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emotional intelligence

VNM Book Club | 2018 Reading List

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Well, 2018 is coming to a close and I love taking time to recap on all I’ve learned, made, integrated, and accomplished. One of my favorite ways to recap a year is to look over everything I read. So here are my 2018 books and what I loved about each!

  1. Essentialism by Greg McKeown: When people ask for my #1 book recommendation, it’s always this book! Although it’s written from a business perspective, I find the concepts outlined to be foundational in all corners of life. I read this book at least once each year and integrate new pieces of knowledge each time.

    I would consider this an essential read for anyone who is feeling overwhelmed, stretched thin, confused, and exhausted.

  2. How to Raise an Emotionally Intelligent Child by John Gottman: This book, backed by decades of research, has helped to give language to practices I knew I wanted to create but didn’t know how to name. It’s help me focus my actions and release the shame that often comes from making the ‘wrong’ decision as a parent. Also, it’s been a great resource to get the whole family on the same page. I plan on adding this book to my annual reading rotation too because it has bits of wisdom for many different ages.

    This is a fantastic book for parents, but also for any adults who feel ready to understand how their early childhood may have emotionally impacted them.

  3. Worth It by Amanda Steinberg: Hands down the most impactful read of the year! After reading this book, I used Amanda’s systems to build spreadsheets and daily money habits that have radically shifted the financial foundation of our household.

    For anyone overwhelmed & feeling shame surrounding their finances, read this now.

  4. This Is Marketing by Seth Godin: Seth Godin has been a huge inspiration for me as I reshape and refocus my business. His newest book (out of the 18! bestsellers he’s written) has helped me focus on how I can invest into the amazing community around me in a way that is generous and supportive to my family & time. I don’t understand how this perspective isn’t the norm in the business world.

    If you’re an entrepreneur, or an aspiring one, this is a must read! And bonus, the chapters are spliced up into tiny chunks. Parents with little time: you can actually read & digest the information with ease!

  5. The Fourth Trimester by Kimberly Ann Johnson: I loved this book during postpartum for the spaciousness it provided and the affirmation that I wasn’t alone in such an intense experience. It also helped give me language to discuss things with my partner (like returning to sex post baby).

    I highly recommend this for new parents and people who’ve recently given birth.

  6. The First Forty Days by Heng Ou: Although this one is technically a cookbook, it is full of information. I read this before I gave birth in the first quarter of 2018 and it helped me plan for postpartum. Personally I preferred the written content over the recipes, but that’s because I really never cook with recipes.

    This is a great book for expecting parents (really the whole family!) that needs to prepare for postpartum. If you need help setting postpartum boundaries too - this is a great source for that!

  7. The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman: Daren and I started reading this book together about halfway through the year. We didn’t finish it yet though because we got busy putting things into practice and then - you know, early parenthood and all. It’s on deck in 2019 to be completed and integrated more fully. And even just getting halfway through was massively impactful!

    I highly recommend this one for married couples and those in long term committed relationships.

  8. Good to Great by James Collins: This is a book I also started and decided to set down before finishing. I got about 3/4 of the way through and then jumped to a new book. Typically I do that if, as I get into the book, I realize there’s nothing I can immediately apply to my life. But, I did take away some great tips in the first half and as I get back to work in 2019, I plan to finish reading it.

    I recommend this book for business owners looking for perspective and actionable ways to refine & improve the culture of their organization.

  9. The Self Driven Child by Ned Johnson & William Stixrud, PhD: This book also falls into the same category as Good to Great and The Seven Principles. I started it, really loved it, didn’t finish it. I love this book because it’s backed by decades of research and work (a major filter for me when looking for parenting books), and it fundamentally focuses on how we can parent in a way that builds self directed motivation in our children. Fantastic! The only reason I put it down is because I think it’ll be more applicable in a few years as Daelu grows older.

    I highly recommend this book for parents with school age children.


Alright folks, there’s the list of books I read in 2018. I hope it inspires you to pick one up. If you get more inspired to read a book with a group of people, join me in 2019 for the monthly virtual VNM Book Club. We’re kicking off the year with Essentialism by Greg McKeown. (I wasn’t kidding when I said I read it at least once a year!)

Now, I’d love to hear from you! What was your favorite read of 2018 and why? Share it below!