Books. For my entire life books have been there for me. When I was young they kept me company. Being overweight as a child was pretty isolating so reading was what I did. The stories I read became my world. The greatest discovery was that I could learn anything just by reading a book about it. Books gave me knowledge, experiences and insight into how the rest of the world lived.
As I got older (and more popular) I started reading less. I can still mark times in my life by the book I was reading. In college it was mystical fiction by amazing Hispanic authors. As I started in the career world Stephen Covey and Zig Zigler became who I turned to for knowledge. Once I had my daughter I became obsessed with all things parenting and began to “listen” instead of read books (you moms know what I am taking about). Once I started going to church and developing my relationship with God I sought out women ahead of me in their faith. Looking for a roadmap to what my life could look like now that I knew Jesus.
When I decided to think about the 5 books that changed everything for me you will see a bit of everything I just mentioned. These books are ones that bring up emotions and memories for me and have had the biggest impact on my life. It was so hard to narrow it down!!! It is like asking a mom to list her kids in the order she likes them best. There are about 10 other books I could add to this list(maybe I will make a part 2) and I know that before I die there will be 10 more added and that makes me so happy! Reading is something I treasure and a good writer has a gift from God.
I hope that you enjoy my list and check one of them out! I would love to hear your top 5! Put them in the comments or share them on Instagram and tag me @brick_housebodies.
100 years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
This book is the one fiction novel in the group. This book was released in 2006 when I was 34. This was a CRAZY time in my life! This was pre baby and marriage and I was making a lot of money working in NYC in the fashion industry. I was living a “Sex in the City” kinda life (lots of nights out, drinking and drama) and this book was like a wonderful dream that I could escape to while I read it. The writing is beautiful and the story has everything , history, romance and fantasy. It just sucked me in and was a happy place for me in the whirlwind that was my life.
Gifts of Imperfection Brene Brown
I actually listened to this book. It was my first exposure to Brene Brown. It came out in late 2010 and my daughter was about to turn a year old (hence the listening and not reading). All I remember about this book was sobbing while listening and being just floored that Brene Brown was in my head and knew exactly how I felt and then was brave enough to write a book about it.
Whispers of Rest Bonnie Gray
This book I finished recently at the recommendation of a friend. I was in a state of utter and complete burn out. Had no idea what I really wanted in life (still sometimes don’t know) and I was desperate. I read this book devotional style every morning during my quiet time. The most powerful exercise that Bonnie has you do is think about what you loved when you were 12. That made me cry and shifted something in me. This is one I need to read again and soon
A Mended Heart Suzanne Eller
This is a tough one. I looked through this book before I started this post and it is just covered with notes and underlined passages and dog eared pages. This book I read when my marriage was in a really bad place. I was sad, frustrated and angry and I was desperate for help of any kind. This book really saved my sanity. The only regret that I have is that I have been unable to loan this book to anyone (everyone needs it) because of all of my frantic note taking in the margins and all over the pages.
Made to Crave Lysa Terkeurst
I have been a personal trainer/health coach for over 10 years. I was saved a little over 5 years ago. When I started my walk with Jesus I wanted Him to be a part of my ENTIRE life. But I didn’t see many fitness ministries, sometimes it almost felt like this fitness thing was a little prideful and vain. I had struggled with an eating disorder since I was 16 years old so I knew this food thing was serious. It was God who finally set me free of it. To me it was incredible that something I could not overcome on my own for over 20 years could be changed. So I wanted to learn more, I searched for tools that could help others that were struggle same as I was. I google searched “God and food” found this book. I cried at every page. This is what I was feeling, This is what I had struggled with for so long. God did care about this!! It showed me that my life, the 20 years of suffering that I had gone through I was not alone in. This book gave me the courage to believe that this FIT INSIDE OUT idea could be a thing. That I could help people, that this could be my calling. If I ever meet Lysa Terkeurst the author I think I just might die, or get arrested for causing a scene.
The 5 that changed everything. Tell me yours!!! What books changed your life, made you ugly cry, finally made you feel like you were not alone or was just a safe place in your chaotic world.