My Top 6 All-Time Favorite Books

Honestly, it’s been a little while since I’ve read a good book. Lately I’ve started to really miss reading — I miss being swept up in a fictional world or reading on my favorite subjects to become more knowledgeable about them.

My New Year’s Resolution is to get back into reading. On my list: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, Entreleadership by Dave Ramsey (re-reading), and Do Less: A Minimalist Guide to a Simple, Organized, and Happy Life by Rachel Jonat (currently reading).

In honor of my resolution, I wanted to share a post about my favorite books. Here’s a round-up of my six favorite books (ok, one of them is a series) and why I love them so much.


The Betsy-Tacy Series
Ok, so this isn’t a single book — it’s a series. But it absolutely tops my list as being my favorite series of all time. Maud Hart Lovelace (the author, whose quote can be found in the latest iteration of my bio) shares a fictionalized account of her life in Minnesota in the early 1900’s. The first book follows Betsy (aka Maud) as she meets her best friend Tacy at the age of five and they go on adventures together. Betsy and Tacy grow older with each installment of the series, following them all the way through marriage and adulthood. These books are definitely a feel-good read, loaded with idealism and a sort of saccharine nostalgia. They are, in my mind, slightly underrated and deserve to be even more popular and well-known than they are.


When I quit running The You Are Project, I was on a mission to learn more about influence and how it works. This book turned up during that mission and ended up being one my number one read on the subject. What do you think is the number one way to influence someone and actually have them change their mind on an issue? This book answers that question and points out the methods that are used for influencing society as a whole.

Many people have read Dave Ramsey’s book Total Money Makeover, but my favorite read by Dave is called Entreleadership. This book talks about how entrepreneurial thinkers can demonstrate leadership in their jobs, as well as how business owners can really benefit from allowing their employees to demonstrate this kind of leadership. As someone who thinks like an entrepreneur but hasn’t had their own venture in a while, this book reminds me that I can use my skills in any context. This book is on the list of ones that I’d like to re-read, as I know I’m not quite remembering all of the juicy information that I gleaned when I read it a few years ago.

In a society that encourages and even glorifies extroversion, introverts can often feel out of place. This book is the ultimate validation if you gravitate toward introversion. The author discusses how the unique qualities of introverts make them specially suited toward certain types of achievements and contributions to society.


Girls Like Us
Here’s another one that deserves a second reader on my part. As a teenager, Rachel found herself alone and without any family support. She found her way into the sex industry, but through her toughness and resolve, was able to free herself from her past. She eventually moved to New York City, where she became the founder of GEMS (Girls Educational and Mentoring Services), the only organization in the city that works specifically with sexually exploited women. I had the pleasure of meeting this incredible woman when I worked for GEMS a few years ago. I reviewed her must-read book a few years ago when I wrote for The You Are Project.

The Magnolia Story
As a lover of interior design, I absolutely adore Chip and Joanna Gaines. I love Joanna’s lifestyle magazine, I love their line of home décor products, and I love their tv show (which I didn’t start watching until recently). This book gives you their backstory — it shows you how they got their start from humble beginnings to what can now safely be called a mini empire. I found it to be an inspiring reminder of how God works all things together for our good.

Things I Didn’t Know About Motherhood

Motherhood is an experience that is both challenging and rewarding. Despite having many friends who became mothers before me, and despite listening to them tell me about their experiences, there was absolutely nothing that could have prepared me for the reality of motherhood. There were parts that were way more difficult than I anticipated, but there are also parts that are so much better than I could ever have imagined.

On Weight Gain and Body Acceptance

Over the past few years, I’ve put on a lot of weight. It actually started with a medication that I had to take for bipolar disorder. One of the side effects was that I put on a few pounds. But it wasn’t until recently, when I got pregnant with my first child, that the weight really started to pile on. During my pregnancy, I was a bit overwhelmed at the rate at which I was gaining weight, and it was hard to prevent it from happening. I was constantly hungry, and as my pregnancy progressed, I replaced going to the gym with more leisurely walks because I was constantly winded and tired from my workouts.