I read a lot.
A few of the books I’ve picked up lately have shaken me so much that I can’t but go on about them to anyone. My kid sister. The stranger on the train. The cashier at the grocery store. The barista at my local coffee shop. Good Lord, even my patients, and co-workers at the hospital.
You get the idea.
Friends, I’m telling you, these books will Change. Your. Life.
Here are my three must-read books for July:
- Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be – Rachel Hollis
How could you not pick up this book with such an interesting and in-your-face title? Plus, look at that cover! Rachel is absolutely adorable! The entire diction of the book is just that: interesting, in-your-face and undeniably cute. Not to mention, it’s evident that Rachel writes with a vulnerability, truth, and confidence present in only someone who has come to terms with who they are. She also unashamedly brings up her favorite Bible verses throughout her story as well. So, if you are looking for something to read that will make you laugh, tweet like a madman, and really push you to make a move in unlearning lies we daily tell ourselves, Girl, Wash Your Face is an absolute must-read. Though very much geared towards women as the audience, anyone can benefit from Rachel’s perspective and journey!
2. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business – Charles Duhigg
I could go on and on and on and on about this book. And often times, I do. When my patients ask me for a book recommendation during their stay at the program (as well as post-treatment), I always mention The Power of Habit. The patients that tend to really gravitate toward this book are those with a background of addiction and/or depression but honestly, anyone who wants to change their life should read this book. Readers will gain undeniable knowledge and motivation with every page.
There is a lot of credible psychology involved in this must-read but it’s very easy to understand. The book is written with relatable examples, including a woman who managed to turn her entire life around after a divorce, bankruptcy, and weight gain by means of replacing her smoking habit with walking her dog. WALKING HER DOG. Duhigg really dives into what psychologists refer to as, “The Habit Loop” and provides insight into what we can do to change our lives by first identifying our habits then replacing them with another. After all, “we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.” At least according to some old, dead guy named Aristotle.
I assure you, The Power of Habit will have you switching up your routine in no time.
3. Scared Selfless: My Journey from Abuse and Madness to Surviving and Thriving – Michelle Stevens, PhD
This book is filled with a lot of inspiration and hope. But does so because of the testimony Stevens’ provides of her horrific and tortuous childhood.
I’m not going to sugarcoat this so I’ll plainly say: I don’t suggest youngsters reading this book. There is a lot of pain transcribed into every page and it is incredibly graphic when the author recollects pieces of her childhood – or rather, her lack thereof. This particular memoir follows Michelle coming to terms with her experiences of having been prostituted by her step-father as well as her sexual enslavement from age 8 through her pre-teen years. Here’s the kicker: Michelle wasn’t even completely aware of all of her abuse until her late-twenties. It is amazing what our minds do in order to protect ourselves.
This is by far a must-read but you have been warned, this particular work is brutal. At the very least, it will have you stunned and encourage you to rethink how adults overcome extreme childhood trauma and treat PTSD. Not to mention, it will help to reveal important aspects of mental health (i.e., finding the right therapist and not just settling on one).
As someone who is a survivor of sexual abuse as a child (as well as someone who works in protecting children as a profession), I would caution those with a similar background in approaching this read – it may trigger some memories and emotions. Despite the emotional heaviness, this book does a fantastic job of capturing the heart of someone who fights to overcome her past and understand just who she is.
I promise this book will undoubtedly move you. That is, if you can get through all of the crying and anger.
Which of the three books are you gravitating towards the most? What are some books you’d recommend?
Cover Photo by Gaelle Marcel