At the risk of sounding like a nerd, I have a few very nerd-like passions.
One, playing board games, or really any kind of games except for mind games. And two, curling up with a good book and a giant 16 oz mug of French-pressed coffee. If you subscribe to my weekly, this week I mention my favourite game of the year – just in time for the holiday season.
If you don’t subscribe to my weekly email, why the heck not? You really should. You can join by clicking off to the right. ➡️
In this post, I thought I’d share my top book picks for the year. Hey, if you are still looking for that perfect stocking stuffer, one, or more of these, might be the perfect gift for that nerd friend of yours. We all have ‘em. And if you don’t…well, then congratulations…you are it!
$100M Offers by Alex Hormozi
$100M Offers was a recommendation by my business coach, and I can’t say I was disappointed. I devoured it over a weekend. At its core, the book is really a guide to scaling any business from mediocre success to “holy crap I can’t believe I made so much money!” Hormozi breaks things down into really simple terms.
For any travel advisor who wonders if she should charge booking fees, he clears up the confusion.
Chapter Eleven does a great job of explaining how to effectively use sales tools like urgency, scarcity, bonuses and guarantees and how to package them up in words that sell.
The overarching message that Hormozi preaches throughout the book, is over-deliver. Leave people thinking they got a screaming deal regardless of the rates you charge simply based on the amount of value you’ve offered.
And Hormozi walks the walk for sure. You can grab the Kindle edition for under a buck.
The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer
Just sayin’ I did not want to read this book. Despite my best avoidance tactics, The Untethered Soul kept landing inside my sphere of consciousness. I dunno… I think it was the image of the lone horse silhouette galloping across the front cover. 🤮 that put me off. I kept picking it up and then putting it down thinking…one day…the way one might plan to alphabetize their record collection.
Except, after the 89th person said, Diane, you really should read this book. I finally thought, F* it, fine. Give it to me, already. I’ll give it a go.
And I did.
And it was the best book I read in 2021 if not in the past 10 years. Oh, so good.
Singer talks about our inner thorns which are code for the childhood trauma we all face to some degree. Most of us learn to live with our thorns. We learn how to create workarounds so as to not agitate them. But every now and again, someone touches that thorn by mistake, and we freak out in pain. Singer suggests that the best thing we can do for ourselves is to just remove the dang thorn.
And one of my favourite and most applicable quotes for our current worldview is this:
Isn’t that the truth?!
Atlas of the Heart by Brene Brown
I just finished Brene Brown’s most recent masterpiece, Atlas of the Heart. Oh, man…I am such a fan of this woman. I’ve read everything she’s written. How does somebody who claims to be a shame researcher by profession end up being so funny?
And that’s just the thing with her. You get the feeling that she’d be a lot of fun to hang out with a glass of wine by the firepit swapping stories into the wee hours of the night.
Like an atlas, this book includes roadmaps to explaining our emotions and Brene says, that the reason so many of us suffer in relationships, is that we don’t know how to properly use vocabulary to accurately define what we want and feel.
A basic human need is to be understood yet most of us struggle to find the proper way to communicate in order to make ourselves understood. This book unravels eighty-seven emotions that define what it means to be human – including schadenfreude and freudenfreude which are the celebration of someone’s failure and celebration of someone’s success respectfully.
Hey, wait a second Brene…Isn’t English hard enough?
Anyway, I was quite pleased with her latest work even though I still think Daring Greatly gets my nod for her all-time best work.
And if you haven’t watched her Netflix stand-up routine – (More like a TedTalk than a Dave Chappelle special) you really should get it a shot. It’s more of a culmination of snippets from all her books. Think of it like Abba’s Greatest Hits release.
This is the quote that stood out to me and one I would LOVE if we all would strive towards.
Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat
Let me just say, while I do have some pretty nerdy hobbies, cooking is not one of them. And you know that one adventurous friend of yours who brags about the delicious Beyainatu she enjoyed last night at the quaint Ethiopian diner around the corner – Well, I ain’t her. I am the furthest thing from a foodie there is, but I am enamoured with these weird souls.
In fact, most of my friends ARE these people. So, when Tim Ferriss and 17,000+ other Amazon readers, recommended this Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, I decided to gift a copy to one of my gourmand besties. Her immediate response…
“Diane, have you read this thing” she yelled over video chat.
“It’s friggin’ amazing! I know you hate cooking but you really ought to read this. It will blow your mind.”
So I did. And it did. Yes, it’s a cookbook, but before you yawn, it reads like a novel. Samin (i wonder if she’d mind me calling her by her first name) is a wonderful writer. Not too surprising given she’s a lead food columnist for New York Times Magazine.
But even for a non-foodie person like myself, she hooked me. I was inspired to go buy a block of Parmigiano Reggiano in lieu of my canister of Kraft.
If you have a foodie in your life, I highly recommend this book as the perfect gift.
Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss
Tribe of Mentors and its twin sister Tools of Titans aren’t new but they made it on my list because I lugged these monster paperweights around in my pocket (e-version) for the entire year.
Ferriss, (I’ll go with his surname since he seems the type that would prefer that) collected vignettes from the world’s most influential and inspiring people. Each chapter features one mentor/titan and topics that range from…
- Best purchase made for $100 or less.
- Most recommended book
- One message of wisdom posted on a billboard for all the world to see?
- Worst piece of advice received.
- Words of wisdom for your younger self
It’s part of my morning routine to read just one interview. They are short, often no more than a handful of pages, and I’m introduced to thought leaders who don’t typically cross my path. Like Samin Nosrat who stands out in both the culinary and literary worlds.
What was your best read from 2021? I’m always looking for something new to add to my bookshelf. Post your favourites in the comment section below.
Love a “best reads” post. I’m a reader and always looking for recommendations. Thank you!
You are very welcome. I’m the same way. Always looking for good books to add to my bookshelf.
My best read(s) for 2021 were these here blogs. There’s either a TON of good stuff here or I may need to diversify my reading list. I’ll opt for the former.
That’s quite a compliment. Thanks, RickB. You should read my emails. 😉