I love books and read a lot…a LOT.
Books inspire, teach, transport, motivate, and heal me.
This year has been especially inspiring, and I wanted to share the top ten books that moved me, made me laugh, educated me, inspired my thinking or behavior…or, in the case of Come As Your Are, all of the above!
Get one, or get them all. Give them as gifts to people you love who are seeking health, inspiration, and fun…give them as gifts to yourself.
Read them and put their wisdom into action…
Rising Strong by Brene Brown
Meeting Brene Brown, and handing her a copy of my book, was a HUGE highlight of my year. Her book Daring Greatly was my bible when I was struggling with my divorce and “coming out as no longer vegan.”
Rising Strong is the next step after you dare greatly to be yourself…
…it’s about how to rise after you fail. Because you will fail.
This quote from the book says it all:
“The irony is that we attempt to disown our difficult stories to appear more whole or more acceptable, but our wholeness–even our wholeheartedness–actually depends on the integration of all of our experiences, including the falls.”
This book shows the psychology and practice of what it takes to be authentic, and to overcome the inevitable shame and self-criticism that comes with rising above your old habits.
Recommended for: those on the verge of more leadership, for women on the journey of self-acceptance, those who desire new relationship dynamics, those who seek bravery to be more authentic. Order your copy here:
Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski
I believe being happy in your body requires that you feel comfortable with your sexuality. Sexual health, expression, and desire are very taboo subjects and rarely talked about when it comes to body confidence and health…
Emily Nagoski’s book, Come As You Are is one of the best books I’ve read on sexual health. From the psychology of what “puts the breaks on desire and libido” to the physical anatomy of how our bodies work, and how we can love them more, this book makes the science easy to understand.
Recommended for: women and men who desire more comfort with their own sexuality, want to improve their sexual relationship with themselves or a partner, or those who want to boost their libido without pills. Order your copy here:
Woman On Fire by Amy Jo Goddard
If you’ve read Come As You Are or you’re just ready for a deeper, more vibrant, and more sexually empowered life, this book is for you.
Amy Jo Goddard shares a more personal and spiritual approach to sexuality, how to get back in touch with desire, and how to heal past shame and trauma that may be in the way of enjoying your body.
This book walks you through how to find your erotic truth, and how to feel confident and empowered about your truth as a sexual person.
Recommended for: women looking for permission to explore their sexuality anew, for those looking for a guide in exploring new ways to enjoy sex, those who desire to build and activate their desire. Order Woman On Fire here:
Untame Yourself: Reconnect to the Lost Art, Power and Freedom of Being a Woman by Elizabeth Dialto
Shame, self-judgment, non-existent boundaries, low self-esteem…this is the torture of the modern woman.
Elizabeth Dialto, personal trainer turned women’s self-empowerment and Wild Soul Movement coach, explores and untangle the ties that bind us to a life we don’t love.
This book offers: spiritual evidence for self-care and “selfishness,” short and efficient exercises for feeling aligned and in love with your body, the low down on becoming discerning rather than judgmental.
Recommended for: Women who want to feel strong and fall in love with their bodies, women who want to learn to trust their instincts and create foundational rituals for juicy self-care. Order Untame Yourself here:
Simple Green Smoothies: 100+ Recipes to Lose Weight, Gain Energy And Feel Great In Your Body by Jen Hansard and Jadah Sellner
I’ve been drinking “green and protein smoothies” for years…and never felt the need to buy a book of recipes because – come on – who needs more than a banana and some spinach? Oh, how limited was my thinking!
My dear friends Jen and Jadah invite you into a sane and tasty approach to health that will inspire and energize you to get in the kitchen and blend up some magic. The Simple Green Smoothies’ lifestyle doesn’t involve counting calories or eliminating an entire food group. Instead, it encourages you to make one simple change: drink one green smoothie a day.
Simple Green Smoothies includes a 10-day green smoothie kick-start to welcome you into the plant-powered lifestyle, with shopping lists included. Follow it up with 100+ delicious recipes that address everything from weight loss to glowing skin to kid-friendly options.
Recommended for: anyone ready to eat 15% cleaner, who doesn’t love cooking, or just wants to use their new blender a lot… Order Simple Green Smoothies here:
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo
Despite years of trying to “downsize,” organize and de-clutter, I’ve always had piles of papers and masses of t-shirts that end up like a tangled mess of gluten-free spaghetti.
Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, and I’ve found a new way to choose what stays in my life from people to books, to kitchen ware, to underwear…
does it bring me joy.
Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to picking away at piles forever…Marie’s KonMari Method, with its easier-to-implement-than-I-imagined category system, leads to lasting results…
…and way more stuff being donated or thrown out than ever.
My closet is now a sweet place of calm. My book shelves make me happy. My bathroom cabinets are easy to navigate.
Recommended for: the pack rat, the daughter of the hoarder, the new couple that just moved in together or are about to move, the downsizer, the peace seeker. Order The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up here:
Pleasurable Weight Loss by Jena LaFlamme
This book can be boiled down to one main, beautiful, revolutionary idea:
taking the “guilty” out of pleasure.
Bringing “intuitive eating” to a new level, Jena, a dear friend of mine, has highlighted the purpose and value of pleasure as it relates to our whole lives, proper metabolism, digestion, and more…
As with many of my favorite books this year, Jena connects the psychological issues of body image and sexuality with food choices and behaviors. Filled with no-stress practices for savoring life and food, her examples will help you access your body’s wisdom.
Recommended for: the woman who has tried every diet under the sun and is ready to finally enjoy her body and life NOW. Order Pleasurable Weight Loss here:
So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson
In this techno-democratic world where everyone with a smartphone can be judge and jury, public shaming has reached a fever pitch.
When I came out as “no longer vegan” I felt the virtual mob jeering at and demonizing me through Facebook and Twitter. More and more people who make mistakes in full view of the cyber-tribe go through the public shaming ringer.
This book examines some high-profile cases of public shaming and asks: what are we doing with our voices? Why are we mercilessly searching for and dancing around people’s faults? Are we using shame as a form of social control in a new way?
Hilarious and deeply considered, this book is a powerful trip into the public cyber-psyche, and makes you think about what part you want to play on this public stage.
Recommended for: anyone who has been publicly shamed (read: everyone), anyone with a social media account or platform. Order So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed here:
Yes Please by Amy Poehler
I LOVE Amy Poehler. I cried when her show Parks & Recreation ended, and I jumped for joy when her first book Yes Please hit the shelves. Well in my case, hit my ears – I listened to her read the book on audio [get her book FREE here on Audible.com!!], which I highly recommend!
With her warm humor, Amy shows us the show behind the show business curtain – how female comediennes are taking their place in the spotlight, and how she rose to fame with a “rising tides lift all boats” kind of attitude.
With chapters like “Treat Your Career LIke a Bad Boyfriend” and her Plastic Surgery Haiku, Amy will make you laugh as much as she will make you think about how women’s bodies are viewed as part of their talent.
What can I say…this book is my heart and soul, and comprises the hours of work, coaching, and teaching I’ve loved serving over the last 15 years. The reviews from readers are amazing, and Goop.com listed it as a top Winter Non-Fiction read.
If you’re ready to change your relationship with food, and your relationship with your body, this book is for you.
Recommended for: the woman who seeks to love and reclaim her body and desires, and the man who loves her.