The to-read stack. (Today I posted about how I read 100 books in 2012, on

I am so delighted by your response to the book club idea! Before we jump into it, a few of you have asked over the last year what my favorite books have been, and while I find this oh-so-hard, here are my picks. Each book is linked to it's Goodreads page.

Books I didn't expect to like, but did:

Born to Run

Decoded, by Jay Z. Seriously! I could quote this all day.

Books I can't believe I hadn't already read: 

Life Together, by Deitrich Bonhoeffer

The Bourne Identity  – completely different than the movies, but that same kind of action and fun!

Zen in the Art of Writing, by Ray Bradbury. – “Like what YOU like!” Indeed!

Most engrossing: 

The Magicians
Gone Girl – there's a reason it's a bestseller and it will leave you gobsmacked

Wolf Hall (and the sequel) – my lifelong love affair with historical fiction was deeply satisfied

Everyone should read…

All of the Nora Ephron books. It might be because I watched When Harry Met Sally for the first time when I was 16 on February 14th (after being grounded and missing my first Valentine's Day with a boyfriend), but Nora Ephron is the voice in my head. To get her work is to understand me.

Quiet. Whether you think you're introvert or not, you're in some relationship with one. Especially important if your kid might be introverted! Fascinating and encouraging and reading passages out loud to Jay has totally changed the way he understands me, and our relationship.

Daring Greatly. I talked more about why I loved it (and needed it) here. I gave it to my mom for Christmas and want to give a copy to everyone who lives in the world!

Steal Like An Artist. 

Please Understand Me: Temperament, Character, and Intelligence. Ignore the lame-o title and read this to understand yourself and your loved ones better. Even if you're not a personality psychology obsessive (like moi), you're going to like it. Another book that I read Jay, leading to epiphanies about everyone we're connected to.

(Want more? Here are my fave books of 2010 and you can see all the books I read in 2012 here. )

Explorer Book Club

We're going to keep this little club super-simple. Each month, near the beginning, I'll suggest 2 or 3 books that you might like to read – one will be a biz-explorer pick (something to help you in you navigate your business) and one will be a general fun (or creativity) pick. If I fall in love with a piece of fiction, I'll share that. I'll provide links to Goodreads (so you can easily add it to your queue), IndieBound (buy from your local bookseller) and Amazon Kindle (if available).*

I'm an affiliate for Amazon + IndieBound, which means I get soy latte moneye if you buy it through the links I've used here.

At the end of the month, I'll open a discussion on the books, both here and on Facebook. You can chime on what you read and if you liked it, or suggest other books we might like to read.

Sound good?

This month's books:

The Art of Possibility, by Rosamund Stone + Benjamin Zander. I have clients whose entire businesses have been shifted by this book. (And another who insists all of her clients read it before they work together.)

Goodreads | IndieBound | Amazon


6 Thinking Hats, by Edward DeBono. It's an old-school business book (from the 80's!) but has a great system for making decisions or thinking through possibilities (an absolute must-have skill for an entrepreneur.) I just finished it this morning!

Goodreads |  IndieBound |Amazon



If you're joining me in reading these two books this month, say hello in the comments! If not, what are you reading?

*This low key approach is inspired by Gretchen Rubin's book club. If you like reading about happiness, you can join hers here.


18 Comments on The best of the 100 in 2012 books…and a new Book Club!

  1. Alexis Helmrath
    March 7, 2013 at 12:07 pm (11 years ago)

    Ooh yay a book club! Sounds awesome, I ‘m in! I’ve read a little bit about the six thinking hats theory, but not the whole book, and The Art of Possibility is new to me. Great picks!

  2. Tara Swiger
    March 7, 2013 at 3:40 pm (11 years ago)

    Yay! Welcome! I can’t wait to hear what you think about the books!

  3. Kirsten Malinee
    March 7, 2013 at 4:36 pm (11 years ago)

    This is very cool! I love the books you chose. I highly recommend listening to The Art of Possibility (I got it from audible) because Benjamin Zander narrates it and there is a lot of music in the audio version that he uses as examples throughout the book – that you can’t hear when you are reading. I love this! Looking forward to it.

  4. scienceknister
    March 7, 2013 at 5:20 pm (11 years ago)

    Hi!  I’m going to try this — my day job is a bit busy right now, but I’m going part time June 1 and looking to use this time to explore other options, including starting my own (knitting) tech editing (or maybe just editing) business. Going to head over to amazon from your link…BTW I LOVED Wolf Hall and Bringing up the Bodies.  Can’t wait for the last one in the trilogy!

  5. Tara Swiger
    March 8, 2013 at 10:46 am (11 years ago)

    Ooh, that’s a great idea! Another reader suggested watching Ben Zander’s TED talk on the subject (I’ll be sharing it on the blog today, as soon as I dig it up!)
    So glad you’re excited! Me too!

  6. Maria
    March 8, 2013 at 11:58 am (11 years ago)

    Hi there!  This sounds great – it’s been a long time since I’ve found a book that really engages me  Used to read a lot more than I have this past year – hopefully, these ideas will jumpstart my reading again.  I’m in!  Going to look for The Art of Possibility – the title alone is intriguing!


  7. Tara Swiger
    March 8, 2013 at 1:34 pm (11 years ago)

    I’m so glad it’s inspiring you, Maria! Let me know what you think of The Art of Possibility!

  8. Elizabeth
    March 13, 2013 at 9:30 am (11 years ago)

    Sounds great!  I’ll try to read these!  Steal like an Artist is a regular thumb through for me, as I’m on a loose mission to pretty much memorize it.

  9. Karen
    March 18, 2013 at 7:47 pm (11 years ago)

    Hi Tara – I just listened to the Art of Possibility. I’m making my teenaged son and my needs-to-hear-it Husband listen, too. I listen to CraftLit religiously and listened to Wolf Hall over the Thanksgiving break last year. So. Amazing. I just read Atonement and it still weighs heavily on my heart….sigh!

  10. Tara Swiger
    March 19, 2013 at 11:32 am (11 years ago)

    Oh, I need to read Atonement! Thanks for the recommendation!