There are few things that bring me more joy than a good book.
I read fiction, and often listen to a spiritual/self-development book, simultaneously. I believe we can learn just as much from fiction as non-fiction. In fact, according to studies published in the Public Library of Science, the Journal of Research in Personality and The European Journal of Communication Research, people who read fiction show higher levels of empathy and emotional intelligence.
Time to start pleasure reading, y'all!
This week, I want to share a few of the books, from both genres, that changed my life this year.
The Push by Ashley Audrain
A gripping psychological drama about the building and breaking of a new family. A story about the journey of motherhood and the dreams and the fears that come true. It's a story about what it means to not be believed by the people closest to you. At once sentimental and shocking, I couldn't put this book down.
Know My Name by Chanel Miller
A memoir from the victim of the Stanford swimmer rape case, Chanel Miller. Rescued from behind a dumpster by two foreign exchange students who happened to bike by at the time of the rape, this is the haunting story of the victim, who the rapist had never seen before that night. Know My Name transforms the way we think about sexual assault and humanizes victims who are often left without voices. Earth shattering prose and spiritual insight throughout, it's an inspiring reclamation from a 23 year old sage, Chanel Miller, as she processes her trauma and elucidates the biases of the criminal justice system.
The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
Set in the Dust Bowl in Texas in 1934, this book displays an incredible portrait of the American Dream and the unyielding love of a mother. Faced with the agonizing choice of leaving aging parents and the family farm behind during dangerous conditions, or heading to California with no money, and only her children, so her youngest doesn't die of a lung infection from the dust, Elsa makes an impossible journey West. An epic tale that reminds us the grit, endurance, courage, sacrifice and hope our not too distant ancestors embodied that defined a generation, and made us who we are today. Simply incredible.
Dodging Energy Vampires by Dr. Christiane Northrup
Highly sensitive people are often driven to a life of compassion and caring for others. While yielding incredible light, these same people often fall victim to what Northrup coins as "energy vampires," or those who drain our energy, finances, and more. This book gives tools by which we can identify energy vampires, offers insight and techniques on how to leave these harmful relationships behind, and heal from the darkness these exchanges cast over our minds, bodies and souls. A perfect book for the open-hearted empath who seeks to create healthier boundaries in relationships.
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
A coming of age story about a famous family pieced together by loss and also by hope, this upbeat read reminded me of the special relationships between siblings that change and also stay the same. A story about forgiveness, the pain of infidelity, family loyalty, and redefining ourselves. Loved every minute.
Between Two Kingdoms by Suleika Jaouad
A powerful memoir about unexpected illness and recovery that brings us up close and personal with a cancer patient's experience, both physically and emotionally. This book builds incredible insight and compassion for the journey so many people we know have endured. Raw and fast-paced, Jaouad lets us into a world many of us could never otherwise imagine.
Ultimate Wealth Mastery Library by John Demartini
A compilation of various seminars by Demartini, this audio shifted and concretized my and my husband's philosophies and behaviors around how to build and maintain wealth for our family and generations to come. Highly recommend.