I’ve been doing very well at using the library instead of buying books lately. But there are certain books that are absolutely worth buying so you can reread them periodically. I wanted to share some of the books that have really inspired me lately, and that I try to come back to regularly. This is by no means a complete list, because of course there are different aspects of everyone’s life (ie, my inspiration for veganism would be a different list). Rather, these are books that inspire me to pursue balance and happiness.
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life This book fascinated me because Donald Miller starts applying storywriting techniques to create change in his own life – to great success. Sometimes life changes require a little intervention, and this book has some great techniques for that. I very much want to read Love Does by his friend Bob Goff, but it’s not available at the library so I’ve ordered it online.
The Book of Lost Things John Connolly clearly ‘gets’ kids – and ‘gets’ adults who were once kids, as well. This is a story about loss and self-growth, one of those stories that you can’t quite summarize why, but it leaves you in a better place. I suppose in a way it reminds me of Finding Neverland, which I watched just recently – it deals with the very frightening realities of loss and becoming an adult, but it does so in a fantasy context that makes you feel safe enough to look at the issues.
The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun I was skeptical about Gretchen Rubin at the beginning. Her project struck me as silly, her explanations simplistic. But what I came to realize while reading this book is that Gretchen Rubin has quite a gift for absorbing a great deal of research, thinking deeply about it, and then offering it to you in a streamlined way.
365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life This book makes me cry every time I read it. Whether or not you take the semi-religious aspect of John Kralik’s story literally, this is a moving story about the power of gratitude to change our attitude and our attitude to change our life.
Eat, Pray, Love First – read the book, don’t just watch the movie. Elizabeth Gilbert is both an intellectual and intuitive woman, and since I’m the same way I found this a very useful exploration of pleasure, devotion and finding balance. Each time I read this book, I take something a little different out of it – there are a lot of lessons about finding yourself, loving yourself, exploring your personal relationship to the world and God, forging your own path in life and more.