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Olivia's Book Club

Reads to Radiate your New Year

We’ve all done it... starting a new year wrestling with resolutions and exploring first steps toward a refreshed version of ourselves. Books can be building blocks to bettering our mindset: gifting new ideas, perspectives, and possibilities. Somewhere in the pages of these self-improvement recommendations, aim to discover something that ignites a spark within you.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert is best known for Eat, Pray, Love and City of Girls (beloved by my book club!), but for me personally, Gilbert’s most important work is this guide to “creative living beyond fear.” A blend of personal anecdotes, science, and humor, it reads like friendly advice via a beloved friend.

A how-to for letting go of the useless pursuit of perfectionism and a call to welcome creative inspiration, Big Magic offers ways to achieve a happier more expanded life. Start the new year learning to unleash the magic within you! Gilbert’s optimism is contagious.

Wake Up Grateful by Kristi Nelson

Superficial nods to gratitude are everywhere like a meme or motto on a coffee mug; quirky pops of positivity, but with little depth. The opposite should be said of Kristi Nelson’s book. The Harvard educated executive and cancer survivor reveals ways we can radically change how we experience what happens in our lives.

Among five points of perspective for grateful living practices, she explores poignancy, which Nelson writes “allows joy and grief to co-exist harmoniously ...the tension of all things beautiful and difficult occurring simultaneously.” This book is a salvation for healing wounds and a guide for navigating challenges yet to come. 

More meaningful non-fiction to jump-start your year:
The Power of Regret by Daniel H. Pink
The Potentialist by Ben Lytle
101 Essays That Will Change The Way You Think by Brianna Wiest

Olivia Fierro is a public speaking coach and on-camera, live event, and podcast host. An EMMY and Murrow Award-winning journalist, Olivia has been sharing her passion for reading with Arizona since the 2019 launch of Olivia's Book Club.