My favorite books of all time, by category.
SELF HELP BOOKS
Will It Fly? by Pat Flynn – My favorite podcast guy and the guy who more than anyone else, inspired me to launch this site. If you have or are considering becoming an entrepreneur or starting an online business of any kind, get his book and listen to his podcasts! (see my page Podcasts & bloggers I love for links to him and others!)
The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey – He is hardly obscure, but I can’t recommend the book or Dave highly enough. Getting your finances in order is the best thing you can do for your marriage, yourself and your family (I speak from personal experience which you can read about in my post 5 great ways to improve your finances & save your future!)
Smart Money Smart Kids by Rachel Cruze – Dave’s daughter Rachel Cruz is also a wealth of knowledge and this book is a great tool for setting your kids up on a path of success in terms of how they understand and handle money.
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman – This book probably literally saved my marriage. Every marriage has disagreements and arguments and this book acknowledges that, but it explains in detail the RIGHT and WRONG ways to go about HOW we communicate our feelings to our spouse. All too often in the heat of battle we don’t say what we’re feeling in a way that makes the other feel respected and enables them to truly hear us and when we don’t feel heard we keep repeating (and escalating). If ANY of this sounds familiar, get this book!
Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters by Meg Meeker – I only have daughters, so I don’t have any idea what its like to have sons (but I am a Disney princess EXPERT!). If you have daughters, I can’t recommend this book highly enough! She also has another book called Strong Mothers, Strong Sons, which I have not read, but am 100% confident is also great.
The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson – This book, and especially Emerson’s Essay on Self-Reliance shaped me and how I thought about the world around time I was in 11th grade. It has stuck with me ever since and I don’t think you can go wrong with any of his lessons.
The Empty Pot by Demi – A beautiful book inside and out. Fantastic artwork and a truly inspiring lesson about the importance of being honest and being yourself even in the face of shame or ridicule.
What Does It Mean To Be Present? by DiOrio & Wheeler – Being present, connected and not distracted are great lessons for all of us. If we can teach our kids this at a young age, the next generation will be in great shape!
Cool Down and Work Through Anger by Meiners – If you have a daughter who occasionally struggles with temper (hint, hint) this is a great book to help kids understand their emotions, understand that what we feel isn’t bad, but HOW we express those feelings is a choice. They have a lot of other great titles too in this series so just click on the author’s name on the Amazon page to see them.
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak – A book that (hopefully) needs no introduction. Its been my favorite since I was a kid and there have been many nights where I read this from memory to my kids at bedtime (but then you miss the fantastic artwork).
If you’re like me, you love to cook and these are among my many favorites. If you don’t love to cook, then getting some basic skills down is great for your husband and dad toolkit.
James Beard the Fireside Cookbook – The urban myth is that Tom Colicchio (host of Top Chef and renown restauranteur) learned to cook not at some fancy culinary school but by reading this book. I BELIEVE IT. This book covers every basic technique, sauce, cooking method and so much more. The fact that its out of print but through that link you can get a copy for under 2 bucks is INSANE. Get this book.
Craft of Cooking by Tom Colicchio – Since we’re on the subject of Tom, his book of staples and basics from his renown Craft restaurants is also fantastic.
The Tra Vigne Cookbook by Michael Chiarello – Another fantastic book out of print available for an INSANE price on Amazon (under a buck!). Chiarello doesn’t still own this amazing restaurant in Napa Valley, but its still well worth visiting, and you’ve probably seen this renown chef on TV. I LOVE how this book is broken out not by starters, entrees, desserts, etc but by what’s in season. Simple, elegant and most importantly, delicious! Get this for cheap!
New Tastes from Texas by Stephan Pyles – And yet another FANTASTIC book out of print and disgustingly cheap on Amazon. Pyles is a very renown southwestern chef who has long been a staple on the high end food scene in Dallas, but he’s had nationwide exposure too. If you love the flavors of Texas and New Mexico and love to cook, get this book!
Authentic Mexican by Rick Bayless – Yes, I acknowledge there’s a certain irony in buying a cookbook called “Authentic Mexican” by a chef who’s not Mexican. Put that aside for a moment though, as there’s probably very few chefs (Mexican or otherwise) who have studied, traveled and celebrated Mexican cuisine as much as Bayless has. Renown Chicago restauranteur and host of the PBS series Mexico: One Plate at a Time, Bayless has put together a VERY comprehensive cookbook on the true flavors of Mexico. Probably not for beginners, but still amazing. If you end up loving this one, he has many other great cookbooks as well. Love Mexican food but want a more entry level cookbook from Rick? This is a great, simply, throw-together-after-work cookbook: Salsas That Cook