Top Evidence-Based Reads for Personal and Professional Transformation

I’ve always been a brainiac. In 4th grade, for my huge massive 4th grade thesis project on a mammal, I chose the Pika because I wanted to be smart and unique and do esoteric research on an animal no one had ever heard of before. Have you heard of the Pika? Here’s one:

The Pika

How cute! Recent research from the Journal of Mammology has shown that in the face of climate change, my beloved Pika is resorting to a diet of paper and nutrient-poor mosses. See? That’s me. I like to know stuff.

In middle school, I was the only kid during a vocab lesson who figured out that “kitchenette” means “small kitchen” because of the “-ette” ending. I did my 8th grade Social Studies project on political cartoons and their influence on World War II. Yup. Research is cool!

In high school, my mom once bribed me with $50 to let myself get a C. I didn’t take her up on the offer, of course. I lost valedictorian to a classmate (who went on to become a race car engineer) because of the B I got in Photography for not understanding f-stops. Ouch.

My brother sent me this pic last year with an LOL, “Laura, I didn’t know they cast you in Stranger Things HAHA”. You get the idea.

Shannon Purser as ‘Barb’ in Stranger Things. I had those glasses and still have that “I don’t suffer fools gladly” glare I learned from my grandma who always told me, “Never hide your light under a bushel!”

So when I read books on achievement, I’m all overachiever about it and expect the books to be well-researched and evidence-based and actually provide some actionable advice for myself and my clients. These are the books I read all the way to the end. Here’s the latest batch:

(1) Smarter Faster Better: The Transformative Power of Real Productivity by Charles Duhigg

Polaroid of me and my brother, the 80’s. He’s also an actor but way funnier than me — you can check him out over at

(2) Great At Work: How Top Performers Do Less, Work Better, and Achieve More by Morten T. Hansen

(3) 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done by Peter Bregman

(4) High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way by Brendon Burchard