Reading is one of my favorite hobbies, as I love learning. I usually mix business, fiction and behavioral economic books throughout the year and I enjoy consuming books in all formats - hardcover, eBooks and audio books.
This year I read 15 books, less than my target. When things started changing earlier this year, my mind asked for a break from the news and new information. I chose to be kind to myself, instead of pushing myself to achieve goals.
I choose 3 very different books as the most impactful ones for this year, they have helped me to grow in different areas:
The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World - Melinda Gates
This book opened my eyes to how access to family planning has a great impact on families' abilities to provide for their children and the importance of education to lift women in all corners of the world.
I realized my own story was not that different than the ones mentioned in the book. My mom - the Diva who inspired this blog - stopped her studies during some years when she was a child so she could take care of her younger siblings, while her mom was working. Fortunately she was determined to go back to school and went through college. She raised me by herself and prioritized my education even when it was not financially viable, so I could dare to dream with a different life.
As part of my goals for 2021, I want to help lift more women and I want to engage with institutions focused on this goal
An American Marriage - Tayari Jones
This book tells the story of a young black couple - Roy and Celeste - and how their lives changed when Roy was sentenced for 12 years for a crime he didn't commit.
The many letters they exchanged throughout this time brought me to their lives. They became friends and I could feel the pain and the changes that their lives were going through. When I finished the book, I kept thinking about what was happening to them next, how they were carrying on with their lives.
I read this book when the Black Lives Matter movement was on the rise. I wanted to learn more about the effects of racism in society but I also didn't want to bother my black friends to ask for recommendations, as I recognized that they were already going through a lot.
Although this was a fiction book, it helped me to understand how black people are in disadvantage, even when they are trustworthy, have higher education, a stable family, and a prominent career.
I want to better understand structured racism and how I can change my biases, so Divas, I'd love suggestions of books about this topic.
Design Your Work Life: How to Thrive and Change and Find Happiness at Work - Bill Burnett & Dave Evans
If you are part of the 87% global workers who are disengaged at work and you have a New Year's resolution to get a new job, I urge you to read this book (and do all the homework the authors suggest) first.
If you don't identify the real problem that is leading to your lack of motivation, you may end up feeling the same after a few months on your new job.
Bill and Dave help you to leverage design thinking to re-design your work life throughout great examples that resonate to multiple professions.
I was able to re-frame my problems, understand what motivates me and how I can get my work and other activities more aligned to the areas that I care about. I am redesigning my job by offering to do different activities, engaging with different teams, doing training and asking my mentors to guide me to become the professional I aspire to be.
If you decide that quitting is the right option, the book will help you to plan your exit, leveraging relationships to find a new opportunity while leaving things better than you found.
There are also great ideas to design an entrepreneurial life and test some options while keeping your career. In case you like the experience and decide to create a business, you know what to expect.
This holiday season, with less travel than usual, I have spent more time reading. I am currently reading A Promised Land by Barack Obama, Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline and Good Economics for Hard Times by Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo.
Divas, what books do you recommend for 2021? Leave your comment here, on Twitter or Facebook and share this post on your social media!