The 5 Books That Changed My Life

Hello again!

Ask Me Anything week continues with a question from the lovely Elisha:

Hi Naomi!

What 5 books were most game changing or eye opening for you over the years?


Ooh, fun question! I love talking about books.

Here are my top picks.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up by Marie KondoYou want to talk about life-changing books? This little gem is unparalleled. You've probably heard enough about this publishing sensation that you don't need me to repeat it all here.

Going through the KonMari process was a brain-breaking, world-shifting emotional roller coaster that you really have to experience to understand. I cried while I kissed my socks and thanked them for their service. I closed my eyes and listened to what my hairbands wanted me to know. Insane. Trippy, disturbing and, yes, life-changing.

The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks

The Big Leap by Gay HendricksI'll be honest – I thought this was nonsense, the kind of marketing hocus pocus that consultants in suits slap together to get speaking gigs at the Iowa Wheat Grower's Convention.

Damn, was I wrong. I don't know who finally got me onto Gay Hendricks but I want to send them a huge check and some expensive roses.

If you've ever struggled with upper limit problems, thought you might have one, or wanted to truly, honestly, swear-to-God bring your life and business to the next level? Read this first. Gay's the real deal.

Purple Cow by Seth Godin

Purple Cow by Seth GodinI don't like most marketing books. I don't like most business books at all, actually. And Seth Godin and I have disagreed on far more than we've agreed on over the years. (He usually turns out to be right, although I do my best to gloss over that part.)

But, credit where it's due, Purple Cow defined an entire generation of marketers and marketing. If you read it now, it may seem like you've heard it all before, and perhaps, by now, you have. But Seth said it first and best. This is peerless.

Healing ADD by Daniel Amen

Healing ADD by Dr. Daniel AmenWhen I discovered I had ADD, I was aghast. Agog. Agape. And many other things which may or may not begin with A. I was telling the inimitable John T. Unger about this and he replied, in classic deadpan, “Please tell me you didn't pay for that diagnosis.” Say what? “You're honestly telling me you're the last one on earth to know you've got ADD?”

Yes. Yes, I was. (And thanks, jerk.)

Dr. Amen turned what felt like a life sentence and turned it into a manageable superpower. When he says “heal”? He means heal. This is magic.

Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson

Hold Me Tight by Dr. Sue JohnsonI love getting married. I started at 18 and I haven't figured out a way to stop. To say my early attempts at relationships were a disaster would be putting things very kindly indeed. I ignored this book for a long time because the subtitle put me off and made me think it was super dorky and abstract. But at one point I became desperate enough to give it a try, and I'm so glad I did.

Hold Me Tight takes (the once controversial, now taken for granted) Emotionally Focused Therapy and gives it a practical, DIY approach that you seriously don't need a therapist for. Brava.

If I can add a sixth? The Hands-On Home by Erica Strauss.

The Hands-On Home by Erica StraussIf I hadn't read all those books, this would have been nothing but a pretty catalog of Things I'll Never Have My Shit Together Enough To Do. But SINCE I read those, I could approach this as something that might actually affect my life, not just look charming on my bookshelf.

This book turned me into a cook, a homekeeper, and a gardener, and it took my own – and my kid's – interest in essential oils over the top. Everywhere I go – from home, to hotel, to friend's guest house, to AirBNB, and back – is lovelier and feels more MINE because of this book. This has made digital nomading nice, not just cool.

Again, fantastic question, Elisha. Thanks for sending it in. :)



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