By Rachel Brown
It’s officially fall, and for those of us who are no longer in school, there’s something special about autumn, a season that takes us back to our roots and reminds us of our days spent in the classroom. Summertime, typically reserved for family vacations and weekends at the beach, tends to be a season for devouring novels and fantasy tales, while many of us like to get back into the swing of things by reading non-fiction books come fall, inspiring us to tackle projects, implement changes, and chase our dreams. If that’s the literary mood you find yourself in, you’ve come to the right place for book recommendations. Take a look at the list of inspiring books below, then tell us what you’re reading that’s been encouraging you lately!
Brené Brown is back at it with her newly released book expounding upon the virtues of vulnerability. As a renowned social scientist and author, Brown’s writing reflects the life lessons she has learned as she strives to be more open and honest with herself and others. Brown writes freely and openly, and she inspires readers to live authentic lives full of purpose and grace. This excerpt from the book jacket it eloquently sums up the premise of Brown’s latest piece: “Regardless of magnitude or circumstance, the rising strong process is the same: We reckon with our emotions and get curious about what we’re feeling; we rumble with our stories until we get to a place of truth; and we live this process every day, until it becomes a practice and creates nothing short of a revolution in our lives.”
In this book, author Emily Freeman challenges readers to embrace the concept that God created every individual with artistic ability, equipping us with creative talents that are intended to be used to brighten and better the world around us. She redefines what it means to be an artist, explaining that true, living art doesn’t have to include painting or drawing or sculpting, though all of those mediums are beautiful and good; instead, she writes about the creative ways in which all of us can change the world through our art, whether that be the art of solving puzzles or balancing checkbooks or baking pies. Each creative skill, she says, offers lightness and brightness to a dark world. Diving into this book will help us learn how to shape ourselves into the artists we were meant to become.
Shauna Niequist writes in a tone that is so conversational, genuine, and relatable that it prompts readers to think, “You too?! I thought I was the only one.” Bittersweet is a perfect example of her signature style of writing, and each page offers insight, reflection, and wisdom based on the lessons Niequist has learned throughout her life. Specifically, she focuses on sharing stories that illustrate the beauty and depth we witness when we encounter experiences that are both bitter and sweet. She challenges readers with this thought: “When life is sweet, say thank you, and celebrate. And when life is bitter, say thank you, and grow.”
This book topped the New York Times Bestsellers List this summer for good reason: we all have too way much stuff. Author and cleaning consultant Marie Kondo not only delves into handy, practical ideas for ridding our closets of clutter, but she also explores the reasons that we may hold on to stuff in the first place. Her tactics and tips provide tangible ways for readers to start eliminating their mess, and her observations and wisdom gleaned from years of working with clients shed light on society’s obsession with accumulation. Fall often signifies a fresh start – students are back in school, summer has drawn to a close, and our bouquet of pencils is freshly sharpened. Let’s add to the list by kicking off the school year with clean closets, less stuff, and a mind that is just as sharp as our pencils.
If you’re hankering for an inspirational, empowering memoir, look no further than Malala’s story. In 2012, Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head as she rode the bus home from school. She had been targeted by the Taliban for defending her right to an education. No one expected her to survive; even if she did live, doctors thought she would be severely impaired. Malala overcame numerous health-related obstacles, and instead of dwindling away into oblivion, she rose from the proverbial ashes and continued to champion women’s rights in Pakistan. Her story touched thousands of lives and she began spearheading her efforts all over the world. She was only 16 years old, and to this day she continues to be a symbol for bravery. Now is the perfect time to read this book, as it will set the stage for the powerful documentary chronicling Malala’s life that will be released on October 2nd.
What inspirational books do you recommend?
Photo Cred: Alice Hampson
Rachel Brown is the Director of Project Development for Touch A Life, an organization committed to the rescue and rehabilitation of children who have been exploited and trafficked in West Africa and Southeast Asia. Though she loves working in the non-profit world, Rachel has always been passionate about writing, pursuing opportunities to put pen to paper outside of her day job. Aside from writing for Darling Magazine, she maintains a personal blog, Coffee & Tacos, where she connects with others through food, travel, faith & community. Rachel lives in Dallas, TX, with her husband and their adorably large English mastiffs.