Books To Read For Personal Development

The  52-Week Blog Challenge was started by Britts Daily Dose & Sit Back And Just Live. I’m enjoying the challenge as a way to get myself into blogging consistently and it’s fun!  If you want to participate you can too!  All you need to do is 1. post the banner at the top of the post and 2. link both of their blogs in your post!


Whether you are an online book reader, are enamored with the feel of a book in your hands, or like to listen to audiobooks on the go, there’s nothing like immersing yourself into the insightful words of another to help you see things in a new light.  

This week’s challenge is to share a favorite book, but being an avid reader and wishing to bring you more, below are 5 books to read to help inspire creativity and personal development.    

The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion by Elle Luna.Elle-Luna-Crossroads-Should-And_Must

The Crossroads of Should and Must was more inspiring than I could’ve ever hoped.  Each page illuminates the need to follow your passion in order to live a happy, authentic life. Choosing between should and must is the difference between a job and a calling.  Luna sets out to give the reader permission to follow one’s passions, use their gifts, to live a more fulfilling life.  

LONG QUOTE ALERT!! – This quote is too important NOT to include.  So bear with it.  Let it marinate:

“Should is how other people want us to live our lives. It’s all of the expectations that others layer upon us.

Sometimes, Shoulds are small, seemingly innocuous, and easily accommodated. “You should listen to that song,” for example. At other times, Shoulds are highly influential systems of thought that pressure and, at their most destructive, coerce us to live our lives differently.

When we choose Should, we’re choosing to live our life for someone or something other than ourselves. The journey to Should can be smooth, the rewards can seem clear, and the options are often plentiful.

Must is different. Must is who we are, what we believe, and what we do when we are alone with our truest, most authentic self. It’s that which calls to us most deeply. It’s our convictions, our passions, our deepest held urges and desires — unavoidable, undeniable, and inexplicable. Unlike Should, Must doesn’t accept compromises.

Must is when we stop conforming to other people’s ideals and start connecting to our own — and this allows us to cultivate our full potential as individuals. To choose Must is to say yes to hard work and constant effort, to say yes to a journey without a road map or guarantees, and in so doing, to say yes to what Joseph Campbell called “the experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonance within our innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.”

Choosing Must is the greatest thing we can do with our lives.”

The Crossroads of Should and Must is a fitting read for creatives, graduates, and anyone who is looking to get more out of life.  

To follow Elle on Instagram click @elleluna.


Lifestyle Blogging Basics: A How-To for Investing in Yourself, Working With Brands, and Cultivating a Community Around Your Blog by Laura Demetrious.  Lifestyle-Blogging-Basics

Laura Demetrious takes you on her blogging journey from her first blog to where she is now, as well as the hits and misses along the way.  

If you are thinking of starting a lifestyle blog, it is a great resource to help you discover your niche, blog name, selecting a blogging platform, as well as how to get into a blogging routine.  Further chapters discuss how to position yourself to work with brands, how to promote your blog on social media, and creating a thriving community around your blog.  

Starting a blog can be very empowering and can lead you to learn things about yourself and skills you never anticipated.  Being brave and putting yourself out there isn’t for everyone, but if you’ve ever toyed with the idea, you owe it to yourself to give it a try!

To follow Laura on Instagram click @breezyandbrazen.

M Train by Patti Smith.  

This book!  They say you can’t tell a book by its cover, but when I spotted this memoir, I knew the words would be poignant and poetic, weighted in both wisdom and reflection.  It didn’t disappoint.  Inspiring-Reads-For-Creatives

Smith achingly beautiful look at how the losses in life mold us, leaving a lasting impression on the heart as only a musician, poet, and photographer can adequately portray, exposing the pain of losing her husband, the ache of children growing up, and all things in between.  Smith weaves the melancholy of life into a rich tapestry of the heart sharing moments from the past to the present in a free flowing manner.

4 Swoon-Worthy Quotes:

  • “Shard by shard we are released from the tyranny of so-called time. A curtain of purple wisteria partially conceals the entrance to a familiar garden… In a wink, a lifetime, we pass through the infinite movements of a silent overture.”
  • “We seek to stay present, even as the ghosts attempt to draw us away.”
  • “Nothing can be truly replicated.  Not a love, not a jewel, not a single line.”
  • “How is it that we never completely comprehend our love for someone until they’re gone?”

Reading of Smith’s journey and seeing her Polaroids that capture special moments, you realize you have been given the gift of seeing someone completely and unapologetically vulnerable.  It’s next to impossible to not feel moved by such beautifully worded candor. 

Loving My Actual Life: An Experiment in Relishing What’s Right in Front of Me by Alexandra KuykendallLoving-My-Actual-Life-Self-Development

In a world that promotes being busy, we’re left spinning our wheels, rushing from one task to another day in and day out. Life becomes centered around completing tasks without taking the time to appreciate living.  

Alexandra decided to take matters into her own hands with an experiment to loving her actual life.  

“By intentionally adding one thing each month that will make her jump for joy, she provides practical challenge women can easily replicate. With humor, poignancy, and plenty of personal stories, Kuykendall weaves together spiritual themes and practical application into a holy self-awareness, showing women how a few small changes in their routines can improve their enjoyment of this crazy-busy life.”

Maybe you have thought you would like to spend more time being present rather than rushing on autopilot from one task to another.  This may be the spark you need to devote time each day, week, or month with a specifically allotted amount of time to focus on the present with your family, friends, and yourself.  

To follow Alexandra on Instagram click @alexandrakuydendall

Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life by Byron Katie.  Byron-Katie-Loving-What_IS

For those times when you feel short-changed or find yourself getting in your own way, Byron Katie delivers in bringing four questions to turn your thinking around.  All too often we complicate things when what we really need to do is The Work.

“The Work is simply four questions that, when applied to a specific problem, enable you to see what is troubling you in an entirely different light. As Katie says, “ ‘It’s not the problem that causes our suffering; it’s our thinking about the problem.’ ” Contrary to popular belief, trying to let go of a painful thought never works; instead, once we have done The Work, the thought lets go of us. At that point, we can truly love what is, just as it is.”

It’s true that you can only control how you react to something.  Realizing that is the first step in taking ownership of your own happiness.  Reframing your thoughts allows you to approach things the way they are rather than causing more stress, anger, fear by fighting them.  


“Isn’t it marvelous to discover that you’re the one you’ve been waiting for?  That you are your own freedom?” – Byron Katie

Book-Related Hashtags:


What are some books that have inspired you?

For more book recommendations, check out 7 Must-Reads To Motivate Creatives, Bloggers, and Entrepreneurs. 

To follow Sweetsnsnarks on Instagram click @sweetsnsnarks




26 thoughts on “Books To Read For Personal Development

  1. I stumbled across The Crossroads of Should and Must in a bookstore a few years ago and have been meaning to read it ever since! It looked so beneficial for someone to read as they’re making big choices about how to spend the rest of their lives to make sure that they’re moving toward a fulfilling existence, not just one that approximates what other people might approve of. You’ve jogged my memory- adding it to my shopping cart!


    • You’re welcome, Natasha! That was the second book of its kind I have read, where someone focuses on something for a certain amount of time and writes about the experience. The other one is called 52 Cups of Coffee where the author had different roasts of coffee in various cities while interviewing people about their life lessons. I think it would be fun to come up one that relates to ones blog and share. Thank you for commenting!


  2. Other than hitting the beach, I ONLY read books that lead to personal development – whether spiritual, relationship or for my household. I’m ashamed that I haven’t heard of many of these and so will have to add these to my list!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad some of these are new to you and hope you enjoy them. I mostly find them when searching on Kindle with their suggestions. The last few years, I’ve had to read something personally meaningful in some way otherwise it doesn’t keep my interest. Hope you enjoy the books. Please let me know if you have any recommendations! Thank you for commenting!


  3. I love nonfiction books that focus on self-help or self-improvement. I haven’t read any of these yet, so thanks for the recommendations. I’ve been seeing Loving My Actual Life around, so I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it. I LOVE Gretchen Rubin – The Happiness Project, Happier at Home, Better Than Before.



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