Well Read

I was reminiscing with a girlfriend about the good ol’ days…you know when you’d stay up late with a flashlight or those weird attachable reading lamps to finish a chapter or six in a book. Yeah, I was that kid.

Anyway, this prompted me to turn off the TV and instead grab a book. (I even got a library card!) Today it hit me that I’m being stingy by not sharing what reads I’m nose-deep in! Keep in mind, I’m deeply fascinated by humanities, entrepreneurship and productivity so these all relate to those topics in some shape or form.



Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, Greg McKeown

My Thoughts:

Where do I begin? This is a book that vastly changed my life. I actually created a hyper-focused recap of the book, where I pulled questions for daily life, macro level thoughts and life adjustments to make and mantras to incorporate for years to come. I refer to this sheet weekly to bi-weekly. Did I mention, my closet shrank, I regained my right to CHOOSE and learned to say no. To say this is a must read is an understatement.

Key Takeaways:

“In many ways living as an essentialist in our too-many-things-all-the-time society is an act of quiet REVOLUTION. “

Questions to ask daily
– Is this the very most important thing I should be doing with my time and resources right now?
– Did I say “yes” to simply please?
– Have I been bored lately?
Questions to explore in depth

– What are my best rhythms for sleeping, eating and working?

– What is the obstacle that is keeping me from achieving what really matters to me?
– What is the obstacle that is keeping me from achieving what really matters to me?



Mantras/meditations moving forward 
– I will give myself permission to stop trying to do it all, to stop saying yes to everyone, to make my highest contribution towards the things that really matter.
– Less but better.
– I will stop celebrating being busy as a measurement of importance.
Obviously there is way, way more – but those are just a few juicy nuggets. Want to see more of my notes? Email me and I’ll send them over: hello@haute-hope.com


The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg

My Thoughts: Ridiculously fascinating. This book breaks down the science behind our habits, why we have them, why we keep them and how we can change them. Mind blown. I’m planning to make a list of habits I’m determined to change (ex: falling asleep on the couch at 8:30pm) and implement with the teachings in this book. I highly recommend this one for anyone who has ever said, “It’s just how I am.” or “I can’t help it.” That means YOU.

Key Takeaways: 

“Habits, scientists say, emerge because the brain is constantly looking for ways to save effort.”

“Dozens of studies show that willpower is the single most important keystone habit for individual success”

“If you believe you can change – if you make it a habit – the change becomes real. This is the real power of habit: the insight that your habits are what you choose them to be.”


Rapt, Attention and the Focused Life: Winifred Gallagher

“Many extraordinary achievers are distinguished by their ability to pay rapt attention.” 

My Thoughts(so far): I’m currently one third of the way through this gem of book I found buried in the book section of my local Goodwill. In a time where attention and the ability to focus is a greater asset than your IQ a read like this is basically getting the cheat codes to life.

Key Takeways (so far): 

“Magic is what happens when you’re paying attention to something else.”

“It’s the fashion to blame the Internet and computers, cell phones and cable TV for this diffused, fragmented state of mind, but our seductive machines are not at fault. The real problem is that we do not appreciate our own ability to use attention to select and create truly satisfying experience.”

“To protect the quality of your experience, you must shift your focus from dull or dispiriting ideas and feelings that serve no useful, problem-solving purpose, as many if not most don’t, and concentrate as much as possible on the productive, life-enhancing sort.”

“Living the focused life is not about trying to feel happy all the time…it’s about treating your mind as you would a private garden and being as careful as possible about what you introduce and allow to grow there.”


Unsubscribe, Jocelyn Glei

I met Jocelyn on a panel a week before her book launched. We share a similar disdain for perfectly filtered photos of people doing yoga on instagram and also a desire to live a focused life. Her book narrows in on email (gasp!) and lays out how to break free from the ping! I can’t wait to dive in, implement and feel the weight of the virtual inbox come off.

Friends, may you find a nook, a cup of tea and a good book this fall.




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