4 Books to Encourage & Inspire

I'm a huge fan of non-fiction in general, but especially love a good self-help/improvement book every once in a while. Personally I don't see any problem with the term self-help, but I know it kind of has a negative connotation, so I decided to stick with personal development term for this post.

Quiet | I remember reading this and thinking, finally someone gets it! This is obviously a book about the power of introverts, but I think it's a great read for anyone regardless of your personality type. I think you might appreciate it a bit more if you're a fellow introvert who went through over half of your life feeling like something was wrong with you, and sitting through the majority of high school and college classes with so much anxiety due to the pressure to "speak up", as if participating in front of class is the only way to measure someone's intelligence (end rant). Cain does a really great job of balancing stories with facts and research.

The Happiness Project | This book was published back in 2009 and I'm sure it isn't new to anyone, but it's one of my favorite books when it comes to needing a little inspiration to make changes. Not because I thought anything Rubin shared was really groundbreaking, but because it's the perfect book to help get you into a positive mindset and I love the setup of accomplishing different aspects of your life in each month.

How to Have a Good Day | The title pretty accurately sums up the aim of this book and I loved that it was science-based without being too heavy on the facts. While a large part of the book focuses on work life (specifically more corporate careers), I think there's a takeaway for anyone regardless of what you call your job. Read my full review 

Daring Greatly | A few years ago I read The Gifts of Imperfection and think I've had Daring Greatly on my list since then. Even after I got it for my birthday in April this year, it was one that sat on my shelf for a while until I felt like I was in the mood to read it. Of course it ended up being one of those books that I wish I read years ago because it spoke to me in almost every way. It was another one of those books that I read and was shocked at how much I could relate to so much of the material. That was how I felt reading a lot of this, and I imagine it's how most people would feel because Brene's research on shame is so raw and real. I could easily write an entire post on what I learned from reading this, and I probably will eventually, but for now I would say to check out Brene's research if you're interested in enriching your life and how important it is to be vulnerable sometimes.

I have a few other self improvement books on my radar that I hope to read in the next few months as well. I always enjoy a good personal element and ease to read, but look forward to the research and facts as well. If you you have a good book in this same realm, let me know!

Linking up for my books & favorites

26 comments

  1. Brene Brown is an author and person that I've wanted to look more into since hearing her on Liz Gilbert's podcast, "Magic Lessons".

    I haven't read a non-fiction book in a while but it's high time for me to add some to my list.

    Danielle @ afloat on a full sea

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  2. I still haven't read the happiness project, but who doesn't want to be put into a good mood!? Thanks for sharing all of these! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  3. the happiness project is a great one - great roundup girly!adding some of these to my list. happy weekend!

    xoxo cheshire kat

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  4. I started reading Quiet when those feelings and experiences you described were at an all-time high for me, and it was the first time I ever saw my quiet nature in a positive light. I never finished it but I got a lot out of what I did read. It was really powerful to not only hear that someone got it, like you said, but to also be told that it wasn't a bad thing and might even be a good thing.
    I just started Daring Greatly recently. I was having a really hard time with ironman training (as you know) and having all kinds of confusing feelings that I needed help sorting out. Again, I haven't finished it, but so it's really hit the nail on the head in helping me frame what I'm doing and why I'm doing it and how I feel about it.

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  5. Ohhh definitely adding these to my list! I've heard great things about The Happiness Project but still haven't read it! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

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  6. Quiet sounds interesting - I'm totally an introvert. I have The Happiness Project on my to read list!

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  7. I love The Happiness Project too. I'm hoping to read Better than Before before the new year because that one seems really inspiring too. I haven't read Daring Greatly yet but I did love The Gifts of Imperfection!!! & love this post - obviously!!

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  8. I love all Gretchen Rubin's books and I listen to the podcast too. I need to check out Brene Brown.

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  9. I don't usually do well with non-fiction, but a few of these sound so interesting - and inspiring!

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  10. I don't love non-fiction, but I've read a few really good ones. I think I have to add Quiet to my list, and maybe the last one too. Totally agree on your thoughts about "class participation," even though I was fully extroverted up until the last few years or so. There are other, much more effective ways to measure intelligence and understanding.

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  11. I like the sound of Quiet! I present as an extrovert but am definitely an introvert. Discovering this in recent years has made my life make so much more sense.

    The Happiness Project and How To Have A Good Day also sound brilliant. I work in a corporate environment and think I'd like the second one a lot.

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  12. I just marked the happiness project at my library to check out

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  13. Quiet sounds great. I am not really a fan of non fiction, though when I do read it, it's either memoirs or 'self help'. you are right, it does have a negative connotation but eh. guess all those people are perfect and don't need help. lol!

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  14. I have had The Happiness Project on my list to read for awhile now, I need to get to that!

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  15. I've always kind of had a negative idea of self-help books, although I loved The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. As a huge introvert married to an even bigger introvert, I really want to read Quiet now. And my mom gave me The Happiness Project and Happier at Home to read years ago and I sort of buried them in my closet, not wanting to read them but not wanting to give them back without reading them. Now you've got me intrigued. And now I really also want to read Daring Greatly - I hadn't heard of it before but it sounds great and I hope you did write more about it. I've heard good things about Big Magic too. Okay, you may have just opened up a new can of worms for me!! Thanks for this post, I have a whole new understanding of personal development books.

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  16. I've wanted to read Quiet FOREVER because I am such an introvert. We bought The Happiness Project for my MIL 2ish years ago (along with other stuff in a care package) when she was diagnosed with breast cancer and she loved it and I've been wanting to read it ever since!

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  17. I started listening to Quiet on audiobook but never finished it. Now this makes me want to pick it up again! (Except for probably a print version this time!)

    Great list!

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  18. Quiet was a bookclub pick in my IRL bookclub a year or so ago, but I couldn't make the meeting so I never ended up reading the book. I still plan to read it though, but I wish I had made the effort to have already read it! I have Daring Greatly, and again, need to make it a priority to read.

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  19. I had wanted to read the Happiness Project and then forgot all about it. Thanks for the reminder.

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  20. I'm going to go and pick up "How to Have a Great Day" now - that sounds so good!
    Great book roundup!

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

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  21. Okay, Quiet is right up my alley. I'm an introvert and have had such horrible anxiety my whole life. I still do it at work! Cried at Daring Greatly. You should write an entire post on it. Can't wait to read the rest!

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  22. So I might be the only person on this earth that hasn't read The Happiness Project, but I think that I need to add it to my list and get to it! How To Have A Good day sounds like something that I'd like, especially if it's not too heavy on the facts.

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  23. I definitely need to add "How to have a good day" to my list! And Quiet sounds like another great one :-D

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  24. I LOVE self improvement/ personal development books! I remember the Happiness Project from back when it came out. Quiet sounds like one I'd really enjoy.

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  25. I really liked the Happiness Project! I would recommend Essentialism by Greg McKeown... it totally changed my thinking.

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