A stack of books with a coffee cup sitting on top

My Big, Guilt-Free, New Year Book List To Get Obsessed About

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Each year I try and read more than I did the previous year. It’s a little game of mine I do to continually work on being my best self. I track everything in Goodreads using their annual Reading Challenge tracker and choose books as I go along. However, I’m doing things slightly different this year by planning ahead what I’m going to read over the next 12 months, which I’m calling my Big, Guilt-Free, New Year Book List!

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I’m projected to finish 18 books this year, which surpasses the 15 I challenged myself to read. In comparison, in 2018 I finished 14 of the 13 books I challenged myself to. With that in mind, I’m going into 2020 challenging myself to read 24 books or two books per month!

Related: Read More Books This Year With These 15 Tips

My New Year Book List Challenge Details

Although this is a personal challenge I set for myself, you’re more than welcome to use it as inspiration for your own or even copy my new year book list for yourself.

Below are the details for how I’m setting this up:

1. I’m Finishing Two Books Each Month

To finish 20 books in a year I would need to read 1.6 books per month (20 books divided by 12 months).

To make things simpler I’m going to attempt two books per month, which will give me some flexibility if one takes longer or sh*t happens.

In addition, I’m making it a rule that each month has to have 1 fiction novel and 1 non-fiction book to keep things interesting.

2. In My World Audiobooks Are Fair Game

To make it easier to reach my reading goals in the new year I’m allowing audiobooks.

Some of you may disagree with me and feel that listening to an audiobook isn’t the same as sitting down and reading one. But honestly, in the modern age, we need to squeeze in reading whenever we can and sometimes that means listening to a book while you shower or drive your kids to school.

3. I Tried to Combine Short and Long Books

I’m including a combination of short and long books. If every book was the same length as a George R. R. Martin novel we would all be doomed.

4. I’m Embracing the DNF

“Official death at 55 pages”

If you’ve never heard of DNF (Do Not Finish) this is going to change your reading life.

Forcing yourself to finish a book you aren’t enjoying is counter-productive. I’m giving myself permission to move on from a book I’m not enjoying and still count it as a book read as long as I share my thoughts in a Goodreads review.

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My New Year Book List (and reading recommendations)

Below is my New Year Book List broken down by season and month. To track my reading progress make sure to follow me on Goodreads!

New Year Book List – Winter


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Good Morning Good Life

by Amy Schmittauer Landino
Published December 10, 2019

I’m a fan of AmyTV and can’t wait to get into this book. Going into 2020 I would love to improve my morning routine to increase my productivity and mental wellbeing.

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The Year of the Flood

by Margaret Atwood
Published September 2009

I read Oryx and Crake a long time ago. The Year of the Flood is part two of that series so I’m looking forward to continuing the dystopian story!


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Lean In: Women, Work, and The Will To Lead

by Sheryl Sandberg
Published March 2013

Sheryl Sandberg is the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook and is a leader in motivating women to achieve their ambitions.

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My Grape Year: A Memoir

by Laura Bradbury
Published September 2015

I have a digital copy of book #2 in The Grape Series so I thought it appropriate that I read book #1 first!

I love memoirs that bring me to European countries so I can’t wait to pick this up in February!

New Year Book List – Spring


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Ask Me About My Uterus: A Quest To Make Doctors Believe In Women’s Pain

by Abby Norman
Published March 2019

After my own health scare in 2018, I’ve been invested in women’s health and educated myself and other women about what to look for.

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A Dance with Dragons

by George R. R. Martin
Published July 2011

Yes…I’m still working my way through this series! Since they are so long and a lot to consume I’ve been reading 1 – 2 a year for the last two years.

I can’t wait for him to finish the series!


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Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job, Kill It In Your Career, Rock Social Media

by Aliza Licht
Published May 2015

I found this book at my local Value Village. I’ve never heard of Aliza Licht but her book caught my eye since online marketing is my thing!

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Five Feet Apart

by Rachael Lippincott
November 2018

I saw the trailer for the film that’s based on this novel and it looked so good! Since I value literature more I decided I would hold off watching the film until I read the book. I guess that means I’m waiting until April!


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Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)

by Mindy Kaling
Published November 2011

I’ll need a little bit of comedy in 2020 so in comes Mindy Kaling! I loved her show and can’t wait for this.

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The House At Riverton

by Kate Morton
Published June 2007

I’m a fan of Kate Morton’s mystery stories. Every time I come across one I haven’t read yet I make sure to pick it up.

The House at Riverton is the last one I own before I need to search for more!


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Thrive: The Third Metric To Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder

by Arianna Huffington
Published March 2014

Arianna Huffington is the co-founder and Editor in Chief of the Huffington Post and a serious girl boss I love listening to. Looking forward to her insights in this book.

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Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

by Gail Honeyman
Published May 2017

This is the heroic story of a quirky woman who doesn’t quite fit in anywhere. I’ve heard about it and am finally taking the time to read it in 2020!

New Year Book List – Summer


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I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up For Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

by Malala Yousafzai
Published October 2013

I feel guilty I haven’t read this sooner. Malala is an inspiring young woman who unfortunately had to deal with some horrors nobody should have to deal with. She is an advocate for the right to an education and I love her for that.

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The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein

by Kiersten White
Published September 2018

This book was included in my 2018 book recommendations. When I saw it as one of Amazon’s daily deals for Kindle I had to grab it. Looking forward to revisiting Dr. Frankenstein and that fictional world.


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Talking to Strangers

by Malcolm Gladwell
Published September 2019

Not only was this book a Kindle daily deal, but it also targets one of the skills I wish I was better at!

I purchased a copy hoping it will help me improve my networking skills.

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The German Midwife

by Mandy Robotham
Published December 2018

A historical fiction book set during the Second World War. It’s received amazing reviews on Goodreads and I can’t wait to dive in!


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High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way

by Brendon Burchard
Published September 2017

The digital version of this book went on sale Black Friday weekend and I had to grab it! In it, Brendon shares six habits to reach long-term success. I’ve seen this book on the lists of many entrepreneurs. Excited to find out how it will benefit my life as well!

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Red Queen

by Victoria Aveyard
Published February 2015

I don’t read young adult fiction much anymore but picked this one up as a daily deal (like many of my e-books). Since it’s a dystopian novel I’m actually excited to check it out and see if it’s worth reading the entire series.

New Year Book List – Fall


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Do It Scared: Finding The Courage To Face Your Fears, Overcome Adversity, And Create A Life You Love

by Ruth Soukup
Published May 2019

I’m a collector of all self-help books related to being your best self and creating the life you love. I can’t wait to see if this one resonates with me!

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The Silent Patient

by Alex Michaelides
Published February 2019

At the time of writing this post, I had just gone through Goodreads Choice 2019 winners. The Silent Patient was #1 in Mystery and Thriller. I want to see what all the hype was about, plus the synopsis sounded interesting.


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Influencer: Building Your Personal Brand in the Age of Social Media

by Brittany Hennessy
Published July 2018

Curious to see what insights Brittanny Hennessy has that could help with the branding of my online business and any new social media tips I can take away for my clients.

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The Tattooist of Auschwitz

by Heather Morris
Published September 2018

I picked this book off my to-read list because the title makes me feel like this is going to be an emotional novel. This is the first book of two that the author has written for the series.


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Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice From The Best In The World

by Timothy Ferriss
Published November 2017

Another amazing Black Friday/Cyber Monday finds. I’ve heard online entrepreneurs I look up to reference Tim Ferriss before. In Tribe of Mentors, he’s compiled the advice of hundreds of leaders that I will be absorbing like a sponge!

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The Gathering Storm

by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
Published October 2009

Finally, the last book I plan on reading in 2020 is The Gathering Storm, the 12th book of the Wheel of Time Series. I have been picking away at this series since high school and have three more to go!






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