The best best books on insomnia

Who picked these books? Meet our 21 experts.

21 authors created a book list connected to insomnia, and here are their favorite insomnia books.
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Mental Health Effects of Covid-19

By Ahmed A. Moustafa (editor),

Book cover of Mental Health Effects of Covid-19

Sharon L. Cohen Author Of Disaster Mental Health Community Planning: A Manual for Trauma-Informed Collaboration

From the list on helping individuals respond to traumatic events.

Who am I?

Sometimes you need to search for the next roads to take in your life; other times these roads approach you. I was looking for new ways to use my long-term communication and mental health advocacy skills and then, sadly, the Sandy Hook shooting occurred. I immediately wanted to help community members ease their pain and assist cities nationwide to greatly improve their disaster mental health response. I never expected a pandemic would arrive only two months after I published, making my book all the more important. Now climate change is exacerbating our already stressful times, and we must act to stem mental health issues before they become out of hand.  

Sharon's book list on helping individuals respond to traumatic events

Discover why each book is one of Sharon's favorite books.

Why did Sharon love this book?

This comprehensive book provides information on the impact of COVID worldwide as it is currently understood, so future researchers will have a basis for comparison. The book’s authors address factors such as lockdowns, job loss, grief, and uncertainty that have led to depression, distress, anxiety, and PTSD. Also covered is how different world populations as refugees, at-risk populations as the elderly and frail, and roles as parents have been both mentally and physically impacted. This information will help communities develop programs to help relieve mental health concerns and protect people against similar threats in years to come. The book also includes wellness activities like meditation that help reduce the negative effects of COVID on mental health.

By Ahmed A. Moustafa (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mental Health Effects of Covid-19 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The physical effects of COVID-19 are felt globally. However, one issue that has not been sufficiently addressed is the impact of COVID-19 on mental health. During the COVID-19 pandemic, citizens worldwide are enduring widespread lockdowns; children are out of school; and millions have lost their jobs, which has caused anxiety, depression, insomnia, and distress. Mental Health Effects of COVID-19 provides a comprehensive analysis of mental health problems resulting from COVID-19, including depression, suicidal thoughts and attempts, trauma, and PTSD. The book includes chapters detailing the impact of COVID-19 on the family's well-being and society dynamics. The book concludes with an…

A Hard Place to Leave

By Marcia DeSanctis,

Book cover of A Hard Place to Leave: Stories from a Restless Life

Charlotte Fox Weber Author Of Tell Me What You Want: A Therapist and Her Clients Explore Our 12 Deepest Desires

From the list on self-help that aren’t about self-help.

Who am I?

I have always cringed to hear my book described as “self-help” because it sounds dry and instructive. I prefer to describe it as a series of therapy stories. Help comes from surprising sources and I love that we can find support in our own imaginative ways. A wonderful book will always be helpful emotionally, and great writers investigate our inner lives and motivations. It’s up to each of us to insist on living exciting lives and books remind us that it’s always possible to have a fresh experience. Self-help often means embracing the complexities. There is no magical solution for figuring out life but great books make living so much better. 

Charlotte's book list on self-help that aren’t about self-help

Discover why each book is one of Charlotte's favorite books.

Why did Charlotte love this book?

DeSanctis is a witty and lyrical writer, and she observes the world with astonishing acuity and insight.

I read this at a moment of feeling unbearably stuck emotionally and I was transported to a worldly sense of fresh possibilities and rich adventures. Restlessness can be a superpower and finally I got validation for being a restless psychotherapist (a profession that prides itself on patience).

This book made me come alive and it bolstered me psychologically in a way that felt incidental and not forced the way self-help books might. It sparked my appreciation for oddities and eccentricities and I urge anyone looking for mischief to start reading this immediately. 

By Marcia DeSanctis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Hard Place to Leave as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Intrepid and empathetic, gifted with the dispassionate gaze of a born observer...a harmonious collage of worldview and character, a wunderkammer of experiences in a life fully lived." -Melissa Febos, The New York Times

"DeSanctis encounters spies and love interests, but it's her lushly polished writing that makes this book a joy to read." -The Washington Post

Vogue's Best Books of 2022

The Washington Post's Best Travel Books of 2022

Restless to leave, eager to return: this memoir in essays captures the unrelenting pull between the past and the present, between traveling the world and staying home.

Starting in a dreary…

The Promise of Sleep

By William C. Dement,

Book cover of The Promise of Sleep: A Pioneer in Sleep Medicine Explores the Vital Connection Between Health, Happiness, and a Good Night's Sleep

Jeff Davidson Author Of Simpler Living: A Back to Basics Guide to Cleaning, Furnishing, Storing, Decluttering, Streamlining, Organizing, and More

From the list on making your life simpler and healthier.

Who am I?

I hold the registered trademark as "The Work-Life Balance Expert®," and work with organizations that seek to enhance their productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. I've spoken to Fortune 50 companies such as IBM, Cardinal Health Group, Lockheed, American Express, the IRS, Wells Fargo, and Westinghouse. My books have been published in 19 languages and have been featured in 68 of the top 75 American newspapers, as well as Time Magazine and the Wall Street Journal. At heart, I'm a simpler living advocate. I believe in giving back to his community and am an active volunteer for Art Space in downtown Raleigh, the North Carolina Museum of Arts, and numerous other civic, social, and charitable groups.

Jeff's book list on making your life simpler and healthier

Discover why each book is one of Jeff's favorite books.

Why did Jeff love this book?

This is the definitive book on sleep!  It is loaded with gems: Your sleep drive keeps an exact tally of accumulated waking hours. Like bricks in a backpack, accumulated sleep drive is a burden that weighs down on you. Every hour that you are awake adds another brick to the pack. The brain's sleep load increases until you go to sleep when the load starts to lighten.

The author emphasizes that your brain keeps an exact accounting of how much sleep it is owed.  Each successive night of partial sleep loss is carried over and the end effect appears to accumulate in a precisely additive fashion. Accumulated lost sleep is like a monetary debt: "It must be paid back." 

By William C. Dement,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This study of sleep ranges from the science of the sleeping brain to the coded world of dreams. It emphasizes the importance of sleep: loss of sleep diminishes motivation, saps the ability to experience pleasure and endangers the body. There is advice on getting enough sleep.

I Will Fight Monsters for You

By Santi Balmes, Lyona (illustrator),

Book cover of I Will Fight Monsters for You

Brian Anderson Author Of Monster Chefs

From the list on children’s books with not so scary monsters.

Who am I?

I’m fascinated with monsters. Always have been. But in a weird way. I was never a scare seeker. I sought out the unique monsters, not the traditional werewolves and vampires. I related to the creatures who were more human than the humans. The ones that struggled to fit in, but if you took the time to get to know them, they were more interesting than anyone you had ever encountered before. And I think that’s a theme I use in my stories. Overcoming your fear of things that are strange or different can open wondrous new worlds.

Brian's book list on children’s books with not so scary monsters

Discover why each book is one of Brian's favorite books.

Why did Brian love this book?

Books teaching kids not to be afraid of the dark can be cliched and a bit preachy. I stay away from books that “talk” to kids. However, while this book does deal with fear and bravery, it does so in a subtle way and feels genuine. The lessons come from the characters and not the writer. This is a sweet story and you will find yourself rooting for Martina.

By Santi Balmes, Lyona (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Will Fight Monsters for You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Two little girls―one human and the other a monster―are afraid to go to sleep for fear of what's living under their beds.

What if an entire world of MONSTERS lived underneath your floor? Martina is having trouble sleeping because she is afraid monsters might break through the floor and bring her into the monster world where she'll have to learn how to scare humans. Meanwhile, Anitram, a little girl monster, is also having trouble sleeping. There's a noisy little human jumping on the bed in the upside-down world under her floor! Martina and Anitram have more in common than they…


By J.R. Johansson,

Book cover of Insomnia

Nichole Giles Author Of Water So Deep

From the list on YA fantasy you should have read ten years ago.

Who am I?

I’m an author of Young Adult Fantasy fiction. When my oldest was six, I started reading Harry Potter to him. It was such a bonding experience that we both cherish. We still talk about the stories, even though he's all grown up and lives away from me most of the time. The thing about fantasy is that stories set in worlds or with people that don’t actually exist make it easier for us to swallow deep meanings, storylines with which we can identify, and that crawl deep down into our souls and nest there. It’s not just about escaping into a fantasy world, but about finding human experience in otherworldly situations and characters. 

Nichole's book list on YA fantasy you should have read ten years ago

Discover why each book is one of Nichole's favorite books.

Why did Nichole love this book?

Every once in a while, when I’m under a lot of stress or experiencing emotional turmoil, I struggle to sleep. At one point a few years back. I went more than a week where I was only able to sleep around an hour or two per night. Needless to say, I was not myself. I love how this story explores the importance of sleep, the long-term effects of not getting a solid amount of it, and what it’s like to lose large chunks of time that you can’t account for. Plus, stalking. There’s a lot of fascinating psychology in this story, along with a best friend whose sense of humor brings valuable comic relief to the situation. Yeah. Another must-read!

By J.R. Johansson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Instead of sleeping, Parker Chipp spends each night trapped in the dream of the last person he’s made eye contact with. Every night he is crushed by other people’s fear and pain, by their disturbing secrets—and Parker can never have dreams of his own. The severe exhaustion from his brain never truly sleeping is crippling him. If nothing changes, Parker could soon be facing the real life nightmares of psychosis and even death.

Then he meets Mia. Her dreams, calm and beautifully uncomplicated, allow him blissful rest that is utterly addictive. There is no denying how badly Parker needs it.…

A Minute to Think

By Juliet Funt,

Book cover of A Minute to Think: Reclaim Creativity, Conquer Busyness, and Do Your Best Work

Jones Loflin Author Of Juggling Elephants: An Easier Way to Get Your Most Important Things Done—Now!

From the list on when you are struggling with too much to do.

Who am I?

Way back in 1994 I decided to build my career on the mission of helping people make better choices with their time. And my goal has always been to keep the solutions simple. I believe we have way too much in our lives that is complex and hard. While my primary work is as a keynote speaker, I have chosen to devote a significant amount of my professional hours to being a coach. I love helping people develop a plan for improvement that is aligned with their values and goals, and then walking with them through their season of change.

Jones' book list on when you are struggling with too much to do

Discover why each book is one of Jones' favorite books.

Why did Jones love this book?

The title says it all! We are so busy doing in our day, we aren’t stopping to reflect on what choices we should be making in support of our authentic selves. In the book she talks about the four “thieves of time.” The one I most resonated with was “Drive.” Not too much… but too little. Because I was in a season where I hadn’t created clear professional goals for myself, I was letting too much time be used for things that didn’t really contribute to my success.

By Juliet Funt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Minute to Think as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"You're going to want to share copies of this book with your overbooked friends and colleagues, but before you do, take some time to read it yourself. Funt's wisdom around making space is priceless." -Seth Godin, author of The Practice

Do you wish you could stop the mayhem of work and life and just take a minute? Do you sense you could contribute more if there were a little more room in the day? Does busyness deprive you and your burnt-out team of the oxygen your talents need to catch fire?

Many have felt that way, yet taking a pause…

The Mindful Child

By Susan Kaiser Greenland,

Book cover of The Mindful Child: How to Help Your Kid Manage Stress and Become Happier, Kinder, and More Compassionate

Stephanie Bosco-Ruggiero Author Of Adopting Older Children: A Practical Guide to Adopting and Parenting Children Over Age Four

From the list on raising emotionally healthy children.

Who am I?

Childhood is a special time but can also be wrought with severe challenges for some children. Children vary in emotional health and resilience, so we must provide extra support to those who struggle. I learned so much from the parents and therapists I interviewed for my book, about their experiences building resilience and emotional health in adopted children. I have a PhD in social work and have worked on federally funded child welfare and child trauma grants. Currently, I am a freelance writer and researcher and teach social policy and research courses at several graduate schools of social work, but my most demanding and rewarding job is being a mom!

Stephanie's book list on raising emotionally healthy children

Discover why each book is one of Stephanie's favorite books.

Why did Stephanie love this book?

Mindfulness has become a more popular concept in the realm of relaxation training, wellness, spirituality, and health, but many books are focused on adults. Children can also practice mindfulness which is having a reflective stance in daily life including appreciating experiences in the moment, being mindful of how you speak to people and of your relationships, incorporating a meditative element to daily life, and reflecting deeply on experiences and learning from those experiences. The author was involved in developing a mindfulness curriculum for school children which has been deemed quite effective in increasing focus and calm and decreasing discord and behavioral problems among children in the toughest classrooms. Check out this book, then try a book on mindful parenting!

By Susan Kaiser Greenland,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Mindful Awareness is a widely used stress-reduction technique that works by enabling people to pay closer attention to what is happening within them - thoughts, feelings, emotions - so that they can better understand what is happening to them. In The Mindful Child, Susan Kaiser Greenland extends her internationally known program to children, showing how they can be taught to be kinder and more compassionate to themselves and others.

Time for Bed, Fred!

By Yasmeen Ismail,

Book cover of Time for Bed, Fred!

Mônica Carnesi Author Of Little Dog Lost: The True Story of a Brave Dog Named Baltic

From the list on picture books for dog lovers.

Who am I?

I am a librarian and a picture book author/illustrator – it’s a perfect combination as I get to spend lots of time around books. I’m also a huge animal lover, with a special fondness for dogs. I can’t resist a picture book about dogs, and it’s no surprise that my first picture book was based on a true story about one very brave little dog. It is not easy to recommend only 5 books, but these are certainly my top favorites both in text and art. Happy reading!

Mônica's book list on picture books for dog lovers

Discover why each book is one of Mônica's favorite books.

Why did Mônica love this book?

When bedtime arrives, where is Fred? A big, fluffy dog, he’s busying himself with everything else, except getting ready for bed. He runs through flower beds and mud, needs a bath, plays hide-and-seek, and finally ask for one more story. Mirroring behavior of any toddler avoiding bedtime, Fred finally gets ready for a good night sleep. Drawn loosely in ink and watercolor, Fred will run away with your heart as well.

By Yasmeen Ismail,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Time for Bed, Fred! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It's time for bed. But will Fred go to bed? You bet he won't! From hiding up trees, and splashing in muddy puddles, to hiding in the kitchen sink and disappearing behind bookshelves, Fred will do ANYTHING to avoid bedtime. He would even prefer to have a bath. But what's this? All that running around couldn't possibly have made Fred sleepy . . . could it?

A delightful bedtime book, destined to become a classic.

The Gwythienian

By Savannah J. Goins,

Book cover of The Gwythienian

J.M. Hackman Author Of Spark

From the list on portal fantasy by small/independent presses.

Who am I?

Indie authors and presses are sometimes dismissed as “lesser-than” and not carried by bookstores. The stories are labeled as “amateurish” or “boring.” (Some are, but so are some books coming from big publishers!) Size doesn’t really matter in the world of publishing. Being published with a small press showed me a realm beyond the huge, traditional publishing houses—it’s populated with fantastic books written by gifted authors who often write, not for fame or money, but because they love writing. I’ve found many hours of enjoyment in indie books (and lost hours of sleep, as well!) I hope, with this list, you find the same.

J.M.'s book list on portal fantasy by small/independent presses

Discover why each book is one of J.M.'s favorite books.

Why did J.M. love this book?

I loved the adventure and world building in this book. Odan Terridor is a fantastical world hidden from most eyes filled with dragons, curious beasties, and a mysterious, powerful stone that makes the main character, Enzi (aka Mackenzie) invisible. As usual, the characters pulled me in. Enzi isn’t your beautiful-but-clueless heroine—she struggles with school, her weight, and a past trauma that’s truly heartbreaking (but tastefully done). It makes her victory at the end of the series so satisfying.

By Savannah J. Goins,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A magic relic missing from another world for years. A Tennessee teen who doesn’t know it’s hers. A dragon who needs it back, and just found out she has it.

He’s not the only dragon watching her now.

Seventeen-year-old Enzi Montgomery had worn the stone around her neck for years. It was set in a cheap metal fitting, nothing fancy.

But it made her wonder if she was crazy.

Sometimes, when she had it on, she could disappear. She couldn't make it happen. It just worked on its own. But always at convenient times, like when she'd needed to hide…

The Coconut Wireless

By Simon Michael Prior,

Book cover of The Coconut Wireless

Ann Göth Author Of Volcanic Adventures in Tonga: Species Conservation on Tin Can Island

From the list on sweeping you to remote islands in the South Pacific.

Who am I?

I am an Australian writer with a passion for all books about the South Pacific. Thirty years ago, I embarked on a two-year mission to the Kingdom of Tonga, and soon after, my job as a naturalist on cruise ships took me to many beautiful, fascinating, and often very remote island nations in that region. Nowadays, my jobs as a writer, scientist, high school teacher, and mother leave little room to navigate to that beautiful part of the world, but I continue to read whatever seems even slightly related to the South Pacific Theme. I hope you enjoy the books on this list as much as I have!

Ann's book list on sweeping you to remote islands in the South Pacific

Discover why each book is one of Ann's favorite books.

Why did Ann love this book?

This book evoked so many memories from my life in Tonga.

Prior’s humorous accounts of his travels in this island kingdom brought back to me the laidback lifestyle, the flexibility one needs to have when living and traveling in “Tongan Time”, the different foods, customs, and attitudes, and most of all, the friendliness of the people. Having been there myself, one thing was clear: Prior did experience the real Tonga.

And having visited several uninhabited islands there, I especially enjoyed the vivid descriptions of his breakaway to a deserted island, which was full of adventure, tropical bliss, and unexpected hiccups. Simply Tonga as it lives and breathes!  

By Simon Michael Prior,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When Simon and Fiona embark on a quest to track down the Queen of Tonga, they have no idea they’ll end up marooned on a desert island.

No idea they’ll encounter an undiscovered tribe, rescue a drowning actress, learn jungle survival from a commando, and attend cultural ceremonies few Westerners have seen. 

As they find out who hooks up, who breaks up, who cracks up, and who throws up, will they fulfil Simon’s ambition to see the queen, or will they be distracted by insomniac chickens, grunting wild piglets, and the easy-going Tongan lifestyle?

Book cover of Dashing Through the Snow, the Story of the Jr. Iditarod

Natalie Rompella Author Of Cookie Cutters & Sled Runners

From the list on middle grade sled-dogs.

Who am I?

Sled dog racing? I knew nothing about it most of my life. I became interested after writing a nonfiction book on the history of sled dog racing. So interested, I wrote a novel on it—Cookie Cutters & Sled Runners. I attended local sprint races and even traveled to Alaska to see the start of the Iditarod. I learned so much watching the mushers prepare and the excitement of the dogs. I still enjoy watching the Iditarod, the Yukon Quest, and local sprint races. I’m excited to share a list of great sled-dog books. What I like about my list is that all the books are so different! 

Natalie's book list on middle grade sled-dogs

Discover why each book is one of Natalie's favorite books.

Why did Natalie love this book?

Dashing Through the Snow tells readers what it’s like to compete in the Jr. Iditarod. This nonfiction book was a great resource when I was doing research for my book. Not only was the text great, but there were photos showing various aspects of the race, including what it’s like to sleep on the side of a sled-dog trail. Anyone who’s interested in the sport and hasn’t heard of a “gangline” or a “dropped dog” will find the definitions in the glossary useful. 

By Sherry Shahan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dashing Through the Snow, the Story of the Jr. Iditarod as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

2005 Mondo Book Shop Level R -- Dashing through the Snow: The Story of the Jr. Iditarod (Paperback)(10"x8.5"x0.15") Written & Photographed by Sherry Shahan ***ISBN-13: 9781593367145 ***32 Pages


By Christopher S. Kilham,

Book cover of Kava: Medicine Hunting in Paradise: The Pursuit of a Natural Alternative to Anti-Anxiety Drugs and Sleeping Pills

Lamont Lindstrom Author Of Tanna Times: Islanders in the World

From the list on kava (piper methysticum).

Who am I?

I first tasted kava in the colonial New Hebrides (Vanuatu today) in early 1978. Since then, I have returned to Vanuatu many times to carry out ethnographic and linguistic research on Tanna Island on a range of issues. Although firmly incorporated within global systems since explorer James Cook visited in 1774, Islanders have fiercely maintained their island culture and languages. In addition to kava and other traditional drug substances, I have published books and articles about local knowledge systems, “cargo cults,” contemporary chiefs, Islander experience in the Pacific War, urban migration, and early Pacific photography. Currently, I am Kendall Professor and Chair of Anthropology at the University of Tulsa. 

Lamont's book list on kava (piper methysticum)

Discover why each book is one of Lamont's favorite books.

Why did Lamont love this book?

Kilham was an early promoter of kava as an herbal treatment for anxiety and other disorders. Kava, in fact, has proven therapeutic benefits and, along with anxiety and insomnia, treats depression, stress, muscle pain, urinary problems, and much more. It also has an emotional leveling effect, promoting temporary feelings of happiness and peace. Kilham brings readers along to Vanuatu and other Pacific Islands as he investigated kava’s local uses and its potential for consumers everywhere. Readers will appreciate the description of his first kava taste of kava that sparked his passionate promotion of the plant.

By Christopher S. Kilham,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Kava, Piper Methysticum, is the most effective relaxing and stress-relieving plant in all of nature. This book is the tale of plant researcher Chris Kilham's investigations into this plant and his far-ranging explorations deep in the South Pacific in search of a source of kava. Kilham takes the reader on an adventurous journey through the mystical native legends, outlandish history, and exciting science surrounding this potent plant. A story replete with pulpit-pounding missionaries, kava-drinking natives, sorcerers, a mysterious Tahitian prince, and the author's own humorous outlook amidst difficult and perilous circumstances, Kava is a must-read for those who love tales…

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

By Jonathan Safran Foer,

Book cover of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Rohit Prasad Author Of The Pilgrim: Inferno Redux

From the list on the aftermath of 9/11 on people’s everyday lives.

Who am I?

I have lived in the US, and particularly lived and worked in New York, for many years. How the events of 9/11 changed the city, its people, and the perceptions of the people all around the country and the world has always intrigued me. 9/11 has put up a prism through which experiences have emanated out in a kaleidoscopic range of stories. A banker by day and a cynical blogger by night, I have traveled the world and have met many interesting people with compelling backgrounds and have experienced many peculiar and beautiful things. I love to explore the confluence of fascinating narrative arcs and life-altering events. 

Rohit's book list on the aftermath of 9/11 on people’s everyday lives

Discover why each book is one of Rohit's favorite books.

Why did Rohit love this book?

A precocious and inquisitive child Oskar goes on a treasure hunt around New York to solve a mystery left behind by his father who had died on 9/11.

In his quest, you see a child seeking to stay close to his father a little while longer. In his streams of consciousness and hyperactive imagination, you feel him trying to fill the void left behind by a supportive father figure.

With the sheer weight of his innocence, he gets strangers to open up to him, let him into their lives, and add to their life stories. In a moving manner, the narrative follows the path that Oskar, his mother and his grandfather take in dealing with trauma and finding closure in their own personal ways.

By Jonathan Safran Foer,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?



From the critically acclaimed author of Here I Am, Everything is Illuminated and We are the Weather - a heartrending and unforgettable novel set in the aftermath of the 9/11

'Utterly engaging, hugely involving, tragic, funny and intensely moving... A heartbreaker' Spectator

'The most incredible fictional nine-year-old ever created... a funny, heart-rending portrayal of a child coping with disaster. It will have you biting back the tears' Glamour

'Pulsates with dazzling ideas' Times Literary Supplement

'It's a miracle... So impeccably imagined, so courageously executed, so everlastingly moving' Baltimore Sun…

Book cover of Wild Horses of the Summer Sun: A Memoir of Iceland

Candace Wade Author Of Horse Sluts: The Saga of Two Women on the Trail of Their Yeehaw

From the list on horse journeys not to be missed.

Who am I?

The me of me is a “late in life rider” and freelance writer—with an edge. I learned to ride horses in my ‘40s when we left the wonders of California for sweet tea, okra, and equine “yard art” of Tennessee. Horses and writing mixed to create Horse Sluts. My political bent led me to craft an exposé on the brutal “training” of Big Lick TN Walking Horses. I still ride and explore the more humorous sides of aging and riding. A stickler for "writing worth reading,” I eschew self-conscious, wandering-lost writing. The books I recommended are well crafted.

Candace's book list on horse journeys not to be missed

Discover why each book is one of Candace's favorite books.

Why did Candace love this book?

Tory Bilski hooked me with her first line. I searched riding trips sites by the end of the paragraph. Wild Horses of the Summer Sun is a crafted odyssey. The book gifts us with Icelandic horses, foreign travel exploration, and the human (and herd) dynamic of a group of women who crave to “be Iceland.”

Tory is a writer in all that the craft implies. Her storytelling speaks to the explorer in us. She guides us around each mystical curve and through a physical (and emotional) blinding fog. She swims us across a (gulp) deep lake. We encounter “Tippi Hedren-esk” killer birds and truculent bulls. We hunger for the “gifts of the earth” meals and well-earned, decadent desserts. Ancient Nordic Sagas of trolls, ghosts and a fatal love affair spice the travelogue.

By Tory Bilski,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wild Horses of the Summer Sun as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Blame it or praise it, there is no denying the wild horse in us.' Virginia Woolf

What if you could steal time out just for yourself each year, a brief reprieve from ordinary life and its responsibilities? Wild Horses of the Summer Sun is author Tory Bilski's witty, sometimes poignant, account of her annual 'horse sabbaticals' to Iceland. She and her travelling companions exhilarate in their freedom, the spectacular scenery, the midnight sun energy and the Icelandic horses that connect deeply to the soul. Each year brings a new discovery about Iceland, about herself and about her relationships with the…

The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook

By Martha Davis, Elizabeth Robbins Eshelman, Matthew McKay

Book cover of The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook

Carol Krucoff Author Of Yoga Sparks: 108 Easy Practices for Stress Relief in a Minute or Less

From the list on for stress relief.

Who am I?

I'm a yoga therapist, health journalist, and author, and my passion is helping people harness the powerful medicine of movement. In my work with hundreds of yoga students and yoga therapy clients, and in my own life—facing some serious health challenges—I’ve found that taking yoga off the mat and into daily life with these simple practices is a powerful way to relieve stress and find ease in body and mind. In our busy, hectic lives, Yoga Sparks offers a welcome chance to pause, breathe, and connect to our inner wisdom. They will help you pay attention and move mindfully through your own precious life. 

Carol's book list on for stress relief

Discover why each book is one of Carol's favorite books.

Why did Carol love this book?

My copy is the sixth edition, but this groundbreaking workbook now offers a seventh edition and is based on the authors’ decades of clinical experience working with clients suffering from varied symptoms of stress including insomnia, worry, hypertension, poor digestion, depression, and anger. This hefty book offers a comprehensive compilation of stress-reduction strategies—including techniques for relaxation, managing time, dealing with stressful thoughts and feelings, and effective communication. The workbook format provides helpful guidance to create a personal action plan for stress reduction.  

By Martha Davis, Elizabeth Robbins Eshelman, Matthew McKay

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Now in its seventh edition-with more than one million copies sold worldwide-The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook remains the go-to resource for stress reduction strategies that can be incorporated into even the busiest lives.

The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook broke new ground when it was first published in 1980, detailing easy, step-by-step techniques for calming the body and mind in an increasingly overstimulated world. Now in its seventh edition, this fully revised and updated workbook-highly regarded by therapists and their clients-offers the latest stress reduction techniques to combat the effects of stress and integrate healthy relaxation habits into every…

Die Noon

By Elise Sax,

Book cover of Die Noon

Kris Bock Author Of Something Shady at Sunshine Haven

From the list on mystery series when you need a laugh.

Who am I?

When I make a snarky remark during a party, chances are one person will catch my eye with the amused look that says, “I saw what you did there.” Everyone else will keep right on talking. But in a book, the reader is right there in the character’s head, which lets your audience catch those subtle humorous comments. In my mystery series, The Accidental Detective, Kate shares witty observations about life with the reader – making Kate funnier than I am. I don’t do as much slapstick and joking (in life or in fiction), but I enjoy writers who pull off those forms of humor well. Humor makes life’s challenges bearable

Kris' book list on mystery series when you need a laugh

Discover why each book is one of Kris' favorite books.

Why did Kris love this book?

Matilda moves to the small New Mexico town of Goodnight after inheriting a house, a small newspaper, and two dogs. She learns just how odd the town is when she starts investigating the murder of a reporter. The town of Goodnight is pretty bizarre, but speaking as someone who lives in a small town in New Mexico, Goodnight is more believable than it might seem to an outsider. I prefer books where weirdness is something to celebrate, and here the characters embrace their crazy with enthusiastic joy. This story is part screwball comedy and part mystery, and both work.

By Elise Sax,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Matilda Dare can’t sleep. Her insomnia is one more reason to move to the quirky small town of Goodnight, New Mexico after she inherits a house, a small newspaper, and two old dogs there. But despite the Goodnight name, Matilda still spends hers wide awake, and she has good reason after a reporter is murdered. With a mystery to solve, she begins to investigate the town and uncovers more suspects than she knows what to do with.

Meanwhile, the hottie cowboy sheriff is doing his own investigation into Matilda, and the mysterious, handsome stranger, who just happens to live with…

Abbott Awaits

By Chris Bachelder,

Book cover of Abbott Awaits

Emma Smith-Stevens Author Of The Australian

From the list on “funny-sad” contemporary novels.

Who am I?

Much laughter is born out of sadness. Humor can be a way to cope or even reinvent our realities in ways that bring relief—and release. There's a misconception that “serious literature” should be humorless; crack a smile and you’re a fraud. However, the worlds and characters that emerge from this way of thinking do not ring true to me. Who among us hasn’t joked to help deal with sorrow? Or to satirize the outrageous? Or simply because life--however brutal—is also sometimes funny? The more a writer allows laughter to intermingle with tears, the more I believe in the story, and the more I enjoy it. That is why I wrote a “funny-sad” novel, The Australian.

Emma's book list on “funny-sad” contemporary novels

Discover why each book is one of Emma's favorite books.

Why did Emma love this book?

Abbott Awaits follows the spectacularly ordinary life of a father with a two-year-old; husband to an insomniac, pregnant wife; and university teacher. Bachelder evokes beauty in the mundane, dazzling splendor in domestic tedium, and in the middle of cleaning up his daughter’s vomited-up raspberries, a revelation that gets to the heart of Abbot’s heart-crushing yet devastatingly funny tour of his wildly imaginative inner life: “The following propositions are both true: A) Abbott would not, given the opportunity, change one significant element of his life, but B) Abbot cannot stand his life.”

By Chris Bachelder,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A quiet tour de force, Chris Bachelder's Abbott Awaits transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary, startlingly depicting the intense and poignant challenges of a vulnerable, imaginative father as he lives his everyday American existence.

In Abbott we see a modern-day Sisyphus: he is the exhausted father of a lively two-year old, the ruminative husband of a pregnant insomniac, and the confused owner of a terrified dog. Confronted by a flooded basement, a broken refrigerator, a urine-soaked carpet, and a literal snake in the woodpile, Abbott endures the beauty and hopelessness of each moment, often while contemplating evolutionary history, altruism, or…

The Guilty One

By Bill Schweigart,

Book cover of The Guilty One

T. R. Hendricks Author Of The Instructor

From the list on thrillers that capture and bring awareness to PTSD.

Who am I?

My therapeutic journey with PTSD has been a long and bumpy road that I still work through to this day, close to fifteen years now. Given the silent suffering that so many go through, I feel that the more we talk about and advocate for seeking help the more people we can save. The common thread with my picks is resiliency. The characters face their symptoms and don’t give in to them. If a thriller novel can reach someone because they identify with the struggles discussed in the pages, then maybe that book can be the bridge to them finally getting the help they need.

T. R.'s book list on thrillers that capture and bring awareness to PTSD

Discover why each book is one of T. R.'s favorite books.

Why did T. R. love this book?

The one book on my list that doesn’t involve a military veteran, The Guilty One isn’t that much of an outlier as the protagonist is a law enforcement officer.

I thought it important to include amongst my picks not only for the PTSD symptoms present and expertly portrayed by Schweigart, but also for the reminder that a PTSD diagnosis is not relegated to veterans alone.

Military, first responders, and civilians alike that are exposed to and suffer from experiencing trauma are all susceptible to symptoms. PTSD doesn’t discriminate in who it affects. 

What I really liked about Bill’s take was how he incorporated the well-documented physiological effect of the brain’s ability to protect the host in response to trauma.

In the case of his protagonist Cal Farrell, who is the first officer to respond to an active shooter event, he comes upon a scene so horrible that his mind closes…

By Bill Schweigart,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A hero cop thwarts a brutal murder and can’t remember a thing about it. But memories return—and so do the nightmares in this breathlessly paced thriller for fans of David Ricciardi and Michael Connelly.

Every town needs a hero—and Detective Cal Farrell fits the bill. He stopped an active shooter six months earlier, and now he’s become the darling of the Alexandria press. The problem is that Cal remembers nothing from that day. He’s working with a psychiatrist to recover his memories, but hasn’t had much luck.

Then, on one of his morning runs, he is once again the first…