Successfully meeting my target of reading 40 books this year from the GoodReads 2019 Challenge, here is my reading list for MUST read books in the non-fiction category.
Continuing from last year’s recommendations, I have decided to make this a year-end ritual of sorts.
I know, I know, I write enough about Spiritual books already, so I’m promising you a list outside the core Spiritual genre, yet true to the non-fiction hall of fame.
Bringing you a bright concoction of genres this year, from undercover agents, comedy, mental health, memoirs, self-helps and more. Read on!
#1 – Atomic Habits by James Clear
If I could recommend only one book to you, it would be this one.
With 2020 around the corner, and the potential to BREAK most of your “new year resolutions”, this book will teach you how to commit to yourself this year, for good.
As the author emphasizes, we only need to change ourselves 1% everyday, and by the end of the year, we are 37 times better as a person! The tips and tricks in Atomic Habits are suitable for all walks of life, and I continue to use this book as a guideline to refine my own habits, even after 6 months of reading it.
This is also the book that influenced my post 7 Daily Self-Love Habits that You Will Thank Yourself For Doing.
#2 – Why We Sleep by Matthew Kneale
If you’re a victim of sleep deprivation, you’re not alone.
Why We Sleep will tell you EVERYTHING there is to know about sleep, like :
- how dreams work,
- why we experience jet lags,
- sleep-deprived driving versus drunk-driving,
- how much we should sleep,
- the impact of caffeine on our sleep, and much more!
Informative, but not overly. The stories and research is astonishing and will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading. This book is the right blend of self-help and psychology genres.
#3 – In the Skin of a Jihadist
I’ve always been inclined to learn more about whistleblowers and anti-terrorism stories. For me, this year, In the Skin of a Jihadist really stood out.
The story of an undercover journalist that went to extensive lengths to debunk much about the Jihadists and their plans, ultimately leading to life-threatening circumstances for herself. Bone-chilling and very different from anything else you’ll usually read.
#4 – Becoming by Michelle Obama
In the category of memoirs, Becoming along with #5 have been such good reads this year.
I was fortunate to hear it read by Michelle Obama herself, thanks to my latest love for audiobooks. Through her works, you will realize that she is a brilliant mother, wife, woman and human being.
I’m sure you don’t need much more introduction to this book, and you’ve probably seen enough reviews in favour. So just take one more positive sign – you SHOULD read this!
#5 – This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay
Very few people know, that I wanted to be a doctor while I was growing up. Being steered into engineering by my very practical family, was not a decision I got over for several years!
I’m happy to be where I am today. But if there was anything left within me, this book brought me the closure I needed. But don’t get me wrong, This is Going to Hurt is the opposite of sad.
If you’re looking for something hilarious yet meaningful, look no further. This book comes with a power-packed message and lots of smiles.
#6 – Essentialism by Greg McKeown
If you’re a workaholic, read this.
Or, if you want to learn time management, read this.
Or, If you have a tough time saying no at work or in relations, read this.
Essentialism is an essential book for anyone that wants to understand how to set up boundaries in their life, and in a very practical way. The book uses a lot of references from other books and can seem worded at times, but it is relevant nonetheless.
#7 – Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
With me going on and on about Mental Health and happiness, it became almost mandatory to have this book on the list. It’s a classic, but I feel like it was written way ahead of its time.
For anyone having any inclination and searching for some enlightenment on subjects of mental health, depression or suicide, please add the Bell Jar to your cart. I truly felt like this is as real and deep as you can get with experiencing such subjects, without being in that position yourself.
#8 – The Circadian Code by Dr Satchin Panda
This year was a blessing, with back-to-back books that brought inner transformation. With diet-culture and intermittent fasting in extensive discussion, this is the book that nails every theory and myth with terrific scientific backing.
Dr Satchin’s research proves that calorie-counting can go out of the window, if we make very small changes in our daily habits. His theory being, it doesn’t matter what you eat, as much as it matters when you are eating.
In turn, these changes will reverse the effects of chronic illnesses like obesity, diabetes, ADHD, as well as regulate your mental, hormonal and physical health on the daily basis!
In his book, Circadian Code, the doctor backs up his evidence for 6 weeks of his recommended practice to see results, and at this point, I am over 8 weeks into practising intermittent fasting. The outcome is so amazing, I am compiling a post about my story. Stay tuned!
#9 – Quiet : The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
I was today years-old, when I discovered that half the things I do, are not a personality flaw, but the essence of an introvert personality.
The book Quiet talks in great detail about introverts in all kinds of social and career situations. There’s wonderful insight on raising introvert kids, and how to cohabitate with an introvert or extrovert partner.
I can’t thank the author enough, for putting this incredible work together. She’s gone above and beyond, searched high and low to put this insightful work together.
Whether it was her experience at Tony Robbins workshop, a study at Harvard Business School, or countless other studies of CEOs and other influential, introverted personalities, she’s shared EVERYTHING. And then some. Absolutely fascinating!
If you are an introvert, considered emotional or sensitive, this book is going to empower you and make you feel so good about yourself, you will wear the label with honour, as I now do. Thoroughly researched, witty and pushing your mind to break the stigma about who you are.
#10 – Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig
As someone who has gone through several episodes of depression, and continues to deal with anxiety, Matt Haig has nailed everything there has to be said about the state of our planet.
Notes on a Nervous Planet looks at everything that affects our mental health from a practical, easy-to-understand but tough-to-digest perspective. This could be the book that shakes you awake.
* BONUS READ – Make Your Bed by Will McRaven
While this didn’t make it in my top 10 non-fiction favourites, it definitely made a good read.
I’m sure you’ve already seen the inspiring speech about making your bed every morning, but the author put together a fantastic book revealing what the life and struggle of navy marines are, in a rather unique and comical way.
What I liked about this book was, no fluff, lots of stories that make great analogies, and how crisp it was. Perfect if you need a short and motivating read.
How many of these have you already read? I hope some of them make way into your To-Be-Reads for 2020! Happy reading 🙂
P.S. Thank you, if you are able to purchase any of the books through the Amazon links above. At no added cost to you, your purchase brings a small commision to this blog and helps it grow! 🙂
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