The best books for personal growth

Who am I?

I spent most of my youth feeling lost and miserable but refused to accept this as my fate and dedicated my life to improving my experience and that of others. I'm not content with just surviving. I want to feel like I'm fully living. I want to be able to say that I regret nothing, and that I said yes to this mysterious and challenging gift that life is. In order to do this I believe in learning from those that have come before me. Books open the door to universes of wisdom and understanding. Being a writer, coach and musician are just roles I play. What really matters to me is to be a human I can be proud of. 

I wrote...

Dare to Be Seen

By Elisa Di Napoli,

Book cover of Dare to Be Seen

What is my book about?

Do you shrink under the spotlight? Discover a powerful method to banish nerves and help you stand out from the crowd. Does public speaking terrify you? Are presentations enough to make your knees knock? Is fear crippling your performance? As a clinical hypnotherapist and singer-songwriter for twenty years, Elisa Di Napoli has played in front of thousands and knows what it is like to suffer at the center of attention.

If you like expert advice on how to defeat anxiety, jargon-free solutions on how to improve your speaking skills, and practical tactics on how to be authentically confident, then you’ll love this groundbreaking resource. Using coaching exercises, hypnotic techniques, and inspiring examples, her life-changing strategies will transform you from camera-shy to someone who dares to be seen.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science

Elisa Di Napoli Why did I love this book?

I love this book because it explains neuroplasticity in a way that anyone without a medical degree can understand. Reading this book helped me put words to what I already experienced in my private practice and made it easier for me to help my clients achieve the results they wanted. The human brain is fascinating but I find most books written by academics on the subject too abstruse. This book clarifies how the brain works and how it changes itself. It is empowering to know that our mental processes can change our brain as well as the other way round. 

By Norman Doidge,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Brain That Changes Itself as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An astonishing new science called neuroplasticity is overthrowing the centuries-old notion that the human brain is immutable. Psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Norman Doidge, M.D., traveled the country to meet both the brilliant scientists championing neuroplasticity and the people whose lives they've transformed-people whose mental limitations or brain damage were seen as unalterable. We see a woman born with half a brain that rewired itself to work as a whole, blind people who learn to see, learning disorders cured, IQs raised, aging brains rejuvenated, stroke patients learning to speak, children with cerebral palsy learning to move with more grace, depression and anxiety…

Book cover of The Dark Side of the Light Chasers: Reclaiming Your Power, Creativity, Brilliance, and Dreams

Elisa Di Napoli Why did I love this book?

I picked this book up because I wanted to understand the concept of the Jungian Shadow more fully. Not only do I understand now how pivotal to wellbeing it is to work with my own and other people’s shadow but I found out how to do this work using simple yet powerful exercises. This book helped me reconcile with the parts of myself that I had been shoving away into darkness and to find acceptance and healing within myself. Working with the shadow is essential not just for artists who want to create more authentically but for anyone who doesn’t want to be unconsciously controlled by the parts of themselves they have unwittingly rejected. 

By Deborah Ford,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Dark Side of the Light Chasers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this enlightening guide, Debbie Ford explains that the dark side of our personality should not be hidden. By denying our dark side, we reject these aspects of our true natures rather than giving ourselves the freedom to live authentically. Here she shows that it is possible to acknowledge and accept our so-called weaknesses, proving that these qualities may be important, hidden strengths. For example, perhaps some 'selfishness' can save us from exhaustion and resentment.

Full of illuminating stories and practical exercises, Debbie Ford shows us how to reconcile our darker impulses and find the gifts they offer. Your life…

Book cover of The New Rules of Marriage: What You Need to Know to Make Love Work

Elisa Di Napoli Why did I love this book?

I absolutely worship the ground this groundbreaking therapist walks on. Terrence Real is the go-to guy not only for anyone whose relationship is in trouble but for anyone who wants to have a better relationship. I have always struggled with relationships and I wish I had known about Terrence Real’s relational therapy model twenty years ago. Perhaps my first marriage wouldn’t have broken down! I am passionate about couple’s therapy exactly because relationships breakdowns can be one of the most painful experiences we as humans have to go through. Learning how to relate in a healthy way to others is essential to human happiness. 

By Terrence Real,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The New Rules of Marriage as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In his extraordinary new book, Terrence Real, distinguished therapist and bestselling author, presents a long overdue message that women need to hear: You aren’t crazy–you’re right!

Women have changed in the last twenty-five years–they have become powerful, independent, self-confident, and happy. Yet many men remain irresponsible and emotionally detached. They don’t know how to respond to frustrated partners who just want their mates to show up and grow up.

Enter the good news: In this revolutionary book, Real shows women how to master the new rules of twenty-first-century marriage by offering them a set of effective tools with which they…

Book cover of Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life: Life-Changing Tools for Healthy Relationships

Elisa Di Napoli Why did I love this book?

Learning to communicate in a way that creates a win-win situation for everyone is a skill. Often we get what we want to the detriment of others or the other way round. Nobody wins and the ultimate consequence is nobody is happy. I really like how practical this book is and how it taught me to speak in a different way entirely! It’s all well and good to know the theory of how negative language can destroy relationships but knowing how to communicate differently is what really matters. I like books with exercises I can put into practice as well as the theory that underpins them. This is what gets me to pick this book up and go through it again twenty years after I first bought it.  

By Marshall B. Rosenberg,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


What is Violent Communication?
If “violent” means acting in ways that result in hurt or harm, then much of how we communicate—judging others, bullying, having racial bias, blaming, finger pointing, discriminating, speaking without listening, criticizing others or ourselves, name-calling, reacting when angry, using political rhetoric, being defensive or judging who’s “good/bad” or what’s “right/wrong” with people—could indeed be called “violent communication.”
What is Nonviolent Communication?
Nonviolent Communication is the integration of four things:
• Consciousness: a set of principles that support living a life of compassion, collaboration, courage, and…

Book cover of A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

Elisa Di Napoli Why did I love this book?

Eckart Tolle is one of my heroes. There is no ego in his writing. It is pure wisdom with no agenda. I first read his books in my twenties and got a lot out of understanding the concept of the ‘pain body’ which, if left unchallenged, can wreak havoc on our lives. I also understood what ‘enlightenment' really is, how to be truly mindful and live in the present, and what truly matters in this life. I know these are big claims but this is possibly the most important book I own and I am truly grateful for the only living spiritual master I can say I truly trust and respect today.  

By Eckhart Tolle,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked A New Earth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?


'A wake-up call for the entire planet. A New Earth helps us to stop creating our own suffering and obsessing over the past and what the future might be and to put ourselves in the now' OPRAH WINFREY

'My No. 1 guru will always be Eckhart Tolle' CHRIS EVANS


Are you ready to change your life?

In Eckhart Tolle's ground-breaking book, he gives you the spiritual framework to:
- Understand yourself…

You might also like...

The Road from Belhaven

By Margot Livesey,

Book cover of The Road from Belhaven

Margot Livesey Author Of The Road from Belhaven

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Reader Secret orphan Professor Scottish Novelist

Margot's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

The Road from Belhaven is set in 1880s Scotland. Growing up in the care of her grandparents on Belhaven Farm, Lizzie Craig discovers as a small girl that she can see the future. But she soon realises that she must keep her gift a secret. While she can sometimes glimpse the future, she can never change it.

Nor can Lizzie change the feelings that come when a young man named Louis, visiting Belhaven for the harvest, begins to court her. Why have the adults around her never told her that the touch of a hand can change everything? When she follows Louis to Glasgow, she begins to learn the limits of his devotion and the complexities of her own affections.

The Road from Belhaven

By Margot Livesey,

What is this book about?

From the New York Times best-selling author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy, a novel about a young woman whose gift of second sight complicates her coming of age in late-nineteenth-century Scotland

Growing up in the care of her grandparents on Belhaven Farm, Lizzie Craig discovers as a small child that she can see into the future. But her gift is selective—she doesn’t, for instance, see that she has an older sister who will come to join the family. As her “pictures” foretell various incidents and accidents, she begins to realize a painful truth: she may glimpse the future, but…

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