Non-Business Books I Loved Reading Last Year

This is a continuation of last week’s post on business books I loved reading last year.

I cushion every business book I read with a fiction or non-fiction book. Having a book to read for personal enjoyment when my brain is sick of reading about business is a great way to keep me reading. 

I also truly believe that becoming a smarter entrepreneur is a result of diversifying your mind in all areas of your life. It took me about 30+ years to get to a place where I felt that I was able to think very clearly about my work and life, and it came to a head as soon as I began to diversify the books and activities I filled my free time with.

Here are some of my favorite fiction and non-fiction (non-business) books that I read last year and the beginning of this year —

Educated by Tara Westover

This book was fascinating to me because it allowed me to learn about a lifestyle and belief system I know nothing about. Beautifully written and a definite page-turner, this book is one of my favorite memoirs to date. I highly recommend this book, however, I have to warn that the first half of this book is pretty violent.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark Manson

I hope that every person on this planet gets to read this book at some point in their lives. This book touches on everything that all of us struggle with on a daily basis and shakes you awake. It’s the most accessible, funniest, and relevant self-help books I’ve ever read and I hope you get to experience it.

Stealing Fire by Steven Kotler 

This book was recommended to me by a friend and it did not disappoint. There was a lot of “whoa”s and “wow”s coming out of my mouth while reading this book. Stealing Fire introduced me to a lot of concepts I had no awareness of, especially during its sections on the Altered States Economy. If you’re into flow states and optimizing productivity, this book is a fascinating read.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth is a cheerleader for anyone who’s looking to pursue their own path. If you ever doubt that the world does not want to learn, buy, or interact with your work, read this book! It’s an instant inspiration boost and is so easy to read. It’s also a good book to gift to friends who are starting their own venture or are artists. 

Letting Go by David R. Hawkins

Letting Go is a scientific and spiritual guide on relieving human suffering, and how to better navigate difficult situations while being empathetic towards others and ultimately yourself. This book isn’t for everyone, but if it is for you, it’ll have a huge impact on your life. I reread sections of this book every few months throughout the year to realign when I’m feeling fear, shame, contempt or other negative emotions. 

The Lost City Of The Monkey God by Douglas Preston 

If you ever wanted to be an archaeologist when you were a kid, this book is such a delight. Based on a true story, this book goes through the journey that the author and a team of scientists experienced while discovering a lost civilization in Honduras. This is a page-turning beach read that talks about the various challenges and implications of finding a new civilization.

From The Corner Of The Oval by Beck Dorey-Stein

From The Corner Of The Oval is a memoir from Beck Dorey-Stein, who was hired to be a stenographer for the Oval Office (during President Obama’s Presidency) after responding to a job post from Craigslist. This is an easy and fun read about a young woman coming to age while holding a job in the White House.


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Sophia Sunwoo