17 Books for Inspiration in 2017

Call it an occupational hazard but I LOVE reading. I read mainly nonfiction and I love to learn about the world, and even more precisely, I love to learn how other's see the world. It is a new year and I am already on the lookout for my next book full of inspiration. I thought I would pass some inspiration on to you. This list is in no particular order but every one of these books inspired the sh*t out of me and maybe they will inspire you. 

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

No going to lie, this book is a bit more woo woo than the rest. But it really inspired me. It is a quick read and worth it to any artist/creative/writer out there to give it a shot. The author is a fiction author and she proves she can write nonfiction stunningly well. She talks about creativity and her own journey and process along with that of others.

Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion

You probably already know by now that I am a HUGE Gary Vee follower. I have been since I saw a little video that kicked my a$$ in 2008 and made me wake up!!! He swears and he is not everyone's cup of tea... but man he is smart. This man is the reason I don't own a television. Let me repeat. This man is the reason I don't own a television. Because "7-2 is plenty of time to do damage."

The Thank You Economy

This book really brought social media into context for me. But honestly I should have put every single one of Gary Vanerchuck's books into this post because he is amazing. If you are en entrepreneur, businessman/woman, freelancer, artist, marketer, or anyone who has drive you should read his books and listen to his show Ask Gary Vee. Trust me it all applies. 

Walt Disney: An American Original

The image is my personal copy of this book. I got this book for .5 cents at a garage sale in third grade and it changed my life. I will never forget the moment I realized that Walt Disney was not just a company but one man and crying when I learned he was no longer with us and I would never meet him.

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

Many of us know her story but it is the particulars that altered my view of the world. (**SPOILER WARNING**) Malala may have survived being shot at for standing up for education of women but it really was her father who built and reinforced that belief in her. What a remarkable man. This book clearly illustrated to me how men and women together have to stand up for women's rights. This book also showed me how lucky I am. I can't imagine growing up with any innocence in tact having to walk past bodies in the streets on a daily basis. This is reality for too many children and we need to stand up against this and not be scared.

The Lives of the Muses: Nine Women & the Artists They Inspired

I love learning about lives of historical figures. I feel so often we forget about the people behind the scenes that supported those luminaries. I loved the accounts of eccentricity told in these stories and find these women very inspiring. We all need muses one way or another.

Excavating Jesus: Beneath the Stones, Behind the Texts

I am very analytical so religion was and always will be such a contradiction to me. How are some things still bad as written in the Bible but other's we overlook? The whole thing just didn't make sense to me and neither did the validity of many of the stories. This book gave me more faith in the miraculous than any other theological source. By answering some of my questions with facts it was easier for me to have faith in what was written.

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

I have a very classic liberal mindset. Instead of "A=B" I want to know where "A" sits on a broad spectrum of possibilities as in relation to "B." This book will blow your mind in analyzing the impact "A" can have on so much more than just "B." Seriously, this book is for the information nerds and will help you question all those things that seem to be true.

Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy

This book is another one for the information geek (and artist). This book delves into the inconsistencies of copyright and how information and intellectual property can grow through collaboration. If you love everything that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is doing with HITRECORD than this book is your jam. Many of the basic ideas to his revolutionary platform were inspired by the author Lawrence Lessig and even though some of the information will be out of date it is very worth checking out!

How to Win Friends & Influence People

This book was first published 80 years ago but it is still one of the best books you can ever read to help you in business and life. I can so easily see sabotage in the way people treat others now and have learned what to strive for and what to drop from conversation because of this book.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Ever see someone get furious on social media when you disagree with their opinion that isn't based on fact? It all lies in how they define themselves and this book will open you up to a far more productive level of self-awareness. 

The Dream Manager

Helping others succeed will help you succeed. If you manage any staff this is a light read that will change the way you see your role in business. Empowering others is retention your can't overlook. This is an amazing book for dreamers as well. 

The Last Lecture

Randy Pausch's Carnegie Melon speech on "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" is the most moving piece of content I have ever seen in my life. It inspired this book and it will forever inspire me. I hope it inspires the kid in you and helps you along this journey we call life.

The Imagineering Way: Ideas to Ignite Your Creativity

Through all my moves across the country I have somehow lost this book. But it will always be near and dear to my heart. Here is a tip: don't start on page one. Get ready to think outside the box or the book. You will want to own your copy of this so you can write in it. It also has a sequel: "The Imagineering Workout" that you may want to purchase.

Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered

This book is so good! This book is SO GOOD!!! Necessity is the mother of all invention and when you have nothing you find a way! Seriously, this book will show you that having nothing can be your greatest advantage!

What Color Is Your Parachute? 2017: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers

This book is updated every year. Why? Because it is THAT IMPORTANT. I always keep a copy of this book to give away and I never ask for it back. Why? Because it is THAT GOOD! Seriously if you are looking for a job of planning to switch careers pick this one up. I can't tell you how many times a version of this book has helped me