What do Albert Einstein, Queen Elizabeth, Abraham Lincoln, Jane Austin, Theodore Roosevelt, Warren Buffet, and Mark Cuban have in common? All of them were (or are) devout readers. Barack Obama famously assigned himself 52 hours of reading on a summer vacation and somehow found the time to read each night while serving as President. Speaking of Obama, I plan on reading some of his book recommendations this year myself!
“All I have learned, I learned from books.”— Abraham Lincoln
The statistics don’t lie: the most successful people are lifelong learners. More specifically, successful people are readers. With the data so clearly tying success and reading together, it’s disheartening to know that 51.7% of Americans have not read a book in the last year, 22.01% of adults haven’t read a book in over 3 years, and 10.83% haven’t read a book in over 10 years.
That’s a lot of people who aren’t reading in a country that prides itself on being success-oriented. To me, it’s a huge missed opportunity. One of the easiest ways to become successful is to read about other people’s success and how they got there. You’ll find examples of this in my book recommendations below.
Before I list my 2023 book recommendations, I thought I’d take a second to acknowledge the power of reading. I want nothing but growth, success, and abundance for you — and I believe with my whole heart that reading will help you achieve all of those things. As I like to say, ‘learners are earners’.
Trust me, I get that we’re all busy. Sometimes it can seem like a luxury to be able to kick up your feet, grab a throw blanket, and get lost in the pages of a book. But if Obama could find the time to read daily while he was president… I think it’s safe to say we could all probably figure it out (maybe less screen time?). For me, reading in the mornings works the best, but I encourage you to find what reading routine works best for you. I can practically guarantee growth if you do.
I owe so much of my own personal growth and success to reading. When I’m unsure how to approach something, when I want to develop a quality within myself, or when I want to learn something new, I always turn to books. While I also turn to other tools available — online courses, coaches, mentors, masterminds, and more — reading is definitely my go to. It’s the most inexpensive, comfortable, and self-caring way to achieve my goals.
Keep reading to discover my top book recommendations for this year. I hope this list inspires you to commit to the habit of daily reading. If you feel overwhelmed with developing a daily reading routine, start with one book! Reading just one book will help you tremendously in solidifying a lifelong reading habit.
I’m starting this book recommendations list off with a healthy dose of mindset shifting. I’ve always viewed my dad as extremely lucky. He even played in the World Poker tour. I used to feel disconnected from my dad’s inherent luck. Until I read this book. In it, the authors highlight that luck isn’t something that’s just gifted from the universe, but rather something you can work to cultivate. Who doesn’t want to be luckier?
I’m not shy about being a full-out Donald Miller fan-girl. In fact, when I spotted him at Blackberry Farm during a wedding shoot, I jumped up introducing myself like he was a movie star. Chad was embarrassed to say the least. I will always gush about everything Donald Miller does. This latest book only reinforced his brilliance and is a must-read. Hero on a Mission helps us recognize when we’re playing the victim, the villain, the hero, and the guide in our lives, and how to shift into states of empowerment. Brilliant read.
Anyone working on a team looking to develop true project efficiency is going to have a full-blown nerdfest with Scrum. Jeff Sutherland offers practical, actionable advice. This book changed how I look at and approach project management, and I cannot recommend it enough.
Everyone should read Man’s Search for Meaning at least once in their life. Learning what Viktor Frankl endured and overcame changed my perspective on hardships and how to respond to them. The notion that we are in control of what we choose to think — no matter what — has never been more powerful than in this book.
I’m a huge fan of Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. Reading this book (and meeting Jay again last year) reinforced the idea that financial wealth and abundance is something available to us all. It simply takes strategy and guts. The Millionaire Real Estate Investor has a lot of data, but it’s very easy to digest. It had me declaring that “I am a millionaire real estate investor” by the end!
This book is all about your target audience and how to appeal to them. Pat Flynn asserts that your clients, customers, followers, and subscribers should be addressed and seen as loyal fans — not only of your business/service, but also you as a person. Read Superfans if you need a reboot in your marketing approach.
by Tony Hsieh
I’ve known about the Zappos business model and success for many years — yet somehow this book escaped me in the past. Tony Hseih was truly brilliant. To learn his story and discover his perspective on entrepreneurialism changed the way I think about my own entrepreneurial journey — as well as how I make decisions in my own business. I plan to re-read Delivering Happiness each year. It’s that transformative.
This book details Gabby’s own personal journey and solidifies why she’s regarded as a leader in the public conversation about mental health. Mental health is something we all must contend with and proactively work to improve. Happy Days is a great place to start.
I really love learning about investing because it was something I was never taught. This book is a bit advanced — it highlights unique and strategic approaches to becoming financially independent and abundant. I cannot recommend it enough.
I left this book full of highlighted passages. Chad and I had some pretty deep discussions about the themes in this incredible book. The Mountain is You may trigger you. But that’s how you’ll know it’s doing what it’s supposed to — challenging how you view your life and your role within it. I wish I had read this book as a teenager. If I had, I would have re-read it each year to remind myself of the power within me.
After I read The Mountain is You, I quickly ordered every other book Brianna Weist has written. It was that profound. If you read any book on this list, let it be The Mountain is You!
There you have it — my top book recommendations for 2023. Reading expands our minds, our worlds, gives us the tools we need to achieve our goals, and helps us become the best versions of ourselves. One of my goals for 2023 is to read more — and I hope you’ll join me.
've spent the past decade capturing love and chasing beauty across the globe, and I believe every story like yours is different and special, and deserves to be told exceptionally.
Drawing on years of experience in the fashion and editorial photography industry, my photographs are graceful, honest and boldly natural, while completely intentional. Whether it’s the opportunity to narrate the retelling of once-in-a-lifetime wedding days, or the ability to communicate issues of global importance, or all the stories in between, I look at photography as the method by which I get to leave the world a little better than I found it.
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