Brenda’s 2023 Reading List

 In Books and Resources

This year’s reading list comes with a bit of a warning…many experts tell us that if we want to read more, we should stop reading a book immediately if we don’t like it. That’s where my warning comes in…. I have developed an extremely high standard for non-fiction books, and a fairly low standard for my fiction. The thing is I went years and years not allowing myself to read fiction at all. I was a die-hard learner, self-helper, professional development junkie. But something shifted during COVID and now I am relatively obsessed with fiction…all kinds. And because I have read SO much non-fiction, and written a few of them myself, I am super picky. On the fiction side, I am recommending some excellent “trash” and I have no shame about it. Hey, we all need a little something to transport us from this crazy world! 

Non-Fiction Books

The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy 

Meh! More productivity via superhuman discipline.

Smart Brevity by Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen, Roy Schwartz 

Loved it. Should be mandatory for everyone everywhere.

Your Life Is Not A To-Do List by Dawn Abbott 

Loved it. A must for Entrepreneurs. 

Simple Wealth by Holly Morphew

Loved it. Fundamentals of money. 

Money Zen by Manisha Thakor 

Loved it. For the workaholic in your life. 

Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg 

Liked it. 

The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier

Loved it. Second time reading it. 

The Body Keeps Score by Bessel van der Kolk M.D. 

Had to stop. This is an important book about trauma—but it was too traumatic for me to read. 

4000 Weeks by Oliver Burkeman 

Meh! I always prefer the book Essentialism when thinking about time and time management. 

Millenneagram by Hannah Paasch 

Loved it. My new favorite Enneagram book. 

Rich AF by Amanda Frances 

Loved it. My second time listening to this book on money empowerment for women. 

Mindshift by Erwin Raphael McManus

Liked it. Good for graduates. Too basic for self-improvement junkies. 

Pussy: A Reclamation by Regena Thomashauer 

I don’t know what to say. It was recommended. I listened. It’s a feminist rant. 

Talking on Eggshells by Sam Horn

Loved it. A must-read for communication.  


Fiction Books

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus 

Loved it! One of my favs this year.

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah 

Loved it. Dramatic. 

The Cactus by Sarah Haywood

Loved it. Adorable. 

It Starts With Us by Colleen Hoover 

Loved it. Ideal if “It ends with us” devastated you like it did me. 

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave 

Loved it. Whoa on the suspense. So good. 

The Summer Place by Jennifer Weiner 

Loved it. Weiner always delivers. 

Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren 

Loved it. 

Books by Penny Reid

  1. Neanderthal Seeks Human 
  2. Neanderthal Marries Human
  3. Friends Without Benefits 
  4. Love Hacked
  5. Ninja at First Sight 
  6. Dating- ish

Loved all six of these books in the Knitting in the City series—despite the silly titles. Strong women, supportive men, delish fiction.  

Happy Place by Emily Henry 

Meh. Took too long to make its point. 

Books by Nora Roberts

  1. Sea Swept 
  2. Rising Tides
  3. Inner Harbor
  4. Chesapeake Blue 

Loved all four of these! Nora’s got game! Read these in record time. 

WIN by Harlan Coben 

Loved it. Suspense and revenge—what’s not to like?

Love Marriage by Monica Ali 

Loved it. Cultural insights and a good read. 

Anybody Out There? By Marian Keyes 

Loved it. Blew my mind. Not what I was expecting. 

Honey and Spice by Bolu Babaloa 

Loved it. 

The Last Flight by Julie Clark 

Loved it. Super suspenseful. 

Books by TL Swan

  1. The Stopover
  2. The Takeover

Loved these two. If you don’t like reading about sex—don’t read these. 

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