Inspirational Reading List

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I love a good book and when I get set on a particular topic, I tend to hang out there for a while. My sophomore year of college I went through a real deal phase of Vietnam war history. If that particular genre suits your fancy, you must pick up “The Girl in the Picture” by Denise Chong. You’ll never complain about #firstworldproblems again.

It’s not always easy to find the time to read between work and busy schedules but when I started tracking my screen time on my iPhone, it’s amazing how much time you get back when you put the phone down. I also discovered my love for audio books, chipping away at a book during my commute. The best part of reading is that it doesn’t have to be expensive. Our library has a great selection of books, as well as digital downloads and audio books. I highly recommend checking out all of the benefits of your local library. The theme of this list has a strong self development vibe. From improving finances to improving parenting skills I took little nuggets from each read that benefited my life in some way. So here’s my list of inspirational reads in no particular order:


1. The Millionaire Nextdoor by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko- I heard about this book through the Dave Ramsey podcast. There has been a strong personal finance theme through the year as you can see! It is one of Dave’s top recommended reads and when he hosted the millionaire episodes most of the millionaire’s he interviews reference this book. The Millionaire Nextdoor is a wealth management book that peels back the layers behind America’s wealthiest. Most of the wealthiest people don’t live in mansions or drive expensive cars but rather are very frugal with their finances. This book motivated me to keep working on our debt snowball (Dave Ramsey term for paying off our debts) so we can become the Millionaire Nextdoor too!

2. Business Boutique by Christy Wright- Thinking of starting a business? Christy Wright will walk you through all of the essential steps for any non-business minded lady. She breaks it down in tiers (like a wedding cake) to help you turn your dreams into a business plan.

3. Love Your Life, Not Theirs by Rachel Cruze- Another Ramsey solution, but I just love all things Dave Ramsey. I read the “Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey (Rachel’s Dad) in 2017. Rachel shares the same insights for personal finance and how to make it work in your life and marriage, with a refreshing reminder that social media is just the highlight reel. Rachel is a self proclaimed spender, while her husband is a more conservative saver. She shares tactical advice on how to make it work to keep both spender and saver satisfied and tips to ensure that you and your partner can work the budget together. But Rachel, what happens when we’re both spenders?!!

4. Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis- A must read, especially for Moms. Rachel Hollis is like your big sister reaching through the pages to shake your shoulders. Part self help and part motivation, Rachel Hollis tells it like is through her own personal account of life and how she has built a business with a high school diploma and a google search bar.

5. Girl, Stop Apologizing also by Rachel Hollis- The sequel to Girl, Wash Your Face this is life coach style reading material that will leave you know choice but to put on your big girl pants and start chasing down a dream. It’s not just motivation, it’s actual steps and advice to get you started. So good. I’m not a fan girl of anyone, but if I was, it would be Rachel Hollis. She’s my soul sister.

6. You are a Badass by Jen Scincero- I would highly recommend this read if you need a good old fashion kick in the pants, or at least a kick start into the self development world.

7. This is Me by Chrissy Mets- I love Chrissy Mets from “This is Us” and I loved her even more after this read. Chrissy shares her unfiltered life story in this funny, sassy memoir. She talks about declaring one day that she would meet Oprah, and recounts her very first meeting with the superstar. I listened to the audio version, narrated by Chrissy which I highly recommend.

8. The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks- If you find yourself “waiting for the other shoe to drop,” this is a read for you! The Big Leap is based around the “Upper Limit Problem,” a barrier we set for ourselves- when something positive happens in your life, it’s too good to be true. This book was an optimistic approach to finding happiness and pushing beyond your comfort zone, into what Hendricks calls your “zone of genius.” The perfect book to help you unstuck any area of your life!

9. The Secrets of Happy Families by Bruce Feiler- I hate to play favorites, but this was my favorite read (listen) of 2018! Based on thoughtful research, Feiler shares his account of interviews from unconventional family “experts”. He talks about the importance of values and having a family mission statement. His own family mission statement has become one of my favorite quotes: “May your first word me adventure and your last word love.”

10. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg- this has been my final read of 2018! The Power of Habit dives in to both personal and organizational habits and the science behind it. Diving into the cue, routine and reward for everything we do in our daily life, I found it helpful to dissect the habits I would like to break, i.e. diving into the box of lucky charms when I’m hangry. While I have found this read super beneficial personally, I have applied the same ideas in working through habits with my kids, particularly with behavior challenges.

What’s on your reading list? I’m shifting gears from self development and diving into adventure in the great wide somewhere (anyone get that Beauty and the Beast reference?!). It’s time for some summer time non-fiction.

Happy reading!