Andrea and I initially started our coast to coast conversations as a book club. So far we have read three books together and are planning on reading more. We also listen to some of the same podcasts. While we will go in depth in other posts about the books, we thought we would mention the books and podcasts that have been influential to us and which you will see referenced multiple times throughout this blog.


Daring Greatly – Brené Brown

This is the first book we choose for our cross-country book club. We are big fans of Brené Brown and her work. If you aren’t familiar with her, I highly recommend her Ted Talks on vulnerability and shame. They are a great introduction to her work. If anyone has an Audible membership, we both recommend  The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings of Authenticity, Connection and Courage to listen to. It is a recorded lecture series that she did a few years ago. We had a hard time deciding which book of her’s to start with but ultimately decided on this one. For our book club, we would talk every two weeks about the chapter we read during that time. The book has questions for each chapter and sometimes we would go through them and other times we would just talk about what resonated with us. There was a lot that resonated with both of us. We are planning on writing about those discussions here and so you will see multiple posts about this book. We both highly recommend buying copies so you can underline, highlight and write in it as you go along.

Better Than Before – Gretchen Rubin

This is an excellent book on making and breaking habits. We both learned a lot about ourselves while reading this book and we learned a lot about habits. Gretchen has a very clear writing style and she backs up everything with anecdotal stories and evidence. We will also talk about this book in future posts. We also recommend getting your own copy of this book so you can highlight, underline and write in it. Also, it is good to have for future reference.

The Happiness Project – Gretchen Rubin

I just finished this book and I believe Andrea is reading it now. I included this book because we are both going to be starting our own happiness projects in September. In the book, Gretchen picks areas of her life she wants to work on to increase her overall happiness. For each area, she picks two-three concrete actions to follow to achieve this goal. We both thought this sounded like a fun experiment to try and we will be writing about our journey in this blog. Read the book if you are interested in starting your own happiness project.



Happier with Gretchen Rubin – Gretchen Rubin and Elizabeth Craft

Andrea introduced me to this podcast and I have been hooked every since. Gretchen and her sister Elizabeth talk about how to make your life happier. They share life hacks, stories from their own life, stories from their listeners etc. It is about a 30 min podcast and I have learned so many great tips and tricks from them like doing things for my future self, manifestos, and how to be happier in my daily life. I like to listen to podcasts in order, but you don’t have to. Each episode is it’s own self contained discussion.

The Other F Word: Conversations About Failure – Sara, Melissa and Morgan

I love this podcast. I have learned so much about myself from listening to people talk about their lives and their failures. Their goal is take the shame out of failure and they definitely do that. The hosts – Sara, Melissa and Morgan – are wonderful and ask many great and probing questions of their guests. My favorite episodes so far are ep. 9 Greg Grunberg on being inspired by failure; ep 12: Dr. Nina on Why Diets Fail; ep 14. Allen Keller on perseverance; and ep. 20 Too Faced Cosmetics on climbing their way up from the bottom.


If you have read any of these books or also listen to these podcasts, please leave a comment with your thoughts on them. Also, if you have any suggestions for books or podcasts that you think we would like, please comment.


Your fellow travelers,

Andrea and Annie

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