Books to Live an Authentic, Intentional, and Happy Life
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Autobiographical Books that Crack You Open
This is one of the few books that I have read multiple times. Nafisi’s use of language and her ability to describe her experience as a woman and an academic in Iran, while tying it into a literary experience is captivating, moving and life-changing.
A memoir of LOVE and WAR. Sounds fictional. It’s a true story. The true story of a female Sandinista. The story of a woman who can both write poetry and plot real political intrigue. Probably my all-time favorite book.
I read an interview with Oprah in August, in which she references the movie rendition of Beloved as a flop. I stopped in my tracks and had to re-read the words. Three times.
Beloved cracked me open so hard (the book and movie) that I couldn’t see the pages or the screen for my tears. Toni Morrison can write moving texts, but in Beloved she really brings the experiences and the emotions to the table. This book moved me, made me so sad that it is hard to call it a “favorite.” At the same time, a good book, a really good book is one that cracks you open.
A tale of unintended consequences. Can Charity cause dependence? Yes. Does this mean we should not live charitable lives? No.
This book takes an extremely important look at how we structure charity. It also asks us to question “why?” we get involved? Is our charity work really about us?
Psychology and Personal Development Favorites
The first time I read the Alchemist, I didn’t get it. At the age of 22, I’d met a nice young man on an airplane. We exchanged numbers and when I returned home he gave me a call. He took me out for tapas in an amazing Boston restaurant. We talked for hours and at the end of the night, on his way to drop me off, we stopped to pick up this book.
I read it and waited for him to call. He never did. I read the book again a few years ago. Now I realize that if I’d understood why he gave me the book, I would have called him. This book is a work of fiction, but Paulo Coelho is a philosopher. And this book should take you on your own introspective, autobiographical journey. If you read it and just go “hum,” put it aside and read it again in a decade. You will be surprised.
The Gift of Imperfection, by Brene Brown
This is another book that took a while to sink in. Written as both a personal development book and a workbook, I did the exercises while pregnant with my second child. To book certainly opened me up to my creative side and helped me to be happy with where I am right now in my life.
I didn’t actually GET the concept that imperfection IS a GIFT, until two years later and the birth of my third child. If you struggle with perfection, with happiness, with personal judgment, with your ideas of success, read this book. Today. Do it. Now.
I read this book at the invitation of a friend. I didn’t actually think I needed a “miracle” nor did I “believe” in miracles. If you are in a rut. If you have a weight problem, a getting up in the morning problem, a coffee problem, anything that YOU see as a PROBLEM, buy this book. Baby steps for 40 days and Gabbie will walk you through what you need to do…call it a miracle or call it science. It works.
Books for Parents & Kids
The Strengths Switch is another life-changing book — what if you could see your kids imperfections as STRENGTHs simply by flipping a switch! I know, sounds like woo-woo magic, but its the real deal. Buy it, read it. You’ll thank me. I promise!
On my bookshelf (aka Kindle) today.
Depending on my goals and my mood, I like to read multiple books at once.
Thank goodness for the Kindle! I prefer to read fiction books on paper; relaxing with the smell of the paper pages is just part of the experience! That said, the convenience of the Kindle cannot be beaten; also, much easier to pack one Kindle than 5 books!