5 Books I Recommend—January 2021

The illiterate of the twenty-first century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.
—Alvin Toffler

I hadn’t planned on this being a productivity month, but three of these five books are loosely themed around getting things done. Yet they’re all different. January was a good month to read them. But another month would be good, too.

Below are 5 books I recommend from those I finished reading in January. See all my recommended books here.

5 Books I Recommend Jan 2021


1. Don’t Overthink It
Make Easier Decisions, Stop Second-Guessing, and Bring More Joy to Your Life
by Anne Bogel


I first listened to this as an audiobook last summer. But I needed to see the words because, as an overthinker myself, they resonated with me so much. I read it this month to participate with Linda Stoll’s book club.

Here are some of Anne’s tips when you get stuck thinking about the same thing again and again.

Strategies to Interrupt Rumination:
  • Pay attention to your thoughts
  • Look for the good
  • Consider a different point of view
  • Brush it aside, for now
  • Schedule time to overthink
  • Write it down
  • Distract yourself
  • Move your body to move your mind

2. 40 Days of Grace
by Paul David Tripp

40 Days of Grace

This is a great little devotional book. It’s 40 short sermonettes about the beauty and importance of God’s grace, both receiving it and giving it. I hope to reread it this year during Lent. 

[My review here of 40 Days of Grace]

3. Attention!
The Power of Simple Decisions in a Distracted World
by Rob Hatch

Attention_Rob Hatch

If you’re too easily distracted to accomplish what you want to, this is a practical how-to guide on how to focus. Hatch keeps it simple—Think small-big-small; Decide before you have to; Design your systems; etc. Excellent book.

[My review here of Attention!]

4. The Lazy Genius Way
Embrace What Matters, Ditch What Doesn’t, and Get Stuff Done
by Kendra Adachi

Lazy Genius Way

This is another great book to help you do what you want/need to do without causing yourself extra trouble. Adachi’s advice includes: Decide once; Set house rules; Batch it; plus more. 

[My review here of The Lazy Genius Way]

5. Such a Fun Age
by Kiley Reid

Such a Fun Age

This novel is about Emira, a young black woman, who is the family babysitter for Alix, a white blogger. Their relationship gets sticky when an old boyfriend resurfaces. The plot gets a little raunchy at times so be forewarned, but it’s an interesting story about race and privilege. The audiobook is a fun listen.  

Reading Now

  • Charitable Writing
    Cultivating Virtue Through Our Words
    by Richard Hughes Gibson
  • Irresistible
    Reclaiming the New that Jesus Unleashed for the World
    by Andy Stanley
  • Invisible Women
    Data Bias in a World Designed for Men
    by Caroline Criado Perez
  • Difficult Conversations
    How to Discuss What Matters Most
    by Douglas Stone
  • Faith after Doubt
    Why Your Beliefs Stopped Working and What to Do about It
    by Brian D. McLaren
  • 11/22/63
    by Stephen King

What good book are YOU reading this month? Please share in the comments.

My books on Goodreads
More books I recommend

sharing with Modern Mrs. Darcy

34 thoughts on “5 Books I Recommend—January 2021

  1. Laurie C

    I love a good self-help book, and these that you recommend sound really good! I’ve had Such a Fun Age on my TBR for ages, too, so maybe I’ll make that an audiobook read instead. I seem to get more listening time than reading time lately.
    I’m reading a how-to book on writing by Libbie Hawker with the catchy title “Take Off Your Pants” that lays out an outlining method to organize your story of just writing by the seat of your pants.

  2. bill (cycleguy)

    Hi Lisa! I noticed that you recommended Tripp’s 40 Days of Grace. I have read 40 Days of Faith also and he one on 40 Days of Love coming soon. You mention rereading “Grace” for Lent. Did you know he has one (I’m expecting my copy today) that specifically targets Lent called “Journey to the Cross?” Perhaps you already know but just thought I would pass that along. I’m looking forward to reading it.

  3. Barbara Harper

    I enjoyed Don’t Overthink It and Linda’s book club, too. Attention and The Lazy Genius Way both sound helpful, too. I am finding that being productive is a continual learning experience.

    I just finished a new biography of Elisabeth Elliot that I hope to review by tomorrow.

  4. Laurie

    Thanks once again for the wonderful book recommendations. I have Don’t Overthink It sitting on my shelf waiting to be read. I thought I would get involved in Linda’s book club, but I wanted to finish a Rachel Held Evans book first. Then, I started a book my son got me for Christmas. By the time I get around to reading “Overthink”, the book club will be over!

  5. Linda Stoll

    Hey Lisa … thanks for leading the pack in our final Book Club dialogue … and for sharing the link! It’s been a fun conversation, and as ever, I learn so much from those who stay around and chat for awhile.

    Lazy Genius is on my to-read list. Along with a million other books. But there’s something that’s calling me name. And it’s not the Genius part.


  6. Katrina | ChatterFoxBlog

    The Lazy Genius sounds really appealing to me, in fact most of these do. I could really do with some help to organise my time better and make the most of it. I find my tendency to overthink robs me from time that could be spent being productive.

    Katrina x

  7. Liz Dexter

    Is Invisible Women making you angry? I read and reviewed it for Shiny New Books a while ago and it made a big impression on me.

    I’m reading Before We Was We, which is about the early days of the English pop group, Madness. It’s one of the best music bios I’ve ever read.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I finished Invisible Women this week and I know exactly what you’re saying, Liz! Yes. It is very disconcerting to realize how women aren’t often considered at all by design or system. 🙁 Hopefully shining a light on things will make a difference. We have come a long way, but we’re not there yet.

  8. Danielle Hammelef

    I also read and enjoyed Don’t Over think It. The tips were practical and the book is packed with common sense wisdom and plenty of reminders as well as “ah-ha” moments for me. I also enjoyed the conversational style. I am now reading In Search of Wisdom by Joyce Meyer and it’s helping me understand how Proverbs applies to my life. I try to read at least one self-help book each month.

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