Imagine unwrapping a book on Christmas Eve and spending the rest of the evening curled by the fire reading while you sip hot cocoa. That’s a tradition in Iceland called Jolabokaflod which roughly translates as ‘Christmas book flood.’
This is such an important tradition that the Reykjavik Book Fair sends each household a book bulletin in mid-November. People flip through its pages, selecting books to gift their loved ones on Christmas Eve.
I always have a stack of books on my nightstand and I’m sharing some of my favorites. I read business books and those that focus on efficiency and processes which may not interest everyone. Fortunately, I’m married to an English teacher who reads more books in a year than I read in 5 years so I asked my husband to share some of his favorites too!
Essentialism by Greg McKeown
This book helps us understand that breaking down what is essential allows us to focus and contribute our time to what’s most meaningful.
Atomic Habits by James Clear
This time of year, we often focus on building good habits and breaking bad ones. This book is a practical guide on how to change your habits and get 1% better every day. [His weekly email is one of my favorites.]
Untamed by Glennon Doyle
A memoir that empowers women to embrace their true selves and break free from societal expectations.
The Gap and The Gain by Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy
A book that views life’s challenges as opportunities for growth, reframing failures as valuable learning experiences.
Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
Based on a true story of real love and betrayal. A murder mystery fueled by power and greed. It is now a major motion picture starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, and Lily Gladstone.
My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel by Ari Shavit
This brilliant examination of Israel is an ideal primer to help understand the bitter Israeli-Palestine conflict that now dominates the daily news cycle.
The Awakening Land Trilogy by Conrad Richter
This series consists of three novels: The Trees, The Fields, and The Town. They depict the lives of American frontier families in the Ohio Valley from the late 18th century to the middle of the 19th. Richter is a master of historical fiction.
The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
This is a poignant story about an old Irish woman who resides in a Mental Hospital in County Sligo. The history of Ireland’s religious and political upheavals is set against the personal fortunes of a family who lived through them. Barry is a wonderful writer who understands how historical forces shape individual destinies.
Use this list to enjoy your very own Jolabokaflod this Christmas Eve.
Have a well-designed day,
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