Book Recommendations

Get ready because this one’s a doozy….I tried cutting it down to just five books and I couldn’t!…so you’re getting thirteen 🙂 I separated them out by sections (self-exploration, yoga & meditation, fiction, and other) to make it easier if you want to just skip ahead to a certain kind of book but a little secret for ya, they’re all self-exploration books…just with a little twist. I also included a full list of every book I own…in alphabetical order…the fact that I had a lot of fun writing this is a little concerning, but this was me 90% of the time as a child so it makes sense.

There are so many books that were just on the cusp of being on my list of favorites, so if you’re wondering about a certain book that’s not on the list, just leave a comment or dm me!

Self-Exploration:

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Favorite quote: “And when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

This should probably be in the fiction section, but the way I read it, it was more of a self-exploration book. On the surface, this book seems like the story of a man on a journey to uncover a hidden treasure. But it’s so much more than that. Pay attention to the symbolism, the incredibly wise words, and the lessons that can be applied to your life.

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

Favorite quote: “We cannot change what we are not aware of, and once we are aware, we cannot help but change.”

I haven’t read this one in a few years, but I remember devouring it in one day. I without a doubt missed a lot of wisdom by reading it so fast, but I just couldn’t slow down. This book is so empowering and it’s something every woman should read.

Living With Intent: My Somewhat Messy Journey to Purpose, Peace, and Joy by Mallika Chopra

Favorite quote: “Embracing small personal changes can be the first step toward creating greater change in the world, and humanity at large.”

I’m still in the middle of reading this one but I’m LOVING it. “Living with intent” is something I’ve struggled with, but Chopra (the daughter of Deepak Chopra) has inspired me to bring more meaning into my life. She breaks the path to intent down into a convenient little mnemonic device: Incubate, Notice, Trust, Express, Nurture, and Take action. At the end of each section there is a list of ways to reflect of how that part of living with intent is playing out in your life and ways to work on that area. I LOVE lists ❤

(This is a great one for moms especially!!)

The Power Of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle

Favorite quote: I couldn’t pick just one…

“Nothing has happened in the past; it happened in the Now. Nothing will ever happen in the future; it will happen in the Now.”

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.”

“What a caterpillar calls the end of the world we call a butterfly.”

This book is my bible. I have read it once a year for the past three years and every time I find a new, mind-blowing concept. If I had to pick my absolute favorite book, this would be it. It has changed me as a human being.

Just do yourself and the entire world around you a favor and read it.

The Surrender Experiment: My Journey Into Life’s Perfection by Michael A. Singer

Favorite quote: “My formula for success was very simple: Do whatever is put in front of you with all your heart and soul without regard for personal results. Do the work as though it were given to you by the universe itself – because it was.”

This is the autobiography of Michael A. Singer. It tells his journey from being a hippie living in his car to being an incredibly successful CEO of a multi-million dollar computer programming company. The way everything happened in his life challenged all my thoughts about the way life works. He basically became a yes-man and just let the flow of life take him. When he found himself resisting to something that was happening, he surrendered and the most miraculous events unfolded. This was a book that came at the perfect time in my life. I was very resistant to the direction my life was going in and I was driving myself crazy trying to “figure my life out.” This book opened my eyes to the fact that we really have a lot less control over our lives than we think, so trying to control our lives and resist the way things are is just illogical. I learned that surrendering to the flow of life is the only way to ease this suffering that we cause ourselves, and the things that have come up in my life since I began this experiment have been so incredibly beautiful.

The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer

Favorite quote(s): “In the end, enjoying life’s experiences is the only rational thing to do.”

“So there are two ways you can live: you can devote your life to staying in your comfort zone, or you can work on your freedom. In other words, you can devote your whole life to the process of making sure everything fits within your limited model, or you can devote your life to freeing yourself from the limits of your model.”

“That which is holding you down can become a powerful force that raises you up.”

“What actually gives life meaning is the willingness to live it.”

“You were not put on Earth to suffer.”

This is another incredibly quotable book. I would say this is a runner up for my favorite and it was another one that was perfectly timed in my life. This is NOT a light read by any means. Sometimes it would take me 20 minutes to read three pages and that was all I could take on at the moment. This book is just jam-packed with such an insane amount of knowledge that you have to read the same section multiple times before it really sets in. I wrote a whole post, called “Firing My Mind“, that was inspired by one section of this book that was especially eye-opening for me and if you want a little more insight into how this book affected me you should give it a read.

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero

Favorite quotes:

“There’s nothing as unstoppable as a freight train full of fuck-yeah.”

“Follow what feels good in the moment, every moment, and it will lead you through a most excellent life.”

“The people you surround yourself with are excellent mirrors for who you are and how much, or how little, you love yourself.”

“You are perfect. To think anything less is as pointless as a river thinking that it’s got too many curves or that it moves too slowly or that its rapids are too rapid.”

I’ve clearly given up on the whole idea of picking one quote for each book…I attacked this one with a highlighter and stickynotes. You may have seen this book before, it’s a bright yellow book with the word “ass” plastered across the front. It is such a refreshing light-hearted take on this inner work that so many of us are doing.  Sincero does such an amazing job of getting her point across while keeping it funny and entertaining. I loved every second of reading this book.

Yoga & Meditation:

Sit Like a Buddha: A Pocket Guide to Meditation by Lodro Rinzler

I can’t find a particular quote for this book, but it is a great beginners guide to meditation. Creating a meditation practice is SO hard! I still really struggle with being able to quiet my mind enough for even a minute out of my day. I believe that the most important things when developing a practice are to be easy on yourself and stay consistent (I really need to take my own advice) and these are two points that Rinzler really hits home. This is a very easy read and has little exercises for you to do throughout which I love!

Turning the Mind Into an Ally by Sakyong Mipham

Favorite quote: “True happiness is always available to us, but first we have to create the environment for it to flourish.”

Another great read whether you’re just starting out in your mediation practice or you’re well on your way to enlightenment. This book goes much deeper into what happens when we begin to take the seat of  our own consciousness. This is another one of those books that I’ve read multiple times and find something new every time (I finished it and then turned around and read it a second time). The more I write these reviews the more I realize I have a lot of books to reread…

Yoga Girl by Rachel Brathen

Favorite quotes: “The yoga pose is not the goal. Becoming flexible is not the goal. Standing on your hands is not the goal. The goal is serenity. Balance. Truly finding peace in your own skin.”

“Balance comes from slowing down, from taking deep breaths, from understanding your body and what it needs. It comes from accepting who you are and loving yourself every step of the way.”

You’re probably sick of me talking about Rachel at this point, but she has been a very strong influence on this path that I’m currently walking and it all started with this book. This is her first book (she’s working on a second one right now :D) and I found it randomly on Instagram the summer before my junior year when I really dove into my practice. This book has so much to offer. It has heart-warming “loving insights”, a little bit about Rachel’s story, delicious recipes and some instructional photos of different poses and flows….and LOTS of beautiful photography. This book will always have such a special place in my heart.

Fiction:

The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

Favorite quotes: “It might seem strange to start a story with an ending. But all endings are also beginnings. We just don’t know it at the time.”

“Life has to end. Love doesn’t.”

There are so many important insights in this book that people often learn too late.

Educational:

Buddha: A Story of Enlightenment by Deepak Chopra

Favorite quote: “Be still and know your soul. Seek it, and when you meet your soul, seize it for yourself, because it’s worth far more than gold.”

I’ve read this book three times and every time I’m truly amazed by the Buddha’s story and Chopra’s way of capturing it.

Other:

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Favorite quotes:

“Do not look for healing at the feet of those who broke you.”

“Loneliness is a sign you are in desperate need of yourself.”

“Losing you was the becoming of myself.”

I don’t have a picture of this book because I’m forever lending it out to people. If  you’ve experienced heartbreak, have been wronged by someone, are stuck in a poisonous relationship, or have experienced any type of pain (and who hasn’t) you NEED to read this. Everyone I’ve given it to has connected with a different part. It is raw and it sometimes hurts to read. Rupi put words to feelings I could never explain myself. I wrote a post called “Reasons He’s NOT the One” where I relate the poems that struck a chord within me to my last relationship.

My Bookcase

Self-Exploration

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Daring Greatly by Brené Brown

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

Living with Intent by Mallika Chopra

The Missing Element by Debra Silverman

A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle

The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need by Joanna Martinez Woolfolk

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

The Surrender Experiment by Michael A. Singer

Wishes Fulfilled by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes

You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

Yoga & Meditation

The Heart of Yoga by T. K. V. Deskichar

Light On Yoga by B. K. S. Iyengar

Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation by Sharon Salzberg

Sits Like a Buddha by Lodro Rinzler

Turning the Mind into an Ally by Sakyong Mipham

The Yamas and Niyamas by Deborah Adele

Yoga Body by Judith Hanson Lasiter

Yoga Girl by Rachel Brathen

The Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali by Edwin F. Bryant

The Yoga Tradition by George Feuerstein

Fiction

Animal Farm by George Orwell

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls

Gone Girl by Jillian Flynn

Great Expections by Charles Dickens

The Help by Katherine Stockett

The Kite Runner by Khalid Hosseini

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Educational

Buddha by Deepak Chopra

The China Study by T. Collin Campbell

Cosmos by Carl Sagan

The Science of Interstellar by Kip Thorne

Other

Bossypants by Tina Fey

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

I’d love to hear your opinions of any of these books or if you plan on reading any of them! Send me your book recommendations too!

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