I recently had coffee with a brand new friend at a cool little bookstore in town. By the end of our conversation, amidst getting to know each other, I had recommended a handful of books. I promised to send her a list so she wouldn’t have to try to remember. When I typed up the list later, I realized that most of these are books that I have recommended to a lot of friends and it might be worth putting the list all together in a post.

*Disclaimer: I am affiliated with Amazon Associates. This means that if you purchase these books through the links I’ve provided, I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website. 

Books, Books, Books

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. An absolute must-read for everyone on an artist’s journey (which I truly believe is everyone, period. Even if, and maybe especially if, you don’t know it!). This was recommended to me by an acting teacher in college and it has changed my life. Julia Cameron is an artist in my many mediums, primarily in the film world, and wrote this 12 week workbook to help artists break through our obstacles and the lies we tell ourselves!



The Defining Decade by Dr. Meg Jay. If you haven’t seen this TEDtalk, go watch it now:

This is my all-time favorite TEDtalk, and the book is even better. She goes more into depth about the topics discussed in the video, as well as other topics that affect the average 20-something-year-old.

The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp. C’mon, who doesn’t adore Twyla? Her charm effortlessly comes across in her writing, and this is also a great book for anyone who is ready to commit to their creative practices and inner life as an artist. What I appreciate about this book is how practical she is- I think it’s the nature of being a dancer.


Moving Past Perfect by Dr. Greenspon. This book was one of the inspiring factors for Library Freaks. In college, I came to identify myself as a type B perfectionist. My messy lifestyle/tendencies/perpetual lateness led me to believe I could never be a perfectionist, but reading this book really opened my eyes to my crippling fear of failure. Parents in particular should read this, because much of it is directed to dealing with a child who is a perfectionist. For the record, the book discusses both types of perfectionism!

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. Anytime I see this book in a thrift store, I buy it and send it to someone I think should read it. I usually have at least 2 copies in my house… my husband thinks I’m nuts! If you don’t know the background, Randy Pausch was a professor at Carnegie-Mellon, with a wife and three small children, who was diagnosed with cancer. When it became clear he wouldn’t recover, he began planning a final lecture to deliver at Carnegie-Mellon. The book is an expansion of the talk, so if you’ve seen the talk, I encourage you to read the book anyway! It’s all about have to live the best life. In 2016, I read it once a month for a dose of inspiration for living well! It’s a quick read, too. Score!

Happy Reading! What are your favorite books to recommend to buddies?



2 comments on “5 Books Everyone Should Read – Nonfiction Edition!

  • Mutti

    Wind in the Willows is a book for everyone…parents, read it to your children, and then to your self is the quiet of the evening. It is the book I wish I could have written, it’s beauty cannot be described…just get a copy, buy one, and it will give you joy for the rest of your life.

    • gracebythebook

      I love Wind in the Willows! My goal when we found out I was expecting was to read through the 100 greatest children’s books of all-time. If it weren’t for Library Freaks, I might have actually kept up with it but got a little busy with the web series. I absolutely love children’s books!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *