Every New Year is filled with the promise of new beginnings – a chance to start over, to become our best selves. But this year feels bigger. It’s as if the entire planet is impatient to heal – cautiously optimistic of the change that lies ahead. When I look at books that stuck with me from 2020, They're stories that forced me to deepen my understanding of big issues that shape our world, from health to wealth, from identity to leadership. The books I have listed are for children and adults.
The last 5 books listed have helped me gain a new perspective. As we leap into the new year we're trying to find out what our new "normal" looks like, these lessons will be more valuable than ever. If reading more is on your family's list of resolutions this year, we want to help you achieve your goals and get through your "To Be Read" piles — especially those with young bookworms!
So here are my top 10 (children and adult) books that touched my life this past year.
I hope at least a few of them help you in 2021. Happy reading!
1. Anna's Amazing Adventure
To start it off, this books is amazing and not because it was written by our owner, Briana N. Ellis, lol but because it truly was. I don't want to be biased so instead I took a review off Amazon to implement below.
"The best children’s book out there!!! It’s so important that kids can look up to stories like these and be inspired by all of these different countries/cultures. I can’t wait till my kids one day have a chance to read the book!! 10/10 all AROUD!!"
2. Skin Like Mine
When it comes to this book, I purchased it for a student back in the summer time. I loved the illustrations and believe that the message is something that will be great to impact to the youth.
3. I AM.. Positive Affirmations for Brown boys
This book by Ayesha Rodriguez has impacted so many students. It's one created for boys and one for girls. I choose the one for brown boys because the affirmations are powerful and just what little boys need.
4. I Can do Hard Things: Mindful Affirmations for kids
Another affirmation book, I know right lol. Hear me out, this book validates that sometimes our kids receive so many messages that they might feel "wobbly". It encourages kids to listen for the "quiet voice inside" and in doing so they find that they "can do hard things."
The illustrations provide images that promote and encourage discussion. At the end of the book, the author provides us with an activity that is an easy way to get students and adults involved in the practice of mindful affirmations.
5. The Ellises & The Time Machine: Why Do We Have to Say "Black Lives Matter"
Such a powerful story.
This book is not just a children's book. This is a book for the whole family. The brief historical summaries of black history are short enough to keep attention, while also informative. And the illustrations throughout the book were beautiful and colorful.
6. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
I'll start off the adult book with a regular “Self-help” book. I know some are like chain restaurants. There are too many of them, and most of them are rubbish, but you can’t deny that they are useful.
Habit is a book that is extremely useful. We start off with some obvious but solid reminders of how what we perceive as excellence is habit. It’s not about “grit” as some other books would say.
Simply setting a reminder to go to bed and putting your trainers next to your bed every night is a better way to get exercising than watching motivational videos on YouTube. Humans look for the way out, a way to make things easy. Create a reward loop and you will develop a habit.
Like many self help books, you want to throw it out the window at times. But it’s got a solid thesis. I recommend %100.
7. 101 Questions You need to Ask in Your Twenties
Very insightful and on-point questions. Not preachy, but a lot of great advice and thought-provoking questions to help a person "travel" through their 20's (and beyond!).
The stories are funny and always relatable - it makes you realize other people are going through the same thing! I felt inspired every time I picked it up to read (which didn't take long to finish) and it's a book you can come back to again and again when you need some advice or want to do some reflection.
8. Get out of Your Own Way: Overcoming Self-Defeating Behavior
This is an easy-to-read book, with insights into how one can stop doing the things that sabotage their life (trying to change other people, being envious of others, trying to take care of everybody, procrastinating, and more).
Each of the 40 specific topics are discussed fairly simply in about 3 pages which are peppered with quotes and advice. Although I didn't find much especially new in the book, I appreciated the author's straightforward counsel. As with any self-help book, the really difficultly is not in understanding what to do, but in actually implementing real change in your life. Overall, I recommend this book.
9. Say It Louder! Black Voters, White Narratives, and Saving Our Democracy
This book was written for those of us who have felt left out by not only politics but the media industry as a whole where too often our stories are being told from an outsider lens.
Tiffany has perfectly captured the frustration that people of color often feel when trying to consume the news, which can be summed up in 2 questions: Why is this person talking about US and what gives them any credibility?
The book is written in a way that makes it easy for the reader to quickly understand, I personally finished in one weekend!
10. Leading with Gratitude: Eight Leadership Practices for Extraordinary Business Results
This brilliant book will disrupt the way you think about leading people. Carefully researched, witty, and packed with a hundred practical tips, Leading with Gratitude is a blueprint to developing your soft skills. I love the stories and real-world examples of how managers and owners are making gratitude work in their companies. There are a ton of examples and different methods to use to start your practice. The last chapter has fantastic practical steps to take now. Definitely worth reading.
Hope you found something worth researching and reading!
God Bless and let's leanintolounge.