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Despite being the shortest month of the year, February challenges you to add four new books to your reading list. Kick off the new month with valuable reading materials that these books are.

Four Books to Add to your February Reading List

Reading books is one of the simple things that we often take for granted. Let’s be honest some of us deliberately give away this precious gift of reading in favor of YouTube and TV. At the same time there are still so many people in the world who dream of reading books. But they can’t and don’t even know how to read. I guess we can consider ourselves lucky. Reading and drawing knowledge and inspiration from different kinds of books is indeed one of the greatest privileges.

I never stopped reading books. However, for the past few months, adding new books to our monthly reading lists slipped from my priorities. It took these four books that I read last month to put me back on track. They impressed me beyond my imagination. From memoirs to simple words of the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu, I kept drawing the incredible wisdom and power from their pages. Certainly, anything as good as these books is ought to be shared and added to our February reading list.

THE BEST BOOKS TO ADD TO YOUR FEBRUARY READING LIST:

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

I kicked off my monthly reading list with a memoir by the creator of NIKE, Phil Knight. The name of the book Shoe Dog perfectly describes the nature of the author. A former athlete, Phil Knight has been always obsessed with affordable, yet good running shoes. His idea of importing cheap shoes from Japan, expressed first in the form of his school research paper, didn’t find supporters. Mr. Knight himself wasn’t quite sure if his “crazy idea” as he called it could ever come to life. However, despite all the odds, he decided to pursue his passion and, what turned out to be, his calling.

As Phil Knight describes in his memoir it didn’t come easy. NIKE didn’t come into existence nor became a popular brand right away. It took years of errors and trials, obstacles and betrayals to make it happen.

Educated by Tara Westover

Educated was the biggest surprise among these four books on our February reading list. After reading a few chapters I had to look at short biography of Tara Westover on the back of the book. This made me even more appalling. In zillion years I couldn’t imagine something like this happening in the US in the 21st century. 

In Educated, Tara tells us about her upbringing in the mountains in Idaho. She grew up in a fundamentalist Mormon family. They kept themselves isolated from people including their distant relatives. Her parents didn’t believe neither in doctors nor traditional school system. To make things worse, Tara’s father was obsessed with the end of the world. Thus, the family spent summers and falls preparing food for the end time when only a small number of people would survive.

The youngest child, Tara never went to hight school. The girl was 17 when she first entered a class room.  Like her older brother, Tara self educated herself to be accepted at Brigham Young University. Her interest in education eventually lead her to Cambridge and Harvard University. However, this same education cost her her own family.

Educated is one of the most inspiring books I’ve ever read. Considering that it became number one on the New York Times bestseller list, many people find it worth reading. Moreover, the fact that the book made to Oprah’s reading list also says a great deal about it.

Think Like an Artist by Will Gompertz

I’m not an artist. I don’t have skills and never went to school to be an artist. I like painting, but how can I make money and support myself and my family doing what I love? These questions and concerns are as old as the world itself. Every single person doubts his or her skills and abilities from time to time. Even Michelangelo almost talked himself out of painting the Sistine Chapel ceiling.

But the truth is rather simple. Art is a very subjective topic. Your work can be very traditional or quite unconventional such as collecting and rebuilding properties. These and many other concerns regarding being an artist got Will Gompertz’ attention. In his book Think Like an Artist the international bestselling author guides you how to increase creativity and productivity. It’s quite fascinating. Furthermore, you don’t need to consider yourself an artist to add Think like an Artist to the books on your February reading list.

The Book of Joy

There is not one, but three authors who made The Book of Joy possible. Moreover, any books written by two of these authors, the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, are good enough to automatically add them to your monthly reading list.

The purpose of The Book of Joy is to show how to keep joy and lasting happiness in a changing world. Two of the greatest spiritual leaders of our time met for a week in Dharamsala, India, to share their wisdom and experiences. Douglas Abrams, the third author of the book, recorded their conversations and discussions. Along with the principles and doctrines of these moral leaders, Abrams included in the book discoveries in brain science and experimental psychology. Something that both the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu insisted on.