The Best Self-Help Books in 2020, According to The Latch Team

Self-Help Books 2020

It’s the final week of the year. We’ve had Christmas. New Year’s Eve is a mere two nights sleep away. Do you know what that means? Another end of the year round-up list!

In a year like no other (and not in a good way), we’ve spent more time inside than ever before. People have turned to at-home exercises, bingeing new TV series’, and a lot of us turned (back) to reading books.

In March, 33% of American adults reported they were reading more. Again in the Northern Hemisphere, regular readers in Britain had doubled the amount of time devoted to reading each day.

And here in Australia, there was a 28% increase in new book sales during the 2020 financial year. In fact, total sales topped $165 million – for the first time ever.

Self-help is a genre that has taken off. Last year, sales of self-help books reached $18.6 million. In 2018, revenue from self-help audiobooks reached $769 million – c’mon everyone, don’t be ashamed to let people know you’re bettering yourself.

The Latch team shared their favourite self-help books they read in 2020. Disclaimer: as someone who read (at least) 30 new books this year, I’ve allowed myself two entries:

Untamed, Glennon Doyle

Kate Evans, wellness producer

“Everyone from Adele to Reese Witherspoon was posting about this book earlier this year. Did I purchase it just because it eventually became unavoidable on social media?… yep, pretty much. It’s part memoir and part “galvanizing wake-up call.”

As I read it whilst commuting on the ferry, I found myself nodding along and refraining from shouting, ‘ugh, yes to so many sections. If you’re looking for something intimate, queer and that seems to give your whole personality a much-needed shake-up, give Untamed one a go. And no, you don’t need to have read any of her previous work to dive into this one.”

Sam Bloom: Heartache & Birdsong, Cameron Bloom, Samantha Bloom, Bradley Trevor Greive

Valentina Todoroska, managing editor

“I haven’t read it yet, but with the movie coming out shortly it’s on my list.”

This book is the follow up to the incredible and heart-warming Penguin Bloom the story of a baby magpie who helped save a young mother and heal her family, which’s being released in cinemas shortly.

In Sam Bloom, Heartache & Birdsong, Sam (the aforementioned young mother), tells her own raw, unforgettable story for the first time. With fans like Naomi Watts and Layne Beachley, this is a home-grown novel you definitely shouldn’t miss.

In Order To Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom, Yeonmi Park

Sangeeta Kocharekar, contributor

“While this isn’t exactly a self-help book – it’s a memoir – I probably learned more about life from it than straight-forward expert advice. The book tells the story of Yeonmi Park who lived in poverty with her sister and parents in North Korea before escaping with her mum at the age of 13.

“Park’s incredibly tragic experiences really put things into perspective. Clichéd as it sounds, they reminded me not to take anything for granted and to realise how incredibly fortunate I really am. I’ve recommended it to anyone who will listen ever since.”

The Unexpected Joy of Being Single, Catherine Gray

Kate Evans, wellness producer

“Is this another one I bought just because I saw it on Instagram and liked the cover?… Yes. I also bought it because I was sick of people asking me, at the tender age of 26, if I’d ‘met any nice guys lately?’ Answer: no, and that’s a very heteronormative question to ask.

“I genuinely found it really fascinating. It’s another part-memoir, part self-help book, but it’s backed up with lots of facts, research, and studies – three of my favourite things.”

And as for Lyndsey Rodrigues, our entertainment and news producer?

“I’ve never read one! I actually really hate anything self-help or ‘motivation’ – it makes me cringe.”

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