The best inspirational books on how to turn life’s tragedies into victories

Who am I?

I'm the author of Penelope’s Purple Passions. I've been in love with writing poetry since I was a little girl. I would go under the bunk bed at night with my flashlight and write all these poems about love, not that I knew anything about love, but what I did know was how writing poetry made me feel. I believe love is truly the most valuable gift we can give to another soul in our lifetime. I want my poetry to empower people and be that beacon of light in people’s lives.  Poetry is the avenue where I can spread love and hope globally to anyone who picks up my books.


I wrote...

Penelope's Purple Passions

By Penelope Chaisson,

Book cover of Penelope's Purple Passions

What is my book about?

Penelope’s Purple Passions is a story of the butterfly who innocently falls in love only to find out that love can be complicated, and that it changes and evolves just as she does. She is about to embark upon a life-changing journey—one of self-discovery, transformation, and evolution. Once the butterfly accepts that everything is about growth and evolution, she views her journey differently. It’s as though someone has given her a new lens to see through, and now her vision is clear for her expectations of life, love, and self-worth. Then, there’s the ultimate realization that without the hardships and growing pains, she would not have been able to transform into the beautiful butterfly that she sees when she looks in the mirror.

The books I picked & why

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

By Maya Angelou,

Book cover of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Why this book?

The reason I chose this book is because it serves as an inspiration for anyone who has experienced hurt and disappointment. This book spoke to my soul, I could identify with the feelings of hurt in my life that have caused me to crawl up into a tiny space and isolate myself from the world. I could also identify with feeling like there’s nobody in the world that can identify with the pain that one feels sometimes. The most important takeaway I gained from this book is that we all have hidden gifts inside of us that are waiting to be discovered. And just like Maya in the book, I too know why the caged bird sings. I know what it is to finally say all the things you have been holding inside and how it frees your spirit like a bird in flight.


Man’s Search for Meaning

By Viktor Frankl,

Book cover of Man’s Search for Meaning

Why this book?

This book helped me gain a deeper understanding of how it is important to keep one’s mind in a positive headspace and how that aids you in life. I have always tried to be a positive person and set goals for myself in my life, and reading this book just reinforced the importance. A key point in the book was how having a vision and purpose sets one up for success in the long haul. I believe that finding out what our purpose is in life is something all people truly desire to know. The author also gives many examples throughout the book which illustrate how having a purpose helps a person to get through any of life’s challenges. 


The Diving Bell and the Butterfly: A Memoir of Life in Death

By Jean-Dominique Bauby, Jeremy Leggatt (translator),

Book cover of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly: A Memoir of Life in Death

Why this book?

I chose this book because it focused on the importance of learning to navigate life’s challenges and how to turn them into something beautiful. This book helps you to understand the importance of mind control and using your imagination to create your own reality. I felt like this book placed emphasis on how determination, despite life’s disappointments, strengthens you as a person overall. In my life there have been many things that have not gone the way I imagined them to, but I have used those disappointments as fuel to drive me to obtain even greater feats.


I Hope You Stay

By Courtney Peppernell,

Book cover of I Hope You Stay

Why this book?

This book was chosen because of the deep, profound love that is displayed throughout the book. It speaks to how vulnerable a person makes themselves when they love deeply and how scary that can be. It also speaks to how you can feel so totally lost in loving another person that you forget to love yourself. I could identify with loving so intensely also and having my heart broken. I also identified with the journey of coming to loving oneself again and with that being open to finding someone better. 


Milk and Honey

By Rupi Kaur,

Book cover of Milk and Honey

Why this book?

I recommend this book because it places emphasis on women knowing their self-worth. This book also speaks about loving deeply and not having that love given back in return. I could identify with being in relationships that have made me feel unloved and unworthy. I could also identify with having that eye-opening moment when you come to the realization that you are this beautiful, gifted, wonderful human being worthy of having a person in your life who recognizes and truly appreciates you for all that you embody. The takeaway from this book I gained is to never love anyone more than you love yourself.


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