Here’s just a bit of what I’ve been poring my eyes over this Year.
Books link to my Goodreads profile, where I keep track of everything I read. Friend me there so we can share the love!
Daniel Gilbert, Stumbling Upon Happiness: This dude is hilarious, and because of that, all of the case studies and arguments for why we can’t adequately project what will make us happy in the future make for a fascinating, easy read that sticks with you.
Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit: I didn’t start this whole thing “removing habit and seeing what happens.” It took a while before I realized that’s what was going on. More than halfway through, I read Duhigg’s book with an dropped jaw, because the studies and systems he sites were almost entirely relevant to the experiences I was living out in My Year. Like Gilbert, I enjoyed the read, too. I’m probably gonna read it again, right now. I’d loan you my copy, but it’s noted to shit with lots of !!!s and cartoons!
Shonda Rimes, Year of Yes!: Want a feel-good memoir that’s hysterically written because Shonda is a storytelling genius?! Her year of saying YES! to opportunities that scare her bring massive transformation to her life. Like what’s happening to yours truly. It’s another example of how taking the reins can lead to big things. I’m a bit in love with her now.
Annie Leonard, The Story of Stuff: Wanna rethink what you buy, how you use it, where it ends up, and the impact of the whole cycle? If anything, Annie’s book will open your eyes to the many tiny steps we can all make towards a big impact.
Richard Thayler and Cass Sustein, Nudge: Improving Decisions on Health, Wealth, and Happiness: How do accidental and incidental bias contribute to our making wrong decisions about our future? Read on.
Lucy Maude Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables series: Because “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” is one of many sticky questions that capture my heart in this series. And it’s fun to mix up non-fiction as I study this habit stuff with some romantic Canadian words from a hundred plus years ago.
The documentary Happy: It’s on Netflix and I keep watching it because when I’ve had a defeating day, it fills my heart with thanks and joy. Why does the island of Okinawa have the most over-100-year olds on it? Why is Sweden the happiest country on the planet? Which country is investing in “gross national happiness” along with increasing their gross national product. Lots of smart people in this one talking statistics and psychology, too.
Frances Hodgson Burnett’s A Little Princess. Do you believe in magic? Do you want to? Read this with a handkerchief nearby. (I read the Puffin Bloom printing, which is super magical and now I want everything they print!)
Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. People are saying mean things in the world right now at a rapid pace. We all need a Marmee right now to help keep our morals grounded.
H.D. Thoreau’s Winter journals. My Year was really, really rough this winter. I was off of sugar, then didn’t gift through the holidays, then tackled the New Year by battling negative thought and waste while my body suffered more than it has in a decade. Every day, I read Thoreau’s journal entries from more than a hundred years before aloud to my best friend. It gave me constancy, connection, and calm.