As you can deduce by going over the archives of Jackee Reads, I am primarily a fiction reader. I may hit a non-fiction, self-help book once a year, but it is not my “go to” read. Yet, this year has me reading more non-fiction than the last ten years combined. One author has inspired me to embrace life wholly. The way she speaks about living life wholly brought to mind some other books. These are the books that I will share with you. As a fiction reader, you may find these to be as pleasantly surprising as I did or as a non- fiction, self-help reader, you may enjoy these books, as well. If you have read any of them I would love your valuable feedback.
The first two are books I hear often recommended. I have not read them, though I have given them as gift several times and got positive feed back. I will be reading them soon.
The Artists Way by Julia Cameron is a book on creativity that speaks to any person at whatever level of creative expression they currently reside. From “Who? Me? Creative? Yah.” to “I just dabble at…writing, painting, cooking, etc.” to “I have sold pieces; been published; etc…” you fit in there somewhere and there is a creative vein waiting to be tapped into!
Bird by Bird: Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott. The title is inspired by advice her father gave her brother when faced with an overwhelming task at hand. The content is for anyone who has written or desires to write; from personal notes, to blogs, to articles, to books. Quoting the Seattle Times, “A gift to all of us mortals who write or ever wanted to write…side-splittingly funny, patiently wise and alternately cranky and kind—a reveille to get off our duffs and start writing now, while we still can.”
The next two are a series of books focused on one general topic, though examined from specific angles in each book.
The boundaries books by Henry Cloud and John Townsend, sometimes as co-writers, other times as individuals. The basics are covered in Boundaries: When to Say Yes, When to Say No- To Take Control of Your Life. There are specific books that apply to dating, marriage, kids, teens, etc. There are books on dealing with building back trust and having difficult but needed conversations. The boundaries books will provide you with a connective freedom, that reflect a true and healthy love for self and others.
Brene’ Brown’s books: I Thought It Was Just Me, The Gift of Imperfection, and Daring Greatly, which you can get at Costco, are what brought about a new understanding of living wholly to me. Brene’s research on shame and vulnerability lead her to a face what it means to live wholeheartedly by facing down the very instincts that prohibit anyone from fully embracing a full life. You can get a feel of her research and connective style by watching her TED talks on YouTube. Brene’s insight is impacting, her writing is engaging, and her advice is life changing.
If asked where to start with these recommendations I would say start with Brene’s books. The Gift of Imperfection is a quick read and lays a good foundation for Daring Greatly. From there you will know where to go next. I believe after reading The Gift of Imperfection you will want to read Bird by Bird and The Artist Way. The boundaries books dove tail nicely with key elements of living a wholehearted life.
Have you read any of these books? What effect has it had on you? Are there other books along this line you would recommend?