52 Books In 52 Weeks: Is It Even Possible?

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52 Books In 52 Weeks

Is It Even Possible?

2018 was going to be my ultimate year of learning and development. I felt good, I was doing what I was supposed to be doing, I helped a lot of people, but I needed to continue learning to help myself. When I found out that a friend was participating in a “52 Books In 52 Weeks” Challenge, I knew I wanted in.

Ummm… 52 books in 52 weeks?
That’s a lot of books. Can I really get through that many? In the past, I’d pick up a book and it’d take me 2-3 weeks to finish because I wouldn’t read it continuously.

I often dedicate myself to social media, reading other blogs, updating espressofied.com (such an awesome website- wink, wink), thumbing through magazines, reading client résumés, and more. Could I really dedicate the time to reading 52 books?

I was determined to try.

At first, I was excited to begin the challenge. I went to the closest Barnes and Nobles and headed straight for the Self-Development section. I went wild. I purchased about 10 books, walked out proudly, and got to work.

January and February were amazing. I started to lose steam in March and April, and almost forgot about the challenge during the summer months. After all, 🎶 “Girls just wanna have fu-unnn!”🎶

I also didn’t account for the new book budget. I thought to myself, “After I finish these books (Lord only knows when), I’ll start re-reading some of the books I already have. It will be easier to complete this challenge if I re-read what I already have plowed through, right?”

Ummm… right. About that.

It still takes a lot of time.
It would take me anywhere from 1-2 weeks to finish a book. By September, my eyes felt drier than ever, which contributed to my feeling sleepy early on in the day. I turned to audiobooks to help me inch towards the finish line, which seemed so far away. Yay, Audible!

By the time December 29th rolled around, I still had 5 books to read to complete the challenge.

FIVE. FREAKING. BOOKS.
Could I read 5 in the next 3 days?
I finished 47 books already! I couldn’t let my efforts go to waste.

Some books were 20 hours of audio in length. One was 7 minutes short. I opted for interesting reads that were shorter in length, which allowed me to reach the finish line AND keep my sanity.

By noon on December 31st, I finished my 52nd audiobook. I wanted to scream. I was so excited that I had plowed through all of those books and kept my word that I’d complete the challenge.

I was also secretly happy that I did NOT have to read another book anytime soon.

I loved all of the books I read, except one, but it served its purpose.

Should YOU participate in this challenge?
Me: No.
You: Why?
Me: The books become burdensome. You start forgetting what you read along the way and you feel you’re just rushing to the finish line in absolute exhaustion.
You: Then, why did you do it?
Me: I wanted to learn! It seemed like a good challenge!
You: What would you recommend as a good challenge?
Me: Reading 20-24 books in a year. You’ll retain what you learn, you can select each book more closely, and you won’t feel absolutely overwhelmed.
You: Got it. Let’s see the titles you read!
Me: Ok, here we go…


52 Books In 52 Weeks: BookList

  1. Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior (Leonard Mlodinow)

  2. The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More, & Change The Way You Lead Forever (Michael Bungay Stanier)

  3. Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities (Rebecca Solnit)

  4. How To Be A Bawse: A Guide To Conquering Life (Lilly Singh)

  5. Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life (Gary John Bishop)

  6. Rad Women Worldwide: Artists and Athletes, Pirates and Punks, and Other Revolutionaries Who Shaped History (Kate Schatz)

  7. You Can Heal Your Life (Louise L. Hay)

  8. The Universe Has Your Back (Gabby Bernstein, as pictured at the top of this article)

  9. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear (Elizabeth Gilbert)

  10. How to Get Sh*t Done: Why Women Need to Stop Doing Everything So They Can Achieve Anything (Erin Falconer)

  11. What Do You Do With A Chance? (children’s book, Kobi Yamada)

  12. Discipline Equals Freedom, Field Manual (Jocko Willink)

  13. Brillito (children’s book in Spanish, Fanny Gutiérrez Tovar— I met the author!!!)

  14. Fearless and Free: How Smart Women Pivot and Relaunch Their Careers (Wendy Sachs)

  15. The Gutsy Girl Handbook: Your Manifesto for Success (Kate White)

  16. You Do You (how to be who you are and use what you've got to get what you want, Sarah Knight)

  17. When Likes Aren't Enough: A Crash Course in the Science of Happiness (Tim Bono, PhD)

  18. Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, & Finding the Courage to Lead” (Cecile Richards & Lauren Peterson—- I met the authors!!!)

  19. A Tribe Called Bliss: Break Through Superficial Friendships, Create Real Connections, Reach Your Highest Potential (Lori Harder)

  20. The Fifth Trimester: The Working Mom’s Guide to Style, Sanity, & Success After Baby (Lauren Smith Brody— I met the author!!!)

  21. 90’s Bitch: Media, Culture, and the Failed Promise of Gender Equality (Allison Yarrow— I met the author!!!)

  22. What's Your M.O.? (Jennifer Worick)

  23. Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Communications of the Dying (Maggie Callanan & Patricia Kelley)

  24. Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One (Dr. Joe Dispenza)

  25. The Overwhelmed Brain: Personal Growth for Critical Thinkers (Paul Colaianni)

  26. Handling Difficult People: Easy Instructions for Managing the Difficult People In Your Life (Jon P. Bloch)

  27. The 10x Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure (Grant Cardone)

  28. Meditations from Conversations with God (Neale Donald Walsch)

  29. Triggers (Marshall Goldsmith)

  30. Unconventional Wisdom (Stacey Nelson, Amir Karkouti, Marilyn Rodriguez, Mark Silverman— I met one of the authors!!!)

  31. White Hot Truth (Danielle LaPorte—- I met the author!!!)

  32. Love Warrior — Oprah's Book Club: A Memoir (Glennon Doyle)

  33. The Four Agreements (Don Miguel Ruiz—- I’ve read this 1,846,357 times…)

  34. Exactly What To Say: The Magic Words for Influence and Impact (Phil M. Jones)

  35. Healing Developmental Trauma: How Early Trauma Affects Self-Regulation, Self-Image, and the Capacity for Relationship (Laurence Heller PhD & Aline Lapierre, PsyD)

  36. Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived Joyful Life (Bill Burnett & Dave Evans)

  37. Small Habits, Big Changes: How the Tiniest Steps Lead to a Happier, Healthier You (Steven Handel)

  38. Dare to Lead (Brené Brown)

  39. Becoming (Michelle Obama, former First Lady— LOVE her)

  40. All About Me: The Story of Your Life" (Philipp Keel)

  41. Work Party (Jackie Johnson, CEO of Create & Cultivate)

  42. What Color Is Your Parachute (Richard N. Bolles)

  43. Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing The Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant To Be (Rachel Hollis)

  44. You Are a Badass at Making Money (Jen Sincero)

  45. Girl Code: Unlocking the Secrets to Success, Sanity, and Happiness for the Female Entrepreneur (Cara Alwill Leyba)

  46. The Body Keeps The Score (Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D.)

  47. Rise Sister Rise (Rebecca Campbell)

  48. The 5 Love Languages (Gary Campbell)

  49. The 5 Love Languages of Children (Gary Campbell)

  50. Oh, the Places You'll Go (Dr. Seuss—- 7-minute audiobook and it’s awesome!) 

  51. You Are A Badass Everyday (Jen Sincero)

  52. Fearless & Fabulous (Cara Alwill Leyba)


Each time I completed a book, I would post what I read on Facebook to be held accountable.

I think people are surprised I could get through that many books. After all, it’s a ridiculous amount of books for someone whose job isn’t to read books. #notalibrarian

I am often asked what my top 5 books are. It’s difficult to say because it depends on what the soul needs at the moment; they’re all very similar, but very different at the same time.

If I had to select MY TOP FIVE, these would be it:

  1. The Four Agreements (Don Miguel Ruiz—- my “go-to”)

  2. How To Be A Bawse: A Guide To Conquering Life (Lilly Singh)

  3. Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Communications of the Dying (Maggie Callanan & Patricia Kelley)

  4. The Body Keeps The Score (Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D.)

  5. The 5 Love Languages (Gary Campbell)

The next 5 were really helpful, too:

  1. Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life (Gary John Bishop)

  2. White Hot Truth (Danielle LaPorte

  3. Work Party (Jackie Johnson, CEO of Create & Cultivate)

  4. What Color Is Your Parachute (Richard N. Bolles)

  5. A Tribe Called Bliss: Break Through Superficial Friendships, Create Real Connections, Reach Your Highest Potential (Lori Harder)


Have you read any of these books?
Which were your faves?
Would you participate in this challenge?
Comment below and let me know!


“52 Books in 52 Weeks" Challenge Album
(as featured via my private Facebook account)

52 books lizstrom espressofied 1
52 books lizstrom espressofied 2
52 books lizstrom espressofied 3

Liz StromComment