The best books to keep your body, mind, and spirit awake, alive, and free

Connie Sobczak Author Of Embody: Learning to Love Your Unique Body (and Quiet That Critical Voice!)
By Connie Sobczak

Who am I?

I’ve been a free spirit since I was born, but as an adolescent I got trapped by diet culture and believed I needed to change my body. I struggled for six years with an eating disorder and my sister Stephanie died at age 36 from faulty breast implants and malnutrition. Because of these experiences, and wanting my baby daughter to grow up staying lovingly connected to her body (she has!), I created The Body Positive, a nonprofit that has freed millions of people to love and respect their precious bodies. I’m now a full-fledged Wild Woman teaching and freeing other aging women to connect to their soul’s innate wisdom.

I wrote...

Embody: Learning to Love Your Unique Body (and Quiet That Critical Voice!)

By Connie Sobczak,

Book cover of Embody: Learning to Love Your Unique Body (and Quiet That Critical Voice!)

What is my book about?

Embody lovingly reconnects readers to their precious bodies, life force, and authentic beauty. The book’s message is rooted in the belief that people inherently possess the wisdom necessary to create positive self-care behaviors and live peacefully in their bodies. It emphasizes self-love, acceptance of genetic diversity in body size, celebration of the unique beauty of every individual, and intuitive self-care as fundamental to achieving physical and emotional health.

Rather than receiving a prescriptive set of rules to follow, readers are guided through patient, mindful inquiry to find what works for their unique lives to bring aboutand sustaina joyful relationship with their bodies and freedom in their lives. It’s a book that can be read cover to cover, or digested in small, delicious bites.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype

Why did I love this book?

I am in love with Women Who Run with the Wolves! I was given a copy of it a few years ago, and though I'd read parts of it in the past, this time it felt like every word was written for me! I have been transformed by reading this book, and I now use it as a source book for teaching my women’s groups. Every time I read a passage, I feel deeply connected to my soul and my wild nature and am reminded of what I know deep within: that I am powerful beyond belief when I listen to and trust my intuitive voice! The stories touch all parts of my life, and provide inspiration for my decisions, both small and large. I feel free because of this book!

By Clarissa Pinkola Estés,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Women Who Run with the Wolves as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

First published three years before the print edition of Women Who Run With the Wolves made publishing history, this original audio edition quickly became an underground bestseller. For its insights into the inner life of women, it established Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes as one of the most important voices of our time in the fields of Jungian psychology, myth, and women's mysteries.

Drawing from her work as a psychoanalyst and cantadora ("keeper of the old stories"), Dr. Estes uses myths and folktales to illustrate how societies systematically strip away the feminine spirit. Through an exploration into the nature of the…

Book cover of The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love

Why did I love this book?

I met Sonya Renee Taylor in 2017 at a training organized by my nonprofit, The Body Positive. We hugged when we met, and it was one of the warmest hugs I’ve ever received. During Sonya’s keynote address, I was mesmerized by her wisdom and by the incredibly poetic way she shared her ideas about why and how to love our bodies. Her book was published the following year, and it is just as powerful as she is in person. The Body Positive has been teaching people to think about self-love as a radical act since the 1990s, so it’s good to hear a powerful, radical, and poetic voice take up the charge. If you’re needing a boost of self-love and body-love, this book is for you.

By Sonya Renee Taylor,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Body Is Not an Apology as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"To build a world that works for everyone, we must first make the radical decision to love every facet of ourselves...'The body is not an apology' is the mantra we should all embrace." 
--Kimberlé Crenshaw, legal scholar and founder and Executive Director, African American Policy Forum 

"Taylor invites us to break up with shame, to deepen our literacy, and to liberate our practice of celebrating every body and never apologizing for this body that is mine and takes care of me so well."
--Alicia Garza, cocreator of the Black Lives Matter Global Network and Strategy + Partnerships Director, National Domestic…

Book cover of The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach Us about Living Fully

Why did I love this book?

I recommend this book to everyone I know, because it really is as the subtitle suggests—a way to be more fully alive by remembering that we are all going to die! Something that really helped me was the chapter on how to “find rest in the middle of things.” I don’t know about you, but my life is filled with a lot of responsibility, including being a caregiver for my 94-year-old mom. Then there’s everything happening in the world that adds to increased stress levels. Since reading this book, I’ve had more rest, from getaways to 10-minute walks to one simple but conscious breath. The stories shared are profound, and Frank’s gentle manner and wise teachings have been a true inspiration to me. 

By Frank Ostaseski,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Five Invitations as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The cofounder of the Zen Hospice Project and pioneer behind the compassionate care movement shares an inspiring exploration of the lessons dying has to offer about living a fulfilling life.

Death is not waiting for us at the end of a long road. Death is always with us, in the marrow of every passing moment. She is the secret teacher hiding in plain sight, helping us to discover what matters most.

Life and death are a package deal. They cannot be pulled apart and we cannot truly live unless we are aware of death. The Five Invitations is an exhilarating…


By Glennon Doyle,

Book cover of Untamed

Why did I love this book?

What I love about Glennon’s writing (and her podcast) is that she gives people permission to be fallible human beings. Her honesty and vulnerability in sharing her own struggles make her message accessible to all, and validates how I’ve lived my own life—wearing my heart on my sleeve! My mission in life is to continue to peel off the layers of social conditioning so I can express my authentic self a bit more each day, and this book, even simply with the title, inspires me to stay on my path to freedom. I love that she’s not trying to “fix” anyone, but rather to inspire readers to find the courage needed to make the changes that allow us all to feel like we are enough, just as we are.

By Glennon Doyle,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • OVER TWO MILLION COPIES SOLD! “Packed with incredible insight about what it means to be a woman today.”—Reese Witherspoon (Reese’s Book Club Pick)

In her most revealing and powerful memoir yet, the activist, speaker, bestselling author, and “patron saint of female empowerment” (People) explores the joy and peace we discover when we stop striving to meet others’ expectations and start trusting the voice deep within us.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY O: The Oprah Magazine • The Washington Post • Cosmopolitan • Marie Claire • Bloomberg • Parade •…

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

Why did I love this book?

After being transformed by The Power of Now at a time when my whole world came unglued, I was delighted to go further into Eckhart’s work with this book. It’s done wonders to help me recognize and release ego when it shows up. I thought I’d “done” my ego work but realized how much my ego still controls my life. I come back to this book when I need tools to help me soften. I’m someone who likes being right (and believes I am most of the time!), but knowing this is just ego allows me to let others have their experiences without me correcting them! Every time I read this book, I feel a huge weight lifted off my shoulders, and experience more compassion for myself and others.

By Eckhart Tolle,

Why should I read it?

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

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…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in archetypes, body image, and spirituality?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about archetypes, body image, and spirituality.

Archetypes Explore 27 books about archetypes
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And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The Alchemist, The Mists of Avalon, and Tao Te Ching if you like this list.