With the beginning of a fresh new year, I have been thinking a lot about the past, the present and the future that 2019 has to offer. I sat down and started journaling about what I achieved last year, the obstacles that challenged me and the goals that I wanted to create. My mind kept circling, thinking about my happiness, health, wellness, relationships and career. I started by writing down my gratitudes from the year prior and meditating about all the good that 2018 had brought to my doorstep. With a humble heart, I then began to cultivate my resolution list. I added the major “reach for the stars” and “go after my dreams” resolutions but I wanted to share with you the one that I felt was obtainable in everyday life- something we can all give-a-go.
As of late, I’ve been sharing a lot about my love affair with reading and education in conversations online and offline. I want to stress the importance of learning, with all of you, because we have all landed in the real world, out of college with no only access to continuous education (unless we go back to school) through what we see online, in the news, or in books. We must learn to pursue learning on our own time. I have seen so many of my friends creating their day to day education by reading, listening to Ted Talks or listening to books on tape through the Audible app. It has been so refreshing to be surrounded by people who crave growth and education just as much as I do. The quote by Sydney D. Harris: “the whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows” has become my 2019 mantra. ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀
This year, I challenge you to set a goal for yourself: read more! So many of my friends and I have been exchanging book titles in the past few weeks and I compiled them into the ultimate reading list, with recommendations, to carry you in the new year. I mixed in some very compelling self-help, fiction, non-fiction and biography reads to give you an array of selections to get your hands on this season. And if you are living in Santa Barbara, reach out to me about my book club Babes & Books that will be starting up again in February! We are group of young women who love to come together to share ideas and have open-ended conversations about life and everything in between. But for now, I leave you with my Winter Reading List:
Girl, Stop Apologizing
A follow-up to the New York Times' Best seller, "Girl, Wash Your Face" by Rachel Hollis. I read her previous book in the fall with my local girl-gang book club called Babes & Books. Collectively we fell in love with Rachel's voice and admired what she had to say about life and everything in between. This book is currently on pre-order but I highly suggest you grab a copy! Or for that matter dive into her previous book while waiting for this one to arrive in 2019!
Becoming by Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama can do no wrong in my book. She has emerged as one of the most fierce and compelling women of our era. I have loved being a witness to her growth as a mother, wife, leading activist and writer. I am one chapter into this book and can't help but be marveled by her life. From humble beginnings, she stuck her nose to the grindstone and focused her intention, motivation and drive to grow into the woman she is today. I can't wait to explore the depths of her entire world in her own words.
(Recommended by Marlene Ruvalcaba)
My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh
This landed on several best selling lists this year, and it caught my curiosity. Although it seemed a little dark due to the main-character's addictive habits, I added this one to the list because I wanted to see what all the hype was about. Several critics explained that this novel brings attention to this importance of relaxation in our lives. So we'll give this one a go in 2019!
Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer
I had several friends come forward about this book and I can't wait to dive into it's pages this new year. This book falls into the spiritual self-help realm. It's a transformational read that breaks your mind wide open and challenges you to get in touch with your emotions and thoughts. This would be a great book to read and then journal to develop the relationship with yourself.
(Recommended by Tarielle Thomasco, Danielle Elese and Anya Folsom)
Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
Get taken behind the scenes of the kitchen with none-other than renowned chef, Anthony Bourdain. My inner foodie is doing cartwheels in excitement for this book. My main goal this year is to develop my writing vocabulary so that I can speak to the in's and out's of the food industry and contribute as an editorial writer for food publications. I have a love affair with experiencing delicious food and hope that this book gives me the right terminology to share my knowledge about food.
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
This novel by Tolstoy explores love, life, and the depths of the human soul while following along Anna Karenina's unfolding story. My friend Charlotte gifted me this book for my birthday and I can't wait to take on the challenge of reading through the 800+ pages of this iconic novel.
(Recommended by Charlotte Bryant)
Fight Like A Girl by Clementine Ford
This author writes an in-depth look at misogyny and shares how prevalent it is in our modern day world. Equal parts memoir, opinion and investigative journalism, this book exposes the inequalities that women face day to day. It will make you laugh, cry and possibly scream- it's a feminist must read!
A New Earth: Awakening Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle
Let's talk ego! Eckart Tolle expands on the understandings of what "ego" is and how we can detach from it to allow a more Illuminating, enlightening, and uplifting life whilst leaving anger, jealousy, and unhappiness to rest. This manifesto will have you diving deeper in your self-discovery to help you on your way to achieving a fulfilling and happy life.
(Recommended by Grace Johnson)
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
I started listening to this book on audible and I was instantly hooked in chapter one when the author referenced Charles Bukowski (one of my favorite poets). I love the way this book is written! You really feel like you are shooting the shit with Mark about life and how weird it is. A definite must read!
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
Combining psychological and historical research in a memoir style read,The Happiness Project is a self discovery book in which Gretchen Rubin tackles a year long journey of finding happiness.
(Recommended by Kate Steward)
The Lost Vintage: A Novel by Ann Mah
Mystery, romance and wine is the exact antidote I need for a good book! This book follows Kate, a woman determined to become a wine master, returns to Burgundy where she stumbles into a exploration of her family history and kept secrets.
Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
Sheryl Sandberg (who is chief operating officer of Facebook) wrote Lean In, a collection of personal anecdotes, hard data, and compelling research about women in the workplace and how they can achieve their full potential. Before reading this book, I highly suggest you listen to her Ted Talk called "Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders."
(Recommended by Veronica Torchia)
Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype by Clarissa Pinkola Estés
The author dives deep into the history of female unconscious and explains how women's vitality can be re-harnessed through "psychic archeological digs." This book was incredibly fascinating, and not to mention a heavy read, but I highly suggest that every woman read this to get in touch with their inner femininity.
(Recommended by Anya Folsom)
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
I discovered this book while traveling to San Francisco last year and I couldn't have asked for a better time for this story to come into my life. For this new year, I dare you to leap into 2019 with an extra shot of wisdom that the Alchemist so masterfully provides. Following along Santiago's journey, you'll discover the importance of following your heart and chasing your dreams.
(Recommended by Alexandra Sharova)
Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler
Another wine-themed read to add to the list! The leading lady, Tess, embarks on her path to self-discovery when she lands a job working the front of the house of a prestigious restaurant in New York City. She dives into the chaos of the food industry and is forced to navigate the hectic yet enchanting life she has chosen.
(Recommended by Charlotte Bryant)
The Universe Has Your Back: Transform Fear to Faith by Gabrielle Bernstein
This is hands down one of my favorite authors that I stumbled upon in college. I was just learning the art of meditation and my peer referred me to Gaby's book, Add More Ing to Your Life: A Hip Guide to Happiness, and it completely shifted my world. I highly suggest you look into any of her previously published works alongside this incredible read to add to your 2019 book list!
(Recommended by Tarielle Thomasco)
If you have any suggestions or recommendations of your own, email me at email@example.com and I can add them to the list!