• Amanda Whittaker



I love to have a good highlighter on hand and admiring the books with all the dogeared pages. Unfortunately, years of other things taking priority left me only reading on vacation or as a way to quiet the to-do lists on my mind before bedtime. Then two-ish years ago, I subscribed to Audible and discovered podcasts, oh my goodness, the flame was reignited. Couple that with my pursuit of the best version of myself and it’s been a lot of learning.


Especially since I am an enneagram 3w2 who is still learning feelings are supposed to be felt, not to be fixed or added to a to-do list I’ll (maybe) get to later. If any of these statements resonate with you, then you’re in good company.


If you just rolled your eyes, stick with me for a second. This post isn’t about all the other lessons I’ve learned. Instead, I decided to simply take a few minutes and share a little bit of what I have been reading lately hoping that you, my dear community, will be inspired to read one (or all) of these beautiful pieces of art and take away something useful. (Spoiler alert, processing aforementioned hard feelings is in one of the books mentioned below.)


Some of you may now roll your eyes again and move on. Good news, then the rest of this post isn’t for you. There will be more that will be of value to you another time.


But while you’re here and we’re all in a time of determining what our new normal will look like as we come out of this crisis, I submit to you below the 12 books that have recently had a significant impact on me.



What I found personal growth in reading

Untamed, Glennon Doyle

More Myself, Alicia Keys

The Obstacle is the Way, Ryan Holiday

What I found myself drawn into while reading

Three Women, Lisa Taddeo

City of Girls, Elizabeth Gilbert

Know My Name, Chanel Miller

What I found fascinating in reading

Educated, Tara Westover

Bad Blood, John Carreyrou

The Proximity Principle, Ken Coleman

What I found professional growth in reading

Building a Story Brand, Donald Miller

The Hard Thing About Hard Things, Ben Horowitz

Management Mess to Leadership Success, Scott Miller



Please don’t hold back. If one of these captured your mind or heart, I’d love to know. My close friends and family likely tire from my conversations that start with “hey I was just listening to” or a text that is just an image of a book I just devoured or a paragraph that made me think of them. What can I say? I love the sense of connection that happens when two of us are reading the same book and sharing emojis back and forth about certain passages. Let’s connect over a powerful message or a funny story. No matter what, rest assured, together we will grow, laugh, struggle and try new things. Together, we can do hard things.


Warmest Regards and Best Wishes,







P.S. Speaking of hard things, for my birthday this year, I decided to give myself a gift. The challenge of reading one book a week for my 39th year. What a gift right? That’s 52 books in 52 weeks. Eeek. The thought being that I could end my 30’s stronger than I started them and man, I am here for that! Today, I am 21 weeks in and happy to share that I have read 22 books! Each book has served its own purpose in giving me the confidence I will go into my 40’s loving on my friends and family and leading my company with the mental agility and perspective these next 10 years will likely require. Why am I telling you all of this? Because if you want to know any of the others I have read, have a few recommendations to share with me, want to hold me accountable or see if I achieve my goal, then I am putting it out there. Into the world. For more than me and my journal to now know. There it is. Let’s go.

Here are the 22 books I’d read in the first 21 weeks of this crazy year as referenced of this year:


1. Girl Logic, Iliza Shlesinger

2. Educated, Tara Westover

3. Stillness is the Key, Ryan Holiday

4. Talking to Strangers, Malcolm Gladwell

5. Three Women, Lisa Taddeo

6. Know My Name, Chanel Miller

7. Ego is the Enemy, Ryan Holiday

8. Obstacle is the Way, Ryan Holiday

9. Get Out of Your Own Way, Dave Hollis

10. Untamed, Glennon Doyle

11. Save Yourself, Cameron Esposito

12. More Myself, Alicia Keys

13. Management Mess to Leadership Success, Scott Miller

14. The Ideal Team Player: Three Essential Virtues, Patrick Lencione

15. 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voices in My Head, Dan Harris

16. Dare to Lead, Brene Brown (read it again)

17. Indistractable, Nir Eyal

18. The Hard Thing About Hard Things, Ben Horowitz

19. What You Do is Who You Are, Ben Horowitz

20. The Road Back to You, Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile

21. Never Go Back, Dr. Henry Cloud

22. Building a Story Brand, Donald Miller

In case anyone is weirdly curious about what is filling my bookshelves (physically and digitally) here is the full mamajamma list of what I have consumed the past two years.


(Once I finish my 52 week challenge I’ll rate/review/group these.)

#Girlboss, Sophia Amoruso

10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voices in My Head, Dan Harris

A Man Called Ove, J.K. Rollins

A New Earth: Awakening Your Life’s Purpose, Eckhart Tolle

All Boys Aren’t Blue, George Matthew Johnson

All We Ever Wanted, Emily Giffin

Atomic Habits, James Clear

Bad Blood, John Carreyrou

Becoming, Michelle Obama

Brave Love, Lisa Leonard

Braving the Wilderness, Brene Brown

Building a Storybrand, Donald Miller

Can’t Hurt Me, David Goggins

City of Girls, Elizabeth Gilbert

Company of One, Paul Jarvis

Dare to Lead, Brene Brown

Dare to Lead (again in 2020), Brene Brown

Daring Greatly, Brene Brown

Educated, Tara Westover

Ego is the Enemy, Ryan Holiday

Everybody Always, Bob Goff

Everything is Figureoutable, Marie Forleo

Everything is Fucked, Mark Manson

Fierce, Free and Full of Fire, Jen Hatmaker

Get Out of Your Head, Jennie Allen

Get Out of Your Own Way, Dave Hollis

Girl Logic, Iliza Shlesinger

Girl, Stop Apologizing, Rachel Hollis

Girl, Wash Your Face, Rachel Hollis

I Am Still Here, Austin Channing Brown

Indistractible, Nir Eyal

Journey from Abandonment to Healing, Susan Anderson

Joy of Missing Out - Tanya Dalton (Note: I actually didn’t finish this one but didn’t learn anything new in the first few chapters either so wanted to document in case anyone asks)

Know My Name, Chanel Miller

Life Will be the Death of Me, Chelsea Handler

Love is Not Enough, Mark Manson

Management Mess to Leadership Success, Scott Miller

More Myself, Alicia Keys

Never Go Back, Dr. Henry Cloud

Obstacle is the Way, Ryan Holiday

Powerful, Patty McCord

Radical Candor, Kim Scott

Remarkable Retail, Steve Dennis

Rising Strong, Brene Brown

Save Yourself, Cameron Esposito

Start with Why, Simon Sinek

Stillness is the Key, Ryan Holiday

Stretch, Scott Sonenshein

Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, Mark Manson

Talking to Strangers, Malcolm Gladwell

The 4 Hour Work Week, Tim Ferris

The Art of Gathering, Priya Parker

The Art of Possibility, Rosamund Stone Zander

The Culture Code, Will Damron

The Enneagram of Belonging, Chris Heurtz

The Gifts of Imperfection, Brene Brown

The Hard Thing About Hard Things, Ben Horowitz

The Ideal Team Player: Three Essential Virtues, Patrick Lencione

The Lies that Bind, Emily Giffin

The One & Only, Emily Giffin

The Proximity Principle, Ken Coleman

The Ride of a Lifetime, Bob Iger

The Road Back to You, Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile

The Untethered Soul, Michael Singer

The Vision Driven Leader, Michael Hyatt

The War of Art, Steven Pressfield

Think Like a Monk, Jay Shetty

Three Women, Lisa Taddeo

Tools of Titans, Tim Ferris

Untamed, Glennon Doyle

What You Do is Who You Are, Ben Horowitz

White Fragility, Robin DiAngelo

Wolfpack, Abby Wambach

Worth it, Brit Baron


Lastly, I included the podcasts I think are worth subscribing to: (bold means I listen to on the regular!)

Absolutely Not, Heather McMahan

Almost 30, Krista Williams & Lindsey Simick

Ask Iliza Anything, Iliza Shlesinger

EntreLeadership

For the Love, Jen Hatmaker

Freakonomics

Goal Digger, Jenna Kutcher

HBR & HBR Women at Work

Hidden Brain

Michelle Obama, Higher Ground (Spotify)

Nateland, Nate Bargatze

NPR How I Built This

On Purpose, Jay Shetty

Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations

Revisionist History, Malcolm Gladwell

Rise Together with Dave Hollis

Rise, now The Rachel Hollis Podcast

Ted Talks Daily

The Daily, NYT

The Ed Mylett Show

The School of Greatness, Lewis Howes

The Tim Ferriss Show

The Tony Robbins Podcast

Typology, Ian Morgan Cron

Unlocking Us, Brene Brown


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