EP 116: 12 Books I Return To Again and Again



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Hi friends today. I am sharing with you 12 books I returned to over and over again, some of these books I returned to Here in 2021, some books I'm looking at like returning to every year. And this is the weird thing. I am not a big book repeater, but these books keep pulling me back because I feel like they have set the foundation for like how I'm living my life and how I am running my family and my business and my personal life.

And so I share these books with you. As a way to capture for myself, what are the books that are super foundational for me? So if you're struggling right now thinking, yeah, but I don't have enough time to read. I have a couple of things for you. One is an episode 76. I lay out how I went from somebody who wasn't sure how much they read to reading hundreds of books a year.

And that episode is again, is number 76. It's how you can become someone who reads a lot. I spare nothing. I give you all my tips and you know, maybe you're not ever going to be as a prolific reader as I am that's okay.

Because it's, you know, maybe you just want to read more in the new year, perhaps we will find its way onto your 22 for 22 lists or list of new year's resolutions. So if you're like, I would love to read more, but I don't know where to start. Here's a list of books that I returned to year after year. And I'm including 12, just in case you want to take on the challenge of reading 12 books in 2022. So without further ado, let's start with one book that I keep coming back.

I actually did a whole podcast episode on it. In episode number 10, it was a book report I did on Beautiful You, a daily guide to radical self-acceptance by my friend, Rosie Molinary. I love this book. One of the reasons why I returned to it again and again, is because there's 365 episode exercises in here.

And I love a daily guide to pretty much anything. And this book helps me keep track of small obtainable ways for me to learn. Remember that I matter. And to remember that taking care of myself as never done and that I can keep coming back. And it's also interesting when you revisit a book and do the exercises again, you're like, oh, I remember when I did this the first time.

I love that episode because Rosie is she's a systems gal, which means she has processes and systems for all sorts of Things in her life. And we talked a lot about Saying No The Whole-Hearted Way. And I still use the framework that she taught me years ago, about how to make sure that I am prioritizing my time, spending my time in the way that most aligns with my values.

And doesn't leave me feeling really run-ragged at the end of a commitment. So episode 10 and 11 is like some really good bonus stuff. And if you haven't, if you, if you're here for the first time, welcome, and if you've been here for a long time, you might be like, you know what? You don't want a great time to learn how to prioritize myself.

Rosie has you covered in both episode 10 and 11? The next book I wanted to tell you about that. I come back to over and over and over again is the A Year of Positive Thinking: Daily Inspiration, Wisdom, and Courage (A Year of Daily Reflections) by Cindy Spiegel. Again, another book that is a daily book. And it has quotes and exercises and wisdom.

And I love this book. It is really, it's cute. That's one it's giftable. It's Instagrammable. And I know the author and I'm interviewing her soon for the podcast and I adore her. And when I read this, I think, wow, Sydney really dug in to what she knows as a yoga teacher and meditation teacher and all-around amazing human and put.

So if you're somebody who's like, yo, I'm still needing some things for people who are really close to me, these books are gifts that keep on giving book. Number three that I returned to over and over again, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by everyone's favorite human, Brene Brown.

I will just say that I've spent a lot of time with this book. I've studied with this book. I've read this book. I practically re slept with this book under my pillow. This I'll just say this book has spoken to me at a very deep level and every time I read it, I think I remember back to when I read it the first time.

It really struck me hard. And then the second time I read it, it struck me hard in a different way. And the third time I read it, I was like, what am I doing? I keep coming back to this book and I am not really a reader. And yet here I am. And I've read this with clients. I've read this with groups.

That's a book that I will always come back to because it changed so many things for me. Another book that's really, really great for the new year that maybe at some point I might actually even do as a book club is called Better Than Before, Gretchen Rubin and the subtitle is what I learned about making and breaking habits to sleep more, quit sugar, procrastinate, less, and generally built a happier life.

I just noticed that Brene Brown has a pullout quote on the front cover that says a force for real change. So one of the things I love about this book is this is where you learn first about the questioner. The four tendencies framework and, you know, the questioner, the upholder, the rebel and the obliger.

So this is where that research came and then she wrote the other book. But I love this book because it's so much about self knowledge and working with who you are already versus trying to make yourself into somebody else. And then. Change your habits. It's like working with the grain of the wood instead of against it.

So I, I come back to this all the time and I, you know, again, I have taken people through this book internal booklet. I don't, I should call it deferred maintenance book club. We tackled this book last year or the year before. And I've taught classes on this book. It's just, it's one of those things where like, oh, I never thought about that.

I will say editor's note editor mean me little asterisk, this book. There's a few questions that you go, wow. There are some buttons being pushed here and not in a good way. I think that overall, I can recommend this book with an asterisk that says some of these questions you may want to be like wow. That was harsh.

That's fat phobic. That's bullshit. So there is a little, there is a little warning on this book, but I'm giving you the like, We maybe cross out some of the sections, but I think overall, the idea of gathering, asking yourself tons of questions about like, how do I handle myself in these situations can lead to sustainable change in your life.

And at the end you might be like, I don't know if I want to sit next to Gretchen at a dinner party, because she seems a little judgy that being said, I do love that book. A book that has, oh my God. I talked about this book so many times during the grief get better grief series. I'm like, people are like, okay, we get it.

I'm gonna I'm I'm taking that one off my most read list and putting on It's OK not to be OK: Good advice and kind words for positive mental well-being by Claire Chamberlain.

It's I will just say I received that book as a gift after Tess died and I thought. Well, this book is exactly what I need right now. This book is, I think I'll come back to this over and over and, and, you know, it's interesting because I've come back to it over and over it. And I it's only been a year.

So, it's a book that has had a big impact on me. Okay. I'm looking at my list and a book that I love that I feel like there's sort of two bucks. I mentioned light makers manifesto last week as a book that talks about activism and joy. And this week, I want to talk about the book professional Trevi troublemaker by lovey a Jones and her book do better manual.

It was so funny and so well done and everyone should read it. And then she came out Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual by Ajayi Jones, Luvvie

The point is this, we're not put on this earth to like, not leave an impact and to not leave the world a better place than we found it. And I feel like Luvvie has so much to teach about how we make trouble for the status quo so that we can do our part to make the world a better place than how we found it.

So, check that one out if you haven't yet both of her books are really well funny cause she's hilarious, but also like there are so many things that we can learn.

Two books that I came back to, again and again, this year in 2021 or Fair Play: Share the mental load, rebalance your relationship and transform your life by Eve Rodsky, which was all about the redistribution of domestic labor in the family.

I ended up doing a 12 week book club, public book club on that. And the reason I keep coming back to that is for so long, I, I didn't have the words and I knew there was something that was unfair.

About how she calls it the she fault. Like if no one has claimed a job, then the female partner in heterosexual couples, the female partner takes on those crappy jobs like putting kids to bed or doing homework or picking people up or filling out forms for camp and school and all those like tedious mind melting.

Death by a thousand paper cuts things. And by the way, when your whole life is filled with those kinds of tasks, you don't have the time or space or energy in order to tackle the bigger. Issues of the world, like the system, we can't dismantle systems when we're tired from doing every single piece of laundry in our house.

So, you know, through the years, I mean, I, I knew this concept of, of time being a feminist issue, you know? Growing up as a feminist and tons of reading and, and all that. And living as a woman in the United States, I got that, but Fairplay it is not a perfect book.

It is not a perfect system. There's no perfect answers. However, I do think it's well-researched and I, it gives you a framework. To approach your spouse or your partner with this idea of let's make our workload fair and reasonable for everyone in the house, let's create an equitable team. And it, it, it gives us, like I said, a framework, a common way to talk about it in a way that.

Let's be real. The person who's probably been benefiting from the system being unfair. It gives you a framework and a way to talk about it that will hopefully keep them receptive to making changes so that your family life and your home life is more equitable, highly recommend the book. There's a lot of works.

Meaning, lots of books about domestic labor. And I really liked that one burnout unlocking the stress cycle, completing the stress cycle. We did, like I said, we, that was another longterm one chapter a week book club. And. I think that seeing it all in one place about like, oh, it's not just removing the stress, but you, excuse me, it's not just about moving the stressor, the stressful thing.

You will then have to actually process the stress through your body or like, oh, it's a two-part system. I wish somebody would have explained that to me earlier in my life. And again, it gives you a framework and it gives you. Actions to take daily to complete that stress cycle so that you are feeling better in your body and you have more energy and less pain.

And, you know, I've had a few times in my life where I've had medical professionals. Give me the, the stern. You need to reduce your stress talk. They kind of look at you like, you know what that means? Well, in the book Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Emily Nagoski.

I love that book. It's super clear. And it was really fun to go through both burnout and Fairplay this year with other people. I've read both of those books several times, but it was interesting to read it with a group. And I love that one week, one chapter, a week format. I have a few more bucks that I come back to you.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. It's funny. I just re-read this one. And it was surprisingly I'm going to say this weirdly thing. It was way nerdier than I remember it. I remember when I read it the first time when it first came out, I saw her Ted talk and then I read the book and I felt like. I actually cried when I read it, because I felt like, oh my God there's a name for the thing that I deep down inside think is wrong with me.

Like every single time, except that one time. Lisa for not showing up, but anyway every time somebody canceled plans with me, I would feel secretly relieved like, oh, yay. Now I can stay home and take a bath and read my book or, oh, yay. Now I can Stay home and cuddle up on the couch and watch that one thing.

Or I can, instead of going to a party, I can go on a walk with one friend. What I'm saying is I thought because I was not ever excited about parties or music festivals or small talk that something was wrong with me, that I was a weirdo and it turns out I'm. I'm an introvert. You guys, I'm an introvert big surprise.

And I've mentioned that 200,000 times. And it's funny because you know, a lot of people still are like, I can't believe you're an introvert. You're so outgoing. You're so you talk a lot, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And I'm like, I know that I'm not shy.

I'm not even necessarily reserved, but what I am is someone who deeply, deeply needs solitude in order to recharge like my phone. And that I am actually a super outgoing introvert until I am decidedly. Not it's like I have closed signs on my eyeballs after, and I don't know when it's coming, I'm getting better at discerning that. And then, you know, COVID kinda mess that up, but the point is this, I seem completely.

Fine being around other people and tell him like, oh, that was five minutes too long. Now I have to go home and rest for an entire day. So let's put it this way. When I heard that there's other people from a third, was it like a third to a half of the population are introverts. I was like, oh my God, half the people in the world feel this way.

Oh, thank God. I thought I was just a weirdo. And if you're thinking, oh yeah, but I'm not an introvert. I don't need to read that one. Here's what I want to say, but you may very well live with an introvert. You may be married to an introvert. You may have given birth to an introvert. Your parent may be an introvert.

Your best friend may be an introvert. If half the population is an introvert, perhaps we should learn more about the people around us so that no one has to feel offended when we're like, it's not, you it's me. I really don't want to hang out, but it really isn't. You it's me. Anyway, quiet by Susan Cain is it's long and nerdy, but I feel like it's worth it.

Really. I feel like it's worth a read. Let me see Untamed by Glennon Doyle. What can I say about Glennon Doyle? I really wanted to not like. In fact in many years ago she was getting it like a lot of press and I was like, oh, somebody is getting tons of press. And I have, my, my first reaction is, oh, I cannot, I can't get behind that as too popular.

And I thought, mommy, Christian blogger while I really can't get behind any of that. I don't like any of those words. And then I thought, well, you can't just. Not like something because you think that you don't like that person when you've never met them and you've never read them. And so I read her first book carry on warrior.

And what I leaned from that was, wow. She's a really good writer. She is super duper Christian and. She didn't turn me off, which was weird and I thought, huh, that's interesting. Hmm. Okay. And then when her book love warrior came out, I read it and I thought, well, well, these are conversations. We should all be having.

Whoa, that was some deep shit. Oh, she's a really good writer. Like she's very conversational. She's wise and funny. Self-deprecating and, you know, accepting, I feel like there's some sort of hugs involved when you're reading Glennon Doyle. So I did get untamed. I'd sitting here on my, on my desk next to me and I read it in like a day and I thought, yes, but not like, yes, like fist pumping.

I was like, yes. As in. I already do all that. I already do all that. Oh shit. I I've. I've had this evolution. If I had gotten this book when I was 29 or even 39, the show would have knocked my socks off. So if you want an advanced degree in personal development and see like, wait a second, where are we going on this trip?

I feel like this is a really great look into what's possible. And to what what's possible as as a different way to look at the future. If you don't know about untamed, and if you haven't read it yet you will learn about the cheetah who has their, you know, Glenn and her family are. Some sort of something where there's a cheetah in a cage and the cheetahs kept in the cage until the cheetah comes out to run after this dirty stuffed bunny.

And Glennon has a psych epiphany moment where she's like, holy shit. That cheetah was not meant to live in a cage, nor is that cheetah meant to Chase that dirty stuffed bunny that cheetah was meant for so much more. We need to, we need to escape from the cages and escape from chasing shit. That doesn't matter.

And one of the, and so that was one of, it was a bad telling of one of the stories. And one of the. Stories. It was very short. Did they're very short chapters. I love this book. I feel like it's a book that you could come back to and read like a chapter a day. And like I did my reading. It's like 10 minutes or less.

One of the chapters that I loved about this is that, and I'm going to poorly paraphrase this too, is that you don't truly become a grownup and tell you, disappoint your parents by. Doing something for your own kids. And I was like, Ooh, I feel that deeply. Like if you're still trying to please your parents, you're not grown up yet, essentially.

And I was like, damn girl, that's, that's getting down, that's getting down to it. And I did love the idea of, you know, creating a love island. Of we only let people on our island who fully support us in the way that we need to be supported. And like she was talking about her mom and she's like, I don't know if I can invite her to love island because she wants to change all these things.

Like we can come and visit you at your island, but you can't come to our island unless you're doing the work to, to allow the people. Meaning her immediate family, the family that she made feel loved and safe and protected. And I was like, dang, Glennon, sister Glennon is going there. And I do love this book.

I love seeing the work that she does in the world. I love seeing her philanthropy work. I love seeing. Her podcast and her and her sister and her spouse taking on big issues and not doing everything perfectly and still showing up. So I think untamed is a book that I'm going to end up revisiting again and again, and then finally a book that I love so, so very much it's called Minimalist Parenting: Enjoy Modern Family Life More by Doing Less by Asha Dornfest and Christine Koh.

Have a podcast called Edit Your Life. And Asha is about to sign off as cohost. They've been co-hosting this podcast for five years. I feel like a, and I've been listening to since the beginning. I feel like they are good friends. I get to have coffee with every week, so I love listening to them together.

And then reading Minimalist Parenting. It's basically many life lessons about the thing that they talk about there on their podcast, which is like, Taking small steps every day to take the stuff out of it doesn't matter so that you can do more of the stuff that does matter to you and, and really getting clear on your, your parenting philosophy, your.

Do everything with the family that you've created. And minimalist parenting is not like the counting, your forks kind of minimalist. It's more like the we're not going to helicopter. We're not going to do all the things and we're not going to try to make it perfect. We're going to try to make it work just right for the people who are actually in the family.

This was the list of books, 12 books that I come back to over and over again, check out last week's episode for 12 bucks to grow with. And I laid them out January through December. And if you are.

Who is like, oh my God, what's up with the never-ending book list? The answer is yes. I have a never any Booklist I've been known to say, oh, I've got a book for that, but anytime we talk, so, And if you're somebody who's like, I would love to read these books with you, Tammy. How can I do that?

I would say that starting in January, 2022, you guys that's like days away, we are welcoming in a whole new crew for deferred maintenance immersion. You may be asking yourself what is deferred maintenance immersion?

Well, it's an expanded year long version of my group coaching program deferred. And in deferred maintenance immersion, we have 12 months of coaching. We have four bonus workshops in January. We have a yearly goals, quarterly goals, monthly goals, weekly goals, accountability, plus 12 private, but club.

Which is the members of deferred maintenance. And some of these books may be on the list and some may not. That's a secret. But I would love to help you, if you are somebody who is looking to make self-care a priority in 2022, if you're looking to make activism a priority in 2022, if you are looking to.

Improve your parenting. If you're looking to reduce your stress, if you are looking to find a community of women who are making plans and. Actually meeting their goals and you want to hang out with other people who are lovingly encouraging each other on and making big changes in their lives.

One day at a time, I hope that you decide that you'll check out deferred maintenance, immersion. Enrollment is coined to start next week, the week of December.

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