9 Life-Changing Books to Read This 2016

Happy New Year!!!

Anybody who knows me well knows I love self-help books. I picked up the habit from my mom, and since then they’ve always been a source of new ideas and motivation for me. Since now is the time for fresh starts, I wanted to share with you the books which helped me through 2015. That, plus I had way too much fun photographing them to reflect their personalities. 🙂

I hope these 9 favorites inspire you to grow into a stronger and happier version of yourself this 2016!

*I’ve rated the books out of 5 in terms of readability + insight, so a 5/5 means it’s an easy read with great insights 


  1. Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin

MAIN TAKEAWAY: We might not always be at our “happiest” but we can all certainly help ourselves become happier now.

RATING: 3.5/5 insight and readability – “Now is now, and now is already a long time ago.” I prefer this sequel over “The Happiness Project” because it takes a slower and more meaningful approach to choosing happiness in the here and now. Rubin’s style of combining narrated experience + philosophy = simple habits + new insights has always appealed to me, and while her stories are her own, the resolutions hit closer to home than you think.

2. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

MAIN TAKEAWAY: Wherever you are, be there fully.

RATING: 4.5/5 insight, 4/5 readability  “Nothing ever happened in the past or the future, it happened in the Now.” This book got me through tough times last year. It’s an ideal read if you’re looking for healing and peace regardless of circumstance. Tolle’s wise words put things into perspective every time.

3. The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch 

MAIN TAKEAWAY: “Simple is beautiful. Less is more. Worry less, succeed more.”

RATING: 5/5 insight, 3.5/5 readability – It’s great because it takes Pareto’s Principle (20% of input is responsible for 80% of results) beyond business and applies it to the pursuit of happiness. HIGHLY recommended for anyone looking to improve their life quality by focusing on what’s truly important (in work or otherwise) and letting go of time and energy-sucking activities. Also recommended for people who enjoy reading business non-fiction.


4. The First 90 Days by Michael Watkins

MAIN TAKEAWAY: It’s either you have impact or you don’t. No matter who you are, you can make a difference in your company from day one.

RATING: 3/5 insight and readability –  This is helpful for anyone starting a new job this year or simply transitioning into a new role. Though nothing beats experience, this book has some valuable insights. Recommended for fresh grads starting their careers.

5. Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill 

MAIN TAKEAWAY: “Riches begin with a state of mind.”

RATING: 4/5 insight, 3.5/5 readability – The title sounds like magic, but truly this classic does wonders for motivation. It’s a great reminder that sheer willpower, the right attitude, and follow-through action will get you places. Recommended for anyone who has big dreams and is crazy enough to go after what they want.

6. #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso 

MAIN TAKEAWAY: There’s no one straight path to success. You can either make things happen, or let life happen to you.

RATING: 3/5 insight + 4.5/5 readability -Behind every great entrepreneur is a story of ambition, mistakes, and lessons learned. Amoruso takes us through her rollercoaster of going from broke and bored to becoming the ultimate girlboss. A good read for those who enjoy rags to riches stories.


7. Eccentric Glamour by Simon Doonan

MAIN TAKEAWAY: Be fearlessly you. The world needs more genuine, life-enhancing people.

RATING: 5/5 insight and readability – I’ve had this book for ages but I always come back to it because it reminds me not to take life too seriously!  A great read for those who enjoy fashion, love hilarious stories, and want quirky advice from Barney’s Creative Ambassador, Simon Doonan. 5/5 for the entertainment value + timeless style advice.

8. The Skinny Rules by Bob Harper

MAIN TAKEAWAY: Smart food choices are everything. Fitness is 70% diet and 30% exercise.

RATING: 4/5 insight and readability – Fitness goals are always on the top of people’s resolutions list, so here is a book which actually gave me results as compared to other health-stuff books. Harper’s rules might be tough to follow at first, but the long term habits listed here do work.

9. Damn Good Advice by George Lois 

MAIN TAKEAWAY: Life is too short to do bad and uninspired work, or live an uninspired life.

RATING: 5/5 insight and readability – While this book is considered an advertising classic, it’s full of–what else–damn good advice for anyone who wants to cultivate more creativity and passion in their work/life and a whole lot less of mediocrity. Highly recommended for Lois’ straight up, in-your-face bullets of wisdom.

With thousands of self-help books out there, there’s a lot of good advice to be had but in the end it’s up to you which ones to apply to your life. Have fun choosing which to read first and let me know how the books changed you! 🙂


Check out my previous book features here: 

“Show Your Work” by Austin Kleon

“The Crossroads of Should and Must” by Elle Luna

“Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Teens” by Richard Carlson








2 replies to “9 Life-Changing Books to Read This 2016

  1. Hi, Bea! Nice to meet You. Thank’s for this list. I have already read “80/20 Principle” (suggest for everyone) and I think “The Power Of Now” by Eckhart Tolle must be great as well. Will check these books. Best wishes! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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