5 Favorite Books for Your Reading List

Feb 28, 2022WELL-BEING

Books with Coffee

A book has different meaning to each person who reads it. But, no matter your perception of a book, studies prove reading regularly is good for you. Reading reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, prevents cognitive decline and enhances overall well-being.

As a child, I escaped into books. Teachers often expressed concern about my reading too much. Mrs. Hawkins, my sixth-grade teacher, sent a note home reading: I’m worried Julie is staying up all night reading. She was onto me, the compulsive bibliophile balancing a flashlight under the sheets. 

What Mrs. Hawkins didn’t know was reading unearthed calm stability in my otherwise volatile childhood. It was a way for me to forget about the eggshells on which I walked. It helped me escape my mother’s violent behavior.

Reading can be an escape, a lifesavor. It was for me.

My sons like to read, too. Sometimes my youngest son reads aloud to me. As I listen to him, I feel cloaked in solace. Reading with my kids makes me realize how calm and stable my life has become. I no longer use it to escape my surroundings. Rather, I read to enhance my surroundings. Now, I venture into books to add rich and calming layers to my life.

“Books are the most vital, intimate, personal, mind-altering, thought-twisting, friend-giving, empathy-strengthening, thrill-riding, emotional, world-shaking technology we will ever have. And in a world where we are increasingly connected via technology, but disconnected by society, books and stories can be the glue that bonds us.”

—Matt Haig

FAVORITE BOOKS FOR YOUR READING LIST

Book, Educated by Tara Westover

Educated

Nonfiction

Tara Westover was born to isolated survivalists in the mountains of Idaho. She was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Tara taught herself grammar and math and was admitted to Brigham Young University, Harvard and Cambridge.

Educated is the story of family dysfunction and the grief that comes with severing unhealthy ties. It’s a coming-of-age gem revealing the doors education can open and how viewing the world through a different lens can change your trajectory.

Book, Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Where the Crawdads Sing

Fiction

Kya Clark is the “Marsh Girl,” perceived as wild and unfit for polite society. But, Kya is misunderstood. She’s a naturalist with only one day of schooling. Her classroom was the marsh where she was born. Her classmates were the creatures within it.

Kya’s savage solitude is disrupted when she becomes drawn to two young men, each enamored with her untamed beauty. She opens herself up to a startling new world. And then the unthinkable happens.

Book, Untamed by Glennon Doyle

Untamed

Nonfiction

At some point, we’ve all looked at our lives and wondered: Is this it? And then we quickly quash our feelings by telling ourselves we should be grateful for the life we have. 

Glennon Doyle buried her discontent beneath cultural conditioning and multiple addictions. Until she decided to stop silencing herself and release the world’s unrealistic expectations. 

Untamed is the story of how one woman overcame social conditioning and learned to trust herself, create her boundaries, and honor her emotions. It’s about how we can and should learn to play life big, thereby becoming and raising untamed human beings.

Book, Caste by Isabel Wilkerson

Caste

Nonfiction

Using riveting stories, Isabel Wilkerson shares eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations. She reveals how the Nazis studied the racial systems in America to plan their out-cast of the Jews. She discusses why there must be a bottom rung for those in the middle to measure themselves against. And she writes about the depression, lessened life expectancy, and the effects of hierarchy on our culture.

Caste shows how America can move beyond destructive human division and toward a common humanity.

Book, The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk

The Body Keeps the Score

Self-Help

Trauma expert Bessel van der Kolk has spent more than three decades working with survivors of trauma. His research offers proven alternatives to prescription drugs and talk therapy. He shows how the brain can be reactivated through innovative treatment like neurofeedback, mindfulness and yoga.  

The Body Keeps the Score helps to transform our understanding of trauma and reveals how it literally rearranges the brain’s wiring. 

Read more about how this book cultivated my healing via Trauma and How Our Bodies Keep the Score.

Blocking at least twenty minutes a day to escape into a good book is proven to enhance our well-being. But, sometimes life happens and reading loses rank. My friend, Kim, reads ten times more books than the average hustling Mom. She also has a sixth sense about me being literarily lax. She’s the best book giver ever.

When Kim ships a book my way, my psyche gently whispers, G’head, drop everything and read a while. Kim insists. So, in honor of my generous book-loving friend, Kim, I hope you choose a good book and make time to read today.

As always, thank you for being here and sharing the articles you appreciate most. Be sure to subscribe to occasional future posts below. For bonus inspiration, my curated Pinterest Boards and Instagram Stories are yours for the taking. And if you have questions or suggestions, leave a comment or reach out via email. My mind and inbox are always open. —xo

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