7 Books You Need to Say YES to in 2017

Luvvie Ajayi, Author of 'I'm Judging You: The Do-Better Manual'

Luvvie Ajayi, Author of 'I'm Judging You: The Do-Better Manual'

Takia McClendon

In our last book round-up, we shared some of our favorite running books written by amazing women. This time around, we're expanding the list to include non-running books. Why? In order to be a better athlete, you have to improve in all areas of your life - mental health, physical health and professional development, too. Am I right? 

That's why this list includes books for motivation, career, fitness and a few to make you laugh out loud when you hit a rough patch. 

 


For extra motivation:

'Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person' by Shonda Rhimes - She’s the creator and producer of some of the most groundbreaking and audacious shows on television today. Her iconic characters live boldly and speak their minds. So who would suspect that Shonda Rhimes is an introvert? That she hired a publicist so she could avoid public appearances? That she suffered panic attacks before media interviews?

With three children at home and three hit television shows, it was easy for Shonda to say she was simply too busy. But in truth, she was also afraid. And then, over Thanksgiving dinner, her sister muttered something that was both a wake up and a call to arms: You never say yes to anything. Shonda knew she had to embrace the challenge: for one year, she would say YES to everything that scared her.


Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert - With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives.

Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us.


For your running and fitness goals:

Hit Reset: Revolutionary Yoga for Athletes by Erin Taylor - HIT RESET offers athletes new ways to find more speed, power, and endurance. Yoga coach Erin Taylor’s HIT RESET approach uses yoga to solve the specific problems you face as an athlete. Her revolutionary way to do yoga can improve functional strength, flexibility, muscle recruitment, breathing and focus, core strength, and durability.

HIT RESET starts by defining 10 problems that hold athletes back and the specific yoga solutions that can fix them. Each chapter shows you how your body should work, how to self-diagnose flaws in your movement and functional strength, and how to apply just a few specific yoga poses so you can “hit reset” and get back to peak athletic form. In just a few minutes each day, you can practice the yoga solutions in HIT RESET anytime and anywhere without a mat or studio classes.


How Bad Do You Want It?: Mastering the Psychology of Mind over Muscle by Matt Fitzgerald -  In his fascinating book How Bad Do You Want It?, coach Matt Fitzgerald examines more than a dozen pivotal races to discover the surprising ways elite athletes strengthen their mental toughness.

Fitzgerald puts you into the pulse-pounding action of more than a dozen epic races from running, cycling, triathlon, XTERRA, and rowing with thrilling race reports and revealing post-race interviews with the elites. Their own words reinforce what the research has found: strong mental fitness lets us approach our true physical limits, giving us an edge over physically stronger competitors. Each chapter explores the how and why of an elite athlete’s transformative moment, revealing powerful new psychobiological principles you can practice to flex your own mental fitness.


For the #girlboss in you:

Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill It in Your Career. Rock Social Media by Aliza Licht - In her first book, Aliza is here to tell her story, complete with The Devil Wears Prada-esque moments and insider secrets. Drawing invaluable lessons from her experience as a top fashion publicist, Licht shares advice, inspiration, and a healthy dose of real talk in LEAVE YOUR MARK. With a particular emphasis on communicating and building your personal brand, something she knows a thing or two about, Aliza is your sassy, knowledgeable guide to the contemporary working world, where personal and professional lines are blurred and the most important thing you can have is a strong sense of self.  

 


In The Company of Women.jpg

In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs by Grace Bonney: Across the globe, women are embracing the entrepreneurial spirit and overcoming adversity to start their own creative businesses. In the Company of Women, Grace Bonney’s new book, features interviews and portraits of 100 of these exceptional leaders across a diverse range of races, ages, backgrounds, and industries. There are young media titans and mother-daughter fashion houses, hoteliers and ceramicists, tattoo artists and architects.


To make you LOL:

I'm Judging You: The Do-Better Manual by Luvvie Ajayi - With over 500,000 readers a month at her enormously popular blog, AwesomelyLuvvie.com, Luvvie Ajayi is a go-to source for smart takes on pop culture. I'm Judging You is her debut book of humorous essays that dissects our cultural obsessions and calls out bad behavior in our increasingly digital, connected lives―from the importance of the newest Shonda Rhimes television drama to serious discussions of race and media representation to what to do about your fool cousin sharing casket pictures from Grandma's wake on Facebook.

With a lighthearted, razor sharp wit and a unique perspective, I'm Judging You is the handbook the world needs, doling out the hard truths and a road map for bringing some "act right" into our lives, social media, and popular culture. It is the Do-Better Manual.


How to Stop Spending Time You Don't Have with People You Don't Like Doing Things You Don't Want to Do (A No F*cks Given Guide) by Sarah Knight - Are you stressed out, overbooked, and underwhelmed by life? Fed up with pleasing everyone else before you please yourself? It's time to stop giving a f*ck.

This brilliant, hilarious, and practical parody of Marie Kondo's bestseller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up explains how to rid yourself of unwanted obligations, shame, and guilt--and give your f*cks instead to people and things that make you happy. 

And it will free you to spend your time, energy, and money on the things that really matter. So what are you waiting for? Stop giving a f*ck and start living your best life today!


Takia McClendon is the co-founder of City Fit Girls. She's a shoe expert and manager at a running store in Philadelphia and a Certified Level 1 USATF Coach. Follow her online at @takiamcclendon. 

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