Watch, Listen, Learn Series. Part 1--Books

Watch, Listen, Learn
A 3 Part Series of Books, Podcasts & YouTube Channels That Inspire

Part 1 - Books

This year I have gotten really into audiobooks. I used to devour paperback books--perhaps 10 per month--but ever since my daughter was born (almost a year ago!), by the time I sit down and start reading at the end of the day, I get about 20 pages in and start nodding off. While I still read paper copies of a couple of books per month in the after Adaline is down for the night or on my lunch breaks, I get a lot more "reading" in if I listen to books on my morning commute or while getting ready instead!

I specifically choose non-fiction books to listen to since I'm not a huge fan of narrators using different "voices" for different characters in fictional books, but that's totally a personal preference. My husband loved listening through the entire Lord of the Rings/Hobbit series and all of Harry Potter on Audible and I know he's not alone in that preference. Just something to keep in mind!

Another reason I've gone for the genres that the books below fall into is that sometimes you get wrapped up in your own little world (hello, I have a 1-year-old), and you need some perspective and to hear other people's stories to remind you that there are others in the world to put your time and energy into!

Of Mess & Moxie
by Jen Hatmaker

Jen Hatmaker is the person you would like to be your bestie. She's a Christian author who is also very socially minded and who writes about her experience as a woman, as a believer, as a mom & career woman. It's such an amazing, inspiring read that says, "Love God, love people. If he can use my mess, he can use yours too," and I love love love it. This is just the latest in a long line of relatable, hilarious books that read like a conversation with a trusted, longtime friend.

I'm Still Here; Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness
by Austin Channing Brown

If you live in the U.S., you need to read this. If you're black and female, you will appreciate someone speaking your words. If you're anyone else, you need to hear someone speaking these words. Austin is a black woman telling her experience navigating the racism, ignorance, and insensitivity of white people, whether their intentions are good or not. I learned so much from my first listen through, and I plan to listen to it again soon. I can't recommend this book enough. 

Grace Not Perfection
by Emily Ley

I really needed this book in my life. I read this one and the one below in the opposite order, but she wrote Grace Not Perfection first. It speaks to the ideals women tend to try to hold themselves to that prove to be impossible to meet in every area. As a new mom, it was really good to hear this from someone a few years ahead of me in life, but it can really apply to any woman.

A Simplified Life
by Emily Ley

Another Emily Ley book, this one addresses simplifying your life. As gorgeous as organized spaces with matching, labeled containers etc look on Pinterest and blogs, a lot of the time trying to achieve that look overly complicates things and doesn't practically serve every family. This is a great reminder to pare down your life, your spaces, your commitments, your "supermom"-ing, everything. Really practical tips and strategies. I felt so calm and motivated after finishing this one.

Girl, Wash Your Face
by Rachel Hollis

This book will get you off of your butt and into whatever steps you need to take to achieve your goals. I'm not going to spend too much time on it because after I read it, I started seeing it on social media everywhere--so chances are you've heard of it! If you haven't read it yet, you definitely should!

The Magnolia Story
by Chip & Joanna Gaines

If you like Chip & Jo's show on HGTV, Fixer Upper or their cute playfulness to each other, if you like farmhouse chic style, if you like a by-their-bootstraps success story, then you would love this memoir of how they met, fell in love & built a design empire.

So there you have it! Some titles that have informed and inspired me as a person lately. I have about 20 titles on my Audible wishlist and am finishing up "No Bad Kids" with "The Best Yes" on deck. It's been such a good, personal development use of my time in the car or on lunch. What books have inspired you lately? Let me know in the comments!

Check out Part 2 -- Podcasts here!

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