As part of my self-care practices, I love reading. Especially “real” books. I mean, yay for technology, but there is something about holding a book in your hands. I am a tactile person, so I love the feel and the smell of books, especially old ones. If you’re looking for new book recommendations, here are some of my favorites.
Molly’s Favorite Books
The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf
Of course, I had to include this one. This is the OG book that sheds light on how toxic beauty standards have harmed women. It’s a bestselling classic that redefined our view of the relationship between beauty and female identity. But this book was written in the 1990’s and I think we should have a modern-day version now that we have YouTube beauty gurus and Instagram baddies. (*ahem* book agents/publishers: I can write this book)
A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson
This is my favorite book in the entire world. It totally changed my life. This is Williamson’s take on A Course in Miracles and her insights on the application of love in the search for inner peace.
In this book, you learn how you can literally be a miracle worker by accepting (higher power of your choice) and by the expression of love in our daily lives. Whether in the area of relationships, career, or health, she shows us how love is a potent force, the key to inner peace, and how by practicing love we can make our own lives more fulfilling while creating a more peaceful and loving world for our children.
I am not religious, but deeply spiritual, and this book was my entry point to that spirituality. It helped during deep depression. It changed the way I view the world and other people. And it brought so much more inner peace to my life. If I had to recommend one book on this list, this is it.
A Course in Miracles by the Foundation for Inner Peace
Ok, I won’t lie – this book is very spiritual and very dense. If you’re not interested in spirituality, you can skip this one. But this book changes lives. It’s kind of a combination between spirituality and psychotherapy. The general summary is as follows:
- Choose love over fear and you will have more inner peace (even when it comes to people who have wronged you)
- Learn to quiet the ego, who gives you attack thoughts and makes you see yourself as separate from other people and the world as a bad place
- Miracles can (and should) happen to anyone & everyone
There are three volumes in this book:
- The general book itself
- A workbook for students
- A manual for teachers
You can read all three sections simultaneously (I am). And you can take your time with it (I am). But my entire outlook has changed since becoming a student of ACIM. I am more peaceful and loving as a result of ACIM. And since adopting these principals, miracles have really, truly happened in my life. If you’re intimidated by a book this size, start out with A Return to Love and you’ll get the gist of ACIM.
You are a Bad Ass by Jen Sincero
This is the self-help book for people who are embarrassed to read self-help books. 🙂
Jen Sincero is honest, hilarious, and pulls no punches. I was literally beaming after I finished it. It serves up 27 bitesized chapters, which makes it easy to read. This book helps you to: Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that stop you from getting what you want, Create a life you totally love. And create it NOW, Make some damn money already. The kind you’ve never made before.
Reset by Ellen Pao
This book is for any woman who has experienced sexism at work. I have throughout my career and found myself nodding the entire time I read this book. Here’s some background: In 2015, Pao sued a powerhouse Silicon Valley venture capital firm, calling out workplace discrimination and retaliation against women and other underrepresented groups. Her suit rocked the tech world—and exposed its toxic culture and its homogeneity. Her message overcame negative PR attacks that took aim at her professional conduct and her personal life, and she won widespread public support—Time hailed her as “the face of change.” Though Pao lost her suit, she revolutionized the conversation at tech offices, in the media, and around the world. In Reset, she tells her full story for the first time.
Astrology for the Soul by Jan Spiller
You don’t need to be SUPER into astrology to like this book. In fact, it actually helped my mom and I understand each other better, leading to a deeper and more fulfilling relationship.
In this book you can learn so much about yourself – hidden talents, your deepest desires, and the ways you can avoid negative influences that may distract you from achieving your true life purpose. It focuses on the North & South Nodes, which can tell you so much about yourself. My North Node is opposite of my mom’s North Node, and it’s the same for our South Nodes. Through this book, I learned more about behaviors she had that annoyed me and vice versa, and we were able to get a better understanding of how to relate to each other.
The Power of Intention by Dr. Wayne Dyer
To me, this is the self-help book that is the easiest to understand, implement, and get results from. Dr. Dyer has researched intention as a force in the universe that allows the act of creation to take place. This book explores intention— as something you do— as an energy you’re a part of. This is the first book to look at intention as a field of energy that you can access to begin co-creating your life. It helps you learn inner peace, forgiveness, and how to live the life of your dreams. Highly recommended.
Hunger by Roxane Gay
First, I absolutely adore anything Roxane Gay does. I loved her book Bad Feminist, but this is her memoir. It is an honest tale of trauma, food, weight, self-image, and learning how to feed your hunger while taking care of yourself.
With the bracing candor, vulnerability, and power that have made her one of the most admired writers of her generation, Roxane explores what it means to learn to take care of yourself: how to feed your hungers for delicious and satisfying food, a smaller and safer body, and a body that can love and be loved—in a time when the bigger you are, the smaller your world becomes.
What I Know for Sure by Oprah Winfrey
First, let me just get this out of the way. I LOVE OPRAH!!!!! This is a collection of 14-years worth of her “What I Know For Sure” columns from O, The Oprah Magazine. These essays are inspiring, empowering, and beautiful. It’s also great as an audiobook because when she narrates, it feels like she’s talking to you just like a best friend.
Spirit Junkie by Gabrielle Bernstein
I feel connected to Gabby Bernstein because we have so many similarities. We both worked in PR. We’re both former party girls. We’re both in 12-step recovery programs for addictions, and we’re both seekers. This book is her memoir about how she transformed her life, offering her spiritual journey as a guidebook for overcoming fear, changing perceptions, and creating a life you’re psyched to wake up for. Bernstein has traded self-doubt and addiction for a new kind of high. In 2005 she became a student of A Course in Miracles and since then she has been guided to teach those spiritual principles to the next generation of seekers.
But there are so many more that I could consider my favorite books!
Here are my honorable mentions:
- Becoming by Michelle Obama
- Love is a Mixtape by Rob Sheffield (my husband gifted this to me when we were dating)
- Radical Candor by Kim Scott
- Ask and It is Given by Abraham Hicks
- The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra
- Judgement Detox by Gabby Bernstein
What are your favorite books? Let me know in the comments!