10 Books That Changed My Life

Not often can I say a book has changed my life. I love reading and over the years have read countless books on all sorts of subjects. When I was younger, I read mostly parenting books. 

I haven't read any of those in many years now. As I've grown older and more experienced at life, I've grown to like myself and not feel I need "experts" to tell me what to do. Most of those books only served to make me feel like I wasn't a good-enough parent anyway. And traveling from one expert's opinion to another only served to confuse me.

There were some books, however, that made a difference for me. In chronological order of life-changing effect are...

10 Books That Changed My Life

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book cover

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding - This was the first book that really had a long-lasting impact on my life. At the time of reading, I was 22 and had just given birth to my 3rd child. After twice failing at nursing, this book helped me to (finally!) be successful at it. I learned what to do, what not to do, and not to listen to doctors and nurses on the matter because very few of them have training on the subject. It was also the beginning of doing what I felt was right rather than doing what everyone else thought was the thing to do.

Whole Foods for the Whole Family Cookbook - While the information in this book was helpful and interesting, I never really implemented a more natural way of eating until a few years after reading it. Still, it planted a seed that eventually led me to discovering a more natural, healthy way of eating.

The Attachment Parenting Book : A Commonsense Guide to Understanding and Nurturing Your Baby - Never could I have imagined the impact that learning about Attachment Parenting would have on my life! Yes, I learned a lot about mothering, nurturing and what is natural for families. Yes, I developed a closeness with my children that, to this day, garner compliments and kudos from others. We are a very close family full of independent, responsible children and adult children.

I didn't stop at attachment parenting. In time, I learned about homebirthing, homeschooling, eco-living and so much more. I went on to...

  • Start a natural mothering newsletter 
  • Spend nearly 10 years operating an online forum where I taught others about attachment parenting and natural mothering 
  • Have a blog and web store spring from that forum 
All of those things are closed down now as my kids are older and my focus changed. Even so, the friends I made in those days are still my friends today. We've grown together. We've been pregnant "together". We've shared in the growing of our families.

Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book Of Homeschooling- I read the original version in 1991, the same year my first child was due to attend Kindergarten. This book spoke to me. It made so much sense. In the end, I chose to send Amy to school to avoid conflict with my family. But the things I read in that book never left me. I never forgot. 

Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Fifth Edition - In 1997, it all started to come together for me. These ideas of natural foods, trying to treat my son's A.D.H.D. without drugs, and natural living finally started finding a place in my life.

This book changed everything for me. I began studying natural nutrition and herbalism. Eventually, I studied aromatherapy too. Life has never been the same. I view so many things differently than I had previously. Health, pregnancy, birth, the medical establishment, Big Pharma.. I developed a different view of them all.

How to Discipline Your Six To Twelve Year Old Without Losing Your Mind - As I said earlier, I use to read a lot of parenting books. I can't recall most of them. I remember P.E.T. (Parent Effectiveness Training) and this one. But it is this one that had an impact on my life which lasted. 

Chore cards, a box for personal items left about to be re-earned, and how to get kids to cooperate to clean the common areas of the home were some of the great How-To ideas in this book. 

From this book, I learned how to respond in a way that produces a positive result from negative behaviors. 

Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year - While Susan Weed and I may disagree things of a more spiritual nature, her books provide a wealth of knowledge in the ways of nature and natural medicine. This book is no exception. It took me through my last two pregnancies. (If only I had known these things for the first three pregnancies!) It is a favorite among midwives, doulas and homebirthing moms everywhere. 

The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to recognize it and how to respond - I had been in an abusive relationship. Once I was out of it, I experienced a life-changing moment which led me to be employed by a local domestic violence shelter. During my training, I was required to read this. 


I learned exactly how to respond to verbal abuse. I learned how to stop the abuser in his verbal tracks, leaving him with no response or way to get control. Stopping him "in his tracks" prevented the physical abuse. Eventually, he left well-enough alone, knowing he would never succeed in "breaking" me. I've seen the same result for others. Excellent book! 

The Bible - "If this list is in the order that you were affected", you may ask, "then why is the Bible so far down on the list?

The short answer is that I took the long, hard road. I had a spiritual foundation but not the correct understanding or heartfelt motivation to pursue a Christian way of life. 

I was 38 years old before I was able to clearly see "the deep things of God" (1 Cor. 2:10).  

Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited - I have often referred to this as "The Bible of Narcissism". It is an invaluable resource for anyone dealing with a narcissist. And since 1 in 20 people are narcissists, I'd say we've all had one, or will have one, in our lives.

My entire family was affected by this book. If only I'd known of it three years earlier than I did. I cannot divulge details. Just know that someone was made safe because we learned how the mind of a narcissist works.

I guess you've learned a bit about me from this post, huh?
What books, if any, have changed your life?

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  1. I share quite a few of your top 10 books: the first 2 La Leche ones, the Bible, and Prescription for Nutritional Healing. That's amazing! I would also add more, but cannot think clearly now since I'm just back from watching my little girl get stitches for a 'minor' farm accident. Time to go lie down for a while.

    1. Hope your daughter is feeling better quickly!


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