Do you buy books you never read?

Please tell me I’m not the only one! I hear about a great book, buy it on my Kindle and proceed to completely forget about it. At some point I see it on my Kindle when I am reading another book and the guilt kicks in. If you’re in the Back to School spirit and looking for ways to improve your career, home life and finances these books are for you.

The One-Page Financial Plan

If you are a fan of the New York Times you may have read Carl Richards personal finance articles under the moniker “The Sketch Guy”. Carl has a knack for writing about personal finance in easy to understand language — no acronyms, no jargon. His book starts with getting you to think about the big picture — what do you want to accomplish in your life. Then he asks you to think about how and where money fits into that picture. From there he delves into the details of how to review all of your finances. The book is thorough without being overwhelming. I constantly recommend this book to people who want to get a better understanding of their financial lives and how everything works together.

Lean In

This book is a few years old, but still incredibly relevant. Written by Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg, I believe this book is a must read for everyone, career-focused or not. We need the information Sandberg shares about women in the workforce so we can get a complete understanding of the challenges women face. This is not a women’s issue. Companies with more diverse workforces make more money. Almost all of us, men and women, know a woman or girl who is or will be in the workforce. We need to help them navigate the challenges they face so they stay in the workforce and become leaders of organizations. If we don’t understand the challenges we can’t help address them. I found Lean In incredibly inspiring. It also makes a fantastic gift.

Drop the Ball

Tiffany Dufu’s “Drop the Ball” is the perfect companion book to “Lean In”. “Lean In” will inspire you to do more in the workplace, but the reality is women cannot do it all. We have an entire generation of women trying to do too much and it is making us all exhausted. “Drop the Ball” shares Tiffany’s personal story of trying to do it all and how she discovered she had to let some things go. The reality is many of us create more work for ourselves at home than we need to and we are setting ourselves up for failure. We accidentally discourage our partners from helping us. We strive to be accomplished career women and engaged parents & partners. All the while we are trying to have a perfect, Pinterest worthy home life. It’s not realistic and Dufu does a great job of illustrating what we have to do to change this reality.