The start of a new year is always a great time to think back on the past year and remember the highlights. It’s also a great time to set new goals for the future as a new chapter starts. When I read a lot, I look for books that either help me understand a different point of view or give me advice I can use right away in my own life. There are a lot of good books out there, and a new year is the perfect time to pick one up.
Books about adult learners who have full-time jobs, many responsibilities, and even the pressures of raising a family may be of interest to you, because these are some of the things you deal with. Here is a list of titles and a brief description of some of my favorite books that have helped me. Some of these books are meant to inspire, while others are meant to help you figure out what your goal is and how to make time management and organization work for you and your busy lifestyle.
Daring Greatly by Brené Brown, PhD
Lesson: Explore the paradoxes of courage.
Brené Brown is a well-known research professor and the author of many books. Her work in the field of social work has inspired a lot of people over the last ten years. Here, she shows that vulnerability is a true measure of courage, especially in a world where we may not feel like we’re good enough. Brené encourages us to be brave by going outside of our comfort zone and letting ourselves be seen. If you want to start a new relationship, lead a powerful meeting, speak during an interview, or start a difficult conversation at work, school, or home, this book will give you the tools you need for personal growth and help you show the world who you really are.
Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Lifeby Bill Burnett and Dave Evans
Lesson: Find your passion and purpose.
Because of their work at Stanford University, these two people are very well-known. This book is said to be the “prototype for a happy life.” It has powerful tools that help you look at where you are in your life and figure out what you want. In general, the book does what it says it does: it helps you think like a designer. You will think about the book for a long time after you finish it because it gives you a lot of ideas to think about even when the book is over. The book also has exercises that you can do right now that can help you in your life right now. In case you want to change your life, get out of a rut, and be motivated and inspired, this is a great place to start!
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
Lesson: Focus on what is essential – a new perspective on time management.
It is important to remember that “Less is more.” To read this book is important if you live a busy life or if you get stressed out. Essentialism teaches you how to figure out what is important in your life. It helps you figure out which things you must commit to and focus on and how to limit “opportunities” or list things that don’t need your attention but take up a lot of your time. The book shows you how to do the important things and let go of the things that aren’t important. It’s not about getting more done in less time, it’s about getting the “right” things done. If you want a new way to think about time management, this is the book to read.
The Joy of Less by Francine Jay
Lesson: Declutter, organize and simplify your life.
Francine Jay is better known in the blogging world as “Miss Minimalist.” She has been a leader in the simple living movement. If you want to clean up a room in your house or get more organized, this is the book for you. In this video, Francine teaches you how to make any space more useful and organized. Consider setting up a “study area” in a place where you can read and write and get your work done. This could be in your office, kitchen, or bedroom. Organizing a small space can make a big difference, and Francine will show you how to do it. She’ll show you how to turn any space into a clean, organized, and functional one.
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
Lesson: Find your meaning of life.
In the end, Dr. Paul Kalanithi has to choose a new path, one that is very different from the one he thought he would take. As time went on, he went from a well-known neurosurgeon and scientist who dealt with death all the time to being told he has terminal cancer. This memoir, written by Kalanithi, is one of the books I’ll keep on my bookshelf and read again and again for years to come. His words are so powerful that they transcend time as he tells his story. Kalanithi’s words are a gift. When you read this book, you’ll want to share it with your family and friends.
The Elements of Style (Fourth Edition) by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White
Lesson: Become a better writer.
You should own this book because it has been called a classic. I couldn’t agree more with this, because this book is a must-have for all writers and has been on my bookshelf since I was in school. It’s the kind of book you’ll use over and over again for years to come. It’s a resource that will never go out of style.
Adult Learning: Linking Theory and Practice by Sharan B. Merriam and Laura L. Bierema
Adult Learning: Linking Theory and Practice is a great book for both master’s-level students and people who work in the field. It’s based on a lot of research and theory, but it’s also short and focused on practice. Sharan Merriam and Laura Bierema have filled each chapter with practical applications for teaching that will help readers connect with the material on a personal level.