I have been writing a lot of style posts lately, so I thought I would switch it up a bit. Reading is a hobby I have had since a child. Since I spent many of my days as a teenager grounded, reading books would help occupy those lonely evenings in my bedroom. As an adult who has had my fair share of adversity, not only have I continued to read, but I’ve read a lot of books devoted to spirituality and the development of self. I pride myself on the ability to “hear the message” in even the most vapid medium, i.e. The Real Housewives Series, I get the bulk on my spiritual sustenance from books. Since many of my friends and readers seem to be similar to me in that regard, I thought I would list my must read books in life. And since I am trying to get people to look at my website, I have to use words that are good for SEO hence the horrible name of this post. And also, because my blog is a photography blog, I thought I would include some of my favorite pictures from my travels, much of where I read these books! So hey, they are tied together. Yay for me.

1. Eat, Pray, Love

I know, I know, it’s so cliche. But honestly, this book was the book to catapult me into a spiritual revolution. While I didn’t travel to Italy and Bali, I did pursue the path of literary spiritual gurus after reading this book by Liz Gilbert. This was the first time I felt like it was okay that I was different and that made my path in life wasn’t going to be the same as everyone else’s. The part that I love and remember the most is when she’s talking about meditating in an ashram in India, and how she felt like her skin was on fire. I have 100% had those moments of wanting to still my body and mind but my internal self trying to break out so fast because being in stillness was so effing uncomfortable. Thanks, Liz Gilbert, for telling that story because I felt normal for the first time after reading that.

2. A Return To Love

I’m not 100% sure what to say about this book. I owned it for 6 months before ever picking it up. And to be honest, if you’re not ready for this book, you’re not going to read it. It’s pretty hardcore and it challenges many of the beliefs that make up this world. This book will challenge you to your very core. That’s all I can really say about it.

3. Daring Greatly

I love Brené Brown. She has written several books, but this is the first one I’ve read all the way through. Her message is beautiful and it’s all about loving oneself. Because she specializes in research, she writes her books like she specializes in research. She doesn’t use some of the flowery language that I love so much but her message is powerful. She talks of being true to ourselves and refusing to feel shame. So, thanks Brené, more please!

4. The Untethered Soul

If you don’t think you’ll actually read many of these, then you have to read this one first. Michael A Singer offers such an interesting perspective on personal reality and how we have the ability to view the world through the eyes of the soul vs the eyes of our experiences. Such an amazing guide for life.

5. Women, Food, and God

I started to read this book as I hit bottom with my food and diet struggles. As a compulsive over eater, the answer for my problems wasn’t another diet and it wasn’t another half marathon. Geneen Roth offered a solution that was so much more than just eating too many potato chips. I still recommend this book to women every single time they talk about wanting to lose those last few pounds.

6. Love Warrior

If I had any literary ability, I feel like this book could’ve been written by me. Glenn Melton Doyle described so much of my life, my thoughts about my body, and my thoughts about reality in this book. Her struggles with intimacy, her struggles with connecting to her own body, and her struggles with understanding love are so real and relatable.

7. A Life Worth Breathing

I’ve actually had the pleasure of taking two separate workshops with Max Strom and both were just as life changing as this book. Max has a strong belief in breath healing the body. He uses this book to talk of how breath and yoga are all we need to let go of grief. Amazing man and an amazing book.

8. Love Wins

I have to be honest and say that I have not finished this book yet. I am in the middle of it right now. I have listened to Rob Bell for a while now and highly recommend his podcast. He’s controversial in his beliefs, but to me, he speaks everything I’ve studied and believe over the past several years. If you want a deeper understanding of the Bible, this book is a must read.