5 Books for a Better Year

I’m making time for reading. There’s so much to learn, and I’m not taking advantage of it. I’ve bought several books over the years, and I’ve only made it past the first chapter. So this year, I’m committing to reading them.

I’ve chosen 5 books I have that have so much to offer. Each focuses on a different area, communications, career, fashion, faith, that I want to improve upon in my own life. Below are the books and descriptions:

  1. The Power of a Half Hour: Take Back Your Life Thirty Minutes at a Time by Tommy Barnett Tommy Barnett
    Turn your fleeting minutes into defining moments. What can you do in 30 minutes? Have lunch? Watch television? Check Facebook? How about change your life? Why do some people achieve far more than others? We all get the same 24 hours in a day, yet a special few seem to have superhuman abilities when it comes to accomplishing great things in life. Tommy Barnett, a proven master at “getting things done,” says the key to maximizing your productivity is to make use of small, manageable moments in your day—just 30 minutes at a time.  In this remarkably practical book, Tommy shows how to begin a whole new life of fruitfulness. You’ll see immediate results in all areas of your life, including your— purpose and values, personal goals, faith, character and attitude, dreams, career, relationships, marriage and family, church involvement and ministry. Why not change time from being your worst enemy to your everlasting friend? It all starts with the amazing things you can do in only a half hour.  Through inspiring stories and biblical principles, discover how your downtime can have a major upside. Get going—you don’t have a minute to lose!
  2. Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill it in Your Career. Rock Social Media. by Aliza Licht Aliza Licht
    LEAVE YOUR MARK isn’t an advice book–it’s a mentorship in 288 pages. Aliza Licht — global fashion communications executive and Twitter phenom @DKNY PR GIRL — is here to tell her story, complete with The Devil Wears Prada – like-moments and insider secrets. Drawing invaluable lessons from her experience, Licht shares advice, inspiration, and a healthy dose of real talk in LEAVE YOUR MARK. She delivers personal and professional guidance for people just starting their careers and for people who are well on their way. With a particular emphasis on communicating and building your personal brand, something she knows a thing or two about, Aliza is your sassy, knowledgeable guide to the contemporary working world, where personal and professional lines are blurred and the most important thing you can have is a strong sense of self.
  3. Sandcastle Kings by Rich Wilkerson Jr. 
    Rich WilkersonThe world seems to have figured out the formula for manufacturing material success, but when it comes to finding true, lasting happiness, we are as lost as ever. We yearn for more, or less, or something that’s just different from what we have right now.Deep down, we know there must be satisfaction for our longing. We just don’t know where to find it. In Sandcastle Kings, Rich Wilkerson, Jr. (star of the new Oxygen series Rich in Faith) uses four powerful stories from the seventh chapter of Luke to explain why spiritual fulfillment cannot be found in ourselves, in other people, in material things, or even in religion. By studying the stories of the centurion’s faith, the resurrection of the widow’s son, Jesus’ message about John the Baptist, and the anointing by the woman with the alabaster jar, you will be able to face your doubts and insecurities and overcome your anxiety, discontentment, and depression. Wilkerson wants you to understand that the only answer for your spiritual bankruptcy is Jesus and that until you turn to him you will never experience the lasting peace and joy you so desperately crave.
  4. Darling, You Can’t Do Both and Other Noise to Ignore On The Way Up by Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk Janet KestinFrom two of the real women behind Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty, a creative, fresh and brutally honest guide to making it in the working world on your own terms. Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk have built their careers on unconventional creative thinking. As ad agency leaders behind Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty, they famously championed stripping away the photo retouching and false perfection that force women to conform to narrow beauty stereotypes and leave them feeling lacking. After years of rethinking brands, they decided to focus on rethinking the way women work—or, in many cases, the way work doesn’t work for women. They’ve tackled the problem in their hallmark style: by turning expectations upside down and shaking them. Soundly. Early in their career together, Nancy was pulled aside by her boss and told she should go for the top job in her ad agency’s creative department—but was strongly advised not to have kids. He told her without varnish: “Darling, you can’t do both.” She and Janet, already a mom, refused to believe that “truth” and went on to find a way to make motherhood not a roadblock in their careers, but an advantage. Now, in this smart, relatable guide Janet and Nancy argue that we as women need to start breaking the largely unspoken rules of business (some of our own making), such as Women can’t do both career and family, Networking is for men, Nice girls don’t get in your face and Asking for help is weak. It guides you through how you can really begin to change your reality—and maybe even your company—from the ground up. Whatever your industry, or level of experience. Filled with steps you can take and advice you can test drive, Darling, You Can’t Do Both will spark a new thread of conversation and a new wave of action for women in the workplace—one that’s realistic, positive and filled with effective strategies for every woman with career goals.
  5. Love Style Life by Garance Dore
    Garance DoreNEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “The guardian of all style” (The New York Times Magazine) shares stories on life, love, style, and career, from Paris to New York, and inspires readers to cultivate an effortless chic that is all their own. Garance Doré, the voice and vision behind her eponymous blog, has captivated millions of readers worldwide with her fresh and appealing approach to style through storytelling. This gorgeously illustrated book takes readers on a unique narrative journey that blends Garance’s inimitable photography and illustrations with the candid, hard-won wisdom drawn from her life and her travels. Infused with her Left Bank sensibility, the eclecticism of her adopted city of New York, and the wild, passionate spirit of her native Corsica, Love Style Life is a backstage pass behind fashion’s frontlines, peppered with French-girl-next-door wit and advice on everything from mixing J.Crew with Chanel, to falling in love, to pursuing a life and career that is the perfect reflection of you.
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