2016 is not over yet, but so far I managed to go far beyond my reading goal for this year. Before I get into the books I have read over the past year and my favorites of the year, I wanted to discuss a new genre I have really gotten into this past year: Non-Fiction. Obviously, I have read a lot of ‘non-fiction’ books for my studies, but I mean the books I read for ‘fun’. I won’t discuss all of them, but I wanted to share some of my favorites from this past year with you. I split them into two categories: ‘self-help’ books’ and ‘books about people’. Because it was turning into a really long post and I am still finishing one book in the category ‘books about people’, I will just share my favorite ‘self-help’ books this week. Look out for the others in another post!

Self-Help books

This category includes books on how to live your life better and get the most out of it. Not all of the books I have read this year have inspired me to change something about my life, but some of them have helped me to look at life differently. These books may not always contain unique, new, groundbreaking life lessons, but I see them as books full of open doors. Some of these doors seem obviously open to you, some remind you of an open door that you had forgotten about and some kick open new doors you never knew were closed.

The Happiness Project’ by Gretchen Rubin

You might remember this book from my 2016 resolutions post. I read it at the start of the year and it helped me structure the first half of 2016, after that I forgot most of it. But looking back on it, I really like the idea of focusing each month on a different project. I think it will be a good book to reread in January after I graduate to give purpose and a bit of structure to my first year as a supposedly ‘functioning adult’.

Full title: “The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun

Big Magic’ by Elizabeth Gilbert

This book is about creativity, all kinds of creativity. It is the book that inspired me in the last part of 2016 to get back to writing my blog and to stop coming up with excuses. I want to write, I love to write so I should dedicate myself to it. If you have a hobby, or a creative outlet (any creative outlet) I would suggest picking up this book. It really helped me understand creativity, it’s ups and downs and what it means to be ‘creative’ a lot better.

Full title: “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear”

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck’ by Sarah Knight

Mari Kondo and her book ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ has changed my life and the way I organize and deal with my physical stuff. This book is meant to do the same for your mental space, and it does. It puts into perspective the idea that you only have so many fucks to give, so it is time to think about the things that actually deserve to be given a fuck about. Great book if you feel yourself being drained by people/work etc. and need something to remind you that your time is precious and it is easier than you think to stop giving a fuck (while also not being an asshole).

Full title: “The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck: How to Stop Spending Time You Don’t Have with People You Don’t Like Doing Things You Don’t Want to Do”

The Defining Decade’ by Meg Jay

As I (finally) embark on the final stretch towards finishing my university, this book about twenty-something life and how to make the most of it, was really inspiring. It is about making the most of these years in which your brain makes a final growth spurt and everything is still possible. Because even though the world is your oyster and you can do anything, now is the time to start choosing and start defining ‘anything’ towards ‘a thing’. If you are in your twenties I would recommend this book, if you are no longer in your twenties it is probably a bit depressing to read about the years you ‘wasted’ or could have done so much more in.

Full title: “The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter – And How to Make the Most of Them Now”

I hope you enjoyed this little venture into a different kind of genre than I usually discuss. Have you read non-fiction this year? What are some of your favorite titles? Share them below!