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Jessica Faust’s Recent Reads

Since November or December I’ve been goal focused. I’ve been working hard with my team to establish our goals and work together to make them happen. My recent reading reflects this. It’s a departure from probably anything else I’ve ever read, but a departure I was clearly ready for. I’ve been enjoying almost everything I’ve read.

When writing these posts I look to my Goodreads list as a reminder from my last post. I’m amazed at how much reading I’ve been doing. I’m even more amazed by how much I feel some of this reading has changed me and the way I think.

The book that started off my nonfiction/business/self-help reading kick was Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek. I wish I could remember how I came to this book because it changed me. It changed the way I think as a leader and the way I think of BookEnds. Honestly, I think the start with why philosophy has always been a great piece of what we do here, but reading this book was the lightbulb moment to turn it up. I’ve always said that authors are business people too, need to be business people too, I liked Sinek’s voice and tone a lot and I do recommend this to everyone.

This book. This is the book that I think everyone, for sure every woman, should read. You are a Badass: Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living and Awesome Life. This book came to me through the recommendation of a trusted friend. I have since passed it on to a few friends myself. Jen Sincero has become my life coach so to speak. I love her voice and I love her message. Of course with any sort of self-help book you need to be ready to hear it. I’m not sure this book would have spoken to me in quite the same way if I read it a year prior, when I first heard about it. In November of 2016 though, it worked for me.

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg got a ton of press when it came out, both good and bad. At the time I bought it for my Nook, but never actually read it. Last week I bought a copy in the used book section at the library and devoured it. As a woman, small business woman and mother I was really curious about what this book had to say. I liked her points quite a bit and could definitely connect with a lot she said. For anyone struggling to balance life with work I think this is a worthwhile read.

And lest you think I’m only reading nonfiction these days, #TeamBookEnds gifted me with Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies and I devoured it. I had been hoping to read it on a long plane trip, but I finished it well before. I know that HBO is making a series based on this book and I’m curious. From the looks of the ads it has a very different tone from what I felt from the book. Because I loved this so much I also read Liane Moriarty’s The Husband’s Secret. This was an earlier book for the author and I just didn’t love it in the same way I loved Big Little Lies. I would love to see more books like this on my #MSWL. Especially something about a group of moms (PTO or otherwise).

And lastly I got some mystery in, although I think you could argue that Liane Moriarty also writes mystery, and read a book from my #Bouchercon pile. Mortal Fall by Christine Carbo is a well-written mystery with a good hook, but I just didn’t feel it. I am looking for series on my #MSWL, but for me I think I want something a little darker and faster paced.

Unfortunately, not everything I read is gold. I also read three books that I just didn’t connect with. Start with No by Jim Camp, Hustle by Neil Patel, and Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard. In reading them I realized, for me, reading nonfiction, especially self-help is all about the voice. 100 percent voice. Both of these books get great reviews and people clearly love them. I didn’t. I have to admit, I wonder if some of this is because I’m a woman and the voices resonated more with men? Or is it simply that I didn’t feel I was getting out of these books what I wanted? I’m not sure, but in looking for more #MSWL books like these sorts of business self-help I realize how much the voice is going to matter to me.

I went to the library this week and have a fresh stack of books next to my reading chair. Mostly nonfiction, but not all self-help. I’ll keep you posted.

Category: Blog



  1. Jessica, this is gold. You know I’m an avid reader, so giving me book recommendations is doing a good deed. Of this list I only read Lean In, and while I loved the voice, the woman is just too strong for me. I’m not even close to the point she is in life, and the book didn’t speak to me much besides for the voice. Hopefully one day I’ll feel it ona deeper level.
    You are Badass has been on my wish list for Christmas, didn’t get it though. I got Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, some Clive Cussler and Emerson under the tree, so I’m not complaining. But this is a good chance to go back to my wish list.
    If I may, I’d like to befriend you on Goodreads so I can check your reading lists and pick and choose from what I expect is a great pool 🙂

  2. The only non-fiction I am reading at the moment is “The Barefoot Investor – the only money guide you’ll ever need” (the #1 best selling book in Australia at the moment). I’ve read some biographies over the last few years, but I haven’t been reading as much non-fiction as I used to.

    Fiction-wise I am reading the latest Victoria Speedwell mystery (by Deanna Raybourn) on kindle. I really enjoyed the first in the series. In print I’m reading “The Wearle – Erth Dragons #1” (by Chris d’Lacey). It’s Jeckle’s book, so would be middle grade – probably 10yr + (this category always confuses me because we don’t have middle grade here). I’ve only just started it and am finding the characters confusing because their names all start with the same letter, but I guess they’ll sort themselves out in my head soon.

  3. I am reading Jane Smiley’s trilogy. Her concept of taking characters over so many generations if intriguing. Her research is impressive. I ave very much liked her past novels. Furthermore, she was generous enough to come to a creative writing class I was teaching at Monterey Peninsula College. The students were very inspired.

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