books read in 2019

Due to a desire to reduce mindless scrolling in my life, I’ve turned to reading more actual books. This has had an accidental effect of reading about a book per week. I’ve decided to make a list of what I’ve read so far with 1-2 key insights or quotes that jumped out at me.

I’m planning to update this every month to keep track of my progress. I’ll reserve longer blogs for some of meatier takeaways that I’ve had for some books.


1. Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

“Resistance never sleeps…the battle must be fought anew everyday.”

2. Dan Harris, 10% Happier

“When you have one foot in the future and the other in the past, you piss on the present.”

3. Amy Morin, 13 Things Mentally Strong Women Don't Do

The one thing on her list of things NOT to do that I do most: See vulnerability as a weakness. Here’s four questions to ask yourself she shared to start tiptoeing in the shallow end of the vulnerability pool.

  1. What gets in the way of being vulnerable?

  2. Who are people I can become more vulnerable with?

  3. What’s one small thing I can do to be vulnerable today?

  4. How can I take care of myself when I’m being vulnerable?

4. William Zinsser, On Writing Well

This book is a great technical and emotional resource for someone like me who is just starting to write more in both nonfiction and fiction. I happened to pick up my copy at the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library sale/fundraiser. Aim to simplify everything where possible. Be a keen observer of the people and places around you.


5. Greg McKeown, Essentialism

“If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.”

“The ability to choose cannot be take away or even given away—it can only be forgotten.”

6. Julia cameron, The artist’s way

“Creativity requires faith. Faith requires that we relinquish control. This is frightening, and we resist it. Our resistance to our creativity is a form of self-destruction.”

“In a sense, no creative act is ever finished…Focused on process, our creative life retains a sense of adventure.”

7. Tiffany Dufu, Drop the ball

Serendipity strikes again. I read this book soon after completing Essentialism. These books worked well paired together because Dufu made the advice in Essentialism more personal and relevant for my identity and life. Tiffany Dudu is a black woman who is a well-recognized expert in women’s leadership and diversity and inclusion. However inside of her home, she replicated nearly all of the same gender expectations and roles, leading to the realization that she couldn’t do it all and she shouldn’t have to. Reading her journey of how she navigated and renegotiated the work of the household and parenting was the first time I’ve both seen that this can be done and have a blueprint for how to do it.

8. F*ck Feelings: One Shrink's Practical Advice for Managing All Life's Impossible Problems, Michael Bennett MD and SARAH BENNETT

Honestly I just checked this out from the library because it had f*ck in the title. I was pleasantly surprised to find funny and honest advice, strategies and science focused on how emotions can cause us to play ourselves.

“Fear is amazingly good at causing fear; it’s the mind’s best perpetual motion machine.”