The Books I Read This Year That Impacted Me The Most

I personally love to read in whatever spare time I have. With winter break coming up, this is the perfect time to reignite or fuel your love of reading. Try one of these books to get the most out of the time you spend reading. 

Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

I picked up this book because I was (and still am) very confused about what I want to do with my life. While I haven’t figured it out quite yet, the exercises in this book helped me narrow it down. I now feel more confident about the process of creating a life that will be joyful. Designing Your Life helped me figure out how to move in the right general direction. It helped me realize that even if I pick “wrong,” I can always change my life and can grow from the experience. 

The Nature Fix by Florence Williams

Out of all the books on this list, this is the book that CHANGED MY LIFE. I loved its message so much that I bought copies for some of my friends (and I’m a poor college student, so that’s saying something). The focus of this book is on nature's psychological effects. The writing is beautifully done in a narrative style so while it is full of science, it feels like a conversation with a friend. I now see nature as a necessary aspect of my life rather than an indulgence and make time for it accordingly. Additionally, the book's author visits Utah and meets with some U of U scientists in the book, so that was just the cherry on top. If you read one book in 2020 make it this one. 


Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program that Works by Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole

Even though I had an okay relationship with food before reading this book, the way I see food and my body has changed so much after reading this book. I was able to recognize and correct some disordered ways of thinking about food that I had never realize affected me so much. Eating is now so much more joyous. 


Scythe by Neil Shusterman

Okay, I had to include at least one fiction book on this list so here it is. Scythe explores the philosophical and ethical implications of death and killing. It is set in the future when an AI named the Thunderhead has created a perfect world for humans. However, the Thunderhead has determined that death is necessary even in a utopia, so there is a group called the scythes who work autonomously from the Thunderhead to kill people. This book made me think. You’ll probably want to read this at the same time as a friend so you can debate it later because it raises so many questions. I think this is the best-written book on this list which makes it a delightful read despite the heavy subject matter, which is handled gracefully.


Educated by Tara Westover

Educated is a memoir about a girl, Tara, that grew up in a very unconventional and quite dysfunctional family and, despite many obstacles, became “educated.” Overall, reading this book changed my outlook on family and education. I now have so much gratitude for my experience in college so far. A friend of mine recommended this book because it made her feel like if Tara could grow up to thrive, there was hope for her as well. Educated made me feel like I could overcome anything and that there are so many great possibilities for my life. 

Each of these books changed me in one way or another. I hope that they can do the same for you. 

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