5 Books That Changed My Perspective on Life

Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about my favorite books. So for today post, I thought I’d share five books that have had a profound impact on me and my life. There are plenty of others as well but these are a few of my favorites. Would love to hear ones you enjoy most as well!

Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

“If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.”

“Anna Karenina” by Tolstoy was one of the first heartfelt novels I ever read and truly understood. This was one I first read back at college. I’m not sure if it was the book or if it was the discussions we would have about each chapter in my class. It just opened me up and completely changed the way I looked at love, marriage, relationships, literature and so much more. There is so much symbolism in the book and made me appreciate the art of writing.

Tolstoy was an amazing writer that brought his characters to life. You felt his pain and that of his characters. You empathized with these people. I was also fascinated with Russian literature. I majored in Russian in school and learned how to speak, write and read while in college. A lot has faded but I still enjoy it.

The 5 Love Languages – Gary Chapman

“I am amazed by how many individuals mess up every new day with yesterday.”

When Matt and I were engaged, we had so many people recommend this book to us. If you’re in a relationship than this will be for you. It seems to be the one book that’s changed so many people’s perceptions within their own relationships. It showed me how to better understand myself but also with Matt. Through this book, we both learned how to communicate better with each other. Big win!

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff and It’s All Small Stuff – Richard Carlson

“Your heart, the compassionate part of you, knows that it’s impossible to feel better at the expense of someone else.” 

I read this book all the way back in high school. A teacher recommended it to me. He said it would give me a better outlook on the small things in life. He was right. This was the beginning of my love for self-help books.

It’s an easy read. You can pick it up and start reading it anywhere. Leave it on your coffee table and remind yourself  “don’t sweat the small stuff”, which I’ve learned is very true in life. It’s not always that easy, but every once in a while, we all need a good reminder. The book doesn’t preach to you. It’s actually super easy to absorb and apply these little lessons into your everyday life.

Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office – Lois P. Frankel

“You gain courage and confidence from doing the things you think you cannot do.” 

I shared this a few weeks ago on Instagram. This was a book that I found in one of my first couple years in corporate. It completely changed the way I would approach my day. Without a doubt, this book piloted me through my career and how I approach the business world in general.

It’s been years since I last read it but the revised and updated version was released in 2014. This is now in my Audible library, so I’m going to start listening to it again later this month.

You Are a Badass – Jen Sincero

“So often, we pretend we’ve made a decision when what we’ve really done is signed up to try until it gets too uncomfortable.”

In the last 3 months, I’ve listened to this book all the way through twice on Audible. The first time I listened to it, it was eye-opening. I love taking in the one-liners and implementing them in my daily life. She has such an interesting approach to being an absolute badass every single day! If you’ve been feeling sorry for yourself lately or feel like you can’t catch a break, read this book. Whenever I’m feeling a little down in the dumps or being a baby, I listen to this book. It gives a lot of insight on mind over matter.

Also, check out Jen’s reading list on her website. It’s packed full of books and recommendations that we can all leverage each and everyday.

More Reading Tidbits

Big shout out to Grace Atwood, writer of The Stripe, for always reminding us the power of reading. Check out her site. It’s full of book recommendations to keep your mind going. Thanks Grace for the inspiration!

This morning I shared on Instagram that Talbots is hosting a summer reading contest. Starting May 21st, Talbots is kicking off Talbots Summer Book Club with “Give a Book. Get a Book.” – There is an underground lending library in all Talbots stores. You can shop their summer must-haves, drop off a much-loved book, and pick up a new favorite! They also have curated the Ultimate Summer Reading List (with your help!).

Add to the Ultimate Summer Reading List by sharing a photo of yourself reading your favorite book and using the #shareyoursummerstory for a chance to win a curated Talbots book club box and be featured on Talbots.com (Contest runs from 5/21-7/3). Happy Reading!!

xo, Olivia


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