and she has helped many other people get through difficult times as well.  In her book 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, she fleshes out the 13 habits to avoid in order to become mentally strong.  The benefits of mental strength include a reduction of stress, an increase in your ability to handle problems, and increased confidence, leading to improved life satisfaction.


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How to Win Friends and Influence People

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People is a one of the best books I’ve read on communication and relationships.  Dealing with people is one of the most difficult challenges in life.  Carnegie summed up years of research both thoroughly and succinctly to help you navigate your own relationships, whether they are professional or personal.

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The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work

Dr. John Gottman’s The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work is a summary of his studies from over 20 years of observing couples. He can predict with a 91% accuracy whether a marriage will fail or succeed with just minutes a few minutes observing a couple.  His advice is sound, based on fact.  An excellent read for anyone preparing for or already in a partnership.

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Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married

Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married

Gary Chapman’s Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married is great for anyone who wants to be married, whether you are currently in a partnership or single.  Chapman does a great job breaking out his ideas for a strong foundation, explaining how he and his wife navigated through them, and offering questions for discussion so that you could work through them with a potential partner.  A very easy read, and extremely practical.

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The Coaching Habit

The Coaching Habit

A very quick read, The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever by Michael Bungay Stanier was helpful in learning how to mentor others through the use of questions rather than directions.  The goal is to work less hard while having more of an impact.  Good leaders and managers must be able to coach through mentoring.  I have started using the questions with my coworkers.  I have also been using the questions in personal relationships, including with my partner.  All my conversations have improved in quantity and quality through saying less and asking more.

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The Simple Path to Wealth

The Simple Path to Wealth

The Simple Path to Wealth: Your Road Map to Financial Independence and a Rich, Free Life by J.L. Collins is a great introduction to money management and financial independence.  It covers debt, savings, investing, and strategies for retirement in a way that’s clear and easy to understand.  Each topic is laid out in a very basic and straightforward way.  I found it to be a quick read full of thoughtful insights, and it made me rethink my own strategy even though I’ve been investing since age 16.

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