Personal development, Recommended Books

Good Self-Help Books (2017)

I do enjoy a quality self-help book. Here’s a list of those I loved lately (hover over titles for a link to the book). You can access earlier nominees here and here.

  1. Ego is the Enemy, Ryan Holiday. (Article about the main takeaways here). This book is really easy to read, and includes some nice narratives of how individuals like Eleanor Roosevelt achieved greatness through tempering their egos. This book inspires you to be a better woman (or man); to refine your habitual thoughts and develop more control over destructive impulses. And it gives you the hope that you, too, may one day forget approval-seeking, and become inner validating. 
  2. Subliminal – the New Unconscious and What it Teaches us, by Leonard Mlodinow. A detailed account of the frames of reference that dictate our view of reality without our knowing it. Reminds you of the limitations of our minds and our ability to arrive at ‘the unfiltered truth of a situation.’ If you love/enjoy learning about cognitive biases, you’ll like this. 
  3. E-Cubed: Nine More Energy Experiments That Prove Manifesting Magic and Miracles Is Your Full-Time Gig, Pam Grout. Fun to read and great for anyone interested in developing their law of attraction muscle. 
  4. Focusing, Eugene T. Gendlin. Plain English guide to focusing from the man that developed the technique. Important for anyone looking to overcome personal challenges and exploring alternatives to talks-based therapy. 
  5. Trust: Mastering the Four Essential Trusts: Trust in Self, Trust in God, Trust in Others, Trust in Life, Iyanla Vanzant.  Her books are always insightful and its the same with this latest. Also, reading this, I realized that the conversation around trust is an important one for us all to have with ourselves. 
  6. As a Man Thinketh, James Allen. Classic and short. Everyone should read this book – it inspires you to take control of your thinking and thoughts. 
  7. Maximum Willpower: How to Master the New Science of Self-Control, Kelly McGonigal. A thorough look at the various reasons why we seem to lack the willpower to do the things we set out to do. I would recommend it to anyone trying to develop their self-control. 
  8. Freedom Seeker: Live More. Worry Less. Do What You Love, Beth Kempton. A sisterly read, gently nudging you to break free of cages of your own construction. Also I liked the freedom keys.
  9. Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, Cal Newport. (I wrote a long post about this.) Cal’s popular book inspires you to reclaim your attention back from your smartphones and other electronic devices. And contains practical suggestions for doing so. 
  10. The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level, Gay Hendricks. Hendricks sets out an interesting theory about why many of us self-sabotage during high points in our careers and personal lives; that we have ‘upper limits’ from limiting beliefs we had during childhood. 
  11. The Wisdom of No Escape and the Path of Loving-Kindness, Pema Chodron. Interesting for anyone exploring or deepening their knowledge of Buddhist principles. 
  12. Soul Friends: The Transforming Power of Deep Human Connection, Stephen Cope. This is a profound and unique book all about the various ways we ‘contract’ with those we meet, and how different the characters that come along in life play their own specific role in our development. 
  13. Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar, Cheryl Strayed. Tear-jerking and hilarious at the same time. A great pick-me-up if you’re feeling a little beaten by life. Also great if you are fascinated by human interest stories. There is a lot of wisdom in the letters. Inspired this article. 
  14. Consolations: the Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words, David Whyte. Beautiful for poetry and philosophy lovers. Inspired this article. 
  15. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, Greg McKeown. A list of the main takeaways here. This book is excellent for anyone exploring ideas to do with their purpose. 
  16. The Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living: A Guide to ACT, Russ Harris. You can read the main takeaways about ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) here. You can see why this got so many great reviews. Full of practical mindfulness-based exercises that I haven’t come across elsewhere. Also, Russ’s perspective is refreshingly practical.
  17. 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works-A True Story, Dan Harris. A perfect story of how one unlikely person – news anchorman Dan Harris – discovered meditation. Would inspire over-achievers to implement a meditation habit. 
  18. The Enneagram in Love and Work: Understanding Your Intimate and Business Relationships, Helen Palmer. A manual for anyone familiar with the Enneagram and looking to use it to understand their partners and improve relationship intimacy. 
  19. Man’s Eternal Quest, The Divine Romance and Journey to Self-Realization, all by Paramahansa Yogananda. Quite heavy weight, but strangely also highly accessible mini-essays, based on wisdom from the great yogi. Great for anyone deepening their spiritual practice. 
  20.  Live Your Truth, Kamal Ravikant. I loved this short book all about how we don’t stumble accidentally into an amazing life, but instead make a conscious commitment to figuring out what we care about. 
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About Rezzan Hussey


Hi, I'm Rez, and this is my personal development blog. The articles here draw on ideas from across psychology, philosophy and spirituality. I'm currently posting once per week. Stay and look around :)