Impactful Books I’m Reading (and Recommend)

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Believe it or not, I occasionally read impactful books that are for grown-ups, too! This year was a huge growth year for me personally so most of my own reading has been nonfiction. As the Epstein-Barr Virus continues to kick my butt, one blessing of the fatigue is it gives me more time to read and learn about my health. Silver linings!

Here are the books that I think you’ll want to know about — books that have made an impact on my life. And, books that are on my to-read pile . . . and books I’m giving as gifts to my history-buff husband.

Please leave a comment with books you’re enjoying and think we should know about, too.

Impactful Books

Rising STrong review Impactful Books I'm Reading
Rising Strong: The Reckoning, The Rumble, The Revolution
 by Brene Brown
If you thought her other books were life-changing, this one is even better. It’s like the next step for figuring out your sh*t– how to be compassionate with boundaries (working on this with my teenager), how to not get stuck in the mucky middle (cause growth ain’t easy like we want it to be), and how to embrace the challenge of it all. Because it’s hard, damn hard work, to grow and be our best selves. I’ve scribbled in the margins and taken aha notes in my journal. This is life-changing work and I can’t recommend it enough!!

Self Compassion review
Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind To Yourself
 by Kristin Neff
Why is it that we treat others better than ourselves? This book helps us prioritize ourselves and more than that, comfort ourselves when we’re down and needing compassion. It gives us a set of steps when we’re down and out to go into the feeling of sadness, shame, fear, whatever, and give ourselves compassion. I loved it so much I’ve already gifted it to several friends.

Brain Maker review Impactful Books I'm Reading
Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain for Life
 by David Perlmutter
I read this book after The Autoimmune Solution by Dr. Amy Myers which is equally helpful in it’s research and advice. This book shares fascinating research on how so many of our illnesses are caused by immflamuation. From autism to EBV to MS. Very cutting edge stuff.

Books I Gave My Husband This Year (That I Want To Read, Also)

The Boys in the Boat gift books for husband
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
 by Daniel James Brown
Teamwork. Leadership. Overcoming hardship. My husband is a history buff and this looks like the perfect book for his nightly reading. 

Unbroken gift book for my husband
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption 
by Laura Hillenbrand 
Reading the free first chapter on my Kindle, I knew this was a MUST-OWN book. Oh. My. Gosh. I can’t wait to borrow it from my husband. 

What If gift book husband Impactful Books I'm Reading
What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions
 by Randall Munroe 
(This is free on Kindle!) My youngest is the QUEEN of these questions. I can’t wait to read this hilarious book with the entire family. What if . . . the earth stopped spinning? (Do you read books as a family — it’s really a cool way to spark discussion and introduce new things.)

The Wright Brothers by David McCullough also looks like a winner for my history-buff husband.

Books I’m Reading Over the Winter Break

Lake House Impactful Books I'm Reading
Lake House by Kate Morton
This is a highly-rated, suspense-filled story set in England. Because sometimes I need a break from deep literature and nonfiction, I can’t wait to read this.

Humans of New York Stories Impactful Books I'm Reading
Humans of New York Stories by Brandon Stanton
I LOVE this Facebook page — the stories are thought-provoking, compelling even. I would like to share these stories with my kids. Wouldn’t that be empathy building? Hmmm.

The Upward Spiral Impactful Books I'm Reading
The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time
 by Alex Korb PhD 
My neighbor can’t say enough good things about how impactful this book has been for her. Here’s the summary from Amazon, “Whether you suffer from depression or just want a better understanding of the brain, this book offers an engaging and informative look at the neuroscience behind our emotions, thoughts, and actions. The truth is that there isn’t one big solution to depression, but there are numerous simple steps you can take to alter brain activity and chemistry. Some are as easy as relaxing certain muscles to reduce anxiety, or getting more sunlight to improve your mood. Small steps in the right direction can have profound effects—giving you the power to become your best self as you literally reshape your brain, one small change at a time.”

The Nightengale Impactful Books I'm Reading
Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
I’ve had this book and not read it because I didn’t want to read a historical fiction book. (I go through phases.) Now I’m ready. Also, one of my book buddies said it was amazing. It’s time.  (“The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France–a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.”)

What Books Are You Reading?

Has anyone read the new Elizabeth Gilbert book, Big Magic, yet? I’d love to know what you think of it!

**I keep my Goodreads list of books updated if you want to connect there. Here’s my profile link. I don’t post reviews there as this is just a way for me to keep track of books I like and don’t like.

books that I recommend and am giving as gifts

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  1. That’s a lovely list of books. Thank you for sharing. I also tend to read a lot of non-fiction. Your choices are focused on health. Mine are often but not always education. I have read some good ones this year. I have got 3 or 4 on the go at the moment, there’s just not enough time to read! I haven’t read any of these, but I can recommend Kate Morton. I have read a few of her books. They make a lovely engaging read after a diet of non-fiction. Kate is a local (to me) writer, which makes her works all the more special.
    Enjoy your reading over the holidays. Have a wonderful break.