The 5 Books that Changed My Life in 2019

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(I had this post all written out, and as I was just a couple clicks away from posting it, something popped up saying “there’s been an error on the page” and the entire thing deleted, so this is Take 2 and I don’t know how to start it anymore, so forgive me for the inevitable rambling)

Tony Robbins tells a story about how he became a reader when he realized he could either spend his entire life learning a few key lessons, or he could spend a few hours reading the life lessons of other people and applying what they learned without the time investment. My friends call this “collapsing time.” I think it’s brilliant.

Here’s the truth: most of what I have accomplished and created this year is entirely because of the books I read in 2019.

This year has been awesome for rediscovering my passion for reading. When I was younger, I was a voracious reader. I distinctly remember my mom coming home from a book fair with a three-inch-thick copy of Little Woman, saying “this should keep you busy for awhile!” and I finished it in a week.

This year, I discovered a free app on my phone called Hoopla, which connects with my library card at my local library. With the app, I can borrow audiobooks, ebooks, even movies and tv shows just with my library card, and since it’s all digital, everything is automatically returned – no late fees!

Since I have the app, I was able to listen to several books on my 35-minute commute every morning on the way to work. I have read at least ten books this year, both ebooks and actual books, and each have been impactful. Today though, on the last day of the year, I wanted to take a minute to share the most inspirational books I read this year and how they changed my life.

5 inspiring books I read in 2019 for life and finances

The Five Books that Changed My Life in 2019

5. Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis

Rachel Hollis is a powerhouse entrepreneur and mom of four. As a motivated mama with goals way bigger than my current knowledge, I love Rachel’s complete honesty and practical advice for how to live your dreams without sacrificing what is important to you as a person (family, etc). Her advice on waking up way earlier than necessary to take care of yourself and energize yourself made me a morning person. Her admission that she does her best writing in the early morning, before her brain starts judging her, was the biggest inspiration for me to wake up at 4am to write my second book back in November (and why I still wake up at 4:30 now).

If you need someone to show you that your dreams are possible no matter what your personal circumstances might be, you should probably read this book.

4. The Latte Factor by David Bach

I loved this book so much, I referenced it in my lunch and learn presentation at my job a few months ago. It’s actually a short novel, focused on a young adult woman named Zoe. Zoe is like many young adults (and older adults, to be honest) goes to work every morning, and goes through her days scraping by financially and slowly burning out at her job but doesn’t see any options for a different life.

Until one day, she is introduced to a man at the coffee shop who helps her learn a few key ways she can manipulate her finances to achieve the life she dreams.

If you are wanting to learn the basics of personal finance but you still have a deathly fear of textbooks and grown up adulting books, read this one. It’s an easy read with very applicable ideas.

3. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

I read this at the recommendation of my best friend, who introduced it to me as the one book that should be required reading in high school before hitting boots to the ground in the real world.

After listening to it on Hoopla, I absolutely agree with her. The Alchemist is another novel, but this one tells the story of a young shepherd (called only “the boy”) who has a dream about Egypt and has to choose to either pursue his dream or stay comfortable and think of what could have been. Mini spoiler: he decides to go, and along the way he meets several other interesting characters who either have pursued their dreams, let their achievement stay thinking about their dreams, and those who have given up on their dreams altogether. I’m sure that by reading it, you will recognize at least a few of the people in your life embodied in the characters.

And it will definitely be required reading for my boys in high school.

2. The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth by John C. Maxwell

This is another book that will be required reading for my boys. This book by John C. Maxwell is filled with so much wisdom and so many quotable moments. Seriously, every other sentence is so simply profound you just want to stop and cross stitch it on a pillow. But alas, my cross stitch skills are sub-par, so I settle for posting them to facebook instead.

On a more personal note, aside from the general message of the book and all the things I actually learned from the book itself, I also studied Mr. Maxwell’s writing style and how he structured his book. I loved his chapter on his personal strategies and systems to live efficiently, and learned so much from him in so many ways. This is definitely one book I want to get for my personal collection.

1. The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach

I went on a huge David Bach kick this year. Not only did I read The Latte Factor and The Automatic Millionaire, but I also read his first best seller book, Smart Women Finish Rich, which is personal finance for women – inspired by his grandmother Rose, who retired a self-made millionaire.

But the reason that The Automatic Millionaire makes the literal number one on my top list of life changing books is because this one changed the game of our personal finance in a huge way. After reading this book, I increased our 401(k) contributions to save for our retirement, refinanced our home to save hundreds of dollars every month – over $2,000 a year! We also automated our savings from our checking account and moved our savings to a high-interest savings account to take advantage of compound interest. The kicker though? Did you know that automating your mortgage to a bi-weekly payment system can cut tens of thousands of dollars off your loan total because it cuts down the compound interest accumulated?


My kids are reading this in high school. And I want to encourage them saving for retirement as early as possible by matching any Roth IRA contributions they make as soon as they get their first job. Yes, part of my ambition to create wealth for myself is to pass on generational wealth for my children.

If you are looking for a book that will literally walk you through exactly what steps you need to be taking to create a “set and forget” approach to financial freedom and wellness, you need this book.

I love it so much that I adopted a copy I found at my local used book store, and it sits happily on my shelf for my reference. It should definitely be on yours too (but please get it from the library first if possible because we don’t just get in the habit of collecting things).

I have such a big, bold, beautiful vision of what is coming in this space for 2020, and it will be brought to fruition in large part by applying the lessons I learn from the books I read this year.

Have you read any amazing books this year? I’m always looking for more recommendations, so please leave them in a comment below!

If you found this article helpful, don’t forget to save to Pinterest under “inspirational
books I want to read.”

5 inspiring books I read in 2019 for life and finances

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