The Books I Love

For as far back as I can remember I’ve had a love for reading.  Books were my escape as a child.  Books filled up time on lazy summer afternoons.  Books replaced TV watching. Books filled shelves (and still do) in my house.  As an adult I devour books because I love the written word and the images and stories they evoke.  Louis L’Amour said, “Once you have read a book you care about, some part of it is always with you.” I couldn’t agree more. 

~Personal Development and Business~

It’s important to take responsibility for improving yourself and taking your business to the next level instead of settling for ho-hum. Reading books like these will show you how to reach your fullest potential so you can stretch for bigger, better lives personally and entrepreneurial.

by Linda Kaplan Thaler

It is not native intelligence or natural talent that makes people excel, it’s old-fashioned hard work, sweat equity, and determination.

In Grit to Great, Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval tackle a topic that is close to their hearts, one that they feel is the real secret to their own success in their careers–and in the careers of so many people they know and have met. And that is the incredible power of grit, perseverance, perspiration, determination, and sheer stick-to-it-tiveness.

by Mark Scharenbroich

Nice Bike is a collection of stories based on making meaningful connections with others in both your work and in your life. It s about being a part of a community, knowing that contributions matter and experiencing a greater affiliation with others.

The premise begins at the 2003 Harley-Davidson Motorcycle company s 100 year anniversary celebration. Thousands and thousands of bikers throughout the world attended the event. As a Harley owner stood

proudly by his bike at that event, what two words from a passerby would have made their weekend? Nice Bike.

by Dale Carnegie

  • You can go after the job you want—and get it!
  • You can take the job you have—and improve it!
  • You can take any situation—and make it work for you!

Dale Carnegie’s rock-solid, time-tested advice has carried countless people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives. One of the most groundbreaking and timeless bestsellers of all time, How to Win Friends & Influence People will teach you:

  • Six ways to make people like you
  • Twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking
  • Nine ways to change people without arousing resentment

by Steven Pressfield

A succinct, engaging, and practical guide for succeeding in any creative sphere, The War of Art is nothing less than Sun-Tzu for the soul.

What keeps so many of us from doing what we long to do?

Why is there a naysayer within? How can we avoid the roadblocks of any creative endeavor—be it starting up a dream business venture, writing a novel, or painting a masterpiece?

Bestselling novelist Steven Pressfield identifies the enemy that every one of us must face, outlines a battle plan to conquer this internal foe, then pinpoints just how to achieve the greatest success.

The War of Art emphasizes the resolve needed to recognize and overcome the obstacles of ambition

by Seth Godin

Everyone has an opportunity to start a movement. A chance to bring together a tribe of like-minded people and do amazing things. Yet too many people ignore the opportunity to lead because they are “sheepwalking” their way through their lives and word, too afraid to question whether their compliance is doing them-or their company-any good.

Tribes is for those who don’t want to be sheep and instead have a desire to do fresh and exciting work.

by Marie Forleo

Whether you want to leave a dead-end job, break an addiction, learn to dance, heal a relationship, grow a business, master your money, travel the globe or solve world hunger, Everything is Figureoutable will train your brain to think more creatively and positively-especially in the face of setbacks.

by Steven Pressfield

Do you ever find that you are not the patient, compassionate problem solver you believe yourself to be? Are you surprised at how irritated or flustered the normally unflappable you becomes in the presence of a specific colleague at work? Have you ever felt your temper accelerate from zero to sixty when another driver cuts you off in traffic?
Our reactions don’t occur in a vacuum. They are usually the result of unappreciated triggers in our environment—the people and situations that lure us into behaving in a manner diametrically opposed to the colleague, partner, parent, or friend we imagine ourselves to be. These triggers are constant and relentless and omnipresent. So often the environment seems to be outside our control. Even if that is true, as Goldsmith points out, we have a choice in how we respond.

by Brené Brown

A motivational and inspiring guide to wholehearted living, rather than just the average self-help book, with this groundbreaking work Brené Brown, Ph.D., bolsters the self-esteem and personal development process through her characteristic heartfelt, honest storytelling. With original research and plenty of encouragement, she explores the psychology of releasing our definitions of an “imperfect” life and embracing living authentically. Brown’s “ten guideposts” are benchmarks for authenticity that can help anyone establish a practice for a life of honest beauty—a perfectly imperfect life.

by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend

Boundaries is the book that’s helped over 4 million people learn when to say yes and know how to say no in order to take control of their lives.
Does your life feel like it’s out of control? Perhaps you feel like you have to say yes to everyone’s requests. Maybe you find yourself readily taking responsibility for others’ feelings and problems. Or perhaps you focus so much on being loving and unselfish that you’ve forgotten your own limits and limitations. Or maybe it’s all of the above.
In the New York Times bestseller, Boundaries, Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend help you learn when to say yes and know how to say no in order to take control of your life and set healthy, biblical boundaries with your spouse, children, friends, parents, co-workers, and even yourself.
Now updated and expanded for the digital age, this book continues to help millions of people around the world answer these tough questions:
Can I set limits and still be a loving person?
What are legitimate boundaries?
How do I effectively manage my digital life so that it doesn’t control me?
What if someone is upset or hurt by my boundaries?
How do I answer someone who wants my time, love, energy, or money?
Why do I feel guilty or afraid when I consider setting boundaries?
How do boundaries relate to mutual submission within marriage?
Aren’t boundaries selfish?
You don’t have to let your life spiral out of control. Discover how boundaries make life better today!

by Dale Carnegie

In How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, bestselling author Dale Carnegie helps you break the destructive habit of worrying and teaches you how to live a happier, stress-free life. This book will tell you how to: • Analyze and solve worrisome situations • Develop a positive mental attitude • Overcome depression • Banish boredom • Battle fatigue and feel more energized With practical advice, helpful suggestions and important facts about worry and its causes, this book provides sure-shot ways to banish all your blues.

by Dale Carnegie

Have you ever noticed the things you say to yourself—and believe?

I could never do that.

They don’t like me.

I am such an idiot!

You wouldn’t talk that way to anyone else, yet phrases like these constantly flow through your mind, leaving you insecure and defeated.

Jennifer Rothschild was there, as well, until she learned how to replace the lies with truth. With wisdom and authenticity, Jennifer will help you…

  • silence the negative voices in your mind as you learn to speak kindly to your soul
  • grow in confidence by replacing the lies that shackle you with the truth that sets you free
  • overcome a lifetime of damaging self-talk by practicing godly and biblical soul-talk

by Dave Clark

Living Up to Your Eulogy is an outstanding collection of uplifting and inspirational stories and quotations that can change your life.

 

Through the book’s three sections, Advice to Live By, Acts of Kindness and Lives Well Lived, it motivates you to ask yourself, “Am I living the kind of life I want to live? What kind of legacy will I be leaving?”

 

The book encourages you to reflect on the path of your life and provides heartening examples of ways to live a life that will be lovingly remembered.

~Fiction~

Sometimes getting lost in a fiction book is good for your soul.  Escaping from reality every now and then is a must when you find life is getting overwhelming or you just need a break from the grind.

by Garth Stein

A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope–a captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life . . . as only a dog could tell it.

by Joe McGinniss Jr.

“A fearless novel about a family and a society on the brink…Harrowing but, against all odds, ultimately tender.” —O, The Oprah Magazine

“Fast…Foreboding…This couple will stop at nothing to keep their house and marriage afloat….McGinniss spins an edgy tale, often laced with a reporter’s eye for the little details that make characters pop.” —The Washington Post

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine: A Novel

by Gail Honeyman

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.

But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office…

by Emma Straub

This is a story of the sides of ourselves that we choose to reveal and those we try to hide, of the ways we tear one another down and build one another up again, and the bonds that bring us together. This book delivers a richly satisfying story of a family in the midst of a maelstrom of change, emerging irrevocably altered yet whole. The book is funny and enchantingly warm.

by Gretchen Berg

What if you could listen in on any phone conversation in town? With great humor and insight, this book delivers a vivid look inside the heads and hearts of a group of housewives and pokes at the absurdities of 1950s America, a simpler time that was far from simple. Reading it was a delightful respite from a crazy world.

by Celest Ng

A riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives.

by Lisa Wingate

A new historical novel: the dramatic story of three young women searching for family amid the destruction of the post–Civil War South, and of a modern-day teacher who learns of their story and its vital connection to her students’ lives.

by Kristin Hannah

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah………a powerful novel of love, loss, and the magic of friendship. . . .

In the turbulent summer of 1974, Kate Mularkey has accepted her place at the bottom of the eighth-grade social food chain. Then, to her amazement, the “coolest girl in the world” moves in across the street and wants to be her friend. Tully Hart seems to have it all—beauty, brains, ambition. On the surface they are as opposite as two people can be: Kate, doomed to be forever uncool, with a loving family who mortifies her at every turn. Tully, steeped in glamour and mystery, but with a secret that is destroying her. They make a pact to be best friends forever; by summer’s end they’ve become TullyandKate. Inseparable.

by Kate Morton

I listened to these book on Audible. The narration is fantastic and you “lose yourself” in the English accents and picturesque descriptions of England.

The Clockmaker’s Daughter:

In the depths of a nineteenth-century winter, a little girl is abandoned in the narrow streets of London. Adopted by a mysterious stranger, she becomes in turn a thief, a friend, a muse, and a lover. Then, in the summer of 1862, shortly after her eighteenth birthday, she retreats with a group of artists to a beautiful house on a quiet bend of the Upper Thames . . .

The Distant Hours:

Edie Burchill and her mother have never been close, but when a long lost letter arrives with the return address of Milderhurst Castle, Kent, printed on its envelope, Edie begins to suspect that her mother’s emotional distance masks an old secret

The Secret Keeper:

1961: On a sweltering summer’s day, while her family picnics by the stream on their Suffolk farm, sixteen-year-old Laurel hides out in her childhood tree house dreaming of a boy called Billy, a move to London, and the bright future she can’t wait to seize. But before the idyllic afternoon is over, Laurel will have witnessed a shocking crime that changes everything.

The Lake House:

June 1933, and the Edevane family’s country house, Loeanneth, is polished and gleaming, ready for the much-anticipated Midsummer Eve party. Alice Edevane, sixteen years old and a budding writer, is especially excited.

The Forgotten Garden:

On the eve of the First World War, a little girl is found abandoned after a gruelling ocean voyage from England to Australia. All she can remember of the journey is that a mysterious woman she calls the Authoress had promised to look after her. But the Authoress has vanished without a trace.

by Jennifer Weiner

Six years after the fight that ended their friendship, Daphne Berg is shocked when Drue Cavanaugh walks back into her life, looking as lovely and successful as ever, with a massive favor to ask. Daphne hasn’t spoken one word to Drue in all this time—she doesn’t even hate-follow her ex-best friend on social media—so when Drue asks if she will be her maid-of-honor at the society wedding of the summer, Daphne is rightfully speechless.

 

Drue was always the one who had everything—except the ability to hold onto friends. Meanwhile, Daphne’s no longer the same self-effacing sidekick she was back in high school. She’s built a life that she loves, including a growing career as a plus-size Instagram influencer. Letting glamorous, seductive Drue back into her life is risky, but it comes with an invitation to spend a weekend in a waterfront Cape Cod mansion. When Drue begs and pleads and dangles the prospect of cute single guys, Daphne finds herself powerless as ever to resist her friend’s siren song.

 

A sparkling novel about the complexities of female relationships, the pitfalls of living out loud and online, and the resilience of the human heart, Big Summer is a witty, moving story about family, friendship, and figuring out what matters most.

by Lucy Foley

The bride – The plus one – The best man – The wedding planner – The bridesmaid – The body

On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.

But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast.

And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?

by Sandra Dallas

Hennie Comfort is eighty-six and has lived in the mountains of Middle Swan, Colorado since before it was Colorado. Nit Spindle is just seventeen and newly married. She and her husband have just moved to the high country in search of work. It’s 1936 and the depression has ravaged the country and Nit and her husband have suffered greatly. Hennie notices the young woman loitering near the old sign outside of her house that promises “Prayers For Sale”. Hennie doesn’t sell prayers, never has, but there’s something about the young woman that she’s drawn to. The harsh conditions of life that each have endured create an instant bond and an unlikely friendship is formed, one in which the deepest of hardships are shared and the darkest of secrets are confessed.

Sandra Dallas has created an unforgettable tale of a friendship between two women, one with surprising twists and turns, and one that is ultimately a revelation of the finest parts of the human spirit.

by Cathleen Schine

Inspired by her account in The New Yorker of adopting a profoundly troubled dog named Buster, acclaimed author Cathleen Schine’s The New Yorkers is a brilliantly funny story of love, longing, and overcoming the shyness that leashes us. On a quiet little block near Central Park, five lonely New Yorkers find one another, compelled to meet by their canine companions. Over the course of four seasons, they emerge from their apartments, in snow, rain, or glorious sunshine to make friends and sometimes fall in love. A love letter to a city full of surprises, The New Yorkers is an enchanting comedy of manners (with dogs!) from one of our most treasured writers.

by Sara Gruen

Jacob Janowski’s luck had run out–orphaned and penniless, he had no direction until he landed on a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. A veterinary student just shy of a degree, he was put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It was the Great Depression and for Jacob the circus was both his salvation and a living hell. There he met Marlena, the beautiful equestrian star married to August, the charismatic but brutal animal trainer. And he met Rosie, an untrainable elephant who was the great hope for this third-rate traveling show. The bond that grew among this group of misfits was one of love and trust, and ultimately, it was their only hope for survival.

by Wendy Wax

This is a great book series to read especially in the summer time! Madeline, Avery, and Nikki are strangers to each other, but they have one thing in common. They each wake up one morning to discover that their life savings have vanished along with their trusted financial manager—leaving them with nothing but co-ownership of a ramshackle beachfront house.

Madeline Singer is a homemaker coping with empty-nest syndrome and an unemployed husband. Avery Lawford is an architect, or was, until she somehow became the sidekick on her ex-husband’s TV show. And professional matchmaker Nikki Grant is trying to recover from her biggest mistake…

Throwing caution to the wind, the three women take on the challenge of restoring the historic beach house to its former glory. But just as they begin to reinvent themselves and discover the power of friendship, their secrets threaten to tear down their trust and destroy their lives a second time…

by Geraldine Brooks

From Louisa May Alcott’s beloved classic Little Women, Geraldine Brooks has animated the character of the absent father, March, and crafted a story “filled with the ache of love and marriage and with the power of war upon the mind and heart of one unforgettable man” (Sue Monk Kidd). With “pitch-perfect writing” (USA Today), Brooks follows March as he leaves behind his family to aid the Union cause in the Civil War. His experiences will utterly change his marriage and challenge his most ardently held beliefs. A lushly written, wholly original tale steeped in the details of another time, March secures Geraldine Brooks’s place as a renowned author of historical fiction

~Non fiction-Biographies~

Sometimes getting lost in a fiction book is good for your soul.  Escaping from reality every now and then is a must when you find life is getting overwhelming or you just need a break from the grind.

by Tom Brokaw

The instant classic that changed the way we saw World War II and an entire generation of Americans, from the beloved journalist whose own iconic career has lasted more than fifty years.

In this magnificent testament to a nation and her people, Tom Brokaw brings to life the extraordinary stories of a generation that gave new meaning to courage, sacrifice, and honor.

From military heroes to community leaders to ordinary citizens, he profiles men and women who served their country with valor, then came home and transformed it: Senator Daniel Inouye, decorated at the front, fighting prejudice at home; Martha Settle Putney, one of the first black women to serve in the newly formed WACs; Charles Van Gorder, a doctor who set up a MASH-like medical facility in the middle of battle, then opened a small clinic in his hometown; Navy pilot and future president George H. W. Bush, assigned to read the mail of the enlisted men under him, who says that in doing so he “learned about life”; and many other laudable Americans.

To this generation that gave so much and asked so little, Brokaw offers eloquent tribute in true stories of everyday heroes in extraordinary times.

by Viktor E. Frankl

We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life-daily and hourly. Our answer must consist not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.

 

When Man’s Search for Meaning was first published in 1959, it was hailed by Carl Rogers as “one of the outstanding contributions to psychological thought in the last fifty years.” Now, more than forty years and 4 million copies later, this tribute to hope in the face of unimaginable loss has emerged as a true classic. Man’s Search for Meaning–at once a memoir, a self-help book, and a psychology manual-is the story of psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s struggle for survival during his three years in Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps. Yet rather than “a tale concerned with the great horrors,” Frankl focuses in on the “hard fight for existence” waged by “the great army of unknown and unrecorded.”

by Hamilton, Madison, Jay

The Federalist Papers are a collection of eighty-five articles and essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay in favor of ratifying the United States Constitution. First appearing in 1787 as a series of letters to New York newspapers, this collective body of work is widely considered to be among the most important historical collections of all time. Although the authors of The Federalist Papers foremost intended to influence the vote in favor of ratifying the Constitution, in Federalist No. 1 Hamilton explicitly set their debate in broader political terms. “It has been frequently remarked,” he wrote, “that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force.”

Among the many highlights of these acclaimed essays is Federalist No. 10, in which Madison discusses the means of preventing rule by majority faction and advocates for a large, commercial republic. This is generally regarded as the most important of the eighty-five essays from a philosophical perspective, and it is complemented by Federalist No. 14, in which Madison takes the measure of the United States, declares it appropriate for an extended republic, and concludes with a memorable defense of the Constitution. In Federalist No. 70, Hamilton advocates for a one-man chief executive, and in Federalist No. 78 he persuasively lays the groundwork for the doctrine of judicial review by federal courts.

Though centuries old, these timeless essays remain the benchmark of American political philosophy. As eloquently stated by famed historian Richard B. Morris, The Federalist Papers serve as an “incomparable exposition of the Constitution, a classic in political science unsurpassed in both breadth and depth by the product of any later American writer.”

~Spiritual Growth~

Overwhelmed?  Worried?  In need of Peace?  Need to confirm where your help comes from?  A book on spiritual growth will shore you up when life comes rushing in.

by Mark Batterson

Quit playing it safe and start running toward the roar!

When the image of a man-eating beast travels through the optic nerve and into the visual cortex, the brain sends the body a simple but urgent message: run away! That’s what normal people do, but not lion chasers. Rather than seeing a five-hundred-pound problem, they see an opportunity for God to show up and show His power.

by Susie Larson

Are you worn out from life’s ought-to’s and should-do’s?

It’s so easy to give away our time to things un-appointed by God. We commit to something because it’s a good cause or there’s a great need. Or maybe because no one else will help out. The result? The days blur together and we find ourselves overworked and underjoyed, desperate for a faith awakening.

by Louise Hay

Louise L. Hay, bestselling author, is an internationally known leader in the self-help field. Her key message is: “If we are willing to do the mental work, almost anything can be healed.” 

by Bob Beaudine

In this world you will have trouble-you can count on it! It might be something small or something big, but you know you don;t have an answer. YOu’ve come to a realization there is a limit to what you can do alone.

2 Chairs asks three vital questions:

  • Does God know your situation?
  • Is it too hard for Him to handle?
  • Does He have a good plan for you?

by Bob Beaudine

You may have suspected all along that there is more to coincidence than meets the eye. These seemingly random events are actually signposts that can help you successfully navigate your career, relationships, and interests. By recognizing the “Godwinks” our Creator has placed in our paths, we can understand—and embrace—the journey God has laid out for us.

by Chris Tomlin & Darren Whitehead

What happens when we praise God? What are the benefits of praising Him? Do you know what praise actually means? In Holy Roar, Chris Tomlin and Darren Whitehead share a fresh perspective from the worship practices of the ancient world. They take readers on a praise journey that answers questions and provides valuable insight. After reading Holy Roar, you will:

  • Grow an understanding of praise with Darren’s unique insights.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of how to worship.
  • Be inspired as Chris shares how those insights take shape in the stories behind some of your favorite worship songs, including “How Great Is Our God,” “We Fall Down,” and “Good Good Father.”

by Stormie Omartian

In 32 short, easy-to-read chapters, Stormie shares how you can pray through each stage of your child’s life, from early childhood to adulthood. Learn how to put your child’s life in God’s loving hands in such areas as his or her

  • safety
  • walk with God
  • success in school
  • friends
  • family relationships
  • gifts and talents

It’s never too late to discover the joy that comes from being a part of God’s work in your child’s life. You don’t have to be a perfect parent. But you do need to be a praying parent. And you can do that. *I’ve also read the Power of a Praying Wife and Praying For Your Adult Children