Inspiring may not be the search term you use for your summer reading list, but then again, who knows what is precisely inspiring for you? If summer is your season for catching up on your reading, then I have a few titles you might want to add to your list.  I read all year, but thought I might share three books I have recently completed. If you’re ready for intelligent, compelling and thought provoking reads, I have just the list for you.

The list is tiny, but mighty, especially if you are mid-stream in considering some of the bigger life questions. Or even the most basic – what do you want from life?

As I have been writing my book – Journey to Joy, those questions of defining who you are and what you want are themes I’ve sought to add some insight and guideposts towards.

To that end, I have also been reading extensively; in part for the book, but also for my own self knowledge. Books have always been a source of pleasure, knowledge and from time to time, inspiration. My hope is that Journey to Joy will serve a similar purpose for future readers. Until it’s complete, if you have a mind for some books that might spark some thought and dialogue, here are the books I have found compelling.

1. Becoming, by Michelle Obama.

While reading this book I thought how much I would like to meet her and become friends; how amazing it would be to have her in my inner circle. Her book is a reminder that the people we see on the world stage, especially someone of her calibre, aren’t necessarily from wealthy and well-connected families.

When we think politics, we think generations of wealth and privilege and her background is anything but that. What she does embody is someone who understands the power of personal vision and self leadership. She is a great role model for those of us who are asking “what do I want” and secondarily “what legacy do I want to leave?”

I found her grace under pressure, especially within the world of politics, while forging her own path to do good within her undefined role of first lady, inspiring. Young or old, I think she serves as a great role model.


2. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

This book has been on my “to read” list for a few years, I finally bought it a few weeks ago and consumed it within a week. Frankl uses his experiences as a survivor of the Nazi death camps as the basis for his argument that it is through suffering where the meaning of our lives can be found.

Suffering is a part of the human experience and his book resonated with me. Life satisfaction, enjoyment and even fulfillment have come from learning the lessons found within my most difficult life experiences. Once I realized this, then I found the courage to define what I want in life.

Here is a snippet of one of his talks, I think it gives a nice sense of who he is and his passion for the topic about finding meaning.

3. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki

Does this seem counter-intuitive and the opposite end of the spectrum from the former books?

The benefit of reading diversely is the opportunity to invite new ways of thinking; especially towards something as emotion filled as money. Is it time for you to reconsider money and how it fits within the greater question of creating your future?

Kiyosaki’s book discusses how the mainstream thinks about and uses money and how that differs from the wealthy. It is respectful but also challenges you to find the purpose behind your use of money, what you desire from it and yes, even how you can benefit others, while benefiting yourself.

4. You are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero

Bonus mention. This book gives an entirely different vibe around money and is filled with humour and challenges the reader to come clean about their thoughts about money. It’s a great read, and I’ve read it several times. I find it motivating and inspiring, because it helps me feel encouraged to keep on working towards some very big goals.

The two money books work well together, so if you’re of a mind to increase your bottom line, they are worthy investments.

This list of books offer something different and yet all provide the kinds of encouragement and inspiration which can fuel your passion for the path you have chosen. If you choose to read any of these, or have read them, I would love for you to drop a note in the comments. What resonated for you? Did anything spark a new understanding or inspire you to new action?

Thanks for reading and please do feel free to share this post with “your people.” You never know when someone is looking for something that has come to your inbox.