No. 69

The 2013 Project


In 2012, I read 85 books. Some were recommended by friends. Others I sought out. A few serendipitously crossed my path as I wandered around my local library.

For 2013, I decided to do something different. I began asking a few of my particularly close friends for a short list of books that have influenced them or changed their perspective on the world.

It makes sense: ask the people who have inspired me most to share what’s inspired them.

I started to reflect on what books have most influenced me in the past. Here’s the shortlist:

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
Blue Truth by David Deida
The Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman

I’m still getting lists in. Some books have been suggested twice. Others are a bit more obscure and hard to find. But I really can’t wait to read these books — and getting to know my friends better as I do.

My 2013 Project list is on Goodreads — you can see all the books I’ve read there. And if you ever want to talk to me about a book, just drop me an email!

Now tell me: What books have inspired you the most? Leave your list below so I can check them out! I’d love to add some of your recommendations to my 2013 project list!

{photograph by shutterhacks}

About brandi

Brandi is a digital strategist, website developer, and founder of Alchemy+Aim, a company that helps entrepreneurs and business owners elevate their online presence and enhance their digital experience. Her academic background in theatre, philosophy and physics was the perfect foundation for launching her business, where she’s worked with Brené Brown, Laverne Cox, Judy Smith, and other notable thought leaders since 2013. She is an advocate for using technology in ways that humanize, connect and serve people as well as for asking deeper philosophical questions and teaching others to think more broadly about impact when they create, particularly in STEAM fields.

10 thoughts on “The 2013 Project

  1. I really wish right now that I’d kept track of all the books I read in 2012! I’m trying to keep a record on Goodreads now, though.

    This project really sounds terrific. Back in college, I wrote up a list of books that influenced or inspired me. I wonder what that list would look like now!

  2. The Alchemist is on my list as well.
    Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I’m serious when I say I’m looking for my Mr. Darcy.
    The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
    The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien. As a writer of fantasy I suppose this one’s pretty obvious.
    Graceling by Kristin Cashore.
    The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling. I really can’t say enough about these books.
    The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
    A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

    I still have so many books on my list to read that I know I’ll be adding more to this one by the year’s end.

  3. I am so excited to look at your list (isn’t Goodreads the best?). A recent favorite is Alys, Always by Harriet Lane. The book I read every year is House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende. A truly inspiring woman.

  4. I’m checking your list out on GoodReads right now – there are so many great reads out there and I’ll be adding some of the ones on your list onto my own. I’m so glad you’ve got Good Omens on there :)

  5. 85 books?! I thought the handful I read was a good idea!!! I’ve upped my anti on my book intake. I like this project idea too. I read Siddartha in high school but feel like I should reread it.

  6. I am currently 1/3 of the way through The Girl of Fire and Thorns, and it’s excellent so far!

    I love love love The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff and am currently also loving her new book, Arcadia. It’s been one of those books that you read slowly, trying to savor the prose. Very unlike me.

    Totally with you on the number of books I read and wishing they were of better quality. I’ve pared it down a bit. Last year I decided to read ALL the books written by a handful of favorite authors. It gave me a different perspective on the books I’d already liked — I often found I preferred another, less lauded novel — and still allowed plenty of room in my reading for discovering new authors.

    And while it’s out of the realm of books you’ve listed, An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler is an inspiring, fresh take on cooking for blasting the kitchen doldrums (like now when there isn’t much fresh produce available). Just a tangent for you.

  7. Intrigued by your shortlist and will have to check out your Goodreads list. :)
    All-time favorite books include:
    “Criss Cross” by Lynne Rae Perkins
    “All the Names” by Jose Saramago
    “Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World” by Haruki Murakami
    “The Book Thief” by Marcus Zusak

  8. The two most thought-provoking and inspiring books I have read in the last year were: The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls and And Still Peace Did Not Come by Agnes Fallah Kamara-Umunna. Not sure if you have read either but I would highly recommend both.

  9. I’d like to add Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. Amazing story. And I met the author at the writer’s conference I went to.

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