“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” ~Dr. Seuss
Reading is something I am passionate about. I never leave the house without a book. You never know when you will have to wait, and I find that a book always comes in handy during those times. There are so many interesting things to learn in life, and reading books is one of my favorite ways to keep life exciting and learn about those things I am interested in. As 2015 comes to a close, I am reviewing the books I have read this year and reflecting on all the wonderful and exciting things I have learned.
I use Goodreads to keep a list of the books I would like to read as well as to rate, review, and keep track of books as I read them. At the beginning of 2015, I had set a goal for myself to read 26 books. I only finished 18 books this year, but I also wrote a book, The 31-Day Self-Love Challenge, so I’m not going to beat myself up for not reaching my goal. Of the 18 books I read this year, here are my Top 10 Recommendations. They are listed in no particular order. Click on the hyperlink or the book image for my review of each.
- A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson
Marianne Williamson shares her reflections on A Course in Miracles and her insights on the application of love in the search for inner peace. I loved this book! Marianne is filled with wisdom about life and love, and I truly enjoyed reading it. There is so much information in here about every aspect of life! I absolutely recommend it to anyone who is open to hearing the messages in it. It is the type of book that will appear in your life when you are ready for it.
2. One Month to Live by Kerry & Chris Shook
What if you only had one month to live? How would you make each day meaningful? How would you relate to others differently? What would you do to make the rest of your life really matter? This book helped me to realize the importance of living intentionally so I may make the most of my time, fulfill my purpose on this earth, and make the difference I was sent here to make. This book reinforces what really matters in life: relationships. Relationships are eternal, but everything else is temporary.
3. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
“Creativity is God’s gift to us. Using our creativity is our gift back to God.” That was a very powerful quote from the book that spoke to me. We are ALL artists. We were created to create. This book will help you to unleash your inner artist and reclaim that creativity that you may have hidden deep down. This is the book that gave me the push and the tools to help me write my own book, The 31-Day Self-Love Challenge, which was published this year.
4. Rachel’s Tears by Beth Nimmo and Darrell Scott with Steve Rabey
“The Columbine tragedy in April 1999 pierced the heart of our country. We later learned that the teenage killers specifically targeted Rachel Scott and mocked her Christian faith on their chilling, homemade videotapes. Rachel Scott died for her faith. Now her parents talk about Rachel’s life and how they have found meaning in their daughter’s martyrdom in the aftermath of the school shooting.” This book had a huge impact on my life. Rachel’s spirituality inspired me greatly. After my first reading of the book several years ago, I began writing letters to God in my journal just as she had. My letters to God have brought me to a whole new level spiritually, and it is all because of the influence of this authentic 17-year-old girl who just wanted God to use her to make a difference in the world. She sure made a difference in my life, and I’m sure she has inspired countless others as well. Her parents also inspire me through their positive attitude, their willingness to forgive, and their belief that God used the Columbine tragedy for the good of the world.
To anyone who has any interest in deepening their spirituality, I certainly recommend this book.
5. The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
I loved this book! I would highly recommend it to EVERYONE. It may have initially been written to help improve marriages, but the concepts in the book can apply to any relationship. Once we recognize the love language of our partner, friend, child, etc., we will be better able to show them we care and help to improve that relationship.
6. The Top Five Regrets of the Dying by Bronnie Ware
I loved this book and I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in living a happy and authentic life and having no regrets when they get to the end of it. Sadly, death is a subject many people fear and they do not want to think about it until it is too late and they are forced to. We are all going to die someday. The sooner we accept that truth, the sooner we will be able to set our own priorities and live a life focused on the things that are really important to us.
7. There’s a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem by Wayne Dyer
I love the teachings of Wayne Dyer! If I had to describe this book in one word, I would say it is about LOVE. Wayne Dyer passed away this year, but he knew about love and being connected to everyone and everything, and I’m so grateful he is going to live on through his books and teachings so we can all learn to do the same. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone who is open to embracing their spirituality and connecting more with everyone and everything in the universe.
8. Weekends with Daisy by Sharron Kahn Luttrell
I would recommend this book to readers of all ages! It kept my interest the entire time, and it was a fairly quick and easy read at just over 300 pages. Whether you are currently a dog-lover or not, you will finish this book with a new appreciation for dogs.
9. What Color is Your Parachute by Richard Bolles (Review not available)
After being a stay-at-home mom for 12 years, I went back to work for the first time this year, and I wish I had read this book before I tackled my resume and went on my first job interview in over 17 years. I did get through it and found the perfect job for me (actually, two of them — both part time). This book is filled with current resources and tips that can be helpful to anyone in search of a job. This book goes further than general tips as it asks you to really get to know yourself and find out what you are really looking for in a job. I especially enjoyed Appendix A: Finding Your Mission in Life. A must read for those in search of a job.
10. The Julian Chapter by RJ Palacio
Wonder and 365 Days of Wonder, both by R.J. Palacio, were both very inspiring to me. They are some of my all-time favorite books. The Julian Chapter is the final book that completes the story, and I love this one as well!
For more inspiring books, here are the top 10 books I read in 2014.
Which books have inspired you this year? Please let me know in the comments below.