My 8 Favorite Reads of 2022

Inside: Here you’ll find a list of my favorite books I read over the last year.

It’s that time of year again!

Every year, since the beginning of Abundant Life With Less, I close out the year with a list of my favorite read of the year. Below is a list of my 8 favorite reads of the year.

Feel free to share your favorite reads in the comments. I’m always up for a good book recommendation.

1. Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport

This one is hands down, my favorite read of the year. While the rest of these books are in no particular order, I had to put Digital Minimalism at the top of the list.

There are books out there that really make you think, and then there are books out there that make you do. Digital Minimalism has completely transformed how and when I use my phone.

“We need solitude to thrive as human beings, and in recent years, without even realizing it, we’ve been systematically reducing this crucial ingredient from our lives. Simply put, humans are not wired to be constantly wired.” -Digital Minimalism, Cal Newport

Messy Minimalism

Now, it’s not loaded with little hacks or tips to help reduce your screen time. Rather it has helped fundamentally change my mindset when it comes to technology and helped me reconnect with a more analog life. I highly recommend you read this one.

2. The Book of Lost Names by Kristen Harmel

I loved this book! If you enjoyed The Nightingale or the Alice Network, you’ll love The Boot of Lost Names. It’s based on a true story of a woman who helped save Jewish children by using her artistic skills to forge documents. I couldn’t put it down.

“Once you’ve fallen in love with books, their presence can make you feel at home anywhere, even in places where you shouldn’t belong.” -The Book of Lost Names, Kristen Harmel

3. Undistracted by Bob Goff

I’m a sucker for a Bob Goff book. Undistracted is a fun and powerful read (as are all of them). This book helps readers identify and eliminate distractions in order to live a more present life.

“Here’s a truth you can take t the bank no matter how long you live: The clarity of purpose, undistracted energy, selfless love and unselfish pursuits  you bring  to  the world  will be  your legacy. Everything else will look like a distraction by comparison.” – Undistracted, Bob Goff

4. Keep the Memories, Lose the Stuff by Matt Paxton

Written by decluttering expert and host of the shows, Hoarders and Legacy List, Matt Paxton Keep the Memories, Lose the Stuff is an extremely practical book about how to let go of clutter and live lighter. Paxton has many years of experience helping people remove the clutter and excess from their homes, and his experience is evident on the pages of his book.

In it, he tells the stories of many different people he has helped and the obstacles they faced. He goes into detail about specific scenarios and decisions you may encounter on your journey. If you’re looking for the nitty-gritty of decluttering your home, this is it.

“The physical process of decluttering and downsizing is a lot  of work, but the harder battle is fighting the emotional and psychological barriers… we can overcome those barriers with  courage, resilience and information.” – Keep the Memories, Lose the Stuff, Matt Paxton

5. Things that Matter by Joshua Becker

This quickly became my favorite book by Becoming Minimalist founder, Joshua Becker. In Things That Matter Joshua gets away from teaching readers how to declutter their homes and dives headfirst into how to prioritize the things that matter. It’s a book geared toward helping its readers find and pursue purpose over material possessions, personal gain, and distracted living.

“We pursue possessions and property in an often subconscious desire to outlive ourselves. But we end up regretting it in the end. You know why? Because there are better ways to outlive ourselves? There is an inheritance that we can leave and instill in other that’s greater than the size of our homes or the designer names on our clothing. Nobody is going to stand up at your funeral and say, “He had a really expensive couch”… Much more importantly, our legacies include the examples we live, the moral compasses we set, the characters we develop and the names we build for ourselves and our families.” – Things that Matter, Joshua Becker

6. The Molecule of More

The Molecule of More is about dopamine and what more or less of it does to our brains. I found this book incredibly fascinating. Dopamine is a key player in the habits we form as well as how we choose to spend our time, money, and attention. Harnessing the power of dopamine while recognize its downside can help us our achieve goals

“The dopamine desire circuit is powerful. It focuses attention, motivates, and thrills. It has profound influence over the choices we make. Yet it isn’t all-powerful. Addicts get clean. Dieters lose weight. Sometimes we switch off the TV, get off the couch, and go for a run. What kind of circuit in the brain is powerful enough to oppose dopamine? Dopamine is. Dopamine opposing dopamine.” – The Molecule of More,

7.  A Simpler Motherhood by Emilia Eusanio

This book covers it all. From your home and schedule to self-care and spending, Emily Eusanio, also known as offers a simpler approach to motherhood. It’s a beautifully written approach to living with less pressure, hurry chaos.

“The house won’t always be clean… The laundry won’t always be done. The dinner won’t always be healthy and homemade. The kids won’t always be clean. Heck, you won’t always be clean- and that’s okay.

Because if it means that you’re able to let go of your expectations and soak in all those good moments of motherhood – you know, the everyday ones what somehow imprint themselves on your heart and fill your soul – it’s worth all the imperfect, undone things around you.” A Simpler Motherhood, Emily Eusanio

8. The Forest of Vanishing Stars by Kristin Harmel

Clearly, I have a thing for World War 2 fiction. That makes two Kristen Harmel books on my favorite reads list and I’m not even sorry.

This book scratched all the itches though. The Forest of Vanishing Stars is World War 2 meets brave heroine meets wilderness survival. I couldn’t put it down.

“Yes. But there is light, too. In the times of greatest darkness, the light always shines through, because there are people who stand up to do brave, decent things. What I am trying to say, Yona, is that in moments like this, it doesn’t matter what you were born to be. It matters what you choose to become.” –The Forest of Vanishing Stars, Kristen Harmel

Which books should I add to my must-read list for next year?

Sick of the clutter, but not quite sure “minimalism” as you know it is for you? You’re probably right. Minimalism as you know it, probably isn’t for you. It wasn’t for me either.

messy minimaism

Because of that, Messy Minimalism was born. Messy Minimalism is a doable, grace-based approach to living a clutter free life. It frees you up to embrace the mess, live with less and create an imperfectly perfect home for you.
Messy Minimalism is available NOW from your favorite book retailer or library. 😉

For more information on Messy Minimalism head to

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