1. One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp. (recommended by my brother)
If I were to give books for Christmas gifts, this would be the book. At a very young age Ann witnessed an unbelievable tragedy in her life. One such that we only read about in the newspaper or hear on the news. It shaped her life and from that point she was not childlike in her young life. Later in adulthood with a farmer husband she managed a house and a house full of kids. And at some point she discovered what gratitude for the everyday blessings could do for a life. She writes
" The real problem of life is never lack of time.
The real problem of life-in my life-is lack of thanksgiving."
2. I Thought It Was Just Me by Brene Brown (my daughter's pick for our book study)
I wish I had read this when I was much younger but maybe I was too busy trying to do it all perfectly to really pay attention to the message. Through years of research and countless interviews Brene Brown writes about our quest to be perfect and instead feeling inadequate. We are never going to get there on this earth but if we can learn to turn away from what we are supposed to be we might find that we are enough. One quote that stands out for me is
"Courage gives us a voice and compassion gives us an ear."
3. The Book of Joy Lasting Happiness In A Changing World by His Holiness the Dali Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams (my daughter-in-law's pick)
I loved this book. I reserved it for my night time reading and I always had a hard time putting it away. It is humorous, educational, delightful and in the end it addresses the question, "How do we find happiness in life?" If you are trying to find it, read this book. The world needs to read that
"With a self-centered attitude, you become distanced from others, then distrust, then feel insecure, then fear, then anxiety, then frustration, then anger, then violence."