In fact, usually a book a week. I love learning and my curiosity about life is seemingly endless. Of course, I recommend books a lot. So I created this page to house a virtual library and book guide for anyone looking to see what I am reading now and over the past few years.
It took me far, far too long to finally get around to reading this book, and now it will be one I never forget. A raw and sometimes unbearably honest account of Doyle’s bulimia, alcoholism and heartache, Love Warrior takes readers on a journey of one woman’s discovery of who she really is and how she got back home. Her story-telling is riveting but also artful. Even if you don’t agree with her or find her confronting, no one can deny that Glennon Doyle is a magnificent writer. Now I finally understand why she is so celebrated.
You could fly through this book filled with 101 mini chapters and walk away with a countless number of thoughtful insights to continue to contemplate long after you set it on your book shelf. There were so many well-worded nuggets of wisdom; almost every page of my book has at least one line underlined or starred. Ultimately, Who Will Cry When You Die serves a handbook for anyone wanting to live more fully and intentionally.
Much like some people have a top shelf for their liquor, I have one for my books. Only a handful make my list of my “top shelf books” and this is definitely one of them. In fact, no book has changed my life and my mind like this one. Why? Because with clarity and simplicity, Michael Singer brings so much understanding to this critical foundation of our emotional wellness: “There is nothing more important to true growth than realizing that you are not the voice in your mind–you are the one who hears it.” Read this book and it has the potential to rewire who you are.
There is a power wielded over us that most, myself included, are mostly unaware of. This power influences so many of our decisions, including many that don’t bring about positive results in our lives (such as buying things we don’t need). This is a pretty nerdy book but the intel is solid, as is this message: we need to be aware of how we are influenced so that we can be more skilled at defending against these tactics.
I love it when a book blows my mind! For starters, Kate Northrups’s insights into how we can start aligning our output with the lunar and menstrual calendar was truly revolutionary to me. I loved her chapters on how to ask AND receive help. I loved her ethos grounded in consciously curating what makes it into our calendars and to-do lists. This book was refreshing, fun to read, thought-provoking and action-inspiring.
This is the first Jon Kabat-Zinn book I have read. Being one of the world’s foremost teachers of mindfulness, I expected it to be filled with useful and thoughtful insights. Of course, it was. Unexpected was how beautifully it was written. On a practical level, it was filled with interesting ideas for dropping into the moment. In particular, I loved his idea of using yoga as a way to cultivate mindfulness by using the movement as the object of the meditation. I started doing this a few mornings a week (by candlelight). “Through the practice of mindful yoga, we can expand and deepen our sense of what it means to inhabit the body and develop a richer and more nuanced of the lived body in the lived moment.”
Stuart Browning strikes the perfect balance between science/research-based arguments and his own anecdotal experience to make a case for why a lack of play should be considered akin to malnutrition. I closed this book with a deepened sense of awareness of how critical fun, novelty and whimsy is to our sense of wellbeing, social cohesiveness and overall satisfaction with life. One thought to ponder: “Sustained emotional intimacy is impossible without play.” Chew on that!
Gretchen Rubin is my spiritual animal. She tackles the goal of upgrading her overall happiness with her life like a surgeon, methodically devoting each of twelve months to making small but meaningful changes. The result is an inspiring, quirky and very entertaining account of how she brought more joy, love and simple contentment to her life.
Dani Shapiro is a writer like Monet was a painter. She’s a true craftsman with her words. In this memoir, Dani vulnerably gives us access into her life, and more specifically, her marriage. It was so unwaveringly honest, almost raw in its intimacy. At times, I was uneasy with how much access she gave me to such an intimate space in her world. And yet, it was so beautifully written, as is all her work, that I could not put it down. It made me want to celebrate the utter magnificence and ordinariness of love.
How it feels to die is not a common topic in our culture. In fact, most avoid talking about death altogether, as if by talking about it we might catch it like a cold. So, it was equally refreshing and jarring to read Paul Kalanithi’s account of his cancer diagnosis and the quick descent into his debilitating illness. I felt grateful to be given a glimpse into such a private experience. Yet, what impressed me most about this book was not just the account, but that by writing his story the author fulfilled a longtime dream to be a writer. And a writer he was! This book was penned with a stunningly eloquent effort that adds a layer of atypical richness to the reading of it.
There must be hundreds, maybe thousands, of books written about how and why to meditate. I’ve read a handful of them but none have approached this time honored tool the way Light Watkins has. Instantly relatable and immediately applicable, the instruction Light offers up in his book changed my meditation practice for the better the moment I began applying his recommendations. This book is a must for anyone who thinks they can’t meditate.
A.J. Jacobs brings the reader on a journey deep into the world of the daily cup of Joe. This book was as interesting as it was funny. Through its pages, I learned so much about how coffee lands in my cup but also I was moved by the author’s devotion to being grateful not for what’s immediately in front of him, but for the invisible efforts that remain hidden from his daily view. I love that he went digging to find all the people to thank for his coffee. It was so silly but also so inspiring.
This book has received massive popularity and accolades. Read it and you will immediately understand why. A story of a girl rising, against all odds, beyond a unimaginably sheltered childhood, the book is at times unfathomable, scary, exhilarating and sad. I can’t imagine how many years of therapy Tara Westover needs to make sense of her life. Or maybe she just needed to write one amazing book! Pick it up and I bet you won’t be able to put it down.
Authors William and Ned offer up a ‘parent as consultant’ approach to raising kids into thriving adults. As a child’s capacity to make and act on his/her own decisions, the parent slowly removes the scaffolding to provide counsel but not control, support but not domination. The result, in theory, is a child who sees him/herself as capable and skillful, no longer in need of his/her parent’s nagging and constant oversight. I loved this book!
A raw and poignant rally cry for our undeniable need for more human connection, Tribe by Sebastian Junger offers the reader an invitation to see their role in their community as more vital than they may have believed. You can read this book in one sitting but its ferociousness and passion will linger for years.
If you’re a parent with more than one child, you know the feelings of heartbreak and frustration you experience over their bickering and battles. Through Dr. Laura Markham’s book, I learned that sibling conflict is not only a healthy way kids learn to deal with conflict out in the world, but how much my reaction to the conflict can either quell or exacerbate it. Modeling our own peacefulness, taking on the role as interpreter (rather than referee), and bringing more consciousness to how we might accidentally be the cause of much of the root of sibling rivalries. The concepts and ideas in this book were instantly applicable, many with immediate results.
Why do we do what we do, even when we say we want to behave differently? Through his own research and the scientific findings of others, Marshall Goldsmith lays out a case for why so much of our inability to harness our willpower has more to do with our environment than our self-control. Goldsmith makes a strong case for how we can set ourselves up for success, including being about to predetermine our usual saboteurs and plan accordingly.
I have so much of this book underlined and starred. Rather than sit on a soap box and sermonize about the morality of minimalism, Carver merely shares her own, personal journey to discover that having more didn’t give her more joy, peace or love. In fact, quite the opposite. “Through the process, I discovered that it isn’t about organizing things or just getting rid of stuff. Those are the mechanics and certainly part of it, but simplicity is about more than making space in your home. It’s also about creating more time in your life and more love in your heart. What I learned is that you can actually BE more with less.”
I interviewed Courtney Carver in Season One of the Synced Life Podcast. You can listen to that conversation here.