I am passionate about reading since I know how to and I have read a lot of personal growth/non fiction books for the last few years. I thought I would share a selection of the ones I think could help you with your journey- more of them to come!
Please note that books are not always available in both languages, so you will find different recommendations depending on the language you select (English or French). Some books are also available in audio books.
Finding your own North Star- Martha Beck
What is it? Martha Beck shares real life examples of people she had worked with in her coaching practice. From her experience, she wrote a great book to help people discover their true self, what they really want in life and how to achieve it.
Who is it for? People who feel isolated in their quest for change and think that they are “the only one” (spoiler alert: you’re not), people who have never read a self-help book before in fear that it sounds like Chinese to them.
Why is it good? It is easy to read, well structured and funny at times. It’s wise without being preachy and written with heart without being cheesy. But most importantly, it’s the kind of book that you can use as safety line when you start to change: every time you’re in doubt or lost, you will always find a chapter to remind you that this is part of the process.
My biggest take away from the book: The four squares of the change cycle (I wish I had known about that before!)
Way of living
The Four Agreements – Miguel Ruiz
What is it? Ruiz gathered 4 principles from Toltec wisdom that can help you transform your life. Forget about shamanism or magic potions, those principles are actually very clear and down to earth, spot on with our modern society’s struggles. A short but powerful book that might require some pauses to reflect on it and/or several readings.
Who is it for? People who are seeking to be their best self and change profoundly who they are, people who are looking for something “simple” and straight to the point.
Why is it good? The principles are very simple and still incredibly powerful; as they are literally new ways of living, you can apply them in every aspect of your life. You might need a lot of back and forth between your life and the book as you apply the principles, in order to realize how much you have changed already and how you can go even deeper. An incredible guide to gain freedom, happiness and love.
My biggest take away from the book: An excellent tool while you are at the beginning of your journey and still struggle to know what is right for you. “If I take this decision, would I respect the 4 agreements?” No? Out!
The Surrender Experiment – Michael A. Singer
What is it? Singer was still a student when he realised something: he always had a voice in his head commenting everything he was doing, throwing some “I like this, I don’t like that” all day long, judging him. He became fascinated about it and decided to learn everything he could about it. This book is first tells about his different experiences, from trying to control it, to work with some Zen masters. Until he made himself a promise: surrender to anything life was presenting at him-disregard to what he wanted in the first place. That’s how he started a journey that will lead him from living in the wood to become the CEO of a billion dollar company.
Who is it for? People who ever wondered “What would happen if I stopped controlling my life?”, people who are questioning the negative self talk in their head.
Why is it good? It is fascinating to witness where life leaded Singer through all the aspects of his life. This long life experiment brought him to build businesses, relationships and adventures he would have never imagined himself. Singer’s reminders about how things came into his life can sound repetitive at times, but it remains an excellent testimonial of the Universe/God incredible miracles.
My biggest take away from the book: It’s an excellent reminder about how life works: we can have all the plans in the world, how we want things to happen and when, some “higher powers” might have different itineraries for us to take. It helped me revive the memory of how good it feels when you let things go and magic happens.
The Unexpected Joy of Being Single- Catherine Gray
What is it? Catherine Gray is also the bestselling author of “The unexpected joy of being sober”. After solving her alcohol problem, she tells about her sober life…as a single. From her love addiction to date around a soda glass, she explores what it means to be single today and how she found her “happily ever after”.
Who is it for? People who are single and feel miserable, people who are in terrible couples and feel miserable, people who are happily in couple and make all the single around them miserable.
Why is it good? It is so refreshing and most of all: so much fun! Not because she’s mocking her situation, but because all her anecdotes come with witty and clever reflections that bring a lot of good sense on what used to be (still is?) considered as a “problem”. If you’re single or have been recently, expect to sprinkle your reading with a lot of “yeah, definitely!” aloud.
My biggest take away from the book: All of it! I loved every single page- I would have loved to read it about 10 years earlier though…
Big magic- Elizabeth Gilbert
What is it? Elizabeth Gilbert shares her unique point of view on creativity. From having an idea, to accepting the imperfection of her creation, she tells her journey as a writer-along with the one of other creators: how she shushed her fears, how she worked hard but gratefully accepted the help of a bit of magic.
Who is it for? People who have a special talent but never made anything of it, people who would like to make a living of their creativity, people who think they have no talent/creativity/artistic side at all (spoiler alert: you do- so is every human being).
Why is it good? Elizabeth brings all her passion, love and kindness in this short guide, you will go out of it re-energized, positive and confident. It’s a bit like having a motherly conversation with a goddess of inspiration or something.
My biggest take away from the book: I loved the way she brings a different view on what it means to be creative: yes, you can be an artist/writer without being depressed or dark or tormented…