Ellyn’s Faves...

You all know I’m an obsessive reader

And that’s mostly what you’re going to find on this page! This page includes not only my favorite books overall in a number of areas, including confidence, health, finances, etc., but toward the bottom of the page, you’ll also find my Reading Lists from 2018 and 2019 where I read over 50 books a year! Eventually these lists will probably move off of this site (but don’t worry, I’ll still link them!)…

But I also wanted to share some of my other favorites by way of some Amazon Ideas Lists! These lists include my favorite random things - fitness gear, water bottles, etc. - my favorite camping and travel gear (including my luggage choices from RY, my EmPack, my LifeStraw and much more), my favorite podcasting microphones and webcams, and of course, cuz I’m an obsessive bullet journaler, my favorite bullet journaling supplies!

random things i love | camping & travel gear | coaching things | bullet journal essentials


 Books on Books…

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You all know I have a profound love of all things personal development – to the point where I actually have to reign it in on occasion! And I knew eventually I would want to share an extensive list of my favorite resources with you! So, here you go – organized by subject and in order with my favorite books/audio books at the top of each category, including:

    • Confidence

    • Motivation & Inspiration

    • Productivity & Lifestyle Changes

    • Relationships

    • Spirituality & Mindfulness

    • Health & Fitness

    • Finances

wanna take your personal growth to the next level?


The Power of Vulnerability – Brene Brown (Audio Book)- Literally, you cannot go wrong with anything by this woman! Brene Brown, PhD is a research professor who has studied shame, vulnerability, and worthiness for the last 15 years. Her Ted Talk from 2010 went completely viral (right). So, basically, she’s legit! This book is a recording of one of her seminars, and what I love about it is that she simultaneously makes you laugh your ass off, while telling stories and making insights that will make you cry and bring you to your knees. It’s incredible! By far one of my most recommended and shared things I’ve ever been exposed to! I highly encourage anyone and everyone check it out!

Other great books from Brene Brown, PhD:

You are a Badass – Jen Sincero – This book! Agh this book! By far the most-quoted book I have ever read! You may already recognize it from my Motivation Monday video and blog posts. I adore this book! It gets at the crux of what so many of us deal with: “How to stop doubting [our] greatness and starting living an awesome life!” Jen Sincero talks about her struggles, her journey, the lessons she learn – and she does it with such pizzazz and voice that you don’t even feel like you’re reading! You feel like you’re having a conversation with your girlfriends over cocktails about life and all it’s struggle! But it’s not just a bitch-fest! It’s action-oriented and motivation-filled! And I couldn’t recommend it (or read it) enough.

Failing Forward – John C. Maxwell – I gave away my copy of this book to a good friend and ever since I had been itching to buy another. John C. Maxwell is a guru in business. But this book demonstrates why “business” doesn’t mean just “business people” should read it. We all have a fear of failure – and it can be crippling! But, what I love about this book is that he teaches you that once you change your perspective on failure, that fear goes away! It’s as simple and as complicated as that! I highly encourage everyone check it out! If you have any fear of failure – this will help move you through it!

Other great books to check out:


Awaken the Giant Within – Anthony Robbins – Tony Robbins is a self-made man and thought leader in the field of personal growth and high-level achievement. He’s been in the game with his books and seminars for some 30 odd years, and has worked with people whom would top anyone’s list of “most influential” – Oprah, Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton, just to name a few. And this book changed my life! It was the very first personal development book I ever read while starting my journey. And, it became the ultimate game-changer book in my life!

Other great books and programs from Tony Robbins:

Mindset – Carol S. Dweck, PhD – This was one of my most recent personal development finds, and such a holy shit kind of book for me! It’s all about – you guessed it – mindset! Dr. Carol Dweck is a Psychology professor who has spent her career teaching and preaching on something that deeply affects and holds back individuals in our culture – a fixed mindset. It’s exactly how it sounds. Dr. Dweck illustrates through beautiful and thorough examples how we can nip this fixed mindset-epidemic in the bud by changing our language in how we talk to ourselves, our children, our clients, our employees, our coaches, etc.

The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho – “When you’re on a journey to fulfill your Personal Legend, the whole universe conspires to help you achieve it.” If you finish this book without this mantra pulling at your soul, I would question if you’ve read the book. It’s a simple story, some might even say cliche, about a boy who leaves everything he knows behind to pursue a dream. And in the process learns incredible amounts about himself, others, and the world around him. There’s a reason why you hear about this book all the time – because it’s a profoundly worthy classic! Don’t do what I did and wait years before you finally read it! Do it now!

Other great books to check out:

On Career/Purpose:


Getting Things Done – David Allen – We’re all about the productivity these day, am I right?! A friend of mine had been raving all the time about the Getting Things Done (GTD) system, that I finally caved and decided I needed to know what all of the fuss is about. And this system is crazy effective. Even if you just apply a couple of the suggestions it’s a game-changer! Like the “2 Minute Rule” – if something takes two minutes or less to complete, do it! Don’t put it off. Just get it done. Or my other favorite teaching – that our brains are not meant for remembering! So instead of trying to remember that thing you’re supposed to do, that gift you wanted to buy, etc. just record it somewhere instead. He’s got a filing system, an organizational, and a website chock full of productivity and organizational tips! I highly suggest you check it out if you’re in need of organizational help.

The Compound Effect – Darren Hardy – When any new coach joins my team, they get this book. Why? Because it’s simple, profound message can have big impacts on your life if only you apply the knowledge! The idea is this – small actions applied consistently can drastically affect an outcome. Darren Hardy illustrates this so wonderfully and so eloquently that once I finished it, I couldn’t not share!

Pivot: The Art and Science of Reinventing your Career & Your Life – Adam Markel – This was one of those books that grabbed me because of the title. I was considering a change in career, and potentially a pretty drastic one. I had no idea how to reconcile all my emotions, my doubts, and my fears! This book really helped me work through those questions and fears that I had.

The Four Hour Work Week – Tim Ferriss – No matter how you slice it, this book is polarizing! And if you’re one of those people that hates it, I’m not going to argue with you. But I personally love it. I love it because it is the most thorough description and depiction of all the different ways you can delegate, automate, and create passive income in your life so you can live more and work less! And I don’t know about you, but that’s definitely an idea that I can get behind. Plus – just love Tim Ferriss!

Other great books to check out:


How to Win Friends & Influence People – Dale Carnegie – Did anybody else get turned off by the title of this book when you first read it? I did. It sounded pompous, and manipulative. I mean a “how to” book on how to influence people? Let me put your fears aside right now – it’s not that kind of book! And just like with the Alchemist – there is a reason why this book is considered a classic! Because it is the single best book that I have ever read, and arguably that has ever been published on how to relate to others. It’s not really about winning & influencing people – it’s about teaching you to understand and develop rapport with people. Building good relationships builds friendships, trust, and seamless sense of support and reciprocation. This book teaches you the little tactics that can have a big impact on your relationships – with peers, with superiors, with friends, with acquaintances, etc.


The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, & Effectiveness – Epictetus – When a good friend of mine recommended a philosophical book to me, I immediately went into skeptic mode. I thought it would be boring, tedious to read, and be in that style where the writer is seemingly talking in circles about nothing. You know – philosophical texts. It was not what expected – it was better! Not only is it based on the teachings of a slave-turned-stoic philosopher, but the way in which the teachings are taught is incredibly relate-able. The stories and lessons are formulated in short 1-3 page snippets, easily digestible in small time frames and told in a manner in which you can relate. It’s still so contemporary, and something any self-help fanatic can get behind!

Other great books to check out:


The 4 Hour Body – Tim Ferriss – In the same way that 4 Hour Work Week is a manual for delegation and automation, 4 Hour Body is a manual for Tim Ferriss’ methodologies for achieving the body you want. Some may considered his methods unorthodox, but he has the personal experience and the testimonials from enough people that he just might convince you! It’s a gargantuan book, coming it at around 500 pages, but the best part is he walks you through what parts to read based on your goals! It’s definitely not a cover-to-cover book. It’s a pick and choose what you want to learn when you need to learn. This book covers: Fat loss, Muscle Gain, Improving Sex, Perfecting Sleep, Reversing Injuries, Running Faster, to name just some of the its many sections.

The Body Book – Cameron Diaz – If you’re new to health & fitness, I won’t lie this book is a decent start. It’s by no means ground breaking, but if you’re looking to learn the basics, this book has you covered. It covers:

  • Nutrition – from carbs to sugar, why you need more water and why you should be eating fat

  • Fitness with special emphasis on strength and why women shouldn’t fear it

  • Mind, ending the book with a little pep talk

Again, if you’re new to health & fitness, it’s worth the read! But if you’re a pro, looking for something to step up your game, this isn’t what you’re looking for.

The Mental Edge – Kenneth Baum – This was one of those that I didn’t know where to put. But bottom line, it’s incredible book on the power of the mind in shaping your achievement. It’s written from the perspective of sports psychology, but plenty of examples are given in which the reader can see, for example the power of visualization in goal achievement. I definitely left without a profound sense of appreciation for the power of visualization, and the ways in which I could use my mind to more vividly create my dreams to better connect them to my reality. If you’re even remotely interested in psychology, it’s a very interesting read!


Financially Fearless – Alexa Von Tobel (and/or check out The best thing that this book did is a) teach me an incredibly simple budgeting strategy, and b) introduce me to LearnVest, which has been the most effective tool I’ve ever found for budget. Check out more info about it here.

Other great books to check out:

  • Think & Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill

Money: Master the Game – Tony Robbins

My Reading Lists. . .


My 2019 Reading List:

  1. Your Best Year Ever – Michael Hyatt

  2. Deep Work – Cal Newport – A bit of a long read, but conveying an important and brilliant style of working to next level your productivity

  3. Atomic Habits – James Clear – Easily the best book on habit formation I’ve ever read! And so many great insights as well! Highly recommend this one!

  4. The ONE Thing - Gary Keller

  5. The Power of Habit - Charles Duhigg

  6. You are a Badass at Making Money - Jen Sincero - All the snark and sass of the original, but this time tackling the topic of money!

  7. The Science of Getting Rich - Wallace Wattles

  8. Rich Dad Poor Dad - Robert Kiyosaki

  9. Not Nice - Aziz Gazipura

  10. Boundaries - Henry Cloud - Admittedly hard for me to get through because it’s very faith-based

  11. Mindset - Carol Dweck - Just as good the second time! Highly recommended!

  12. Awaken the Giant Within - Tony Robbins

  13. Daring Greatly - Dr. Brene Brown - Probably the 5th time I have read this and I’m still obsessed!

  14. Radical Acceptance - Dr. Tara Brach

  15. Self-Compassion - Dr. Kristen Neff

  16. Come As You Are - Dr. Emily Nagoski - A book on women’s sexual health! Totally ground breaking for me! I learned so much about some of the things I’ve struggled with when it comes to intimacy and I realized that, well, to put it bluntly, I’m not broken…

  17. The 5AM Miracle - Jeff Sanders

  18. Extreme Productivity - Robert C. Pozen - I got to a point with this one where I just skimmed the end. It just didn’t really apply to me…

  19. Turning Pro - Steven Pressfield

  20. Ego is the Enemy - Ryan Holliday - Amazing! Probably my favorite book I’ve read this year!

  21. Everything is F*cked - Mark Manson - I actually didn’t enjoy this as much as his first book. Some might say I missed the point, but I read books to be motivated and learn new skills and I didn’t really get that from this book

  22. Can’t Hurt Me - David Goggins - I was motivated AF after reading this book! David Goggins is the ultimate badass and he’s been through hell and back. Though there’s a lot of what he’s about that doesn’t resonate with me, there’s a LOT that does and I was super f’ing motivated after this book for my next physical challenge!

  23. Willpower Doesn’t Work: Benjamin Hardy - This book was super interesting! Not too long either so it kept me engaged!

  24. The Perfect Day Formula - Craig Ballantyne - I enjoyed this book! It was short and to the point…and there were a few really practical tools!

  25. How To Be Everything - Emilie Wapnick - In Progress…

My 2018 Reading List:

    1. Rejection Reset – Scott Allan

    2. Choose the Life You Want – Tal Ben Shahar *The amount of truth bombs and incredible insights in this book is unreal! Highly recommend!

    3. The Difference Maker – John C. Maxwell

    4. The 5 Second Rule – Mel Robbins

    5. How to Stop Feeling Life Shit – Andrea Owen

    6. Million Dollar Habits – Brian Tracy

    7. The Renaissance Soul – Margaret Lobensteine *My clients know how much I refer to this book! Super important, especially if you identify as someone who is multi-passionate or an artist.

    8. The Talent Code – Daniel Coyle

    9. The Mask of Masculinity – Lewis Howes *Fascinating perspectives on men, and enjoyed reading this as a woman! I actually found myself identifying with some of the masks.

    10. How to Have that Difficult Conversation – Henry Cloud, John Townsend

    11. Difficult Conversation: How to Discuss what Matters Most – Douglas Stone, Bruce patton, Sheila Heen *Of these two books on difficult conversations, I enjoyed this one more!

    12. The Science of Emotional Resilience – Peter Hollins

    13. Unbeatable Mind – Mark Divine

    14. Go Suck a Lemon: Strategies for Improving your Emotional Intelligence – Michael Cornwall

    15. Get Over Your Damn Self – Romi Neustadt

    16. Girl Wash Your Face – Rachel Hollis *Lived up to the hype! I loved her quirky humor and vulnerability sharing some big insecurities and insights from her own life!

    17. Wired for Dating *A recommendation from my therapist after our work on my own relationship insecurities. It was okay. I particularly enjoyed the attachment types discussion. I’m definitely an island.

    18. Not Another Motivation Book – Joanna Jast

    19. Self-Discipline Blueprint – Patrik Edblad*One of my absolute favorite books I’ve read this whole year! Highly recommend, especially if you want to level up your productivity, time management and self discipline!

    20. Maximize your Potential – 99U, Amazon Publishing

    21. Manage your Day-to-Day – 99u, Amazon Publishing

    22. Crush It – Gary Vaynerchuk *A great first step for leveling-up my social media marketing, but I would suggest starting with one of his more recent books

    23. Jab Jab, Right Hook – Gary Vaynerchuk

    24. Crushing It – Gary Vaynerchuk *All the feels! Gary Vee is the king of motivation and social media marketing and this book was my fave of the 3!

    25. Known – Mark W. Schaeffer

    26. Prison Break – Jason Goldberg Thoroughly enjoyed  the examples and the language he uses, and his balance between compassion and real talk.

    27. Emotional Grit – Neeta Bushan Great to get a woman’s perspective on some of the topics she details

    28. The Copywriter’s Handbook – Robert W. Bly

    29. Launch – Jeff Walker Great for any online entrepreneur who wants to test out a new way to launch their newest products, programs and business!

    30. The Untethered Soul – Michael A Singer A little more woo-woo, spiritual than I usually like, but there were some passages and chapters in this book that just hit me with all the feels!

    31. The Book of Coaching: For Extraordinary Coaches – Ajit Nawalkha

    32. Niche Down –

    33. Who the Fuck Am I to be a Coach? – Megan Jo Wilson

    34. Post Like an Influencer

    35. Present over Perfect – Shauna Neiquist – A little more woo-woo than I usually read, but an enjoyable read nonetheless

    36. Cognitive Behavior Therapy

    37. T is for Transformation – Shaun T – He’s the king of motivation and this was a great read!

    38. 12 Week Year – Brian P. Moran – This is a game changer of a book and a game changer of a system for really achieving in your life and taking things to the next level. It actually inspired a course I ran in winter 2018!

    39. Unlimited Memory

    40. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck – Mark Manson – Motivation AF. This book is everything it’s hyped to be!

    41. 7 Habits of highly Effective people – Stephen Covey – Incredible, life changing systems for leveling up your life.

    42. Dare to Lead – Brene Brown – You legitimately can’t go wrong with Brene Brown. There’s similar lessons in her other books, but the reminder, new research, and new anecdotes are worth it.

    43. The Bulletproof Diet – Dave Asprey – I love the science behind this book and for the first time, I’m legit going to try this style of eating.

    44. UnFuck Yourself – Gary John Bishop – Probably one of my favorite books I’ve read this year. Calls you on your shit, motivates you the eff up. It’s a reallly great read!

    45. Focal Point – Brian Tracy

    46. Finish What You Start – Peter Hollins 

    47. Mental Toughness

    48. The Obstacle is the Way - Ryan Halliday

    49. The 1% Rule - Tommy Baker

    50. A Tribe Called Bliss – Lori Harder

    51. Deep Work – Cal Newport

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