The best books with words of encouragement for creative and spiritual souls

Who am I?

I have expertise on this theme because I've devoted the last almost thirty years of my life to body healing and a soulful path. I've studied the physical body and have a bachelor’s and a master’s degree to reflect those studies. But I needed a deeper understanding and I wanted to find healing laws that didn't apply to the average set of eyes. I spent a lot of years in pain, suffering from severe anxiety and panic, and I needed any help I could get to help me rebuild myself and reclaim my life into something powerful and independent. These books served as my guides in the creation of a brave and soulful path. 


I wrote...

The Taste of Joy: Mediterranean Wisdom for a Life Worth Savoring

By Emily A. Francis,

Book cover of The Taste of Joy: Mediterranean Wisdom for a Life Worth Savoring

What is my book about?

What would you do if you could leave everything behind and start a completely new life? That's what Emily A. Francis did when she moved her family to the Mediterranean during the 2020 pandemic. There, she learned insider secrets to one of the healthiest lifestyles in the world. Now, she shares these secrets so you, too, can improve your wellness and invigorate your soul. The Taste of Joy shows you the value of living simply, mindfully, seasonally, and naturally, while feeding the body and soul. Explore your own path to happiness as Emily recounts her experiences getting to know a new region, its inhabitants, and their culture. With Emily’s thought-provoking wisdom and recipes, get a taste of blissful happiness and discover how to create a quality life you can relish.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality

Emily A. Francis Why did I love this book?

If you are on a spiritual hunt this book would be the one to open those doors and let the light shine in. De Mello was an Indian yogi, Jesuit Catholic Priest, and Psychotherapist. His reflections and insights are deep and wide. This book changed my life. I continue to work in conjunction with the De Mello Center to this day. This book offers insight into the way that we perceive our own reality and invites us to widen the lens. The greatest takeaway from this book is our approach to attachment. He said that as a priest he often heard in confession the priests talk about sex and the prostitutes talk about God. Why? Because they were not allowed to have them in their life, and so they immediately formed an almost addiction to what they cannot have. Instead of simply not having the attachment. Everything comes down to our own awareness of everything around us. I highly recommend this book to all who are seekers and soul searchers. This book is easy to read and you may find yourself contemplating the text for years to come.

By Anthony De Mello,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Awareness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

De Mello's spiritual classic remains at the top of the Fount bestsellers more than five years after its original publication.


Book cover of Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Emily A. Francis Why did I love this book?

I recommend this book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, especially on audio because it is read by the author and it feels like going to tea with your very best friend mixed with your spiritual ferry Godmother. This book is my anthem. I have listened to it well over fifty times. It drives me to go forward not just in my own writing career, but in my whole life. It asks me to question who I am and what I want for my life. It asks me to examine what fears might be holding me back and then move beyond them in pursuit of a life of creativity and passion. This book makes me feel like I’m not alone in my quest to write quality books and get them out into the world. She captures the life of the creative so exquisitely. It’s a must-read, or rather, a must-listen. I recommend this to every friend who wants to do something more with their life. 

By Elizabeth Gilbert,

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked Big Magic as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration from Elizabeth Gilbert's books for years. Now, this beloved author shares her wisdom and unique understanding of creativity, shattering the perceptions of mystery and suffering that surround the process - and showing us all just how easy it can be. By sharing stories from her own life, as well as those from her friends and the people that have inspired her, Elizabeth Gilbert challenges us to embrace our curiosity, tackle what we most love and face down what we most fear. Whether you long to write a book, create…


Book cover of Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

Emily A. Francis Why did I love this book?

This book challenges us to be brave and backs it up with ample research to show us how our lives can be so much bigger than we ever thought possible when we dare to step into the arena and get dirty with our lives. Not only does this book resonate deeply in my soul and wake me up to the possibility that my life is just as valuable and worthy as anyone else’s but she has a Netflix talk about this work and it is guaranteed to fire you up and light a spark under you to get moving! There is no one in the world like Brené Brown. She is the real deal. I could and do listen to her all the time. A doctor of social work, she has thousands upon thousands of research, data, and life experiences to offer her information and insights. You want to play bigger with your life? Start right here. 

By Brené Brown,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Daring Greatly as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

**Now on Netflix as The Call to Courage**

'She's so good, Brene Brown, at finding the language to articulate collective feeling' Dolly Alderton

Every time we are faced with change, no matter how great or small, we also face risk. We feel uncertain and exposed. We feel vulnerable. Most of us try to fight those feelings - or feel guilt for feeling them in the first place.

In a powerful new vision Dr Brene Brown challenges everything we think we know about vulnerability, and dispels the widely accepted myth that it's a weakness. She argues that, in truth, vulnerability is…


Book cover of This Is How I Save My Life: From California to India, a True Story Of Finding Everything When You Are Willing To Try Anything

Emily A. Francis Why did I love this book?

I am recommending this book because it’s a must-read for every single person who has something in their life that needs to be recovered and healed. I became friends with Amy after finding her books and she is truly the real deal. A young woman who had end-stage Lyme disease with no more hope of surviving it, went to India for a possible life-saving stem cell treatment that had an equal chance of killing her as it did of saving her. She takes us with her through India and through her treatment. When she went through all of this, she was not yet a writer, she was just trying to save her life. Now she shares with the world everything she had to learn in order to do that. Her story is heartwarming, terrifying, hilarious, and also heartbreaking. If you or anyone you know is faced with some sort of health challenge and no one can seem to find the path to health and healing, read this book and know that healing happens all around the world in various ways. 

By Amy B. Scher,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked This Is How I Save My Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"A heartwarming and inspiring story that will change the way you look at life." -Vikas Swarup, New York Times bestselling author of Slumdog Millionaire

"An Eat Pray Love-like memoir." -Pam Grout, #1 New York Times bestselling author of E-Squared

When doctors have all but given up, when a diagnosis eludes you, and when every test result raises more questions than answers, how do you save yourself?

By the time Amy B. Scher was twenty-eight-years-old, she had lived through almost a decade of misdiagnoses, excruciating pain, brain lesions, bone marrow biopsies, blood transfusions, and multiple hospital stays to treat her late-stage,…


Book cover of The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

Emily A. Francis Why did I love this book?

I recommend this book because Ruiz breaks down a path to create Heaven on Earth in very simple ways. When I say simple however, do not be fooled. The four agreements are anything but simple. It took me more than two years to fully incorporate the first agreement: Be impeccable with your word. These four simple agreements: Be Impeccable with Your Word, Don’t Take Anything Personally, Don’t Make Assumptions, and Always Do Your Best are insights that, when applied in full to your life, your life will transform into something magical and honest. You may grow and expand as a human being and as part of the sacred consciousness of this planet. I try to read parts to my children but in small pieces. I’d prefer to teach the young these qualities from an early age instead of having to relearn from the conditioning that wasn’t healthy. I try my best to surround myself with people who follow these agreements. It’s a simple book with deep and vast pathways if you follow each one as it is intended. 

By Don Miguel Ruiz,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked The Four Agreements as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In The Four Agreements, bestselling author don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, The Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love.

•  A New York Times bestseller for over a decade
•  Translated into 46 languages worldwide
 
“This book by don Miguel Ruiz, simple yet so powerful, has made a tremendous difference in how I think and act in every encounter.” — Oprah Winfrey

“Don Miguel Ruiz’s…


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Book cover of The Twenty: One Woman's Trek Across Corsica on the GR20 Trail

Marianne C. Bohr Author Of The Twenty: One Woman's Trek Across Corsica on the GR20 Trail

New book alert!

Who am I?

I married my high school sweetheart and travel partner, and followed my own advice to do graduate work, and started my career working for the French National Railroad in New York City, mapping itineraries for travelers to Europe. Travel means the world to me and if I don’t have a trip on the horizon, I feel aimless and untethered. I worked in book publishing for 30 years and dropped out of the corporate rat race to take a gap year abroad. I wrote about our “Senior year abroad” in my first book Gap Year Girl. I returned to the US to teach middle school French and organize student trips to France. 

Marianne's book list on by women about outdoor adventure

What is my book about?

Marianne Bohr and her husband, about to turn sixty, are restless for adventure. They decide on an extended, desolate trek across the French island of Corsica — the GR20, Europe’s toughest long-distance footpath — to challenge what it means to grow old. Part travelogue, part buddy story, part memoir, The Twenty is a journey across a rugged island of stunning beauty little known outside Europe.

From a chubby, non-athletic child, Bohr grew into a fit, athletic person with an “I’ll show them” attitude. But hiking GR20 forces her to transform a lifetime of hard-won achievements into acceptance of her body and its limitations.

The difficult journey across a remote island provides the crucible for exploring what it means to be an aging woman in a youth-focused culture, a physically fit person whose limitations are getting the best of her, and the partner of a husband who is growing old with her. More than a hiking tale, this is a moving story infused with humor about hiking, aging, accepting life’s finite journey, and the intimacy of a long-term marriage—set against the breathtaking beauty of Corsica’s rugged countryside.

By Marianne C. Bohr,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Twenty as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Great for fans of: Suzanne Roberts's Almost Somewhere, Juliana Buhring's This Road I Ride.


Marianne Bohr and her husband, about to turn sixty, are restless for adventure. They decide on an extended, desolate trek across the French island of Corsica-the GR20, Europe's toughest long-distance footpath-to challenge what it means to grow old. Part travelogue, part buddy story, part memoir, The Twenty is a journey across a rugged island of stunning beauty little known outside Europe.


From a chubby, non-athletic child, Bohr grew into a fit, athletic person with an "I'll show them" attitude. But hiking The Twenty forces her to…


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