Doesn’t it feel exciting when you meet a goal? I read much more in 2017 than I did in the previous year (a new baby and lack of sleep didn’t leave much time for it) and for me, that’s reason to celebrate. If you’re looking for a new read, here’s my favorite books that I enjoyed over the last year (in no particular order)!
1. The Millionaire Next Door | Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D. and William D. Danko, Ph.D.
This book is a fascinating look into the mindset and values of people who have reached the top 4% of America; most of them are “first-generation” millionaires. There’s a reason this book is an Amazon best seller- people are curious about how other people live, and the strategies, data, and advice the book contains are very much tried-and-true common sense (no false promises of “here’s how to get rich quickly” or “just believe and you will attract prosperity”).
Favorite Quote: “The advertising industry and Hollywood have done a wonderful job conditioning us to believe that wealth and hyperconsumption go hand in hand. Yet…the large majority of the rich live well below their means.”
2. Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely | Lysa Terkeurst
Everyone faces rejection at some point in life- from a friend, from a job opportunity that doesn’t come through, from a partner or spouse. Lysa TerKeurst dives into what to do in these situations and how to thrive in the midst of them, paired with honest reflections of times in her life when she felt “uninvited.” It’s one of those beautifully-written books where you feel like you and the author are just sitting and having coffee, talking about life’s ups and downs.
Favorite Quote: “The more fully we invite God in, the less we will feel uninvited by others.”
There’s so many sections you could quote in this book! The author created a “cheat sheet” of main ideas/quotes at the end of the book (by chapter), so if you’re like me and forget much of a book’s details, you can go back and skim it for a quick refresher.
3. Love the House You’re In: 40 Ways to Improve Your Home and Change Your Life | Paige Rien
Have you ever bought something for your home and then days/months/years later thought, “It’s just not “me,” but I don’t know what a “me” item would look like?” This book helps you find the answer to that question. Rien asks you to examine your hobbies, travels, memories, and more in order to have a home that reflects you, and not a generic “big box” store or a certain design style. Her questions are unique and thought-provoking.
Favorite Quote: “Here’s the thing: just buying more stuff won’t get you the house you love. Our tastes change and are often manipulated by the tsunami of commercial messages, images, and things being sold to us each and every moment of our lives….Get clear on what a house that reflects you looks like. Wait, do a bit of legwork, find clarity, and when you finally do buy (if you still need to), the results will be different. You won’t hope that what you buy will work- you’ll know it will.”
4. At Home in the World: Reflections on Belonging While Wandering the Globe | Tsh Oxenreider
Tsh Oxenreider’s family sold their home and packed up their belongings in order to go on a once-in-a-lifetime trip around the world. Just the fact alone that she did this with 3 young kids was enough to interest me in reading this book. Oxenreider’s detailed, vivid writing takes us across the continents and paints a picture of life in places different than our own. You or I may never take a trip like this, but you will find common ground in her thoughts and questions about life and faith along her journey.
Favorite Quote: “I long for God to show me where I belong, where my home is in the world, and my smallness in it.”
5. Home Staging That Works: Sell Your Home in Less Time for More Money | Starr C. Osborne
This book is helpful even if you aren’t staging your home to sell- perhaps you want to stage it for living (great article on that here), but it never seems quite right. (I’ve definitely been there). Home Staging That Works is a step-by-step guide to having a home that is functional, asthetically pleasing, and welcoming, whether to potential buyers or dinner guests. Osborne explains the specifics of things like furniture layouts and the right ratio of books to have on your shelves, helping us understand the science behind the art of all those “Pinterest-worthy” homes we love on television and in magazines.
Favorite Quote: “As you go through the process of staging your home, you may find that you can apply the principles of staging to other parts of your life…this aspect of staging interests me the most: It can make our lives more satisfying on so many levels, beyond merely the sale of our home.”
6. Girl Meets Change: Truths to Carry You through Life’s Transitions | Kristen Strong
Strong walks the reader through acknowledging, accepting, and adapting to transitions while staying resilent and focused on truth. Similarly to “Uninvited,” it has a warm, conversational style and is a helpful resource when you’re facing a large change in your life.
Favorite Quote: “When we spend all our energy wishing things were different, we have no strength to revel in the glory of the blessings right in front of us.”
7. The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better(and Other People’s Lives Better, Too) | Gretchen Rubin
(Have you noticed a theme of really long book titles yet? Me too!) This book describes a fascinating groundwork for why, according to Rubin, “we act and why we don’t act”– the “Four Tendencies.” They’re not just another set of personality types; the Four Tendencies helps explain what really motivates each of us, what holds us back, and how to be more successful in reaching our goals. If, like me, you fail to keep New Year’s resolutions and want to know how to actually achieve them, read this book.
Favorite Quote: “The happiest, healthiest, most productive people aren’t those from a particular Tendency, but rather they’re the people who have figured out how to harness the strengths of their Tendency, counteract the weaknesses, and build the lives that work for them.”
8. Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster | Dana Thomas
If you love books on the history of fashion, this one’s for you! It dives into the past behind “luxury” brands like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Hermes, explaining how they got to be the global behemoths they are, why everyone copies them, and what that means for fashion as a whole.
Favorite Quote: “Outlet shopping is perhaps luxury’s greatest ploy to get its goods into the hands of anyone and everyone.”
I noticed that I read mostly books on home and transitions this year as I prepped for moving. Did you notice a trend in what you read this year? What were some of your favorite books in 2017? Please share in the comments!