books, giving, gifts, 10 books to inspire, 10 inspirational books, motivational books, best inspirational books, what are some good motivational books, shonda rhimes, marie forleo, stephen pressfield, jonathan livingston seagull, paul coelho

10 Books that Inspire

10 Books that Inspire

I’m a procrastinator. There. I said it. And what better way to procrastinate than with a good book? That way your not really not doing anything. You’re accomplishing something without getting done what you wanted to accomplish. So rather than do all those things on my to do list…I read. This week-end, I read myself all the way through Shonda Rhimes’ “A Year of Yes.” If you don’t know who Shonda Rhimes is, she’s a murderer. She won’t deny it. And if you’ve read my blog in the past, you know that I still haven’t forgiven her for killing one of my favorite characters — Dr. McDreamy. But enough of that. Rather than wallow in my procrastination tendencies, I decided to make them into something useful for you. As the holidays approach, gift ideas are needed, right? This is my gift to you. 🙂 Click here for a holiday checklist with all of the books I’ve listed.


This year has been a lollapalooza of reading for me. Here are 10 of my favorite books this year in no particular order.

A Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes is a gifted writer. She has a way of exploding onto a page with energy and vivacity. There’s a reason why she owns Thursday night television with hits like Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy. It’s refreshing to hear a woman talk about the mental blocks she has even when she’s considered successful on a massive scale. Shonda makes you feel like she’s your best friend chatting with you over a glass of wine. Be prepared to read this book straight through.

The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level by Gay Hendricks

Speaking of mental blocks, the book gets into the nitty gritty to unblock yourself in an easy to read fashion. If you or a friend are even a little bit into self-improvement, this book makes you think through some of your issues. I’m in the middle of reading it for the second time, and I’m giving at least one or two copies away for Christmas.        

A Path Appears by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

Ever wonder where your money goes when you give it to a not for profit? Nicholas Kristof and his wife Sheryl WuDunn have done he research for you and discuss the non-profits that show the best results scientifically, and show the most promise. The organizations aren’t about “charity.” These non-profits are about giving helping hands that create sustainable opportunity for people to grow on the their own and lift themselves up out of difficult situations. I have received a lot of inspiration for giving from this book.      

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

Want to be inspired by your work? Simon Sinek wants you to be inspired because it’ll make the world better. Simon has collected stories from businesses that found their why and changed business practices (and peoples’ daily lives) because of it. Southwest, Apple and Harley-Davidson are but a few of the big corporations he talks about that found their why.      

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield

I’m a big Marie Forleo fan (if you haven’t seen her YouTube show, check it out), and she recommended this book. It’s an easy read, but it’s packed with thought provoking discussion on how to get over whatever our block is (ahem, procrastination). The little book is packed with motivation to get you off your butt.      

Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington

Want to change your life? Don’t measure success by what you think others expect of you. Arianna collapsed from exhaustion before she realized she needed to do things in her life differently. She saw that our culture doesn’t value sleep, and she began researching how sleep deprivation effects just about every part of our lives. She’s on a one woman crusade to get you to sleep more. I’m in.    

The Alchemist by Paul Coelho

This book has been compared to Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach. (Which is also one of my favorite books. See Jonathan Livingston Seagull: The Complete Edition.) It’s a simple tale that lays down some wisdom. Translated from Portuguese, the Alchemist weaves a storyline that is simple yet profound. Paul Coelho follows a young boy through Spain, into Egypt, and finally to meet his destiny. An inspirational book.      

Farmer in the Sky by Robert Heinlein

I had to put this in there for the sci-fi readers out there. I love sci-fi, and I love Robert Heinlein in particular. It was written in the 1950s, but it reads like it was written yesterday. A young boy travels to Jupiter’s moon to colonize it along with other travelers escaping an overpopulated Earth. To me, it’s a tale about kindness in the face of struggle and acceptance.      

Daring Adventures in Paint: Find Your Flow, Trust Your Path, and Discover Your Authentic Voice by Mati Rose McDonough

I have another confession. I love to paint but don’t paint often because I judge myself. I’m afraid that other people will think my art sucks. I saw this book and was drawn to the title and pretty colors. I practiced Mati Rose’s techniques, and I felt free to do crazy things with paint. I also learned how to use other media that I didn’t have a clue about before. It’s short and sweet and contains lots of ideas. If you’re an artist (or wannabe artist) this book is for you.      

The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership by Richard Branson

I’m finishing off this list with another personality that jumps off the page. Richard Branson is larger than life, and his book reflects his personality. It’s filled with his personal stories about how tweaking his methods made all the difference in how others responded to him. It’s also filled with his energy, and you can feel why people are so drawn to Sir Richard Branson. He’s no nonsense, but he’s out to have one thing – fun. Everything he does revolves around making his life, and the life of his employees, fun to create successful businesses. A great read for entrepreneurs.   

Don’t forget to get your free checklist, so you can get your holiday shopping done.  Click here for a holiday checklist with all of the books I’ve listed.

And I’d love to read your book suggestions. Leave a comment letting me know what your favorite book of the year is and why. Much love, Dina P.S. Oh yeah, and you know what goes well with a good book?  A nice cup of tea, of course. 😉 Click this link for tea lover gift ideas.

Next post: 3 Steps to get you moving towards your passion.

 

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