Life Changing Books and Reading Goals for 2018

Life Changing Books and Reading Goals for 2018

I was disappointed in myself last year for the number of new books I read—and after talking to some friends, I realized I wasn’t alone. We’re so overwhelmed with articles and social media posts, that sitting down with an actual book gets put off until we can’t remember the last time we read a book from cover to cover.

When I’m being honest, I mostly read blogs in my usual reading times. I’ve got the perfect reading spot at my kitchen table where I’ll sit with snacks and my kindle on the weekends, but I need to start setting time aside to start on books that I’d like to have read—I know that I am behind on a lot of the classics.

I started thinking about this again recently when someone asked me to recommend a book that was life-changing for me. While it should have been an easy question, I drew a blank—there have been so many that have helped me at different times in my life. I realized that there have been different books throughout different phases of my life that really made an impact: Lord of the Flies, Catcher in the Rye and The Perks of Being a Wallflower were favorites in high school. In college, Seven Steps of Highly Effective People and the Four Hour Work Week played a role in how I began to set goals for myself.

In the last year, though, I haven’t read anything that really stuck out to me as life changing—but maybe that’s because I wasn’t reading enough. Looking through my Kindle, I’ve realized there are a lot of books on my reading list that I haven’t had time to get to. I Am Malala, by Malala Yousafzai, George Orwell’s 1984, are at the top of the list but I haven’t given myself the time to start them.

At the moment, I’m reading Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, since it was one of those classics that didn’t get covered in my classes during High School, and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. I wonder, though, if it would have had an even bigger impact on me in high school or early on in college, where I was in the same position as the main character.

I realized that the only way to find that next life-changing book is to broaden my reading list for the coming year. While I usually look at reading as a time to sit down and relax, I know that I’ll need to start trying new genres and new authors. Here are a few ways I plan on doing that this year:

Broadening Your Reading Selection:
Make use of Amazon’s recommended reading list
Visiting the library or used bookstore to find new books of interest
Get (and give!) recommendations from your friends
Visit my Book posts where you can find meaningful and great books.

Last week, I have just finished The Power of Habit – named one of the best books of the year by The Wall Street Journal and Financial Times. Charles Duhigg not only explains how habits are formed but how to kick bad ones and hang on to the good. The author goes on to explain in fascinating detail how studies have shown us how we can modify a habit and how to replace one habit with another. This is very important because we can learn from it how to replace a bad habit (smoking) with a good one (exercise). This book helps us understand how habits are formed and how we can use them to our benefit, change them when we need to and replace them when necessary. Duhigg does warn the reader that although we understand the way habits are made and altered it is not always easy to do it. Determining the actual cue for example can take some experimentation and work.


Amy Nguyen

Amy Nguyen

I feel happy to share my experiences with you about Travel - Food - Life around the world. I hope to inspire you to Live-Love- Laugh :)



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