5 Rad Books to Make Your Life Better

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Books have such an incredible amount of power to change our lives.

They are portable life coaches and cheerleaders, instruction manuals and permission slips.

When we start a book the potential is almost a physical sensation. Excitement about what is to unfold, both non-fiction and fairy-tale. The beginning of an adventure, a journey, a new way of life.

So much of who I am today is thanks to the words I have read throughout my life. They have influenced my world views, my sense of humour, my life goals, 

Nowadays we have access to a lot more than just books. We can read life-changing writing on blogs, listen to podcasts, watch videos, take online courses and everything else the internet has brought us.

There is still something extra when it comes to a book though. The extent of detail, the depth. The physical presences it has in our hands, turning pages, curling up to read it. Alright I'll stop getting all soppy and cliche now but basically:

I <3 Books.

This listicle is my fav books right now. Some are old friends, some are new obsessions. All are magical.

Big Magic 

I am sooooo late to the party with this one. I actually thought it was recent. Haha nope, three years it's been out for *shrugs*. If you haven't read it yet, then you probably should.

It's hard to summarize because it's fairly paradoxical, but essentially be creative for the sake of being creative, for the joy it brings to your soul. It's hard work, it's magic, it's terrifying but do it.

The book left me feeling incredibly inspired and grounded at the same time. It's what finally gave me the courage to call myself a writer.

Loving What Is

I don't usually recommend this book because you have to be ready for it. If you're not it will sound a lot like being told to accept and excuse abuse. But if you are ready for it, holy smokes! This is a book that can actually get you past dwelling on traumatic things and shitty experiences and on into peace.

The premise is it's not bad things that hurt us but our thoughts about them. It's based around four questions referred to as "The Work"

*disclaimer* I am still only sometimes ready for this book* 

Do I Have to Give Up Me to be Loved by You

This is a book I pretty much recommend to everyone I know in a relationship. It gives a roadmap of conflict resolution that just feels right. The core idea is people have reasons for how they behave, think, and feel. *Shocker I know, but we tend to forget this in the midst of an argument.

They lay out two paths you can follow after a disagreement the path of conflict or the path of learning. *Hint, the path of learning is the right choice*.

We are shown how to listen and understand the reasons people behave the way they do. Through this, the problems are much more likely to resolve themselves.

I do need to note it's quite an old book and there are some pretty entrenched gender norms and the whole thing is hugely heteronormative. Kinda like Linda Goodman, the ideas are spot on but you can't help but cringe sometimes.

Rise Sister Rise

I'll be honest, I haven't finished this book. It's in a drawer on my verandah, next to my journal, waiting until I get the courage to pick it back up again. I just... I have a lot of avoidance coping mechanism. Not only do I avoid thinking about painful things, I ignore thinking about the fact I'm avoiding it.

But I dug deep with this one, and I'm still processing what I dug up. A lot of shame, a lot of fear. A lot of in-process healing.

Spirituality, feminism and a gigantic call to arms. If you feel stuck in your life or in this world, give this book a read. 

Following Through

I don't know how I ended up with this book. I don't remember buying it. At all. It's the only one on here I don't own in physical copy but I have to include it because it blew me away. I have never read a book so completely thorough on the topics of procrastination, willpower, motivation and getting shit done.

It is split into various strategies and techniques to actually do the shit we say we'll do. It breaks though myths on willpower and discipline and provides a new way to approach commitments and goals. 

I level 10 suck at doing things. It's why I write about it so often (here, here, here and here). I'm always on the look out for new ways of sticking to things. This book remains the best I have read on this subject.

What are some of you favourite books? I'm always on the look out for more things to read. Let me know in the comments, have you read any on this list? Thoughts? 



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