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Read: Top Motivational and Mirthful Books to Help Welcome the New Decade

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For You:Top Motivational and Mirthful Books to Help Welcome the New Decade

“A capacity and taste for reading gives access to whatever has already been discovered by others.” Abraham Lincoln

Bid the Clouds Adieu and Welcome the New ~ #30 via V Pinke

It seems like only yesterday when the new millennium arrived and everyone was excited about the 1990s being replaced by the 2000s. A new decade is around the corner and we are echoing some of the same sentiments from a decade ago; a new beginning, new numbers to consider on a calendar, this coming decade better make up for the dreadful last one, good riddance to bad rubbish; aka the last decade yada, yada, yada. Whatever our sentiments, a lot happened in the last ten years and many of us are ten years older and wiser for all the hoopla.

Of the many memories I will cherish from the last decade, 9/11 will remain the most powerful and painful. Others revolve around work, family, health, travel, and many learning and growth opportunities. I tried out a few new career paths, I ate and traveled plenty and watched my children grow. I welcomed nieces into my extended family, I said goodbye to a few friends and in-laws, I recuperated from a few health scares, celebrated many birthdays and read a lot…

It is the many days and nights I spent reading/re-reading myriad books that I wish to share with you here. No, I couldn’t possibly share every book I read in the last ten year but yes, I will share a list of many books that I read with either exhilaration or trepidation. Why trepidation? Well, Barbara Ehrenreich’s recent book, Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America, got me thinking about the $9.6 billion self-improvement, motivational and positive psychology industry and how often the message and multitude of voices become one big, blurring cacophony of noise agents battling for the souls of the distressed.

“No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.” Confucius

Do we need more Dr. Feel-betters’ telling us to “Seize the Moment Now,” “Change Forever!” and “Go for It”? Maybe not. However, if a good motivational book helps us get off the couch and make one simple change in our finances, health, relationships or our life, then the book has served as a powerful catalyst for positive changes. I agree that we must, sooner or later, move our feet and take concrete action after all those wonderful seminars, workshops, and readings. It would be a shame to read the books and then let that brainpower go to waste while we search for the next elixir of youth, the next great marketing, money making, and motivational scheme – all fodder for the delusional. Read and Act are key terms for the next decade.

The list of books is extensive yet not comprehensive and you may add to it or ignore the authors you find unappealing. I have created five groups of readings: Motivational; Contemporary and Classic, Inspirational; New and Classic, and a Mirthful category. Some authors on the list have detractors who have been quick to point out the errors in their message. Others on the list are perennial favorites, yet another group has either straddled the love/hate divide or quietly gained a following because of the power of their message.
I have included a list of books that made me laugh out loud. Humor is always a good thing as I think motivation without mirth is pointless. I plan to add some personal info on certain authors and books later but for now, let’s kick back and read our way through 2010.

What do you think? Do you have a book or story to share? Have you met any of the authors? Can you tell a particularly pointed story about one of the books? … Please share and I will do same in a future post.
Meanwhile, I wish you all bliss, peace and good hunting in your reading adventures. Enjoy the reading lists below:

“Live as if your were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” Gandhi

Dawn: A Decade or an Illusion? Via V. Pinke

Motivational Contemporary:
The Diamond Cutter: The Buddha on Managing Your Business and Your Life (2000) by Geshe Michael Roach
Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money–That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! (2000) by Robert T. Kiyosaki
Business @ the Speed of Thought (2000) by Bill H. Gates
The Essays of Warren Buffett (2001) by Warren E. Buffett
Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable (2003) by Seth Godin
Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential (2004) by Joel Osteen
The One Thing You Need to Know: … About Great Managing, Great Leading, and Sustained Individual Success (2005) by Marcus Buckingham
9 Steps to Financial Freedom, The Courage to Be Rich & The Laws of Money, The Lessons of Life (1997, 2001 & 2005) by Suze Orman
Smart and Simple Financial Strategies for Busy People (2006) by Jane Bryant Quinn
Eat That Frog: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time (2007) by Brian Tracy
Better Than Good: Creating a Life You Can’t Wait to Live by (2007) by Zig Ziglar
50 Prosperity Classics (2008) by Tom Butler-Bowdon
Never Give Up: How I Turned My Biggest Challenges into Success (2008) by Donald J. Trump and Meredith McIver
Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion (2009) Gary Varnerchuk
Career Renegade: How to Make a Great Living Doing What You Love (2009) by Jonathan Fields
Get Off Your “But”: How to End Self-Sabotage and Stand Up for Yourself (2009) by Sean Stephenson

Motivational Classics:
The Richest Man in Babylon (1926) by George S. Clason
How to Win Friends & Influence People (1936) by Dale Carnegie
Think and Grow Rich (1937) by Napoleon Hill
Man’s Search for Meaning (1946) by Viktor Frankl
The Power of Positive Thinking (1952) by Norman Vincent Peale
The Magic of Thinking BIG (1959)by David J. Schwartz
The Greatest Salesman in the World 1968) by Og Mandino
The One Minute Manager (1982) by Kenneth H. Blanchard and Spencer Johnson
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (1989) by Stephen R. Covey
Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny! (1992) by Anthony Robbins
Developing the Leader Within You (1993) by John C. Maxwell
Notes from a Friend: A Quick and Simple Guide to Taking Control of Your Life (1995) by Anthony Robbins
Who Moved My Cheese? (1999) by Spencer Johnson

“Reading without reflecting is like eating without digesting.” Edmund Burke

Alten Ost ~ The Earth Awakens and Welcomes Sun or Moon? via V. Pinke

Inspirational New:
Half the Sky (2009) by Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn
Have a Little Faith: A True Story (2009) by Mitch Albom
Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America (2009) by Barbara Ehrenreich
Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays (2009) by Zadie Smith
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope (2009) by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer
The Fifth Agreement: A Practical Guide to Self-Mastery. (2009) by Don Miguel Ruiz, Don Jose Ruiz with Janet Mills
It’s Your Time: Activate Your Faith, Achieve Your Dreams and Increase in God’s Favor. (2009) by Joel Osteen
Showing Up for Life (2009) by Bill Gates, Sr and Mary Ann Mackin
Say You’re One of Them (2009) by Uwem Akpan
The Thing Around Your Neck (2009) by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Inspirational Classics:
Things Fall Apart (1958) by Chinua Achebe
Jagua Nana (1961) by Cyprian Ekwensi
Second Class Citizen (1975) by Buchi Emecheta
A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. (1990) by James Melvin Washington
Woman at Point Zero (1994) by Nawal El Saadawi
Push/Precious (1996) by Sapphire
The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, A Toltec Wisdom Book (1997) by Miguel Ruiz
Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson (1997) by Mitch Albom
The Invitation, The Dance, The Call (1999, 2001 & 2003 books) by Oriah Mountain Dreamer
The Power of Now (1999) by Eckhart Tolle
The Power of Focus (2000) by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Les Hewitt
The Power of Patience (2003) by M.J. Ryan
GraceLand: A Novel (2004) by Christopher Abani
A Hand to Guide Me (2005) by Denzel Washington with Daniel Paisner
The Success Principles (2006) by Jack Canfield and Janet Switzer
The Book of Not: A Sequel to Nervous Condition (2006) by Tsitsi Dangarembga
The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) by Chris Gardner
The Secret (2006) by Rhonda Byrne
Outliers: The Story of Success (2008) by Malcolm Gladwell
Lessons on Life: How to Live a Successful Life (2008) by Jim Rohn

“Through literacy you can begin to see the universe. Through music you can reach anybody. Between the two there is you, unstoppable.” Grace Slick

Mirthful ~ as in Funny:
The Tao of Pooh (1983) by Benjamin Hoff
Sex and Sunsets (1987) by Tim Sandlin
Being Happy! (1990) By Andrew Matthews
When I Was Puerto Rican (1993) by Esmeralda Santiago
The Best of Bombeck: At Wit’s End, Just Wait Until You Have Children of Your Own, I Lost Everything in the Post-Natal Depression (1994) by Erma Bombeck
Bridget Jones’s Diary (1996) by Helen Fielding
Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything across Italy, India and Indonesia (2006) by Elizabeth Gilbert
The Get A Life Campaign (2007) by Tyeese Gaines Reid
The Levity Effect: Why it Pays to Lighten Up (2008)by Adrian Gostick and Scott Christopher
The Believers (2009) by Zoë Heller
Larry’s Kidney: Being the True Story of How I Found Myself in China with My Black Sheep Cousin and His Mail-Order Bride, Skirting the Law to Get Him a Transplant—and Save His Life (2009) by Daniel Asa Rose
Angry Conversations with God: A Snarky but Authentic Spiritual Memoir (2009) by Susan E. Isaacs
Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin (2009) by Kathy Griffin

All Photos via Veronika Pinke

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank

17 Comments leave one →
  1. 28/12/2009 2:27 am

    good .. i was looking for a list and sure have a lot to catch up on!!! thanks for taking the time to share this pretty cool looking collection of reading to grow on….

    • 01/01/2010 7:14 pm

      Thanks for your feedback and do come back to share your readings with us.

  2. 01/01/2010 12:30 am

    Thanks for sharing these lists Elizabeth. I’ve noticed that I’ve read some of the books on these lists myself. Does that mean that we are interested in some of the same topics? (LOL)

    Great to see Buchi Emecheta’s Second Class Citizen on one of the lists too. I was a fan of Buchi a long time ago and read some of her books. I just took this abovementioned book from the library and I’ll read it again.

    Deana Wilmink-Martina

    • 01/01/2010 7:17 pm

      I love Buchi too and we had a wonderful exchange about 14 years ago when she gave a presentation at an International Women Writers convention. We are interested in similar topics and our collaboration would be great Deana.
      Thank you for your feedback!

  3. goz permalink
    05/01/2010 1:59 pm

    I too, see a lot of my favourites
    on your list (and I love mirthful
    literature too)! I love, love “Half
    of a Yellow Sun” by Chimamanda
    Ngozi Adichie..that book lingered in
    my thoughts for a good while after
    I’d finished it..I also like “What
    Management Is” by Joan Margreta-
    An excellent analysis

    • 20/12/2010 12:13 pm

      Thanks Goz, I don’t know how i missed your comment. This was really enjoyable and I plan to add links to them in the future… Lots to do to get this little engine running for 2011! 🙂


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