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Hey, friends!

I read a lot.

And I thought it would be nice to have ONE page where I list everything I read to point you to if you’re lost in the world of books and aren’t sure what to read next.

Inspired by Jason Zook from Wandering Aimfully and his Reading List (I’m part of their membership community and LOVE IT!), I’ll be sharing all the books I’m reading, have read, and want to read, and will be including short reviews along with an emoji rating system to keep things fun.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: I am in no way a book critic or even good at reviewing books AT ALL. 😂

The Rating System

✨ A MUST READ ✨ (I tried to give these out VERY sparingly. There are a lot of books I really love that I didn’t label as a must read which hurts my soul a little to be honest. 😂)
💗💗💗 - Absolutely loved it! Basically a must read.
💗💗 - I definitely liked it.
💗 - It was okay!
🤷‍♀️ - Didn’t really like it, but you might?
☠️ - Hard pass.

How I Like To Read

Ebooks: I choose to mostly ready ebooks for a few reasons. Firstly, because I like that I can have many books on the go at a time and can access all of them easily. What if I’m riding the bus but don’t want to read the book I brought (and who wants to have the weight of a book in their bag/backpack at all times)? Or what if I’m travelling and know I’ll read a few books throughout the journey? Ebooks makes this easier! I also like knowing that my ebooks aren’t using up trees or adding to the waste and consumption in our world.

Libraries: My first choice is always renting a book if I can! Many libraries have an ebook library that you can access with an app and your library card number. If it’s not available as an ebook, I’ll check if my library has a physical copy. If they don’t, I’ll either purchase it as an ebook or see if my local bookstore has it or is willing to order it in!

Something I’d like to do more of: Buying books! As a fellow “maker”, I know it always feels good for people to pay you for the work you do, so I’d like to support authors with my money more. I’m planning to start doing this after I’ve read the book (if I rented it) to support the authors that have really made an impact on me.

Please note: Lots of these links are affiliate links through Amazon. It’ll give me a little kickback if you purchase through the link and it doesn’t cost you anything extra. 😘

 Currently Reading

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The Hidden Life of Trees
by Peter Wohlleben

Sub-title: What They Feel, How They Communicate - Discoveries From a Secret World

A truly fascinating book all about trees and how they work.

A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire #5)
by George RR Martin

After watching the series, I’ve been working on reading the books. These take me a while to get through, haha. I’ve been working on the series since November, and they’re the only fiction books I’ve been reading.

Sapiens
by Yuval Noah Harari

Sub-title: A Brief History of Humankind

I want to learn more about how humans have evolved + our history!

 Read in 2019

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💗💗 White Rage
by Carol Anderson

Sub-title: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide

A really good read about the history of the racial divide between (mostly) Black people and white people in America.

💗💗💗 The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity
by Esther Perel

Esther Perel’s take on relationships + all the thing she’s learned through her years of practice as a therapist is endlessly fascinating to me. In this book she talks in depth about affairs and the complexities behind them.

💗💗 The Four Tendencies
by Gretchen Rubin

Sub-title: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How To Make Your Life Better

I’m very into personalities and development so this read was right up my alley! It’s a profile system based on how you respond to inner and outer expectations, and it really helped give me a new glimpse into myself.

💗💗 Small Fry
by Lisa Brennan-Jobs

This memoir by Lisa, Steve Jobs’ first daughter, created such an interesting look into Steve’s life. Much of it was written from the perspective of her child-self.

💗💗 A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire #4)
by George RR Martin

After watching the series, I’ve been working on reading the books. These take me a while to get through, haha. I think I worked on it for over 2 months. I thoroughly enjoy this series.

💗💗 The Art of Asking
by Amanda Palmer

Sub-title: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help

I really enjoyed the memoir-ish book about her journey as an artist (from being a street statue to travelling musician) and the (sometimes) messy life she’s lived. It was raw and honest.

💗💗 The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need
by Joanna Martine Woolfolk

As I’ve been interested in the enneagram over the last year, it has brought me to interest in other systems of discovering yourself - including astrology! This book is PACKED with info and was a great read for me as a beginner.

💗💗 The Enneagram
by Richard Rohr

I love the enneagram and I love everything Richard Rohr produces! It just gets a 2/3 hearts for me because I simply like some other Enneagram books better, but this is definitely a good read for you if you’d like a more Christian perspective.

💗💗💗 Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud
by Anne Helen Petersen

Sub-title: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman

A really great feminist read! 10 profiles of “unruly” women, and how they have been TOO something. Whether that’s too loud, too pregnant, too strong, or too queer - it was a great book.

💗💗💗 A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire #3)
by George RR Martin

After watching the series, I’ve been working on reading the books. These take me a while to get through, haha. I really enjoy the series!

💗💗💗 Mating in Captivity
by Esther Perel

Esther Perel is a brilliant psychotherapist who specializes in the erotic. This book is all about sex and eroticism within marriage and committed relationships and I definitely recommend it to anyone within a longterm relationship.

So You Want To Talk About Race
by Ijeoma Oluo

It’s just an absolute must-read for all my fellow white people. We need to educate ourselves on the matters of race. READ IT.

💗💗💗 Braiding Sweetgrass
by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Sub-title: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants

A really lovely book about Indigenous wisdom about plants and our connection to Earth. We have so much much to learn from Indigenous peoples.

💗💗💗 The Alchemist
by Paulo Coelho

Fiction. A story of a shepherd boy travelling as he pursues his Personal Legend and the people and things that guided him along the way. I love the mysticism in this one.

💗💗💗 The Rules Do Not Apply
by Ariel Levy

Memoir. I almost put this one on the “must read” list. I had a lot of feelings reading this book about Ariel’s life and her experience through loss, love, fertility, addiction, grief, sexuality… a lot of heart-wrenching moments and so beautifully written.

💗💗 How Jesus Became God
by Bart D Ehrman

Sub-title: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee

Historical Christianity. A really in-depth study about the historical Jesus and how he “became God" (or started to become viewed as God) over the first few centuries after his life.

💗💗💗 Between the World and Me
by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Memoir (kinda). A great and short read, written as a letter to his son about race and life as a Black man in America.

💗💗💗 Immortal Diamond
by Richard Rohr

Sub-title: The Search for Our True Self

Spirituality + Self-Development. A wonderful read about the process of uncovering our True Self, the Immortal Diamond within us. I’m all about anything Richard Rohr writes. This one is best read after Falling Upward, I believe.

The 52 Books I Read in 2018

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***A quick note about some of my book selections throughout the year: 2018 included a lot of spiritual searching for me that I haven’t really talked about. I grew up very Christian and at the beginning of 2018 started selecting books that were slightly more progressive, and kept departing from there. Basically, what I want to say is - don’t let my book selection (especially from earlier in the year) tell you what I NOW think about God + spirituality + belief. I’d be happy to talk to you about it via DM on Instagram :)

💗💗 A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire #2)
by George RR Martin

Fiction. Just continuing to read through the series after watching the show! So far, the storyline matches up with the show!

When Breath Becomes Air
by Paul Kalanithi

Memoir. One of the most beautiful and heartbreaking books I read all year. Paul describes his journey of becoming a surgeon and being diagnosed with cancer. So many tears.

🤷‍♀️ The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck
by Mark Manson

Sub-title: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

Non-fiction self-help stuff. It was okay and I get what he’s trying to say, but the part I didn’t really like is his unacknowledged privilege of being able to “not give a fuck” as a white man.

The New Jim Crow
by Michelle Alexander

Sub-title: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colour-blindness

Non-fiction. This informative book was fascinating and infuriating to read. In short, it covers how the American justice system is biased towards incarcerating Black men and other People of Colour. So educational.

💗 Sex God
by Rob Bell

Sub-title: Exploring the Endless Connection Between Sexuality and Spirituality

I read a lot of Rob Bell in 2018 and this one just didn’t rank as high for me as Love Wins or What Is the Bible? Not completely what I was looking for.

💗💗 Start With Why
by Simon Sinek

Sub-title: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

Business. I really liked the background approach he takes to branding and positioning your business. It helped inspire me to re-think my own branding and my purpose - my Why.

💗💗💗 The Sun and Her Flowers
by Rupi Kaur

Poetry. Can’t go wrong with Rupi Kaur. Her poetry is beautiful.

💗💗 How To Be Here
by Rob Bell

Non-fiction. Again, this one just didn’t rank as high for me as some of the other Rob Bell books that I absolutely loved! It was a good and short tread about creativity and living in the now.

💗💗💗 The Wisdom of the Enneagram
by Don Richard Riso

Sub-title: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types

Enneagram. (So far) MY FAVE ENNEAGRAM BOOK. What makes this one different from all the other’s I’ve read so far is the deep dive into the purpose of the enneagram. Loved it.

💗💗 A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1)
by George RR Martin

Fiction. I started reading the series after watching the show! I really like them!

💗💗 Little Fires Everywhere
by Celeste Ng

Fiction. It was an interesting story about family, secrets between parents and their children, and a house fire.

💗💗💗 God and the Gay Christian
by Matthew Vines

Sub-title: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships

Christian + LGBTQIA+. First, let me clarify that I did not read this book because I needed someone to prove to me that non-heterosexuality is “okay.” There are many people in the world and around me who look to the Bible as the ultimate authority of what is and isn’t “allowed”, so I read it to gain insight on how to communicate with them using their own language and value system. And it delivered!

💗💗💗 Gone Girl
by Gillian Flynn

Mystery. This mystery novel was way better than the book, for the record. A man’s wife goes missing and it’s all about finding her. Was she abducted? Did her husband kill her? Did she run away? Who knows. It was so good, and a little crazy.

💗💗💗 Finding God in the Waves
by Mike McHargue

Sub-title: How I Lost My Faith and Found It Again Through Science

Memoir/Science/Christianity/Atheism. Part one of this memoir is about Mike’s journey through Christianity to Atheism and his mystical experience with God on a beach. And Part Two is about finding God in science. Loved it and the combination of heart and head.

💗💗💗 The Child Finder (Naomi Cottle #1)
by Rene Denfeld

Mystery. A young girl, Madison, goes missing in the forests of Oregon, and Naomi (known as the Child Finder) goes looking for her. Throughout the book you see into Madison’s life after she goes missing, and Naomi working to find her. Couldn’t put this one down and can’t wait for book 2.

💗💗 Behold the Dreamers
by Imbolo Mbue

Fiction. Loved this story of a family’s struggle to immigrate to America from Cameroon, and what it looks like for them to struggle to find work, gain citizenship, and stay in the country they love.

💗💗 Blindspot
by Mahzarin R + Banaji

Sub-title: The Hidden Biases of Good People

Science/Psychology. Simply a fascinating read about biases, where they come from, and how they affect the way we live and interact with people. They discuss attitudes about age, race, gender, religion, social class, etc, and how we can spot our own “blind spots” in the way we view people. 

💗💗💗 Dark Matter
by Blake Crouch

Science Fiction. Also up there as one of my favourite fiction novels ever. The mulitiverse, a love story, a mystery, and the question of the nature of identity. I couldn’t put this one down. Obsessed.

💗💗 The Color Purple
by Alice Walker

Historical Fiction. The story of Celie, a young black girl brown into poverty and segregation in the deep American South between the wars. 

The Lonely Hearts Hotel
by Heather O’Neill

Fiction. This might be my favourite fiction novel of all time. It’s hard to describe the book and the magic and darkness between it’s pages. Just read it and weep like I did at the end of the book. Orphans, the circus, drugs, love - it’s got a lot happening and I’m obsessed.

💗 Braving the Wilderness
by Brene Brown

Sub-title: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone

Self-help. The first book I read of hers, Daring Greatly, is probably her best. It has left the biggest impact on me, and the other’s I’ve read of hers have fallen short or feel like they’re saying the exact same thing. I think this is an unpopular opinion but I’m okay with that.

💗💗 All My Puny Sorrows
by Miriam Toews

Fiction. A heart wrenching and beautifully told story about family, depression, life, and suicide. Will absolutely be reading more Miriam Toews - plus she’s Manitoban!

💗 A Year of Biblical Womanhood
by Rachel Held Evans

Sub-title: How A Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband ‘Master’

Non-Fiction/Bible. Rachel put herself through an experiment and recorded it in this book: what it looked like to live a year as a “Biblical” woman. She didn’t cut her hair, she called her husband “master” and obeyed him, she dressed very modestly, she stayed silent in church, and she camped out in her front yard when she had her period. It’s a great exploration of what the God of the Bible really expects from women, but also misogyny and violence against women.

Falling Upward
by Richard Rohr

Sub-title: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life

Non-Fiction/Spirituality. Oh gosh, what a book. Richard Rohr is an amazing spiritual genius and I can’t wait to read more of his books. He discusses our need for failing and falling in order to grow. He explains the “second half of life” which you could consider life after “becoming awake”. I’ll need to read this one again to really soak it in.

💗💗💗 The Underground Railroad
by Colson Whitehead

Historical Fiction. This was a great fictional story about a young slave’s escape from a plantation and search for freedom. A top recommendation for sure!

I’m Still Here
by Austin Channing Brown

Sub-title: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness.

Memoir. A must-read for my fellow white people. Austin does an amazing job of bringing the reader into her world as a black woman, racism, white fragility, and more. Why do I think it’s required reading? Because we need to become more aware of our white privilege and our conscious and unconscious biases we have for POC.

💗💗 When Things Fall Apart
by Pema Chodron

Sub-title: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Self-Help/Buddhism. Pema Chodron is an American Buddhist writer, and she discusses Buddhist thought about meditation, suffering, and the happiness available to us within our grasp.

💗💗 Searching for Sunday
by Rachel Held Evans

Sub-title: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church

Non-fiction/Christianity. Like "Inspired" she tells her story about re-discovering an element of Christianity, and this time it's the Church. She discusses why she left, and why she doesn't want to stay away, centring the book around seven sacraments: baptism, confession, holy orders, communion, confirmation, anointing of the sick, and marriage.

The Most Beautiful Thing I’ve Seen
by Lisa Gungor

Sub-title: Opening Your Eyes to Wonder

Memoir. A beautifully written memoir about Lisa's life in the church (and leaving it), meeting her husband Michael, struggling with fertility, and having kids (including one with Down Syndrome). She talks about doubt sparking deeper faith and beauty, about not clinging too closely to what you think you know, and learning to see the beauty around us. I can't recommend this one enough. It touched me deeply. One of my faves from the year.

💗💗 Exit West
Mohsin Hamid

Fiction. A story about Saeed and Nadia - lovers from an unnamed country facing series economic and political breakdown. As unrest increases, "doors" open up to other areas of the world. A fictional take on love, refugees, and political breakdown.

💗💗 Inspired
by Rachel Held Evans

Sub-title: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again

Comments. Rachel tells her story about asking questions, doubting, learning to understand the Bible better, and discovering how it's meant to be read. She examines some Bible stories and re-tells them through memoir, poetry, story, soliloquy and screenplay.

💗💗💗 Love Wins
by Rob Bell

Sub-title: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived

Spirituality/Christianity. In this book, Rob suggest this idea about hell: What if God is loving enough and powerful enough and redeeming enough that “hell” would be empty? What a beautiful thought. (That whole “eternal conscious torment” thing is something I’m not down with.)

💗 Did Jesus Exist?
by Bart D Ehrman

Sub-title: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth

History/Christianity. Bart Ehrman takes a non-Christian and historical look at whether or not Jesus existed or if he's a myth. (Spoiler alert: historical evidence says he was a real human. The claims about his divinity are a whole different story.)

💗💗💗 Wonder
by RJ Palacio

Fiction. A really touching story about August, a fifth grade boy with a facial difference, which describes his year of going to public school for the first time. It chronicles his experience with bullies and friendships and navigating an awkward time of life. I cried through the whole thing and devoured it in a day.

💗💗 No One Is Coming To Save Us
by Stephanie Powell Watts

Fiction. A story about an African-American family in North Carolina which talks about life in a dying town, infertility, young loves colliding with old loves, and infidelity.

💗💗💗 Boy Erased
by Garrard Conley

Memoir/LGBTQIA+/Christianity. A true story about the son of a small-town Baptist pastor who gets outed as gay to his parents at the age of 19 by his abuser, and about his time attending a gay conversion therapy program. It shares how difficult it is to grow up gay in the church and being told that who you are is wrong. It was heartbreaking, too. Need to see the movie!

💗 For The Love
by Jen Hatmaker

Sub-title: Fighting For Grace In A World of Impossible Standards

Christian Non-Fiction. A collection of essays by Jen Hatmaker about life, faith, love, friendship, and family. She's wise, funny, and straight forward - and I appreciated her point of view.

💗💗 The Gifts of Imperfection
Brene Brown

Sub-title: Let Go Of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

Self-help. Yep, more Brene Brown. In this one, she discusses the 12 traits and attitudes she's seen as being pivotal in cultivating a "wholehearted life" and how to develop them. On the Brene Brown scale, somewhere between the greatness of Daring Greatly and the goodness of Rising Strong.

💗 Rising Strong
by Brene Brown

Self-Help. Yep, even more Brene Brown. This book talks about how to get up when you've been knocked down, and to use the experience to learn about yourself and grow through it. In my opinion, not as good as Daring Greatly, but good nonetheless.

💗💗💗 What is the Bible?
by Rob Bell

Sub-title: How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform The Way You Think and Feel About Everything

Bible. Rob explains and redeems stories and concepts in the Bible that are very confusing or bring up questions about ethics, and outlines an alternative view of the Bible: a library that chronicles humanity's expanding understanding of God using many different genres and point's of view. He addresses concerns you might have about the ethical dilemmas, errors, and inconsistencies throughout Scripture. I can't recommend this enough for anyone who might be searching or working through their beliefs.

💗💗 Inside Scientology
by Janet Reitman

Sub-title: The Story of America’s Most Secretive Religion

Non-fiction/Scientology. A fascinating read about the history and beliefs of Scientology.

💗💗 What We Talk About When We Talk About God
by Rob Bell

Christian Non-fiction. Rob tackles the misconceptions about God and talks about how God is with us, for us, and ahead of us.

💗💗 Saint (Paradise #2)
By Ted Dekker

Fiction. The second book in the Paradise series (after Showdown), about a man's training to be the most effective assassin in the world. This one also gets weird, but not quite as weird as the first book in the series. 

💗💗 Personality Types
by Don Richard Riso

Sub-title: Using the Enneagram For Self-Discovery

Enneagram. I highly recommend this one for anyone who wants to dive deep into the enneagram because it's definitely not a quick beginner's manual. I probably spent around 40 hours reading it and took A LOT of notes.

💗💗 Showdown (Paradise #1)
by Ted Dekker

Fiction. The first book in a trilogy, a stranger comes to the small town of Paradise claiming to be some kind of mysterious and powerful Messiah, while a group of gifted orphans are secluded in a school - and start disobeying their leadership and writing in books that bring words to real life. It gets weird, y'all, (like really really weird) and I'm here for it.

💗💗💗 Green (The Circle #0)
by Ted Dekker

Fiction. The fourth and final book of the Circle Series (also one of my fave fiction series), but also Book Zero of the series. Ted Dekker's ideas really opened up some new doors in my brain about the nature of time, eternity, and God. This books creates a circular story loop in the whole series. I love it.

💗💗💗 The Sacred Enneagram
by Chris Heuertz

Sub-title: Finding Your Unique Path to Spiritual Growth

Enneagram. My favourite beginner resource about the enneagram. He not only gives great descriptions of each of the 9 types, but also a few more complex ideas of the enneagram in a digestible way. He focuses a lot on how discovering our type can be helpful for self-development.

💗💗 The Handmaid’s Tale
by Margaret Atwood

Fiction. A novel about the speculate future where a totalitarian state has taken over the United States government. Many women are infertile, and fertile women are child-bearing slaves for the rich and are named according to who they belong to. It's an interested and unique read, for sure.

The Book of Negroes
by Lawrence Hill

Historical Fiction. The story of Aminata, a woman from Mali (Africa), who gets abducted from her village and sold into the American slave trade at the age of 11. It follows her life through abduction to slavery and beyond and all of the mess in-between. It was excellent.

☠️ The Mask of Masculinity
by Lewis Howes

Sub-title: How Men Can Embrace Vulnerability, Create Strong Relationships, and Live Their Fullest Lives

Self-Help. I read this book because I listened to Lewis Howes' podcast for a while and he boasted that it would be so helpful for men to understand the masks they wear and excellent for women to understand the men around them. I just didn’t like it or find it helpful.

💗💗💗 Inheritance (The Inheritance Cycle #4)
by Christopher Paolini

Fantasy Fiction. The fourth and last book in one of my favourite fiction series (I've only read the series 4 times...). Based in a land of dragons and dragon riders and magic - it's a great story of a young dragon rider learning to harness his new abilities to hopefully take down a nearly all-powerful and evil dictator. It's right up there with the Harry Potter series for me, friends. 

💗💗 The Road Back to You
by Ian Morgan Cron

Sub-title: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery

Enneagram. This is a good introductory book to the Enneagram. It's definitely not my favourite enneagram resource, but it gives a decent summary to every number type, and might be helpful for you in determining your enneagram number.


Pre-2018 Recommendations!

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💗💗💗 The Inheritance Cycle
by Christopher Paolini

Fiction. Dragons + dragon riders + magic + fun.

💗💗💗 Harry Potter
by JK Rowling

Fiction. Do I need to do describe this? No.

💗💗💗 Daring Greatly
by Brene Brown

Sub-title: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

Self-help. My fave Brene Brown book, hands down.

💗💗💗 The Chronicles of Narnia
by CS Lewis

Fiction. This series started to shape my spirituality into something new. It was great.

💗💗💗 All The Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr

Fiction. One of my fave fictions books of all time. A book based in World War II, about a young blind girl protecting a gem Hitler is after (kind of).

💗💗💗 The Twilight Saga
by Stephanie Meyer

Fiction. Lol, could not help myself. I was so obsessed with the series from the ages 12-15 that I had to include it here. The movies are great and terrible all at once haha.

Did I read more than these books before 2018?

Yes, absolutely. However, a lot of the books I read before 2018 are no longer relevant to what I think and feel about life + spirituality, and so I’m choose not to mention them here.