My Personal Development Reading List

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In a previous post I shared the things I’d like to accomplish in 2018. One of those goals was to make more time for reading. In this blogpost I’ll share my personal development reading list for this year. It will include books to help you grow, thrive and be happier.


I do most of my reading with the mobile app Blinkist nowadays. Blinkist offers summaries of thousands of non-fiction books for those with a busy schedule. This allows you to get some reading done wherever you are, whether waiting for the bus, during your lunch break or listening to the audio version while driving to work. I’ve been loving it!

Blinkist has a huge library of summaries of books. They summarize books in about 8-12 ‘Blinks’ that each last about 1 to 2 minutes to read. You can get through a lot of books really fast and still get the key message and highlights from the book. It’s also great for when you aren’t really good at deciding what to read next, as 15 to 20 minutes is less of a commitment than a few hours. Also, if you don’t like the book, you can just start reading a new one in under a minute.  

You can sign up for a free trial here!


I think we’ve already established that I like reading (well, if you’ve ever visited and read my blog before, that is). Reading is great for reducing stress, learning new things and improving your ability to focus. That’s why I am aiming to make more time for it this year. I’d like to read a regular paper book at least once every month, which will most likely be fiction and on top of that I am going to be reading a lot of Blinkist books.

These are the books on my reading list:

  • Broadcasting Happiness by Michelle Gielan
    About the great impact positivity has on teamwork, productivity and well-being.
  • Contagious by Jonah Berger
    About what makes a product more likely to be shared by and among a lot of people.
  • Dangerously Sleepy by Alan Derickson
    About the problems and causes of lack of sleep.
  • Get Smart! by Brian Tracy
    About how to use your now unused brain power and live a happier and more successful life.
  • Happier by Tal Ben-Shahar, Ph.D.
    A guide to living a more meaningful and enjoyable existence, identify what matters most to you and on how to make that a bigger part of your life.
  • Happiness By Design by Paul Dolan
    About how happiness arises and how we experience it in our daily lives.

  • How To Make People Like You in 90 Seconds Or Less by Nicholas Boothman
    About connecting, communicating and expanding your social world.
  • I Know How She Does It by Laura Vanderkam
    About how career women balance work, family and time for themselves.
  • If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy? by Raj Raghunathan
    (I actually went to a seminar of his, amazing person!) About how to put an end to the bad habits that keep you from being happy.
  • Intelligent Disobedience by Ira Chaleff
    About why we’re so quick to follow orders even when we know we shouldn’t and tools to effectively resist the rules that you know are wrong.
  • Learning Leadership by James Kouzes and Barry Posner
    About leadership being a skill that can be taught. Learn how to be an effective leader.
  • Peak Performance by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness
    About how you can be your best (by sharing success stories, case studies and examples).
  • Purpose by Nikos Mourkogiannis
    About how important values are for strong leadership.
  • Spark by Angie Morgan, Courtney Lynch and Sean Lynch
    About how to transform yourself into the most valuable asset in your organization.
  • The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner
    About the regions of the world with the highest concentrations of healthy centenarians.
  • The End of Stress by Don Joseph Goewey
    About how stress severely damages your health and happiness and how to undo the damage.
  • The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon
    About positive energy and long-term success in your personal and professional life.
  • The Happiness of Pursuit by Chris Guillebeau
    About embarking on a quest to fill your life with a sense of purpose.
  • The Motivation Manifesto by Brendon Burchard
    About the driving forces of human nature and how these either help us realize or keep us from our life’s goals. Increase your levels of motivation.
  • The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck
    About how you can live a more fulfilling life by practicing discipline and developing a better understanding of love, religion and grace.
  • The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington
    About the importance of sleep and how it improves our performance at work, health and personal relationships.
  • The Success Principles by Jack Canfield
    About the principles to lead a more successful and fulfilling life.
  • The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle
    About how talent can be trained through deep practice.
  • The Upside of Stress by Kelly McGonigal
    About the power our attitudes have when it comes to dealing with stress and how stress can help us grow.
  • The Worry-Free Mind by Carol Kershaw and Bill Wade
    About why we spend so much time worrying and what can be done to worry less.
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
    About how decisions are made, why certain judgment errors are so common and how we can improve ourselves.
  • Unlimited Memory by Kevin Horsley
    About how we can use techniques to remember and retain any information we want.
  • When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chödrön
    About how to deal with the biggest challenges life throws at you.
  • Work Simply by Carson Tate
    About how we can understand our own productivity style, how we can make lighter work and achieve your life goals.
  • Get Momentum by Jason W. Womack and Jody Womack
    About effective strategies to work towards your personal and professional goals.

* All these titles are part of the Blinkist Library

Inspire yourself

These are the thirty books on my personal development reading list right now. I’ll probably read quite a few more, but this should last me a while. I hope that there are some titles in there that you’d love to read and if you’ve already read any of the above, please let me know what you thought of it in the comments.

New books are always a great way to motivate yourself and feel inspired. Whenever I read a new personal development book I get really excited to get my life in order. I’m hoping these books will do the same for you.

Happy reading!

With much love,

  • Wow! This is quite a list! I personally read a few minimalism-in-your-life books last year, but some books I enjoyed for personal development last year were “How to Win Friends and Influence People” (+ In the Digital Age) by Dale Carnegie, “What I told my Daughter” by Nina Tassler, and all the books by Gretchen Rubin, starting with “Better than Before” for habit-forming.
    I hope to check out some of the books you recommended!! I’m always on a hunt for good reads.

  • Kelly 켈리

    Wow great list of books! 30 is a lot! I struggle reading one! I like the idea of blinklist!
    I’ve been really into the Harry Potter audio books lately :)! It’s great for multitasking.


  • RIkki Parker

    THIS is SUCH an amazing list of books! I’m so glad I read this because I know I want to read more this year and I wanted more self development books on my list so that I could dive in head first! Great great great post and I love how you broke down each book so well!

  • Charli Dawns

    This is so great! I have never heard of Blinkist and it sounds like something I would love because I am always looking for a short synopsis of something to see if I’d really like to commit to reading it or not. Will definitely be checking out a few of these books on your list!

  • Claire Johnston

    I will take a look at some of these need some new books nothing has held my attention for ages !

  • Julia

    Wow these are some great reading suggestions. I will be getting on it!

  • Asha Carlos

    Thanks for sharing about Blinkist and the list of books to read, will go check it out as I love books as well

  • yay one of my NYR’s is to read 2 books per month so this little babe of a blog post came along at just the right time!

    theres so many on this list id like to add my my own, think i’ll just start at the top and work my way slowly down!

    katie. xx

  • I love posts with reading lists! Many books from yours seem so interesting, definitely adding them to my reading list!

  • Getting to read more self-improvement books is one of my goals for 2018, so I’ve added several here to my wishlist on Audible. 🙂 Especially The Talent Code sounds intriguing – but I should probably dive into Dangerously Sleepy first!

    • Yay! I hope you’ll love them. And yes Dangerously Sleepy is one I’m going to have to read soon haha!

  • Thank you for this reading list, I have never picked up a self help book before so this actually gives me a starting point! Lovely post Maud!

  • fessjarmer

    I’ve always got my head stuck in a book so this post is ideal for me! Also can I say your photos are amazing! Do you use lighting for them? x

  • Jessica Louise

    Omg yes! Bookmarking this one as I am always looking for new reads!! ❤️

    • Yay, thank you!

  • Angela Alya

    You’ve got quite a reading list over there! I hope you’ll complete them all! There are a few books in there I might give a try (though I’m more of a fiction reader, truth be told).
    x Angela /

  • Jenni Maria

    I have always loved reading but I have to have my books as an old school paper version :D. Will try to find some books from your list in our library :).

    • Awesome, hope you find them!

  • fessjarmer

    Ahhhh that’s such a good idea though! Any stock places you can recommend? Only on my new blog I might need to sources some photos from somewhere (tourist boards etc) but would be good to know any other places x

  • Stephanie Foo

    Great reading list!! I’m going to check them all out right now 🙂 Was in need for some new reads so thank you Maud the lifesaver!

    • Thank you! Haha, I’m glad you liked it!

  • So glad you liked it! Thank you!

  • Nicole Lauren Blake

    Wow, that’s a long list! Contagious definitely sounds like an interesting read that I will have to try and keep in mind for when I’m ready for a new book!

  • I will definitly be adding all these to my 2018 reading list! I always have trouble finding new books to read, but now I don’t even need to search! Thanks! Xx