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  • (upbeat New Age music)

  • - Hey everyone, it's your girl Jen, and today we are doing

  • a book update.

  • It's been officially a year since my last book update,

  • and so I thought I would fill you guys in

  • on my favorite books of 2019.

  • I was doing some reflection a couple weeks ago,

  • and I actually numbered out all the books

  • that I read last year, and it was 42.

  • For me, that is a staggering number,

  • I have never ever read this many books in my lifetime.

  • But any-hoo, today we're gonna be whittling it down

  • to the top 10, so let's get started.

  • So my first book is "Essentialism", by Greg Mckeown.

  • I picked this book up because I have always been

  • the type to feel overwhelmed, and burnt out,

  • and spread thin, and I think it's because I've had

  • this mentality of just, "power through it,

  • grit your teeth, and suck it up,"

  • and I thought that that was the way

  • I can just get everything done.

  • But, it's not a very sustainable mentality.

  • There are some things you just gotta say no to.

  • I had a problem just really prioritizing what was

  • important and what was essential in my life,

  • and I feel like this book really gave me

  • the right tools, and the strategies,

  • to float up what is the most priority,

  • and finish those top things.

  • I've learned that sometimes doing the most

  • isn't the greatest thing, and it's important to spend

  • your time on the right activities and the right people

  • so you feel more fulfilled.

  • Being busy all the time doesn't mean that you're being

  • productive, so if you are the type of person

  • that just wants to Marie Condo their mind,

  • or just learn how to use their time more efficiently,

  • I would highly recommend this book.

  • In 2019 Brene Brown became one of my most

  • favorite inspirational people.

  • If you have not seen her TED Talk on vulnerability,

  • I highly recommend you go check it out,

  • but I read "Daring Greatly", which is just a deep dive

  • of the vulnerability movement,

  • and how you can live more wholeheartedly.

  • It had a huge impact on my self esteem,

  • and the way I connect with people,

  • and I especially loved the bit about empathy.

  • So she describes empathy as "connecting with the emotion

  • "that someone is experiencing, not the event

  • or the circumstance."

  • A lot of the times when someone is opening up

  • to us, or sharing an experience that they've had,

  • I think a common misconception is,

  • "oh, I can't be empathetic to that because

  • that has never happened to me."

  • For example, let's say your friend's like,

  • "oh my God, I went to work today, and I shat my pants."

  • Maybe you have not shat your pants at work,

  • however I'm pretty sure we've all felt

  • the emotion of shame, and embarrassment, and that emotion

  • is what we need to connect with.

  • This book gave me a glimpse on how I can live more

  • unapologetically, and just live more freely,

  • and it's definitely a book that I want to re-read

  • because it's something that I wanna keep fresh

  • on my mind, constantly.

  • So my next book is "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell.

  • And I know this book came out a long time ago,

  • I actually first read it when I was 18.

  • It completely blew my mind, but it's been over 10 years,

  • and I was like, "you know what?

  • It's time to read it again, let's see."

  • I read it, and it blew my mind again,

  • and so now it's on my list.

  • So this book is about outliers, and outliers

  • are the most successful, the most intelligent,

  • most athletic, just the best of the best in the world

  • and that's why they're the outliers.

  • And a lot of the self made outliers, we look at them

  • and we're like, "damn, you did the damn thing."

  • And yes, that is a huge factor, they did put in

  • so many hours.

  • Malcolm Gladwell says that you need to put in

  • roughly 10,000 hours to master a craft,

  • and that is a lot of hours, a lot of time,

  • I can't even compute how many years 10,000 hours is,

  • but it's a ton.

  • But regardless, we look at these people like The Beatles,

  • or Bill Gates, and we're like, "wow."

  • However, Malcolm Gladwell starts digging a little bit

  • deeper and he starts to point out patterns,

  • and circumstances, that have happened, to have them

  • elevated up to that level.

  • So he defines an outlier as "those who have been given

  • "opportunities and who have had the strength

  • and presence of mind to seize them."

  • So, obviously, putting in the 10,000 hours is a big one,

  • but there are other things to consider,

  • like when you were born, how long you've had

  • a headstart on starting something,

  • what your parents have, your ethnicity.

  • There's a string of fortunate incidents

  • and circumstances that have happened that have attributed

  • to their success.

  • So he uses Bill Gates as an example.

  • He's wildly rich, wildly successful,

  • incredibly smart, however there are some things to consider.

  • So, Bill Gates was born at a time where computers

  • were just starting to get big,

  • they were pretty rare, and very expensive.

  • A computer was the size of a room.

  • And his parents just happened to have a computer

  • in their house.

  • So Bill Gates started to tinker around with it,

  • learn how to code slowly, and then when he turned 13,

  • his parents funded a computer club.

  • So he had unlimited access to these computers,

  • with all his computer friends, and they just coded.

  • And Bill Gates just got consumed into coding,

  • and learning, and he started to put in his 10,000 hours

  • a lot earlier than everybody else.

  • So by the time the computer started booming,

  • he already had this incredible knowledge

  • about this subject that a lot of people

  • didn't have access to.

  • If his parents didn't have the money to give him

  • one of the first computers, he probably wouldn't

  • be Bill Gates.

  • And having a headstart is a huge thing to consider

  • in every type of craft.

  • If you look at all the early tech tycoons,

  • they're all born at the same year.

  • Bill Joy, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs,

  • there's absolutely a pattern here, and this book

  • just does an in depth review and analysis on that,

  • and I found it fascinating.

  • Speaking of technology, we're gonna move on

  • to our next book, which is called "Irresistible:

  • The Rise of Addictive Technology" by Adam Alter.

  • I feel like so many of us are addicted to our screens.

  • You are watching this on your phone, or your laptop,

  • or your TV, wherever, we are glued.

  • And I have an alarming statistic.

  • "In 2008, adults spent an average of 18 minutes

  • "on their phones a day.

  • "In 2015 adults spent two hours

  • and 48 minutes per day."

  • I do not know what the updated statistics is for

  • the year 2020, but I'm sure it has skyrocketed.

  • I feel like some people might see it as

  • a fault in themselves, being "oh my gosh,

  • I can't get off my phone, I have no willpower, I am weak."

  • But, the people behind this technology, it's their job

  • to make it addicting as.

  • And this book just gave me clear examples,

  • and just peeled my eyes back on what is happening

  • behind the people that are making this technology.

  • So, in 2010, Steve Jobs, God rest his soul,

  • had a talk about the Ipad, and it was just

  • this really long talk convincing everybody

  • why they needed an Ipad.

  • And then later on in 2010, a New York Times article

  • came out and Steve Jobs said that he doesn't let

  • his children use the Ipad.

  • I just found it interesting that the very thing

  • that he was convincing everyone needs to use,

  • is something that he doesn't even let

  • his children use.

  • A lot of the people producing these tech products

  • avoid the very thing that they're selling,

  • and it's because they know that shit's addicting.

  • And he also explains these boundaries we can create

  • in the technology space, so I found it very interesting.

  • So my next book is called "Sapiens", it is actually

  • the only book, the real tangible book I have,

  • because I read the rest on Kindle,

  • or I listen to it on Audible, but I actually got

  • this book at an airport, and it was truly

  • the best decision I've made.

  • This is one very thorough book about the history

  • of human existence.

  • It's like if all your history, and your anthropology classes

  • had a baby, it would be this book.

  • I absolutely love just her clear descriptions,

  • and also her commentary, and it just really reminded me

  • of all the things that I forgot in all those classes

  • that I learned.

  • It's been a very long time since I've been in school,

  • so if I don't have a refresher, I will not remember it.

  • It was just really nice to be re-informed about

  • the history and the existence of homo sapiens,

  • and it was very impressive to see how we,

  • as a collective unit, were able to just

  • completely dominate the planet.

  • We have been killin' it for a very long time.

  • Literally and figuratively.

  • We are the only species that know how to work

  • as a unit, with tools, and to be able to expand

  • and it explains why in such a short period of time

  • we have been able to just bulldoze, and create

  • all these agricultural revolution,

  • and industrial revolution.

  • We've been freaking on it, and this book

  • just highlights all of that.

  • It's very alarming to see how rapidly this has all

  • been going, we have the capacity to completely

  • destroy the planet, however we have the capacity

  • to completely save the planet.

  • It's kind of like the Spider-Man quote,

  • "with great power comes great responsibility."

  • I have hope for us.

  • So now we're gonna move on to some fiction.

  • I have to talk about "The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo".

  • This book was so good, I read it twice.

  • I literally finished it and I was, "I'm gonna hit it again."

  • I was trying to chase the high from reading it

  • the first time, and honestly the second time was really good

  • because I got to catch some things that I didn't notice

  • in the first run.

  • It's about Evelyn Hugo, who is an icon,

  • the Hollywood icon of the 1950s all the way to the 1980s,

  • and with just wild fame comes some scandals along the way.

  • So she's had seven husbands, and she's been very

  • tight lipped with it her entire life,

  • but the book starts when she's pretty much 70,

  • and she's old, and so now she's ready to talk about it,

  • and she does not hold back.

  • The tea is hot, it's got everything.

  • It's actually a very progressive read,

  • there's a lot of visibility from race,

  • sexuality, and I think that's something

  • really refreshing to see, especially in a mainstream book.

  • I mean, maybe I've just been in the dark

  • with what kind of books to read, but I loved this.

  • If you guys have any recommendations that are similar

  • to this book, and have the visibility and representation,

  • please let me know.

  • Evelyn Hugo is unfortunately a fictional character,

  • but she is real in my heart.

  • Evelyn Hugo is a character inspired by Marilyn Monroe,

  • Elizabeth Taylor, and if you've ever been fascinated

  • of that whole old Hollywood lifestyle,

  • and what it was like to be there, read this book,

  • you will be teleported in.

  • So if you guys know me, you all know

  • that I love me a thriller.

  • For my thriller recommendation I have

  • "Final Girls" by Riley Sager.

  • This one is definitely a read to just pack on