5 Books to Read This Year


Article by Rosa Viridiana

Photography by Viviana Rodriguez

Every time I get asked what my favorite book is, I immediately feel like I have to think of one specific book that has changed my life when in reality there are several books that I’ve learned from. It’s always been important to me to learn about different perspectives, whether it’s through cultures, traditions or books. My favorite thing about reading is that I get to get lost in someone else’s world for a while and learn about myself through their perspective. Of course, there will always be books I start but don’t interest me enough to finish them. So, I have created a list of five different books from different genres that have kept me on my toes from start to finish. Enjoy!

1.    You are a Badass by Jen Sincero

Compared to the other books on this list, this book is easy to read and it has a lighter feel to it. Jen Sincero provides her readers to-do lists and lots of motivation to help build confidence and “go for it”. I’ve read a few negative reviews on this book because Jen comes across the topic of depression in a very insensitive way. Personally, I felt that this book was the foundation for re-building my self-confidence. This book was actually the first self-help book I ever finished and I totally recommend it to people who are embarking on their self-love/self-development journey. It not only helped me believe in myself, but it also helped me take responsibility for my life and the goals I set. 

2.    Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

I had just graduated college when I started this book and I wasn’t sure what to expect since I had no knowledge of what being financially literate meant. Robert Kiyosaki gives the readers a clear understanding of what wealth means from a rich dad and a poor dad’s perspective, and the difference in their opinions makes you value both! This book isn’t quick to tell you to quit your job and start your own business, but it teaches you discipline and how to properly manage money, debt, credit, savings and spending. In a time when people are making money from their phones and the economy is rapidly growing and changing, it is important to educate yourself and think long term. If you don’t know which book to read on finances, this is a good one to start with. Kiyosaki writes this book in a fun and engaging way that makes it easy and exciting to understand finances. It is also one of the best personal finance books of all time. ;)

3.    Whole Again by Jackson Mackenzie

Whole Again is a great healing book for recovering from childhood and adult trauma. Jackson Mackenzie explains different personality disorders that can affect a person and their loved ones. Mackenzie outlines ways to cope with these disorders and most importantly how to have compassion for yourself while healing. Trauma includes anything from being emotionally abused to suffering from PTSD and/or combat stress. Knowing that I can be aware of parts of myself that aren’t fully healed and have compassion for those parts changed the way I view my flaws. We don’t expect others to be perfect, so we should give ourselves the same grace. Caring for yourself and using the resources you have to grow doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you, it only means you care enough to be whole on your own in order to share your gifts with the people around you. There should never be a stigma about mental health. On the contrary, we should openly express our views with people we trust so they feel comfortable doing the same.

4.    The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist is definitely in my top three! This book is a fantasy adventure novel that takes the reader on the journey of Santiago, the main character of the book. Paulo Coelho writes the story of a boy who leaves everything behind to look for his “treasure”, or his God-given purpose. The boy learns that the treasure is in his journey and not in the actual treasure he is searching for. His story teaches us that real love will always be there and it will support our dreams rather than sabotage them. As the boy struggles with fear of following his heart, the alchemist reminds him that the fear of struggling is much greater than the actual struggle itself. Although being a fantasy novel, this book is so profound and meaningful to ones’ reality. Coelho fills this story with metaphors to the reality and self-journey we all aspire to be successful in. He constantly reminds us of the importance of faith in our dreams and in what is already written.

5.    Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Reese’s Book Club never fails me – this book was amazing! It’s no surprise that this book held the number one spot on Time’s Best Sellers for over 60 weeks. When one thinks of personal growth, fiction books are generally not at the top of the list. But through fiction stories, the reader can view fictional characters as mirrors for their own self-improvement. Kya’s coming of age story is relatable as it is both heartbreaking and inspiring. Kya pushes her way through life with so much strength after repeatedly being hurt by people she loves. Delia Owens is a genius at keeping the reader at the edge of their seat and at giving us the most unpredictable plot twist towards the end of the story. I read this book in less than a week – the fastest I’ve ever read a fiction book. One of my favorite quotes represents being authentic and perfectly imperfect as you find your way through life. – “Autumn leaves don’t fall, they fly. They take their time and wander on this their only chance to soar.” In the end, Kya’s strength is rewarded and we all learn that everything isn’t always as it seems.

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