*janded

'cuz life is so random

reading challenge girl reading book

2018 Reading Challenge Highlights

Ah, look at that! The third year in a row when we start the year with the round-up of my readings from the previous year. I feel old!

Since this is the first article of the year, bear with me a few more seconds, while I’m telling you that I hope you had a lovely and memorable winter holiday. I hope all the batteries are charged and you are ready to make the best out of 2019 – I know I am!

2018 reading challenge

A little background

Before I start rumbling about all the books I’ve read, I want to highlight some honourable mentions:

  • I’ve screwed up my reading challenge this year: by November I’ve read 9 books out of 20. Which lead me to read 11 books in 2 months – in the last two weeks of December reading over 1.3 k pages. BUT! The challenge was achieved – so it is possible, no excuses!
  • I’m very proud to say that last year I managed to not buy any book. You might think this is horrible, but I haven’t bought any printed books. All the books that I bought were for my Kindle and the other ones were either borrowed, or we already had them.
  • This year, I chose to go only with my top picks. If you want you can check my reading challenge over Good Reads for some of the reviews I left.

Related: Is a Kindle Actually Worth It?

books to achieve goals

Personal Development

I’ve came across some really nice books about finances, better mindset and so on, so make sure you have that shopping list ready!

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

While I found some of the ideas very contradictory and I personally don’t fully agree with Kiyosaki’s vision (but he’s the expert after-all) this books was so nice to read!

It’s for those who can’t understand finances and money at all and live from one paycheck to another. I was mindblown by how different visions are when it comes to spending money. We all want more of them – that’s for sure, but the way we’re spending or investing them will dictate how much money we will have at the end of the day.

The book gives you some really interesting perspectives about evaluating your net worth (including the value of all the assets you have), why money shouldn’t be kept under the metres (but invested instead) and why you shouldn’t be the best expert in only one field. Intriguing, right?

Read the book

The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks

I started 2018 with this book and I’m so happy I did so. I highly recommend starting your year with this book as well since it’s so eye-opening and amazing.

Basically, this book is telling and showing you how you self-sabotage yourself constantly. And that’s all that I can say, because you have to read it.

You know when you get that feeling of “I don’t deserve to be this happy” and something eventually will happen? We all have been there and did it: self-sabotaging at each step we take.

Related: These 5 Books Can Help You Achieve Your New Year’s Resolution

I will for sure read it again this year, since it’s that type of knowledge you constantly need to be reminded of.

Read the book


reading challenge girl reading book tea

Biographies

I’ve read only one, and to be honest, I’m not 100% sure it’s a biography. It’s a book about Jony Ive – the British designer behind Apple’s iPhone.

Jony Ive by Leander Kahney

As I mentioned already, the book focuses on Jony Ive’s journey in the industrial design industry and how he reached Apple and how – together with his team and Steve Jobs – created one of the most iconic Apple products.

While I’m an iPhone fan and I admire Apple’s quality of products, I still believe they are overpriced (most of them) and this book didn’t change my mind about it but it made me understand from where some of the costs are coming.

I am not an engineer nor a designer, but the way Kahney told Jony Ive’s journey was truly inspirational. When true passion is exploited accordingly, the world gets the first ever iPhone. Ive’s passion for design, minimalism and perfection is contagious and inspiring.

If you are an Apple fan, an aspiring designer or engineer read this book. It will inspire you and you’ll end up admiring Apple even more.

Read the book


Blogging

Only one good book about blogging this year… I came to the conclusion that they are all quite similar.

The One Hour Content Plan by Meera Kothand

While the title is totally a click bait, it has so much interesting information. I was really surprised to discover lots of good ideas and practices.

This book is very handy not just for bloggers or influences, but for professionals as well. If you’re still at Uni, or trying to get your first job, this book gives a lot of information. It is well structured, has concrete examples and shows you how to put the pieces together.

Don’t expect to have a content plan in an hour, though. It took me almost a day for the analysis, strategy and content plan to put together. But I think it’s up to how much you want to go into detail. I’m a perfectionist.

Read the book


reading challenge girl reading book

Fiction

I would really like to read more fiction since I find it more nurturing from a creative point of view. If you have any related suggestions to the books below, please let me know in the comments!

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

This was the sickest book I’ve ever read. In. My. Life.

I remember reading an article about “forbidden books” and this was among the first ones on the list. Got this books as a present long time ago and I tried reading it a few years back but I felt like my brain was melting so I gave up reading it.

Tried the second time, still got the brain melting syndrome, but I managed to finish it. To explain the brain-melting syndrome (for those who haven’t watched the film either – I haven’t, but I’ve been told is the same as the book): the book is very violent, it describes violence in such a casual way that it makes you sick. It’s difficult to read because there are very weird, twisted words used for the gang’s language.

While the deepest message of the book could or could be not that obvious for all its readers, I still consider it the weirdest book I have ever read. It was very interesting to see how Burgess chose to highlight the importance of free will and the process of growing up. Weirdly interesting.

Read the book

The Body Reader by Anne Frasier

Ended my 2018 with this book and I enjoyed it a lot.

I have to admit that after the first half of the book I was quite disappointed, since the story-line seemed quite dull and it didn’t look it lead anywhere.

But, oh, my God! that plot twist at the ending made the 300+ pages worth it so much! I always had a weak spot for crime novels (my dear Sherlock) to be honest. This book brings such a different perspective – from the detective who is also a victim, the process of re-adjusting to the real world, while also trying to solve crimes, is amazing.

The good news is that there are two more (I think) books in the series.

Read the book

The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson

I have to admit, my brain associates this book with A Clockwork Orange. Probably because it has to do with free will, influence and so on. It’s much lighter than A Clockwork Orange though.

I got kind of lost half way though the book: I was not sure if I was reading fiction or not. It was very difficult to decide if it was real or not. Also, my brain got stuck with the enigma presented at the beginning of the book.

It brings an interesting perspective about our desire to standardise everything, to fit everyone in a category or another.

By the way, are your dreams black and white? πŸ™‚

Read the book


Over to you

Rambling is over – took me only 1.4 k words to do it.

Related: The Reading Challenge 2017

I have never read so much in such a short period of time. At a certain point, I was sick of reading, but after that I started reading Harry Potter again and things changed, of course.

Now I would like to hear about the books you’ve read lately. Any good fiction or eye-opening personal development book? Let it in the comments so others can read it too!


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