As the new year begins and warm, fuzzy feelings of newness envelope us, we aspire to turn into our shiniest, sparkliest selves. Here, we’ve put together a list of books that offer new perspectives and life advice on different themes to truly light up your 2019.

On Purpose

Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life by Albert Liebermann and Hector Garcia
Popularly translated to “a reason to jump out of bed each morning”, Ikigai describes the Japanese philosophy of finding your purpose, urging individuals to discover and follow their spark. It encourages you to simplify our lives by consciously pursuing your ikigai – the intersection of our passion, profession, values and vocation. By turning this pursuit into an everyday practice, Ikigai infuses each day with meaning, ultimately bringing in happiness, fulfillment and a longer life.

On Motivation

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
With some straight talk and tough love, You Are a Badass teaches you how to be the best and brightest version of yourself – the ultimate badass. It’s a positive thinking-embracing guide to self-awareness, encouraging you to kick all the haters to the curb and kick-start the life you always wanted to live – no excuses.

On Failure

The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success by Megan McArdle
A counterintuitive take to acknowledging failure as part of success, The Up Side of Down weaves together case studies, behavioral economics and vivid examples of how failures can morph into opportunities for growth. McArdle dives right into a failure-embracing mindset, showing us how to reinvent in the face of defeat. Essentially, it’s inevitable that we won’t succeed all of the time, but the Up Side of Down teaches us how to fail well.

On Success

Outliers, The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
How do successful people become successful? In Outliers, Gladwell digs deep beyond hard work to discover how family, genealogy, culture and experience determine success. He explores the role of luck and unpacks the nuances that helped Bill Gates and Steve Jobs get to where they are today. Outliers makes high achievers seem more human and argues a compelling case that geniuses are not born; they are made.

On Life Advice

Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World by Tim Ferriss
A series of mini interviews from an eclectic group (think artists to investment bankers) of world-class top performers, Tribe of Mentors covers life advice big and small, from how to identify your priorities to the best morning routines. Essentially, it’s a masterclass of life strategies and practical advice from people who have been there (and done that), transcribed to help you find answers and multiply your results.

On Certainty

What I Know for Sure by Oprah Winfrey
What I Know for Sure is a candid and uplifting read of the wisdom Oprah has acquired over the years. Divided into topics such as Joy, Resilience, Connection, Gratitude, Possibility, Awe, Clarity and Power, each essay invites an emotional, intimate glimpse of the lessons she has learned and observations she has made on her journey. Along the way, Oprah encourages you to appreciate life and question what, within it, you know for sure.

The new year brings with it a chance to refresh and reflect. Some of these reads will help you start out on your path to being boss, others will shine some light where you need it the most. As you go through these, we’d love to know which were game-changers as well as your personal recommendations on what helped you turn over the proverbial leaf. Until then, more power to you!

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