My Updated Book Recommendations for 2021 – olena beley.


You’ve asked for updated book recommendations, and I finally have a list that I find incredibly useful, empowering, and perspective-shifting, and maybe even groundbreaking?

For those of you who are new here, I’m Olena, a book nerd since I was 8 years old. I used to read under the covers with a flashlight because I just needed to figure out what was going to happen.

Since then I’ve used my love of reading AND thinking to help myself and thousands of people around the world achieve clear skin without diets, pills and expensive treatments…


Reading has helped me understand the world, answer questions I’ve been thinking about, and helped me think and even behave in ways that are consistent with my goals.

Books. Are. That. Preferably.

Below I present 9 of my newest favorite books on subjects ranging from psychology, self improvement, biology and even religion.


Then I share the book I’m reading right now and a list of upcoming books that are waiting to be read on my bookshelf.

“My dad always told me, ‘Never trust someone whose TV is bigger than their BOOKSHELF.’

Emilia Clarke


Here is a list of some current favorite books:

1. Mistakes Were Made But Not by Me: Why We Justify Stupid Beliefs, Bad Choices, and Harmful Actions – Carol Tavris, Elliot Aronson

Buy on,

One of my absolute favorite books on psychology.


Written by two social psychologists, Mistakes Were Made helps you understand our biases, why we have a hard time admitting our mistakes, and worse, why we duplicate our mistakes.

This book is mind-blowing and insightful, and one of the authors literally worked with Leon Festinger, the father of the cognitive dissonance theory.

Especially helpful in the current climate, you will understand why some people believe they were abducted by aliens, why good police officers can make bad decisions, and why some people are strongly opposed to vaccinations.


If human nature confuses but interests you, then this book is worth reading and then reading again.

2. Tricks of the Mind – Derren Brown

Buy on,

Have you ever wondered if mediums, channelers, magicians, etc. are real?

Can people really go into a trance or be hypnotized?

What makes us believe in magic or magical ideas?

World-class magician Derren Brown reveals the tricks of your mind and how they can be used against you. And it’s absolutely mesmerizing!


This book made me laugh out loud as Derren Brown is extremely funny and hilarious, but the book is very thoughtful and sensible.

I also highly recommend his three specials on Netflix, just search his name in the Netflix search bar to find them.

3. Out of God – Richard Dawkins

Buy at:,

After breaking away from spirituality, I had many questions, so I went to the man himself, Richard Dawkins, the evolutionary biologist.

This book challenges what you think you know about God, religion, and evolution, and I think it’s best to read the previous two books before starting this one if you’re interested in this topic.

I recommend it if you are religious, spiritual or atheist to increase your knowledge on a very important topic: our faith.

This book was well written, easy to understand and enjoyable to read.

I also enjoy watching Richard Dawkins debates on YouTube!

4. Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst – Robert Sapolsky

Buy on, buy on

Robert Sapolsky is Professor of Biological Sciences and Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, so this book is packed with science.

However, it is very entertainingly written and I especially love the footnotes where you can feel the author’s humor.

Prepare to unlearn everything you think you know about hormones, aggression, and human behavior.

5. Atomic Habits – James Clear

Buy on,

Finally a well-written, easy-to-understand book on habits and how they can stack against or towards our goals.

This book is extremely useful, and you can immediately start applying what you learn in it to improve your life in practical ways.

How we spend our time is incredibly important, and Atomic Habits teaches you how to make small changes that emerge over time.

6. Anger The Misunderstood Emotion – Carol Tavris

Buy on,

This book is one of the most insightful books on human behavior I’ve ever read, and it totally goes against the coddling type of pseudo-psycho-babble found all over social media.

Anger turned what I thought I knew on its head and shattered so many myths that are still everywhere. It makes me feel freer.

Read this if you understand and truly want to change yourself, your emotions, and your behavior.

7. Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand (read a second time)

Buy on,

This is my favorite work of fiction ever.

Ayn Rand is a superb writer with extremely big ideas, such as objectivism, a philosophical system she describes as “the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity”. , and reason as its only absolute”.

The characters in Atlas Shrugged embody that philosophy, and this novel was instrumental in changing the way I view my purpose and work.

While not a self-development book, it can definitely shape you as a person.

It is so good that I am reading it again and will probably read it again and again.

Oh, did I mention it’s the longest book in the world? Just kidding, it’s the 22nd longest. Its worth it! 😛

8. The Courage Not To Be Liked: How To Break Free, Change Your Life, And Find True Happiness – Kishimi, Ichiro

Buy on,

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This book was essential reading, especially as a convalescent folk treat.

We often prevent ourselves from doing what is right or what is in our best interest because a. We don’t understand each other b. We care what people think of us…

The title says it all, The Courage To Be Disliked really helps you break free from outside noise and live a full and meaningful life.

It is written in dialogue style, a conversation between teacher and student.

Best of all, it explores concepts from Adlerian psychology that I find incredibly empowering.

9. The Courage to Be Happy: True happiness is within your power – Kishimi, Ichiro

Buy on,

Happiness is something many of us chase, and this book can explain why you can’t catch it and how to truly cultivate true happiness.

After reading her first book I had to read this second one and it was fantastic too, a continuation of the conversation between teacher and student.

This series will be one I’m sure to revisit for the rest of my life.

Currently reading:

Think again: The power to know what you don’t know – Adam Grant (

Argument culture: stopping America’s war of words – Deborah Tannen (

“Don’t You Know Who I Am?”: How to Stay Sane in the Age of Narcissism — Durvasula Ph.D, Ramani S (

On my bookshelf:

These are books I look forward to reading!

Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind — Yuval Noah Harari (

The Demons-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark – Carl Sagan (

The selfish gene – Richard Dawkins (

the God Delusion – Richard Dawkins (

The World’s Weirdest People: How the West Became Psychologically Weird and Particularly Wealthy — Josef Henrich (

The art of statistics: learning from data — David Spiegelhalter (

And many more!

Final Thoughts

I love that if I ever have a question or something I just don’t understand there are some genius thinkers out there that have already researched the topic and left me a deep knowledge to dive into and that I can explore.

What I’ve learned from all the books I’ve read so far is that intuition is not knowledge.

In fact, what we intuitively believe to be true about a subject is often completely false.

I encourage reading books rather than scrolling through social media as you can learn the nuances of a topic and start to really understand it.

The more we know the better.

I know that as attention spans shorten, it’s getting harder and harder to sit down and read, but I find nothing quite as empowering.

Anyway, blah blah blah, me. LOVE. BOOKS.

DM me on Instagram if you end up reading any of these, I’d love to hear how you enjoy them!

love & logic,

hp If you want to delve deeper into skincare and find out how to take care of your skin properly, be sure to check out Skin Queen™, the ultimate skincare course! 🙂


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