I’m the daughter of a massive bookworm. Like — the reason she has a bigger purse is so that her book can fit in it because she brings a book everywhere she goes. Not going to lie, it’s a trait I’ve adopted over the years as well, except not quite as dilgently because #iphone.
I love the fact that my mom is such a skilled reader. It’s honestly what I picture most when I think of her — reading in her recliner, running errands with a book and clipboard in hand, reading in bed, reading while she waited for me to finish name-that-activity at school, reading on a parked boat — on a boat lift — because she just wants to be outside and reading.
The rather ironic thing is that she hates buying books. I think the only ones she owns were given as gift. She is a library-fanatic through and through and thank goodness because it has probably saved her millions (not exaggerating). When you read as often as she does, your reading rate increases — she goes through hella books throughout the week/month.
Since I grew up not really owning books either, but I did learn the love of how books feel, smell, and the power an author has at getting you. I still visit the local library pretty regularly, but over the years I gradually started buying books — mainly non-fiction books that I knew would appreciate for more than just one read.
My collection has grown even in the span of a few years, and I’m not a fast reader. There have been a handful that really resonated with me this past year and I would recommend to anyone looking for a great read. With that said, I strongly feel a “good book” is an incredibly biased thing, and what speaks to me during a season in life may not do the same for you at this time. However, maybe it will in a year from now or five years from now. Books are unique like that, and what you read and perceive at a given time could change immensely the next time you read it.
You Are the Girl for the Job (Jess Connolly)
I’m a Christian; a spiritual person who continually feels called to learn more about my purpose in life and how I can follow God’s plan for me. My favorite books are spiritual self-development books, and whether you are a fellow Christian or not religious at all, You Are the Girl for the Job is an incredible book to fire up your drive in and for life.
As I navigated the journey of finding more to each day than making it feel like the daily grind of eat, work, kids, semi-sleep, repeat, it was books like this that gave me direction, determination, and confidence. Along the way I discovered a multitude of other authors, bloggers, podcasters, and friends who were going through their own versions of this journey and having the same questions and doubts.
We all go through it in one way or another and at some time in our lives. Maybe you’re in the thick of it now, maybe you’ve yet to be struck by the reality, or maybe you’re coming out the other side stronger…wherever you’re at Jess Connolly is the girl for you.
Girl, Stop Apologizing (Rachel Hollis)
I’ve been all about Rachel Hollis for a few years now, and so much so I often don’t refer to her or her work because I feel like everyone else is in the same boat as me and already listened to this week’s podcast(s), read her books, watched her daily Instagram live with Dave, purchased multiple Start Today journals for themselves and gifts, and attended Rise. But then I more often than not am reminded that no, that’s not the case for many people.
She’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but this girl took common sense every-day living and owned.it. And now her mission is leading you on that same journey because it is that simple and easy comprehend, but having all of the tools and motivation is key to continued success.
Girl, Wash Your Face was a game-changer for me. Maybe because I had little expectations and even went into reading it after listening to a few of her audio-chapters from the book and not loving them. The bar was set rather low, but even with a high-bar she would’ve nailed it.
Girl, Stop Apologizing I enjoyed even more. I love practical application of how other people have succeeded in an area, especially when it comes to personal development. I eat that $#!t up. Her down-to-earth and tell-it-how-it is personality is portrayed perfectly in the tone of her book, making it feel like you’ve known her for ages and she is speaking to your soul.
It seems Rachel and these books tend to have a love-hate audience — either loving her or hating, and it seems those haters are usually the ones who haven’t given her a fair shot. My kids are well versed in that you have to at least try something (food is two bites) before you can give your opinion or say you dislike something. Mama will get real irritated if negative comments are spewed without actual experience. Same goes for books, music, or anything else.
So if it isn’t already, add this book to your list and sooner rather than later, and be sure to come at it with an open mind. There is gold in that book and it will change your life if you let it.
100 Days to Brave (Annie Down)
A book that has a set reading for the day, like a daily devotional, is by far one of my favorite books. My dad and grandpa would always read The Upper Room and for a hot-minute I did as well, but found at the time it wasn’t as enjoyable as I’d like BUT I did like the quick read each day to make you think about living a purposeful life.
This book is simply just a physically beautiful book — as in it felt good just holding it and look at the crisp white cover and pages. Each day had about 1.5-2 short, small pages to read that included a story from Annie’s life as well as scripture and a prayer.
It’s been a daily practice of mine for the past year to read two pages from my Bible every morning, so following that I would read from this book. It was a combination I really grew to love and since finishing it I have started other daily devotionals, and was even gifted one from a friend that has been the perfect read.
If you’re new to the realm of book that has a set reading for each day, I’d highly suggest trying one out! Again — it doesn’t have to be spiritual — there are plenty of others that have a great captivating and inspiring message to set a positive tone for the day.
Own Your Life (Sally Clarkson)
Alright, so as I’m writing this, I’m realizing that 3 of my 5 favorite books from 2019 have a religious connection to them, which isn’t for everyone. I nearly swapped out one to give this selection a bit more diversity, but decided against it. These were the five books that gave me joy, drive, and provided more than a story but answers.
I used to have a strong stance against reading a book twice. Kind of how I feel about most vacations. There are so many options out there that repeating one just doesn’t seem quite right. This book however, was potentially the first book that I reread…multiple times. I first learned of it thanks to Amazon, in the suggestions based on other things I had purchased. I think I had previously purchased Make It Happen by Lara Casey (another awesome book!) and Own Your Life was listed as one I might also like.
Here I am a few years later and reading it for the third (or forth?) time. I can’t even necessarily say that I like it that much more than the other books I’ve listed…in fact I think I like a few better. But there is something about parts of the book that draw me in. It’s now a book that I read while also reading a new book — another thing that I would have never done before, until I discovered non-fiction.
Overall, each of these has their own unique voice and story, yet a bit of similarities and overlap as well. You may find that one intrigues you and another isn’t quite your style, and that’s ok. My hope is that the message in the book speaks to you and brings awareness to your life — how it can be (even) better.