New Year, New Books To Inspire You

Happy New Year! Time to ring in a new year, and start reading new books that inspire, uplift, and motivate you to take action to make this year—and this moment—the best it can be.

Here are two books I absolutely loved and hope you will as well. Happy reading!

Improv Wisdom by Patricia Ryan Madson

This short read is jam-packed with gems of actionable insights. Based on the author’s decades of experience teaching improvisation at Stanford University, it’s written in such a warm, wise, and practical manner—I didn’t want it to end.

Peppered with doable “try this” prompts, it empowers us all to experience (and benefit from!) the 13 improv maxims detailed by Ms. Madson. I was captivated by how much clarity and guidance the principles of improv could provide about optimally navigating daily life. And the takeaways at the end of every chapter are the best! They are encouraging and directive, without ever feeling pushy or judgmental.

Here’s one of my favorite quotes from the book:

  • “When you make a mistake, turn your attention to what comes next. Focus on doing that well, with full mind and heart. Look ahead, not back.” (p.108)


The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Phenomenal! This New York Times bestseller was the first fiction book I’ve read in a while—and it was worth every minute.

It takes us on an extraordinary journey with Nora Seed, who I immediately found myself rooting for (and reading quicker and quicker to find out what happens to her).

The surprising lessons of “other lives not lived” throughout Nora’s adventures provide a powerful pause for us readers as well. Indeed, memorable messages of meaning, hope, and how to face regrets were exquisitely woven throughout the book. Truly brilliant!


Additional Inspiring Reads:

Set Boundaries, Find Peace by Nedra Glover Tawwab

The Way of Integrity by Martha Beck

13 Things Strong Kids Do: Think Big, Feel Good, Act Brave by Amy Morin



We all know the abundant benefits of reading, but actually prioritizing time to read during our busy days can often feel challenging. To help you maintain a regular reading habit in this new year, try 1 of these strategies this week:

–Let your phone help you! Download a reading app onto your phone. I use Kindle and Blinkist. Choose to spend time reading, rather than scrolling social media, during random breaks in your day. (Bonus Boost: Set a reminder on your phone to take a 5-minute reading break today.)

–Pair reading with a part of your usual bedtime routine. For example, right after brushing your teeth, open a book (not on a screen) that you want to read, for at least 10 minutes every night. Before long, reading at night will become a habit you’ll look forward to.

–Aim to do at least 20 minutes of reading, at least 3 times this week. Then monitor your progress by drawing a checkmark on a calendar—somewhere you can easily see in your home—each time you complete a bout of reading. It’s amazing how motivating a simple monitoring system can be!



“And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been.”—Rainer Maria Rilke