The 10 Badass Books on my “Must Read” List for 2016

badass books

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I love to read but it seems like I don’t have time to do it as much as I would like…

…at least, that’s what I would tell myself. Then it struck me one night as I was “glued to the boob tube” (my dad’s code phrase from childhood that indicated we were just a lliittttllleee too “into” the TV) watching reruns of Bring It and Shark Tank. It occurred to me how much time I was wasting starting at reruns and that I needed to make time to read. Period.

badass books

SO, with that epiphany I immersed myself into the first selection of the Badass Books on my “Must Read” List” for 2016; Wild-From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed. WHAT an amazing book. This book was even a “Oprah pick!”

Cheryl Strayed

For myself, I know that a book was good when I want to go back and read it again. This book will NOT be going into the Donate Pile. Cheryl Strayed is a fellow Minnesotan and (unbeknownst to me) who grew up in a little town called McGregor (which is a little under 60 miles from where I live). The fact that she’s from my home state is cool, but it was her story that made me love her as an author. Cheryl shares the story of her life, a pretty jack-up life, as a young woman who struggled with life from childhood. A victim of abuse a child her world really came unzipped in her twenties when her beloved mother died of cancer.  Soon after her life went into a downward spiral of drugs, infidelity and failed relationships. To heal herself, and challenge herself, she committed to walking the Pacific Crest Trail for three months while in her 30’s. The transformation is truly inspiring. Grab Wild here.

Book #2: Seize Your Life by Jasmine Brett Stringer

“Your dreams might not happen on your timing, and they might not be executed perfectly, but that doesn’t matter. Create space for them anyway.”-Jasmine Brett Stringer

Seize Your Life Cover
Jasmine is another mind-blowingly cool Minnesota entrepreneur that I would LOVE to meet in person! She has truly kicked booty and taken names and you can read about her accomplishments here. Her new book is def. on my “must read list.”

“When people hear the words “seize your life” or “seize the day,” they often think they have to do something grand, adventurous, exotic or something that has a monetary cost associated with it. We all have the ability to Carpe Diem Every Day through awareness, action, and appreciation. Seize Your Life is a collection of practical and actionable guidance intended to inspire and empower you to seize your life everyday.”

Eat, Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I know I am a little late to the party on this one since it published in 2007, but this book has been on my radar for years. It’s next on my reading list and I am very excited to dive in.

Elizabeth Gilbert

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes. I saw Shonda on Super Soul Sunday and was drawn to her story immediately. Shonda is Hollywood’s most powerful woman, the mega-talented creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away with Murder reveals how saying YES changed her life. I am stoked to read this one!


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 by Gretchen Rubin. “Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one rainy afternoon in the unlikeliest of places: a city bus. “The days are long, but the years are short,” she realized. “Time is passing, and I’m not focusing enough on the things that really matter.” In that moment, she decided to dedicate a year to her happiness project. “


You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero. The title along makes me want to read this book! I want to read this book in public, around my lousy ex-coworkers and doubters. Maybe even the trolls from High School. “In this refreshingly entertaining how-to guide, bestselling author and world-traveling success coach, Jen Sincero, serves up 27 bite sized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, easy exercises, and the occasional swear word, helping you to: Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that stop you from getting what you want, Create a life you totally love. And create it NOW, Make some damn money already. The kind you’ve never made before.” If this book isn’t EXACTLY what I’ve been needing…I don’t know which one is!

Badass BooksDaring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown.  “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; . . . who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”—Theodore Roosevelt

Brene BrownGet Rich, Lucky Bitch!: Release Your Money Blocks and Live a First Class Life by Denise Duffield-Thomas. “Are you ready to break through your money blocks and finally make the money you deserve? In Get Rich, Lucky Bitch, you’ll unlock your hidden potential for abundance and upgrade your life forever. Why do most women settle for pennies instead of embracing true wealth? It’s not because you’re not smart or ambitious enough. You’ve just been programmed to block your Universal right to wealth with guilt, shame, or embarrassment.” NOTE: Don’t let the title throw you! I’ve been a Denise-fan since I discovered her thanks to super-guru Leonie Dawson. I’ve listened to her podcasts and loved them, now I want to read her book.

lucky b

Find Your Extraordinary: Dream Bigger, Live Happier, and Achieve Success on Your Own Terms by Jessica DiLullo Herrin (Author). “What if you could, with a little effort, live an extraordinary life? A life in which you felt deep passion for everything you did, and always had time for what matters most? A life in which you had the power, the daring, and the will to make your boldest dreams come true, all while you happily left feelings of inadequacy or guilt behind?“…YES, PLEASE.


Late-Blooming Entrepreneurs: Eight Principles for Starting a Business After Age 40 by Lynne Beverly Strang. At age 50, I truly feel like I am just now hitting my stride after starting my current business at age 45. Great book filled with excellent examples, case studies and advice.


What books are on your “must read list” this year??

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P.S. If you are into the “better-my-life” books like I am, here’s one to consider:

I know you need to make a living, but remember work is not everything. There is family, friends and your hobbies whom you should devote time to as well. I firmly believe that earning all money in the world is not worth sacrificing the most precious moments in your life for. Not only is it ok to take a break, but it is imperative that you do so. Working on your own can be very exhausting. By not taking a break you end up doing more harm than good.

Want to know more? Have you been secretly ( or not-so-secretly) dreaming of working from home, making an honest living and flexing that work around the needs of your family. It IS possible!

FREElance FREEdom(Now available on Amazon!)

My commitment to this subject is a sincere desire to help others. My goal in becoming an “expert” on the topic of working from home successfully (re: emotional and financial success) isn’t to come across as a giant smartypants. My goal is to help readers, and women just like me, discover that there IS “life beyond the cubicle.”

I want to educate newbie and veteran solopreneurs (in my fun and quirky style) that working from the comfort of home and supporting a family is totally possible. My FREElance FREEdom ebook is not “the fluff” of working from home. It is real life, I’ve-been-there-done-that, “no B.S.” details that share the tips, secrets, best practices, processes and resources that peel back the curtains of being self-employed and a business owner. Working from home is not all butterflies and unicorns, but it IS completely worth it.

Ready to learn more or or take the first step? Go HERE to take the first step in realizing your work from home dreams or click the pink button to get instant access!

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One thought on “The 10 Badass Books on my “Must Read” List for 2016

  1. Lots of these I want to read too. The only one have read is Eat, Pray, Love which was only ok for me. Hope you get to all these. I used to say I didn’t have time to read either and then decided a few years ago to read instead of watch TV before bed. I’ve been hooked on reading ever since!

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