I learned that every cloud has a silver lining recently when my work location changed for about 6 months. The new work location brought my daily commute from 5 minutes to one hour in Northern Virginia’s horrendous traffic. The first few days, I was exasperated. Sitting in traffic and watching people drive on the shoulder, run red lights and block intersections was infuriating. I tried classical music in the car, which helped a lot. After a few days I would get bored with it though.
Being a frequent flier at my friendly neighborhood library, I decided to try audio books. Instead of just grabbing the latest best seller, I decided to upgrade to self help books. I didn’t want this time during my day to be wasted and there were tons of things that I wanted to learn more about. I would go through about 3 audio books each week and after 6 months, I’m thrilled with the results. I learned so much about business, finances, nutrition, budgeting, investment, taxes, relationships, stress management, pregnancy, and child care. What went from a stressful bitter 2 hour commute each day, turned into 10 hours a week of bettering myself. Go me:)
If your interested, you can read the original post on utilizing the library for free audio books here.
Here are my recommendations for what were my favorite audio books:
1. The Money Book for The Young, Fabulous, and Broke. – Suze Oreman
This was hands down my favorite. I listened to it 3x. If your not that young, only a tad fabulous and not quite broke, listen to it anyway. It was the most complete, easy to understand financial book that I’ve listened to. When I finished this book, I understood every concept that she had talked about.
2. The Nine Steps to Financial Freedom – Suze Oreman
As you start listening to different financial gurus, you’ll end up agreeing with the style of one over the other. I took to Suze like peanut butter takes to bread. I love her outlook I love her teaching style, I love that she understands people. I would recommend any of her books, but to save you a long list, I chose my favorites.
3. The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness – Dave Ramsey
While the concepts are all similar, the means to get there are slightly different. I enjoyed listening to both Suze and Dave so that I could understand each perspective and not just blindly follow the advice of one.
1. Rich Dad/Poor Dad- What the Rich Teach their Kids About Money that the Poor and Middle Class Do Not.
This was really motivating. I learned more about starting a business and thinking outside the box than specific financial advice as in the finance choices, but I really enjoyed it. I kind of felt a bit bad for his poor dad though.
2. Awaken the Giant Within – Anthony Robbins
I liked the concepts and Ideas that he brought up, but the one consistent thing that I found with the “motivational speaker” type books was that they all seemed very into themselves. It took me a few chapters to get over that but once I did, I really enjoyed it. In hindsight, they probably need to brag about themselves since they need to illustrate why we should listen to them. Be forewarned though, Anthony takes himself very seriously.
3. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People- Steven Covey
This is really the self help starter book. It’s exceptionally written and you’ll get a lot out of it.
Nutrition: *Warning- While I learned a lot in this category, it was the hardest to learn. Nutrition is a lot of really long words and biological processes and it was much more difficult to stay focused on this topic.*
1. The China Study- The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted – T. Colin Campbell
This is the only book on this list that I haven’t actually listened to. The book I got on nutrition was extremely detailed and I wouldn’t recommend it. It also took 5 days to complete because it was so detailed. While I certainly learned something from it, I have much more faith in this. It’s on my wish list now.
1. The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work- John Gottman
As a newlywed still in the “Honeymoon Phase”, I was originally going to skip the marriage self help books. Then I figured, Maybe this is the time to learn this stuff, rather than down the road when we actually have problems. I’m so glad I included it! It’s heavily based on scientific research and less of “I think”, and it helped me to understand the concept of marriage more.
2. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families- Steven Covey
Hilarious. Seriously. I was actually excited for my unborn child to grow into a teenager so I could try out his habits.
1. Manage Your Time to Reduce Your Stress – Rita Emmet
I was surprised that I loved the stress management CD’s! The only warning is that when they do the chants and gentle music at 7 am when I’ve just woken up, it would lull me to sleep… Which is great, unless your driving on the interstate. One of my favorite things that I picked up from this is to take two breaks from work, the first is 5 minutes, the second is 10 minutes. I would turn off anything around me that made noise, bow my head and sit in silence trying to clear my head of all thoughts. I realize I sound weird, but it made such an enormous difference to my stress level!
1. The Secrets of The Baby Whisperer – Tracy Hogg
I really enjoyed this one. I have a 6 week old now, and I often use her advice. She has a very caring, understanding approach to child care. If your a fan of the Ferber Method, this probably isn’t for you. If you tend to go with Dr. Sears, you’ll love this book.
2. You: Having a Baby – Mehmet Oz
This is an awesome book for anyone in their first trimester. I listened to it in the third trimester and spent at least 3 hours freaking out that I’ve already ruined my baby for life because I drank Dr. Pepper and was stressed out in the first trimester. Then I ate a cheeseburger to calm down. (Kidding- kind of.) The good news? Michael was born healthy and happy, and I took a lot of his advice to heart for the remainder of the pregnancy. I even gave up Dr. Pepper!