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  • Amanda Whittaker

For the love of learning.

I love taking notes and filling up notebooks using different colored pens with key phrases and doodles. 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.

One of the things that I have learned on this journey is that there are times it is best to

lean on a community of authors to articulate what I’m feeling. 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,

— Amanda

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.

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