When I pick up a book, I have three goals in mind:
- To be entertained
- To learn something new
- To connect with the author or characters (i.e. to have a “me, too!” moment)
Books that hit two out of three are great. But books that hit all three, I love. Those are the ones I keep on my shelf (or in my poor, overworked Kindle) to read over and over again.
Here are 15 must-read books to make you feel less alone:
First Comes Love by Emily Giffin
If you’ve ever struggled to move on from a traumatic event, this book will make you feel less alone. Giffin, who always writes compellingly, writes the story of a family impacted by tragedy. As usual, she blurs the line separating wrong from right and makes you wonder who, if anyone, is truly in the wrong.
The Journal of Mortifying Moments by Robyn Harding
I absolutely loved this book for Kerry, its relatable protagonist, and how she deal with the hardships of becoming a well-adjusted adult. (Spoiler: She does what I did. She eats frosting straight from the jar.)
The Art of Work by Jeff Goins
If you’ve ever wondered what you’re supposed to do with your life, read this book. It will help you pinpoint what you’re most passionate about and clarify your purpose.
Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller
This book is entirely too underrated. Miller covers some of life’s biggest questions in this relatable read. I’ve probably read it four times already.
The Glass Castle by Jeanette Wall
Hands down one of my favorite memoirs. Jeanette Wall writes about her dysfunctional family and childhood in such a way you won’t want to put the book down. Just stay on the couch and keep reading. Really. Dinner can wait.
Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner
Talk about dealing with criticism. Cannie Shapiro gets plenty of practice when her boyfriend writes about her weight in a popular women’s magazine. After a series of highly unexpected events, she has to come to come to peace with her life and the surprising turn it has taken.
Blue Highways: A Journey Into America by William Least Heat-Moon
Travel memoirs are THE BEST. Seriously, they’re underrated. Heat-Moon travels America’s back roads and stops in places like Simplicity, Virginia and Why, Arizona, meeting plenty of extraordinary people and hearing their unique stories along the way.
Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married by Marian Keyes
Don’t let the lighthearted cover fool you. This is a fun, humorous read, yes. But it also touches on heavy topics like depression, alcoholism, and unrequited love, proving that even lively, upbeat heroines aren’t immune to the pressures of life.
For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn
The running joke is that men can never tell what women are thinking, right? Actually, men can be just as mysterious. (If you’re married, dating, or single, you get it.) I read this as a newlywed and loved it. Though short, it’s loaded with information about the sometimes-confusing nature of men.
It Happens All the Time by Amy Hatvany
I wrote a review of this book after reading it a few months ago. Hatvany covers one of the heaviest topics out there, but she does it without making you hate the people involved (although believe me, it’s tempting). A very eye-opening novel.
Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely by Lysa TerKeurst
An absolute go-to if you’ve ever felt left out, alone, or, well, uninvited. I flew through this book and left it with pages underlined, noted, and dog-eared. This is one to read again.
Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
Sappy moment: This book got me through a really bad week in ninth grade when my beloved cat was hit by a car and killed. When you’re fourteen, things hit a little harder than they do as you age and become desensitized to pain. But I was reading this book at the time, and I distinctly remember thinking, “If Becky Bloomwood survived her problems, then I can, too.” 🙂
All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner
Ever wondered if you were taking something a little too far? A habit, a relationship, a way of thinking? This compelling novel follows Allison Weiss, a wife and mother who finds herself deeply rooted in something very dangerous. Addiction is sneaky, and this book proves it.
Notes from a Blue Bike by Tsh Oxenreider
This book spoke directly to my craving for a simpler life. As a moderate minimalist, I don’t want to be burdened with “stuff.” This offered a refreshing reminder that life doesn’t have to be as cluttered as we think. Embracing slower, simpler rhythms is not only possible, but preferable.
Introverts, raise your hands. (*Raises both hands*) (*Raises both feet*) Here, finally, is the book that celebrates us introverts for who we are and what we can offer. I’ve read and returned to this book multiple times, and I know I’ll continue to do so in the future.
"Whoever you are, keep in mind that appearance is not reality. Some people act like extroverts, but the effort costs them in energy, authenticity, and even physical health. Others seem aloof or self-contained, but their inner landscapes are rich and full of drama. So the next time you see a person with a composed face and a soft voice, remember that inside her mind she might be solving an equation, composting a sonnet, designing a hat. She might, that is, be deploying the powers of quiet." 📖 A fantastic book by Susan Cain, and well worth the read. #introvertpower
What other books would you add to this list? Let me know — I’d love to read them!