I read a lot of books. Some are good, some are great, and some hit you in all the right spots and you can't put them down. Below are books that I have thoroughly loved reading. I will continue to add books to this page as they captivate my soul and shoot kisses down my spine.
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HELP WITH LIFE
When Things Fall Apart
How can we live our lives when everything seems to fall apart—when we are continually overcome by fear, anxiety, and pain? Here, in her most beloved and acclaimed work, Pema shows that moving toward painful situations and becoming intimate with them can open up our hearts in ways we never before imagined.
Thich Nhat Hanh
You Are Here
Renowned Zen monk, author, and meditation master, distills the essence of Buddhist thought and practice, emphasizing the power of mindfulness to transform our lives. “Mindfulness is not an evasion or an escape,” he explains. “It means being here, present, and totally alive. It is true freedom—and without this freedom, there is no happiness.”
Buddhism has a lot to say about suffering--and there are likely few times we suffer more intensely than when we break up with a romantic partner. It feels like you may never recover sometimes. Lodro Rinzler has wonderfully good news for those suffering heartbreak: the 2,500-year-old teachings of the Buddha are the ultimate antidote for emotional pain. And you don't need to be a Buddhist for them to apply to you.
Don Miguel Ruiz
The Four Agreements
Bestselling author Don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, The Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love.
In this profound and funny book, Lamott calls for each of us to rediscover the nuggets of hope and wisdom that are buried within us that can make life sweeter than we ever imagined. Divided into short chapters that explore life's essential truths, Almost Everything pinpoints these moments of insight as it shines an encouraging light forward.
Taking The Leap
Best-seller Pema Chödrön draws on the Buddhist concept of shenpa to help us see how certain habits of mind tend to "hook" us and get us stuck in states of anger, blame, self-hatred, and addiction. The good news is that once we start to recognize these patterns, they instantly begin to lose their hold on us and we can begin to change our lives for the better.
Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration.
Arianna Huffington's personal wake-up call came in the form of a broken cheekbone and a nasty gash over her eye--the result of a fall brought on by exhaustion and lack of sleep. As the cofounder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group--one of the fastest growing media companies in the world--celebrated as one of the world's most influential women, and gracing the covers of magazines, she was, by any traditional measure, extraordinarily successful.
Brain On Fire
When 24 old Susannah Cahalan woke up alone in a hospital room, strapped to her bed and unable to move or speak, she had no memory of how she’d gotten there. Days earlier, she had been on the threshold of a new, adult life: at the beginning of her first serious relationship and a promising career at a major New York newspaper. Now she was labeled violent, psychotic, a flight risk. What happened?
Marc Maron is “a master of spinning humor out of anguish” (Bookforum), even when that anguish is pretty clearly self-inflicted. In Attempting Normal, he threads together twenty-five stories from his life and near-death, from his first comedy road trips (with a fugitive junkie comic with a missing tooth) to his love affair with feral animals (his cat rescues are bloody epics) to his surprisingly moving tales of lust, heartbreak, and hope.
The Moth - All These Wonders
Celebrating the 20th anniversary of storytelling phenomenon The Moth, 45 unforgettable true stories about risk, courage, and facing the unknown, drawn from the best ever told on their stages. Carefully selected by the creative minds at The Moth, and adapted to the page to preserve the raw energy of live storytelling
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
Armed with a degree in medieval history and a flair for the macabre, Caitlin Doughty took a job at a crematory and turned morbid curiosity into her life’s work. She cared for bodies of every color, shape, and affliction, and became an intrepid explorer in the world of the dead. In this best-selling memoir, brimming with gallows humor and vivid characters, she marvels at the gruesome history of undertaking and relates her unique coming-of-age story with bold curiosity and mordant wit.
From Here To Eternity
Fascinated by our pervasive fear of dead bodies, mortician Caitlin Doughty set out to discover how other cultures care for the dead. From Here to Eternity is an immersive global journey that introduces compelling, powerful rituals almost entirely unknown in America.
At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. Alone.
NON-FICTION - Sobriety
Drinking: A Love Story
Fifteen million Americans a year are plagued with alcoholism. Five million of them are women. Many of them, like Caroline Knapp, started in their early teens and began to use alcohol as "liquid armor," a way to protect themselves against the difficult realities of life. In this extraordinarily candid and revealing memoir, Knapp offers important insights not only about alcoholism, but about life itself and how we learn to cope with it.
Sacha Z. Scoblic
Unwasted: My Lush Sobriety
When Sacha Z. Scoblic was drinking, she was a rock star; the days were rough and the nights filled with laughter and blackouts. Then she gave it up. She had to. Here are her adventures in an utterly and maddeningly sober world. . .and how she discovered that nothing is as odd and fantastic as life without a drink in hand. . .
PLANT BASED NUTRITION
Dr Neal Barnard
The Cheese Trap
New York Times bestselling author Dr. Neal Barnard reveals the shocking truth about cheese-the dangerous addiction that is harming your health-and presents a radical program to lose weight and feel great. We've been told that dairy does a body good, but the truth is that cheese can be dangerous. Loaded with calories, fat, and cholesterol, cheese can make you gain weight and leads to a host of health problems like high blood pressure and arthritis.
Dr Michael Greger
How Not To Die
Internationally-renowned nutrition expert, physician, and founder of NutritionFacts.org, examines the fifteen top causes of premature death in America--heart disease, various cancers, diabetes, Parkinson's, high blood pressure, and more--and explains how nutritional and lifestyle interventions can sometimes trump prescription pills and other pharmaceutical and surgical approaches to help prevent and reverse these diseases, freeing us to live healthier lives.
Douglas J. Lisle, Ph.D.
The Pleasure Trap
A wake-up call to even the most health conscious Americans, this book challenges conventional wisdom about sickness and unhappiness in today's contemporary culture and offers ground-breaking solutions for achieving change. Inspired original research, comprehensive clinical studies, and their successes with thousands of patients, the authors construct a new paradigm for the psychology of health that offers fresh hope for anyone stuck in a self-destructive cycle.
Dr Joel Fuhrman
Dr. Fuhrman doesn’t believe the secret to staying healthy lies in medical care—rather, the solution is to change the way we eat. With more than 85 plant-based recipes, a two-week menu plan, and lists of super foods that boost immunity, Dr. Fuhrman’s proven strategies combine the latest data from clinical tests, nutritional research, and results from thousands of patients .
Dr Garth Davis
Too much protein is actually making us sick, fat, and tired, according to Dr. Davis. If you are getting adequate calories in your diet, there is no such thing as protein deficiency. The healthiest countries in the world eat far less protein than we do and yet we have an entire nation on a protein binge getting sicker by the day. As a surgeon treating obese patients, Dr. Davis was frustrated by the ever-increasing number of sick and overweight patients, but it wasn't until his own health scare that he realized he could do something about it.
Vegan For Her
A blueprint for optimal health and wellness at any age, will show you how to: lower your risk for breast cancer and heart disease; manage conditions like arthritis and migraines; diminish PMs and cramps; build strong bones for life; enhance fertility; make an easy transition to a vegan diet; and incorporate principles of both fashion and compassion into your home and wardrobe.
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry
Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy—as in standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-strangers crazy. She is also Elsa’s best, and only, friend. At night Elsa takes refuge in her grandmother’s stories, in the Land-of-Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas, where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal.
A Man Called Ove
Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time? Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness.
Britt-Marie Was Here
Britt-Marie can’t stand mess. A disorganized cutlery drawer ranks high on her list of unforgivable sins. She is not one to judge others—no matter how ill-mannered, unkempt, or morally suspect they might be. It’s just that sometimes people interpret her helpful suggestions as criticisms, which is certainly not her intention. But hidden inside the socially awkward, fussy busybody is a woman who has more imagination, bigger dreams, and a warmer heart that anyone around her realizes.
The Memory Keeper's Daughter
The novel begins on a winter night in 1964 in Lexington, Kentucky, when a blizzard forces Dr. David Henry to deliver his own twins. His son, born first, is perfectly healthy, but the doctor immediately recognizes that his daughter has Down syndrome. Rationalizing it as a need to protect Norah, his wife, he makes a split second decision that will alter all of their lives forever. He asks his nurse, Caroline, to take the baby away to an institution and never to reveal the secret.
Little Bee: A Novel
We don't want to tell you too much about this book. It is a truly special story and we don't want to spoil it. Nevertheless, you need to know something, so we will just say this: It is extremely funny, but the African beach scene is horrific. The story starts there, but the book doesn't. And it's what happens afterward that is most important. Once you have read it, you'll want to tell everyone about it. When you do, please don't tell them what happens either. The magic is in how it unfolds.
The Hate You Give
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger.