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5 Best Personal Development Books in 2016

I love reading. I always have. I love fiction books- romance, Harry Potter, the classics like Pride and Prejudice. I have a particularly special affinity for WWII historical fiction books. (#nerdalert, I'm well aware.)

But when it came to personal development genre, I steered clear. Truth be told, I thought it was sort of... boring. Not only is it non-fiction (snooze), it's...self-help. "I don't need any help. I think I'm doing pretty good."

NEWS FLASH: if "pretty good" is "good enough" for you, then, yeah, you can continue to avoid this section in the bookstore like I did for the first twenty-someodd years of my life.

However, if you're humble enough to admit that everyone, from the brilliant thinkers and business people of our time, to your boyfriend, to your mama (no "yo mama" joke here!) can maybe, just maybe improve in some area of their life, then I personally invite to take a stroll with me in Barnes and Noble to this little corner where such amazing advice lives and breathes... from people who have already made the same mistakes you're probably making right. this. second. and have overcome, and don't want you to make those mistakes. People who want to pay it forward and help you succeed much quicker.

When I began looking at this genre as life, love, and business-advice from insanely successful people who want to help me, I began to actually crave reading these sort of books. And when 2016 hit, I knew I'd need an awful lot of advice, as a lot was about to change in my life- I had recently moved halfway across the country for the second time in my life, I was in my first "real job" (which I was illy suited for and began seeking other ways to utilize my passions), and the cherry on top? I was getting married!

So I set a goal to read 30 books, with at least 10 of them being personal development books I had heard so much about. And I did it! Whether it was reading an eBook or listening to an audiobook while doing cardio or driving in the car (I check them out from the library to save $$$!), I couldn't get enough of them. Being saturated with incredible pieces of wisdom from some of the greatest minds of our time opened my eyes to my own true potential, and totally altered the way I envisioned my relationships, my work, and my life. I'm so grateful that these phenomenal authors took the time and cared enough to share their brilliant insight with the world.

Without further ado, here are 5 of my favorite personal/leadership development books I read in 2016. I'll provide you with a link to purchase on Amazon, but keep in mind your library probably has a lot of these available in all sort of formats (hard-copy, eBook, audiobook, you name it!)

1. Go-Giver | by Bob Burg, John David Mann | (buy it here)

One of my absolute favorites from 2016 and beyond is this little gem! At only 120-something pages, it's a quick and easy read, yet impactful. Sort of a "Who-Moved-My-Cheese" vibe, as it gives lessons using a fictional character caught in a tricky work situation. The lessons in here not only apply to your business and work-life, but also how you interact with everyone daily. I can't recommend this book enough!

2. Blink | Malcolm Gladwell | (buy it here)

As a rather indecisive person- okay, okay...a very indecisive person, particularly when it comes to deciding on where to eat-- I loved this book. Not because it told me where to eat, but it went into the psychology behind the snap-decision-making process, using real-life studies and examples. Sometimes it's better not to analyze, but to go with our instincts. Learn when and why with this great read.

3. The Alchemist | Paulo Coelho | (buy it here)

Easily one of my favorites books EVER is The Alchemist. Paulo Coelho weaves together a fable-like tale of the shepherd boy named Santiago, who embarks on a quest for treasure, and learns his own personal truths with the help of some unlikely people in exotic places. (If you check out the audiobook version, it's read by the same guy who played the voice of "Scar" in The Lion King!) This book is packed with amazing lessons on leadership, following your heart, and discovering what you're made of.

4. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up | (buy it here)

If you're a Gilmore Girls fan like me (holla!), you probably heard this one referenced a time or two on the latest season. While I didn't necessarily implement everything in this book, I did use a few nuggets here and there. When it came time for me to move this year, I recalled a few lessons, and got rid of so. much. stuff. It truly is amazing what happens when we clear out the stuff/things/junk/toxicity in our lives!

5. Lean In | Sheryl Sandberg | (buy it here)

Sheryl Sandberg is the COO of Facebook, and also makes the list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and Time's 100 Most Influential People in the World. So it'd be a good idea to listen to her, ladies (and gents!). Take note and apply some of the truths she lists out for you here, and help yourself.


Now it's your turn! What have you read recently that's helped you in some area of your life? Pay it forward and share in the comment section below, and let's get to reading!

(If you haven't already, get on GoodReads and start your Reading Challenge for 2017. Let's be friends so we can root each other along! I'd love to see what your reading and what you love... sort of like an online bookclub! How fun is that?! (I know, I know. #nerdalert AGAIN!)



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