A lot of books have small influences on your life. But a few books are useful, powerful, and different enough to change EVERYTHING.
Your Money or Your Life : See our post on this phenomenal book here. If you haven’t read it yet, read it!
The Paradox of Choice: See our post on this book here.
Bogleheads Guide to Investing : This book is awesome because it can save you a ton of money. How to match the market at the lowest cost, and why that should be your goal. Simple but powerful. I am so excited– we sent this to my partner’s father and he’s actually changing his entire investment strategy because of it. Getting a Vanguard account and everything. No more calling us to ask about tech stocks (and us saying, uh, we do index funds). He even said he was thinking of getting a fund with a 4% load that his broker recommended, but now instead he’s going to invest directly through Vanguard himself. I’m not used to partner’s family changing things based on our advice.
Help! My apartment has a kitchen! : Saved my ability to eat reasonably priced healthy food on a strict time schedule. Also Faster! I’m starving! once DC got big enough to need to eat a full-sized meal too.
Our Babies, Ourselves: Confession-time. I used to be a scared excrement-less mother. I was terrified not only that my baby was going to die (though that part was understandable), but that I was going to destroy hir one way or another if I didn’t pay attention to the right research. This book freed me from all that. Sure, I still scour pub-med when I hear something and am trying to decide whether or not to apply it, but this book showed me with strong scientific grounding that there are infinite good ways of raising a child and although children may turn out differently they generally don’t turn out better or worse because of it. It let me relax and listen to my instincts more. If what I was doing felt right (given I wasn’t abused or neglected as a child myself), it probably was the right thing to do. Plus all those nights when DC fell asleep on DH’s chest weren’t going to kill anybody (given we’re not obese).
Related: Diaper Free Before Three. You don’t have to do Brazleton signs of potty readiness vs. infant training. There’s a whole scientifically validated times when potty training is easier or harder (in fact, Brazelton’s signs correlate with one of the worse times to try… which may have something to do with the fact that his research was paid for by Pampers). Kids used to train before age 2, now it is after age 3. That’s not because we were harming kids before! This book was freeing not only because of the potty training thing but also because it illustrated the points made in Our Babies, Ourselves with an example concrete to today.
What are books that have changed your life?