It's hard to read one hundred books-a perennial goal of mine-but I did it this year!
The shortest was The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The longest was an exhaustive 600-plus page treatise on working with LGBTQIA+ clients in clinical settings by Joe Kort.
The oldest was The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Joseph Lawrence published in 1693.
Several books I read were published this year including works by Brene Brown, Parker Palmer, and Yuval Noah Harari.
The ten books I read in 2018 that most impacted my life were:
10. I am Malala-Malala Yousafzai
The memoir of this young woman opened my eyes to women's oppression around the world. The role her father played in her narrative demonstrated how I can be an advocate for women and education.
9.You Need a Budget-Jesse Mecham
Last December, my best friend and I were 'pal-in around' Houston when we started talking about money. He talked about his friend who had bad money habits. I asked how so? We laughed when he went through a checklist of bad financial habits and I raised my hand for every one. Although I kidded my friend that the title of this book is shaming, it helped me get completely out of debt while leaving a full time job, all in less than a year. More importantly, it taught me that dollars represent my values. How I spend my money indicates who I am and what I stand for.
8. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking-Susan Cain
For anyone introverted--like me--this book is validating and teaches us how to play to our strengths. It helps us connect with our different way of looking at the world and why our unique perspective is valuable and needed.
7. Uprooting Racism: How White People can Work for Racial Justice-Paul Kivel
A challenging and provoking book that is hard to read. It essentially asks white people, "what are you going to do with your privilege to help others?"
6. Breaking the Male Code: Unlocking the Power of Male Friendship-Robert Garfield
The title says it all. If you are a man, read this book. It will change you for the better.
5. No House to Call My Home-Ryan Berg
A powerful account of a social worker's experience serving an LGBT foster home in New York City.
4, Outliers-Malcolm Gladwell
This book gave me chill bumps from start to finish. Gladwell is a genius and I subsequently read every book he published this year. The last chapter will change your life.
3. Regaining Your Self-Ira Sacker
I have lost 120 pounds since 2015 (admittedly I gained thirty pounds back this year). This book helps people with eating disorders from a strength-based perspective. It inspires the reader to find their talents and gifts and use that as a springboard for self-care and well-being.
2. The Common Good-Robert Reich
Robert Reich is a real hero of mine. The Common Good speaks of community-building, non-partisanship, and states that each generation has the job of recreating America and its values.
1. The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight World-Alan Downs
I read this book twice and used it as a model for a presentation at an LGBT conference. It is a powerful book for any gay man, and his model is based on decades of work with LGBT clients. He describes the development of gay man as: overwhelmed by shame (pre-coming out), compensating for shame (acting out, addiction, esteem based on success rather than inherent worth, etc.) and overcoming shame (resiliency through healthy relationships, meaningful work, recovery, etc.).