Three Inspiring Books That Have Turbocharged My 2016

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Earlier this year, I'd mentioned how towards the end of 2015 I was reading a couple of books that were really making an impact on my mindset going into the new year. We're about five weeks into 2016, and I wanted to share how those two books- plus one more- are still helping me meet my resolutions a month out.

First up is the fashion blogosphere's favorite inspirational book, #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso. I love her irreverent prose and the illustrations in this book are pretty rad. As someone who didn't take the road more travelled (and THAT is a saga all unto itself), reading Amoruso's story helps me deal with the embarrassment and insecurity that comes from living life on a different path than the one I was taught to want. For me, reading her book reminds me that it's okay to be different but still want- and deserve- success. Reading about how hard she worked makes me want to work hard, too.

Next is Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. We all recognize her from the crazy popular Eat Pray Love (which I only just read last week, literally). Gilbert takes on all of the psychological barriers that can stand in the way of creativity: fear, lack of inspiration, unworthiness, giving up, and so on. For my fellow writers, this book especially will be helpful to you- because Gilbert is a writer as well, and she just gets it. If there is some kind of problem you are having with your creativity, there is a section in this book that will address it. This book is what I turn to when I find my courage flagging. There is also a great podcast that goes along with the book where Gilbert coaches various creatives through whatever it is that's holding them back; I like to listen to that while driving and it complements the book well.

Finally, there is mainstream minimalism's pop culture calling card The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo and translated by Cathy Hirano. As an adult with ADHD, I have spent literal DECADES trying to stay clean and organized. I'm still not as clean or organized as I could be, but ever since I cleaned out my apartment after reading this book, I've found it to be much easier to stay organized. What I liked about this book was how it recommended people go about getting rid of things. One of the ways my synesthesia manifests itself is that I tend to believe that objects have feelings- which obviously makes it hard to get rid of anything. There was a Shinto aspect to the discarding where Kondo recommended people thank the objects that they were getting rid of and which really helped me. 

I do have to butt in here and say that the biggest problem I had with the book was the recommendation to throw everything away. I don't know if maybe the municipal waste system in Japan is different, but I simply couldn't condone the idea of sending useful items to a landfill. Consequently, instead of throwing away items, I separated them into "sell" or "donate"; this satisfied my conscience. Ultimately, I won't say that this book has completely cured me of my cluttering tendencies, but it has helped me stay organized for much, much longer than I have before. And because I'm organized, it's easier for me to try and work on my goals.

I hope that you read at least one of these books and find them useful to you. Whenever I need encouragement, a kick in the pants, or a bout of decluttering and organizing, these are what I turn to.

What about you guys? Have you read any books lately that have really helped you? Please tell me because I'd love to read them!


  1. All of these sound fantastic, but I'm especially interested in #girlboss - well, aren't we all? I'm all about khaled hosseini. His novels may be fiction but there's something about pre-war Afghanistan that is so captivating for me and gets my mind whirling (if you know what I mean?! ahaha)

    luce | xxx

    1. Definitely give #Girlboss a read! I actually got distracted from writing this post because I sat down to read it again... it goes by quickly.

      I've been meaning to read his books! I have A Thousand Splendid Suns but haven't gotten around to reading it yet. Should I start with that or The Kite Runner?

      P. S. I totally get what you mean about the mind whirling ;)