The Complete Artist's Way
Whether or not you consider yourself an artist, Julia Cameron thinks you have innate creative ability. Her book The Artist’s Way is a renowned step-by-step guide to recovering your inner artist. Readers without grand aspirations can still benefit from emptying the mind with morning pages and scheduling deliberately fun “artist dates.”
Letters to a Young Poet
Rainer Maria Rilke
Rilke wrote ten letters to 19-year-old Franz Xaver Kappus, a cadet in military school. Each letter gives the young man some insight into how to engage with art, how to write poetry, and how to feel and experience the world. Readers who don’t write poetry will still gain inspiration from this intimate, expansive collection.
Pollan’s most famous work has arguably changed many people’s lives by making readers think more deeply about their food. At a time in history when first world consumers have more options than ever before, people are rethinking their relationships with their plates. Pollan’s deep research on food choices will help you eat more consciously.
Tiny Beautiful Things
This collection of beautifully written advice letters from Strayed’s “Dear Sugar” column in the Rumpus will answer your secret questions about life. Strayed’s style of part-memoir, part honest empathy with her readers, is sure to touch your heart. If you loved Wild, you’ll want to read Tiny Beautiful Things.
Anne Lamott is another writer whose words brim with empathy and hope. Small Victories is a collection of essays in which the author meditates on friendship, life, and love. She celebrates the victories we have over our own hardships, however small they might seem, because they do change us. A comforting read for those working through difficulty.
If you need a dose of courage in your life right now, Daring Greatly will inspire you to take risks. Researcher Dr. Brené Brown asks readers to embrace their own vulnerabilities and imperfections so that they might live more wholeheartedly. She argues that vulnerability is actually the best path to courage, using twelve years of research for support.
Walden & Civil Disobedience
Henry David Thoreau
Thoreau’s famous reflection on simple living just might change your life if you find that you share his love of the natural world. Part introspection, part comment on society, this is a classic for anyone’s collection. Allow yourself to contemplate the role of the individual in society through Thoreau’s immortal words.
Elizabeth Gilbert’s upcoming book doesn’t hit shelves until September 22, but it’s worth a pre-order. She lets readers in on all of her creative strategies, explains her belief that ideas find people who will create them, and encourages readers to make their own magic. This is an inspiring read for anyone looking to spark creativity or make a leap of faith into the unknown.
A Short Guide to a Happy Life
What does it mean to live deeply? Anna Quindlen tackles this question in a tiny book on creating a meaningful life with the short time we have. With candid wisdom, she counsels her readers to pay attention to the small moments, and to make the most of their time on Earth. An excellent gift book for those seeking inspiration.
All readers can recall certain books that changed their perspectives forever. The first time reading what became your favorite novel; a timely discovery of the philosophy by which you now live. Sometimes a book affects you so much that you become a book-vangelical, telling anyone who will listen that they have to drop everything and read this. And then there are some books, too, that are intended to change the lives of many people, and succeed. Such books offer incomparably wise advice for living, allowing readers to reflect on their lives at pivotal moments. If you’re looking to change your life, consider one of the books on this list.
What are some books that have totally changed your life? Tell us in the comments section!
Bookshelf curated by Brittany Goss, @blgoss. Featured Image by FredFroese/iStock.com