Favorite Self-Discovery Books of 2015

I promised I'd share some of my favorite books of 2015. I read 27 books, according to Goodreads. This year I set a goal of 40 books and I've read 4 so far. I may have to increase the challenge! I'll share some highlights from last year's reads, but I'll break it up into a few posts so I can include mini-reviews.

In the Self-Discovery category, we haaaave...

Rising Strong by Brene Brown: This book gave me permission to have my big feelings about the things going on in my life, and to look at them through a lens of curiosity instead of shame. It challenged the way I view the world from a specific perspective to see that perspective as one of many, and take responsibility for owning my part of the story without romanticizing or victimizing myself. It encouraged me to courageously embrace a wholehearted life, and gave me the desire to make it feel safe for others to do the same by practicing good listening and story excavation.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert: This book helped me reacquaint myself with my enthusiastic side. While the work we do for the sake of our dreams can be difficult, it is also full of beauty, fun, and adventures in exploration. Embracing curiosity as a gift rather than a distraction is such good advice and has always been freeing for me. I love how inclusive she is as she writes, creating space for differing approaches to living our dreams. I love how she doesn't shy away from the hard places, but gives some fresh and gentle perspective to them. I felt my courage rising to rethink some of the things I thought were "not for me" because I felt guilty for not pursuing a one-track career. Just like Brene Brown, there is a permission and encouragement to look at failure through a no-shame lens, but rather take it as a teacher and a gift.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain: This one helped me reconcile with the term introversion, since I am quite often extroverted in my people-loving nature, but at the end of the day I require a long sleep and a lot of processing space. And quiet! Please, I need more quiet in my life! Basically I came to a better understanding of how we are all on a spectrum of sorts, and just because I am not deeply introverted in all the stereotypical ways does not disqualify me from calling myself one. I need to give myself plenty of space for downtime. This book had some great tips for maintaining health and self-care while still being a social being in this world. I loved it for normalizing my experience by highlighting all the grey areas between the terms.

I am grateful to these authors for all the time and experience and vulnerability and expertise they lovingly brought to these projects. If these reviews resonated with you, go request these books from the library! While I'm sure you could find them on Kindle, I recommend a hard copy. Something tangible. It's sooo much nicer to hold an actual book in your hands, don't you think? Or is that just me?

What self-discovery books did you read in 2015 that gave you fresh insights into your mind, your work, or your happiness?

Joy of reading be yours!


Jamie Bagley