2019 was the year of the Fiction book for me. While I could easily keep this list to 10, these are 10+ books that easily shine!
The list is book-ended (pun intended) by my top 2 nonfiction books of 2019.
1. Let That Shit Go by Nina Purewall and Kate Pettigrew
Full disclosure, Nina is a close friend. BUT, I'm a reader and I've read ALOT of books on mindfulness and meditation and let me tell you that this book belongs with the greats in that genre.
What I loved about it is that it is accessible because it is taking Nina's and Kate's research and knowledge and distilling it into a list of easy ways that you can implement mindfulness without feeling like you need to sit and meditate. The writing is conversational and fun making it easy to read and digest. A must read.
2. Three Things You Need to Know About Rockets by Jessica A Fox
This book had it all. It follows Jessica, a writer who works for NASA(!) who decides, while stressed to the max, to go work in a bookshop in a small town in the Scottish Highlands. I love reading books about writers, about bookshops and I'm a tad obsessed with the Scottish Highlands, so for me this truly had it all.
I found it dragged a little near the end but I think it was because I made the grave error of googling Jessica and some of the story. But this book is for anyone who has ever just wanted to check out of the drudgery of their lives for a month!
3. The Little Book of Ikigai by Ken'ichiro Mogi
This is a quick read of a book but one that I think you should read. It's about finding your true purpose - your reason for living. Your ikigai can't be summed up in one word as it is a Venn diagram where passion, purpose, vocation and profession all intersect. This book outlines the research of the Okinawa Blue Zone (see below!) and how having a reason for getting up every day can lead to a long, healthy and happy life. It also gives you some tools to help you on your path to discover your own ikigai.
4. The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner
On Jan 11th I'm turning 40. Since this has been my last year of my 30's, I got a little obsessed with the concept of longevity and read a lot of books, studies and listened to a lot of podcasts on the subject. My favourite was this one, which is a series of lessons following the communities of people who have lived the longest like Okinawa, Linda Loma Adventists, Nicoya and Sardinia. It outlines habits and changes we can make in our lives (diet, community, purpose, etc) and it is absolutely fascinating.
Other notable books: Buettner's follow up, The Blue Zones Solution, The Longevity Diet by a leading longevity scientist, Valter Longo and How Not to Die by Dr. Michael Greger (I read this in 2017 and it drastically changed our eating habits).
5. I Know How She Does It by Laura Vanderkam
I read 2 books (this plus Off the Clock) by Vanderkam, on the recommendation of a friend, and both offered tons of tips and tricks. There were times that I felt that Vanderkam wasn't relatable at all (I don't have a full-time nanny) and our career goals are vastly different (I have no plans of ever working 50 hours/week) but I knew all that going in. I read these books purely for the productivity tips and how to rethink time management to be more productive.
6. Profit First by Mike Michalowicz
One of my 2020 goals is to be more organized when it comes to administration. So I picked this book up as it came highly recommended by many entrepreneurs. Honestly a lot didn't really apply to me as I kind of already work/live by a profit first mentality. But, I'm so glad I read this book as it gave me a lot of other great information and I recommend it to anyone who is opening up their own business.
7. Confessions of an Unlikely Runner by Dana Ayers
Inspired to read some running memoirs after watching my favourite movie of the year, Britanny Runs a Marathon, this one I read this year (the others are on my 2020 list). While I wish it had more of a story to it, it was fun to read. It is essentially a collection of race reports of half-marathons, marathons, ultras, OCRs and more. It definitely had me laughing!
8. My (part-time) Paris Life by Lisa Anselmo
A classic story of reinvention, this is a memoir about Lisa's life after losing her mother. She struggles with her identity and decides to buy a small apartment in Paris to find herself again. This is a touching book, one that had me in tears (from sadness and laughter alike). Her journey to finding herself included some changes to her career (of course!) which also helped to hook me.
9. Mindhunter by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker
This book chronicles the birth of profiling in the FBI and for a person who loves psychology, behavioural science and is fascinated by serial killers this book was right up my alley. Douglas is legendary in this field and this book talks about the study he ran interviewing serial killers already behind bars while also going through some of his most famous cases.
10. Running with Sherman by Chris McDougall
My top 2019 nonfiction read of the year. Chris McDougall is one of my favourite authors, so I was really excited about this book and I wasn't disappointed. This book follows the journey the McDougall family took while rehabilitating the donkey, Sherman. It dives into the world of Burro racing, which may sound weird (ok, is weird) but is actually so fascinating! While I never wanted to get a donkey, he does talk about running with goats and I did try bring up the idea of adding a goat to our family! McDougall wrote one of my favourite books, Born to Run which is another must read in my opinion!
What was your top nonfiction book of 2019?
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