49 Books to Consider Reading

Mar 16, 2021

I’ve loved reading since I was a little girl. Books were an escape for me and allowed me to learn about the world beyond my circumstances. Books gave me hope and rallied me when I was down. Books helped me envision a life of vacations to exotic places with beautiful palm trees. Books inspired me to consider a different way.

Since my early years of Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys mysteries, I’ve used some of the 49 books on this list to facilitate faculty book talks, host professional development seminars, increase parent engagement through engagement initiatives such as ‘Parent University’, and to grow both as a person and a professional. 

One man’s treasure is another man’s trash is an idiom that definitely applies in the selection of reading material. Books that resonate with one person may not for another. You won’t find a long list of traditional classics here but definitely, each of these books had great takeaways for me. They have been relevant, meaningful, and brought joy to my life for different reasons. If you decide to read any of them, I hope you truly enjoy! 

I usually know within the first paragraph or two if a book is going to have the ‘it’ factor that makes me say ‘yes, this is a good one!’. This list of 49 books center on themes such as motivation, inspiration, leadership, education, positive thinking, happiness, self improvement, joy, family, cooking (my favorite cookbook is on the list!), and generally living a full, meaningful, and happy life. Some of these books have inspired me to look at the world a little differently and sometimes laid the foundation for a new year. I take a trip to a bookstore every year around my birthday and buy books to usher in the year. This list is by no means fully inclusive of all the books I have read or found valuable over the years. In fact, I can already think of a few more that I should to add to the list such as Greenlights, the memoir, by Matthew McConaughey.

Fun tidbit: two of the books on this list made my recent selections to award the EDSolutions Group ‘Student’s of the Month’ at Delphos Jefferson High School in August through December 2019. Students were gifted with either book 19) I Will Teach You To Be Rich, by Ramit Sethi or book 23) Make Your Bed: Little Things that Can Change Your Life...And Maybe The World by Admiral William H. McRaven. I also donated copies of those selections to the Wildcat Career Pathways Inspirational & Self Improvement Classroom Library. 

I would love to hear from you about any of these books you decide to read and how it resonated with you. Email me at [email protected] or give me a shout out on Twitter @LisaAImel with your thoughts on your readings and include a link to this post when you do! Cheers to a productive year of reading!

  1. 177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class, Steve Siebold

  2. Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing, Caroline Myss

  3. Antifragile, Nassim Nicholas Taleb

  4. Ask and It is Given: Learning to Manifest Your Desires, Esther and Jerry Hicks

  5. Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand

  6. Barefoot Contessa: How Easy Is That, Ina Garten

  7. Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology, and How You Can Heal, Donna Jackson Nakazawa 

  8. Choice Theory: A New Psychology Of Personal Freedom, William Glasser M.D.

  9. Creating Emotionally Safe Schools: A Guide for Educators and Parents, Jane Bluestein PhD

  10. Emotional Intelligence 2.0, Travis Bradberry

  11. Etiquette, Emily Post

  12. Everything is Figureoutable, Marie Forleo

  13. Finishing Well: The Adventure of Life Beyond Halftime, Bob Buford

  14. Following the Path: The Search for a Life of Passion, Purpose and Joy, Joan Chittister

  15. Future Driven, David Geurin 

  16. Girl, Stop Apologizing, Rachel Hollis

  17. Girlboss, Sophia Amoruso

  18. How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie

  19. I Will Teach You To Be Rich, Ramit Sethi

  20. Jesus and Coffee: 30 Devotionals to Kick Start Your Day, Tony Warrick 

  21. Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box, The Arbinger Institute 

  22. Life’s Journeys According to Mister Rogers: Things to Remember Along the Way, Fred Rogers 

  23. Make Your Bed: Little Things that Can Change Your Life...And Maybe The World, Admiral William H. McRaven

  24. Manifest Your Destiny, Wayne Dyer

  25. Middle School Makeover Improving the Way You and Your Child Experience the Middle School Years, Michelle Icard

  26. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Carol Dweck

  27. Peace is Every Step, Thich Nhat Hanh

  28. Power vs. Force, David R. Hawkins M.D. Ph.D 

  29. Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable, Tim S. Grover

  30. Signs: The Secret Language of the Universe, Laura Lynne Jackson

  31. Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace

  32. Start with Why, Simon Sinek

  33. Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson

  34. Sticks and Stones Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy, Emily Bazelon

  35. The 5 Love Languages Gift Edition: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate, Gary Chapman

  36. The ABCs of Success: The Essential Principles from America's Greatest Prosperity Teacher, Bob Proctor

  37. The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are,  Brene Brown

  38. The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin

  39. The Leadership Secrets of Hamilton, Gordon Leidner

  40. The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, Gary Keller

  41. The Self Esteem Trap Raising Confident and Compassionate Kids in an Age of Self Importance, Polly Young-Eisendrath PhD 

  42. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, Malcolm Gladwell

  43. The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself, Michael A. Singer

  44. The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember, Fred Rogers 

  45. Think Better, Live Better: A Victorious Life Begins in Your Mind, Joel Osteen

  46. Under-Resourced Learners: 8 Strategies to Boost Student Achievement, Ruby K. Payne

  47. You Are a Badass How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life, Jen Sincero

  48. Your Family Constitution, Scott Gale

  49. Zen and the Art of Happiness, Chris Prentiss


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