What are you reading this summer? Here is a list of my all-time favorite books, including several on chronic disorganization and hoarding. It is an honor to work in a profession where I am a witness to people like you making decisions toward profound life change.
Keep Going by Joseph M. Marshall III
A series of timeless Lakota stories about perseverance. I got this book at the Heard Museum in Phoenix and, because it’s really small, there’s always room for it in a suitcase. I read it to my friend who was in the hospital over Christmas; and it was the only thing that didn’t give her a headache. “Being strong means taking one more step toward the top of the hill no matter how weary you may be.”
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Italy, India and Bali. Need I say more? Another great read from one of my favorite genres: books about single women from New York.
Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls
A true life novel of a super resourceful woman born in 1901 in west Texas. Born in a dirt dugout, she trained horses by age six, rode on horseback 500 miles to her boarding school in Phoenix when she was 15 years old, learned to fly a plane, and ran a huge ranch with her husband. Like Laura Ingalls Wilder for adults.
Little Bee by Chris Cleave
Amazing and totally unique characters. A Nigerian refugee girl ends up in London, seeking out the people she met on an African beach. What was the awful thing that happened on the beach that connects these people together? The author’s third book, Gold, which takes place during the summer Olympics, comes out on July 27. Can’t wait to download it.
Night by Elie Wiesel
A Holocaust survivor’s story of his town being turned into a ghetto when he was nine years old. A boy who had seen it happen in another town told them what was coming but no one believed him. A reminder of the unthinkable consequences of mass ignorance, shame and fear.
Life in Rewind by Terry Weible Murphy
As professionals, we can profoundly affect the lives of those we are trying to help. A story about a young man who experienced death and abuse as a boy and developed obsessive compulsive rituals that took over his life. A doctor went against the grain and reached out for all the help he could find in his attempt to free his patient from his self imposed prison. I read this book sitting by my brother-in-law’s pool while escaping the Minnesota winter!
Heart of a Hoarder by Valentina Sgro
A novel about a professional organizer and her work with a hoarding client who had been through multiple deaths and a job loss. The author presents technical concepts in a way that is actually fun to read.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
My favorite book of 2010 not just because I read it in Hawaii but because it is the most simple, inspiring story I have ever read. Follow your personal calling in spite of the defeats and setbacks, and when you overcome them, you will be filled with greater euphoria and confidence. To find your personal legend, which is already written, requires a decision and a plan of action. Once the decision is made, you dive into the strong current that will bring you to places that are even better than you could have imagined.
Life as a Daymaker by David Wagner
Making someone’s day a little better is the mission of this entrepreneur who turned a two-person hair salon in Uptown into a $40 million company. A daymaker is a person who performs acts of kindness while making the world a better place.
Days of Healing Days of Joy by Earnie Larsen & Carol Larsen Hegarty
A short, inspiring passage for every single day of the year. Connects us to the little kid who lives inside all of us.
What are your favorites? Please share.