My comrade and confidante J. Parker of Hot Holy & Humorous has laid down a challenge to me. She’s mischievous and fun that way. I just love her!
She named 8 books that changed her life and asked me to do the same.
It goes without saying that the Bible has definitely been profound for me, so that would be on the list for sure. But I also would include the below books.
I must add too that it is super hard for me to narrow down such a list. I mean, my pal challenged me to list eight, I said my list would have 10, and then my ultimate list includes 12. There’s no hope for me.
My husband and I once laughingly joked about if we could ever handle moving to a tiny house. He wryly shut down the conversation by deadpan asking me, “Where would you put your books?”
Point well taken. Given the opportunity to just go on and on, my list of life-changing books would probably be pathetically and unrealistically long. 100 Books that Changed My Life!
Whatever book I’m reading tends to be my fav. Seriously.
I also want to note I am of the firm belief that it’s possible to read a book without agreeing completely with the author. I absolutely love the below authors. I don’t always agree with them.
10 Books that Changed My Life
I treasure many of Anne Lamott’s books, but this one holds a special place for me.
When I was in college, I was a Lamaze coach for a dear friend of mine who was facing an unexpected pregnancy. It was such a tender time in our lives and such a foundational aspect of our now 32-year friendship. She and I read this book back then. This book and Anne Lamott’s authentic writing style will always resonate with me.
So here we are at book two of my list, and you can see how falling-down-in-love I am with authentic writing. Donald Miller is such a beautiful writer and storyteller.
In recent years, he has become better known for his business books, particularly Building a Story Brand. (Also a book I love). But it was Blue Like Jazz that first drew me to him as a writer.
Strayed is better known for her book Wild, which skyrocketed to popularity when made into a 2014 movie starring Reese Witherspoon.
I liked Wild too, but this one wrecked my heart in many ways. Even where I disagree with Cheryl Strayed, I found her writing and insights profound. She is raw and real. Like Donald Miller, she is a wonderful storyteller.
I cannot remember who recommended this book to me, but it resonated with me quickly.
I think one of the most difficult human skills to refine is learning how to not be easily offended and how to come into genuine relationship with people who share different views than our own. Brant Hansen shares vulnerably about his own experiences in such a learning journey. Again, this book is a great example of such authentic writing.
When I was venturing into speaking and writing on sex to a Christian audience, this was one of the first books I bought. Interestingly, I couldn’t even find it in the Christian section of the bookstore back in the day. I had to go to the secular section on sexuality.
Now all these years later, I consider Shannon a dear friend. In my opinion, she was such a forerunner in speaking up authentically on this vitally important topic of sex in marriage. I will always be indebted to her for that.
I have never been a fan of Stephen King’s novels because I don’t care for the terror and horror genre, but I deeply admire Stephen King as a writer. He is prolific and talented, and this book reflects that.
This is his own commentary on his life and writing journey that has made him one of the most memorable authors in American history. I absolutely loved this book.
What’s not to love about Bob Goff?! Merriam-Webster would be spot on to put a photo of Bob Goff next to the word “optimism” in the dictionary.
The man oozes optimism and authenticity, and it comes across so beautifully in his writing and storytelling. I also could add his book Everybody, Always to my list, as well as his wife Maria Goff’s book Love Lives Here.
I am a bit of a self-help junkie, so I gobble up books that challenge me and inspire me to live my best life. And of course any time an author shares out of their own story, that definitely gets my ears to perk up.
And that’s what Steven Pressfield does in this book. So much encouragement and wisdom in this book for anyone longing to get unstuck.
I read a lot of motivational books (clearly), so it’s no surprise this one made its way into my Amazon shopping cart.
Benjamin Hardy gained fame initially by becoming the most popular writer on the internet platform Medium. I like his writing style, his willingness to share from his own story, and his specific tips on making your life what you want it to be. I include so many books of this genre on my list, but this one stands out. It deserves a slot in this post.
This is probably the book on which I will get the most push back for including it on my list. But I have to say, I love Jen Sincero’s call-it-like-she-sees-it perseverance and pursuit of dreams.
She is incredibly optimistic and it comes through in her writing. She doesn’t have much of a filter, but I find that somewhat endearing.
Brene Brown came on the scene years ago speaking and writing about things that resonate with so many people—vulnerability, empathy, courage, and shame.
She has authored several books (nearly all of which I have), but this was the first one that turned me on to her willingness to speak out loud about so many of the feelings and insecurities and questions that ramble through people’s hearts and minds. Such beautiful writing chops this gal has.
Well, obviously I couldn’t keep my list to 10. No surprise, I know. What can I say, I loved this book a ton, too! I can’t resist a book with a title like this.
I strive to be a person who believes everything is figureoutable, as Marie Forleo proclaims. Sometimes I fall short in that, but a book like this breathes new life into my endeavors and passion. Thank you Marie Forleo.
Whew! That’s quite a list. What books have changed your life? You know, I’m always looking for more reading material, so do tell!
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