Recommended Reading

Get Yourself a Great Read. Right Here.

I have only included books I have read and refer to often. They’re in no particular order. Let yourself be curious and choose whatever looks interesting, because that’s the book you’re meant to read next!

Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live

by Martha Beck

This is the best book I’ve ever read about figuring out what you were meant to do, because it’s the best book I’ve ever read about figuring out who you are meant to be. If you’re just starting out on your journey of self-discovery, I highly recommend starting with this one.

Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life

By Gregg Levoy

My copy of “Callings” looks like a Baptist preacher’s bible: dog eared, underlined, and flagged with dozens of colorful Post-It® flags. Densely packed with wisdom and inspiration, this practical book will change the way you think about meaningful work. Gregg (and I’ll call him Gregg, now that we’re Facebook friends) generously shares stories, references other important writers’ work, and overdelivers on the promise and premise of his book. Members of my tribe will be inspired and uplifted by this handbook for “translating a calling into action.”

The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership

By Jim Dethmer, Diana Chapman, & Kaley Warner Klemp

I don’t blame anyone for being skeptical about the “five of this” and “seven of that” list-based books. That’s an eye-roller for me, too. But five seconds with these important tenets of conscious leadership convinced me that this book had more to offer than I could have imagined. It contains a model for living consciously at work and at home that I use daily to keep myself from spinning off track. If you’re working on integrity, this is the best handbook I’ve seen. Whether you’re the leader of your company, your family or your self, this book should be kept within reach.

The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life

by Rosamund Zander and Ben Zander

“On the Same Page” book club book selection for March 2013–this book introduces useful practices for learning to see more possibilities and fewer obstacles as you navigate through work, relationships and life. 

How to Find Fulfilling Work

by Roman Krznaric
Finally! A book about careers that considers the important link between who we are at our core, and what we choose to do for a living. This is a practical and inspirational guide to examining your career and deciding whether it truly makes you happy, including the steps it takes to find a job that truly makes you thrive.The desire for fulfilling work is one of the great aspirations of our age. This book reveals explores the competing claims we face for money, status, and meaning in our lives. Drawing on wisdom from a variety of disciplines, cultural thinker Roman Krznaric sets out a practical guide to negotiating the labyrinth of choices, overcoming fear of change, and finding a career in which you thrive. Overturning a century of traditional thought about career change, Krznaric reveals just what it takes to find life-enhancing work.

The School of Life is dedicated to exploring life’s big questions: How can we fulfill our potential? Can work be inspiring? Why does community matter? Can relationships last a lifetime? We don’t have all the answers, but we will direct you toward a variety of useful ideas—from philosophy to literature, psychology to the visual arts—that are guaranteed to stimulate, provoke, nourish, and console.

The Artist’s Way Starter Kit

by Julia Cameron
If the rock you’ve been living under doesn’t have a copy of this book in its library, you’re missing the classic book of exercises and inspiration to bring out the creative, right-brainer (see above) in you.  Cameron is an extraordinary creative coach, and her teachings have inspired millions of readers. This starter kit is less expensive than the hardcover and includes a copy of The Artist’s Way and The Artist’s Way Morning Pages Journal.  Write on!

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

by Brené Brown

I had no idea, until I read this book, how much shame I’ve been living with, and it has transformed the way I think about myself and the way I go about my daily life. Shame keeps us small, and vulnerability, while risky, opens us up to a more connected and courageous life. Daring Greatly is our mid-summer “On the Same Page” book club selection.

The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide to Creating Success on Your Own Terms

by Danielle LaPorte
The subtitle of this book tells you everything you need to know about the content.  If you’re looking for someone to light a fire under your most desired dreams, buy this book today, and start working toward the meaningful life you deserve.

The Language of Emotions: What Your Feelings Are Trying to Tell You

by Karla McLaren
Sometimes it’s tough to know exactly what we’re feeling, and we end up questioning what we SHOULD feel.  I think this book goes a long way to demystify emotions and to untangle the confusion we sometimes feel about what we’re feeling.  If you’ve ever been confused about when anger is healthy and when it is not, or what messages your fear, sadness, shame or stress are sending you, this is the book for you.

Transformational Speaking

by Gail Larsen

This book is about far more than public speaking–it’s about how to tell your story in an authentic way. And if you’re not sure what your story is, this is the book to start with. It helped me name my “Original Medicine,” which guides every discussion about my work, and every item on my to-do list.

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

by Brené Brown

I think the title says it all.  For those of us who exhaust ourselves in relentless pursuit of the perfect–the perfect home, perfect parenting, perfect work performance, perfect skin–here’s permission, in fact, encouragement, to talk about what you think your imperfections say about you.  By dealing directly with the shame and vulnerability that our humanness bestows on us, we can learn to let go of the suffering we cause ourselves when we feel like we’re a disappointment, or that we’re “less than” others.

Calling in “The One”: 7 Weeks to Attract the Love of Your Life

by Katherine Woodward Thomas

If I was to write the definitive “how-to” book on letting go of old beliefs and behaviors that stand in the way of finding the relationship of a lifetime, it would include just about everything in this book. I use it to coach clients who are confused about why they’re not finding the one lifelong partner they’ve been hoping for, or why they repeat patterns of unhealthy entanglements. Even if you’re not searching for love, this book has a ton of wisdom for living an authentic and happy life.

Steering by Starlight: The Science and Magic of Finding Your Destiny

by Martha Beck

If you’re ready to believe that there are forces in the universe that support your most cherished dreams–you know, the ones that you’ve had since you were a kid but are afraid to tell anyone about now, because you’d sound like a, well, a child–this book gives you permission (and techniques) to make those dreams come true. Whether you really wanted to be a circus performer, or a courtroom lawyer, or a cupcake impresario, finding out the truth about who you really are and engaging the energy of the universe to conspire in your favor can change your life forever.

A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future

by Daniel Pink
Creative types will find solace in this book about why people who are better at making connections, engaging others with humor, compassion and insight, will have more opportunities than  linear, left-brain-dominant thinkers.  Develop your right-brain capabilities with some of the exercises in this book, or in Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way (see below). I loved this book!

My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey

by Jill Bolte-Taylor
On the days when I don’t quite understand how we’re all connected, this brain scientist’s experience with universal oneness reminds me that we’re only limited by the beliefs we’ve embedded in our brains.  When Jill Bolte-Taylor had a stroke, it temporarily disabled the part of the brain that indicates separation–there’s us, and there’s the table, the floor, and all of the beings in the world.  When she saw her life through this lens of oneness, it changed her forever, as a scientist and as a human being.  The book also contains really helpful resources for anyone dealing with a loved one who has suffered a stroke.  Watch her TED talk, too!

Finding Your Way in a Wild New World: Reclaim Your True Nature to Create the Life You Want

by Martha Beck

If you’ve already got a sense that forces bigger than yourself are creating the energy and possibility for you to live a happy, connected and deeply satisfying life, Martha’s latest book will teach you new techniques for making space for your life’s path to reveal itself with a sense of ease and calmness.  With a balance of practicality and “woo-woo,” Martha tells you how to take action to recognize your true identity, and find the like-minded people who will love and support you on your life’s journey.

*Links to Amazon are affiliate links.

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