The New Generation of Self Help Books

There are many qualities that I have adopted from my father -- a love of CNBC, 70s television, documentaries on Warren Buffet. But one of the most fascinating things that my 50-year-old best friend/super dad loves is self-help books. Self-help books? You mean the super cheesy, overly written, “you are going to be okay no matter what” self-help books? I was surprised when I saw him reading them and his approach was incredibly unique — productivity. My old man wasn’t reading them because he needed emotional help; he’s doing just fine, but instead he was reading self-help books to maximize productivity in his daily life when it comes to his business and his career. And because I do whatever my dad does, I decided to do the same.

This summer I read about 10+ different books, some self-help, some not, all with a common theme of productivity and business. Not only were these books so inspiring, but they were also truly helpful and relatable. My dad and I had a father-daughter book club this summer and I have listed the books we read together. I’m telling you, the self-help book is far from lame today; if anything, it’s motivational.


The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

This was the very first book that my dad and I read together. My dad found it all on his own and begged me to read it with him. After the first chapter, I was hooked. Mark Manson speaks in a way that keeps it real with you, expressing that not everything is sunshine and rainbows, let alone easy. But he speaks about hardships in a way that motivates you to work through them, in fact not giving a f*ck about them. This book is at the top of my list and it was a favorite between me and my dad.


You are a Badass by Jen Sincero

Jen Sincero has created a phenomenon with her book “You are a Badass.” Sincero teaches readers about the concept of badassery and takes a more affirmative, positive approach than Manson, which is still realistic. If you want a book that is empowering and motivational, but still brutally honest, this is the book for you. Sincero also came out with a new book called “You are a Badass at Making Money,” which gives her law of attraction approach to money.


Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

"Shoe Dog" is a story of triumph. Written by Nike’s quiet founder, Phil Knight, "Shoe Dog" is Knight’s memoir that discusses how Nike came to be. This book covers the art of resilience and persistence — and strangely, it had me crying in the end. It was JUST that inspiring. 


Option B Sheryl Sandberg


Of all of my picks, this is probably your most “traditional” self-help book, but if you read one traditional self-help book, this should be the one. Written by the COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg discusses how she personally dealt with loss after the unexpected death of her husband in a raw, insightful manner. This is great for dealing with any sort of loss —  from a pet to a significant other, a friend, loved one, or even moving on from things that we don't have. Even if you aren’t directly experiencing these things, it’s a fantastic read to get some daily wisdom.


Happy reading!