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Inspiring and thought-provoking reads for 2019 - My list of favorite books this past year

Updated: Jun 17, 2020

One of my favorite rituals at the end of the year is to go over my kindle and book shelves, and note the books I’ve read in the past year. It helps me remember important points and things I want to follow up on.

Here's a short list of my favorite reads in 2018 - those that were most useful for my personal and professional growth. Hopefully you’ll find some inspiration for your 2019 reading list!

And I’m very much looking forward to hearing your book recommendations in the comments or on FB! I always appreciate good book suggestions!

Happy reading!



Off the clock. Feel less busy while getting more done. By Laura Vanderkam.

Vanderkam's I know how she does it book made it into my 2017 favorite reads list. Her writing is both beautiful and practical. In her new book she again uses research from time blogs of effective leaders who, despite the high load and responsibilities, manage not to feel pressed for time. She deconstructs the lessons through stories and practical tips that we can all implement. I love her view on time-management, shifting the focus from pure productivity to enjoyment, from stress to expansiveness. She provides great lessons on how to create time for the things we really care about, how to linger and savor the good moments, even amid a hectic life.

The power of moments. Why certain experiences have extraordinary impact. By Dan and Chip Heath.

Ever since we lost a beloved family member in late 2017, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to enjoy my time here more, how to create more memories and just feel - on New Year’s eve - that my year has been full and rewarding. This book examines what makes moments become memorable ones - think of your graduation day, or the publication of your first book, or your last “aha” moment during a workshop - so we can use these elements to consciously create more unforgettable moments in our lives. As always, the Heath brothers break it down into neat, memorable chapters and lessons. Just two examples to pique your interest: Copy the structure of addictive video games and create multiple milestones for your next goal. Create an unforgettable transition day for your new employees by using peaks and breaking the usual - and boring- script.

Unsafe thinking. How to be nimble and bold when you need it most. Jonah Sachs.

This book felt like a manual on how to be a 21st century rebel or a pioneer. With great case studies and stories, and the latest from different areas of research, Sachs answers questions on everything from how to become comfortable with discomfort (hint: reimagine fear as fuel for creativity), to how not to fall into the expert’s trap and maintain your “beginner’s advantage” (hint: multiculturality helps). If you want to keep a creative edge, break with the status quo or become better at innovating, Sachs’ book is a great place to start.

Factfulness. Ten reasons we’re wrong about the world - and why things are better than you think. By Hans Rosling (with Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Rönnlund).

Rosling has been something of a teacher and hero to people like me who work in Global Health. He became better known to the general public through his amazing TED talks. Factfulness was his last creative act, as he passed away a few months before publication. The book starts with a short test about the state of the world, and while we are feeling bad about our dismal results, Rosling proceeds to inform us that most people -including many experts- get worse results than chimps! Factfulness is  an uplifting read for people who are deeply preoccupied and depressed with the state of the world today. In his entertaining and easy-to-follow signature communication style, Rosling walks us through all the amazing gains against poverty and death that we’ve made in the last 150 years. It provides a new lens through which to understand the world and ask thoughtful questions.



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