The most recommended self-acceptance books

Who picked these books? Meet our 73 experts.

73 authors created a book list connected to self-acceptance, and here are their favorite self-acceptance books.
Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

What type of self-acceptance book?



By Kristin Neff,

Book cover of Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself

Lauren Cook Author Of Generation Anxiety: A Millennial and Gen Z Guide to Staying Afloat in an Uncertain World

From the list on how to cope and live with anxiety.

Who am I?

I’ve lived with anxiety for most of my life. Whether it’s been with emetophobia (a phobia of vomit) or an intense bout of panic attacks, I know the story well. Now, as a psychologist, I’ve seen up close what works and what doesn’t. I love helping my clients and the audiences that I work with learn how to accept their anxiety, rather than try to make it go away. This is often counterintuitive at first but we can still live an empowered life, even with the anxiety present. When we do this, we’ve unlocked a whole new level of liberation where we can show up fully, worries and all. 

Lauren's book list on how to cope and live with anxiety

Why did Lauren love this book?

This book is a staple in the field of psychology and mental health and for very good reason.

So many of us struggle with being kind to our mind and we worry that we’ll truly fall apart if we are compassionate to ourselves. Dr. Neff brings the evidence-backed research to prove that self-compassion is the antidote to anxiety and it has incredibly restorative potential to help us not only get back to baseline, but truly feel better.

By Kristin Neff,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Self-Compassion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


'Kristin Neff offers practical, wise guidance on the path of emotional healing and deep inner transformation.' Tara Brach, PhD, author of Radical Acceptance

Kristin Neff PhD, is a professor in educational psychology, and the world's expert on self-compassion. A pioneer who established self-compassion as a field of study, Kristin offers a powerful solution for combating negativity and insecurity - the symptoms of living in a high-pressure world.

Through tried and tested exercises and audio downloads, readers learn the 3 core components that will help to heal destructive emotional patterns…


By Anne Appert,

Book cover of Blob

Wendy Greenley Author Of Lola Shapes the Sky

From the list on kids who celebrate being themselves.

Who am I?

A former microbiologist and attorney turned children’s book author, I’m delighted to advocate for children’s self-confidence and critical thinking skills in literature. I like to write about things that I know, to share my passion, and about things I don’t know—to learn more. Stories have been an escape and a learning tool for me and I want to share stories that do the same for children today.

Wendy's book list on kids who celebrate being themselves

Why did Wendy love this book?

This recent title’s combination of silly and earnest has quickly become a favorite. Blob is able to shape itself into being anything it wants to be and it reminded me of my cloud character Lola. But unlike Lola, Blob isn’t sure at first what it wants to be, and the shapes it makes are a journey of self-exploration. As a grownup who has held many varied jobs over the years, the idea of not picking to be any one thing resonates with me. People, and blobs, get to be themselves, whatever that is.

By Anne Appert,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A humorous picture book featuring a blob (n. a creature that can be anything they want) about embracing who we are and the many things we can be.

Blob is a creature of indeterminate kind. Blob can be a giraffe, cotton candy, and even an octopus. It's not until a certain someone continuously calls them "Bob" that Blob starts to question who they really are.

After a series of funny yet enlightening discoveries about all the possible things they can be, Blob realizes that the best thing to be is . . .


(With the L.)

Author, artist, and…

Book cover of The Prince and the Dressmaker

François Vigneault and Jonas Madden-Connor

From the list on graphic novels begging to be on the screen.

Who are we?

We’re a couple of award-winning graphic novel creators who happen to have been friends since middle school. We’ve been enmeshed in films and comic books for our entire lives, and always enjoyed discussing them with each other, sharing hidden gems, and staying up late to pore over what went right (or wrong) when a favorite comic was made into a movie or TV show. We’re in the middle of an ongoing wave of cinematic adaptations, with billion-dollar blockbusters and indie gems alike looking to graphic novels for inspiration. Read these five books now before they show up on a screen near you, and you’ll have the sweet pleasure of pronouncing “The graphic novel was better!”

François' book list on graphic novels begging to be on the screen

Why did François love this book?

A wonderfully charming fairy tale with gorgeous cartooning and character design from creator Jen Wang, this inclusive story features an unlikely, complicated, and ultimately heartwarming relationship between a shy prince with a secret and an ambitious seamstress with the vision to make his forbidden dreams come true. Managing to handle complex issues of identity and personal expression with aplomb, this graphic novel is a great fit for teen and tween readers. It’s equally easy to imagine an animated or live-action version of this feel-good fantasy full of grace, emotion, and spirit. 

By Jen Wang,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Prince and the Dressmaker as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A fairy tale for any age, Jen Wang's The Prince and the Dressmaker will steal your heart.

Paris, at the dawn of the modern age:

Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride—or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia—the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!

Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances—one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears…

Queer Eye

By Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Jonathan Van Ness, Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown

Book cover of Queer Eye: Love Yourself. Love Your Life.

Mary E. Twomey Author Of Angry Girl

From the list on “LGBTQ people are allowed to exist” reads.

Who am I?

I have an inclusive family with LGBTCuties whom I love dearly. I write and read paranormal romance, but quickly realized that my family might not be able to connect with my favorite genre because they don’t often see themselves represented as anything more than tragic plot points. I gaped at the horror that was hard to face, and realized I had work to do. Paranormal romance has enough room for all of us, so I set out to ensure that my children have books to read in my favorite genre, so we can all be one silly, magical family together, casting spells and looking around every corner for shifters and vampires.

Mary's book list on “LGBTQ people are allowed to exist” reads

Why did Mary love this book?

Like every sentient human who loves a good cry, I believe the reboot of Queer Eye on Netflix is a must-watch. Their book is no less important.

The audiobook is read by the cast, and the advice is invaluable. The wisdom ranges from haircare basics to a step-by-step tutorial on how to connect with others. 

By Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Jonathan Van Ness, Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the Fab Five--the beloved hosts of Netflix's viral hit Queer Eye--comes a book that is at once a behind-the-scenes exclusive, a practical guide to living and celebrating your best life, and a symbol of hope.

     Feeling your best is about far more than deciding what color to paint your accent wall or how to apply nightly moisturizer. It's also about creating a life that's well-rounded, filled with humor and understanding--and most importantly, that suits you. At a cultural moment when we are all craving people to admire, Queer Eye offers hope and acceptance. After you get to know the…

I Am Enough

By Grace Byers, Keturah A. Bobo (illustrator),

Book cover of I Am Enough

Tina Koopersmith Author Of What Am I?

From the list on young children to build self compassion.

Who am I?

Children feel all their emotions, but I learned to suppress many emotions to avoid criticism. The youngest, I learned to not trust my intuition. I was taught that the mind was the path to success. In my chosen medical profession, physicians use intellect to heal bodies. The interconnection of thoughts, emotions, energy as well as interconnections between people and the environment are ignored. This separation from all of me was sapping me of the joy of living a full life. During my self healing integration journey: I uncovered limiting beliefs, reconnected with my heart, and dove deep into the source of my pleasure. Bringing this awareness to light should be healing.

Tina's book list on young children to build self compassion

Why did Tina love this book?

This book promotes diversity and inclusion. But beyond that, it reaffirms that we are all more similar than we are different.

We are all packaged uniquely but our desire to be accepted and loved for who we are is universal. And we are all worthy no matter how we are packaged. To be human means we have a range of emotions. This is not a reason to judge another.

And we all have our own thoughts – this too doesn't make us more or less likable – we can agree to disagree. And like my other book, it reminds us that humans are also similar to animals and inanimate objects.

By Grace Byers, Keturah A. Bobo (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A #1 New York Times bestseller and Goodreads Choice Awards picture book winner! This is the perfect gift for mothers and daughters, baby showers, and graduation.

This gorgeous, lyrical ode to loving who you are, respecting others, and being kind to one another comes from Empire actor and activist Grace Byers and talented newcomer artist Keturah A. Bobo.

We are all here for a purpose. We are more than enough. We just need to believe it.

Plus don't miss I Believe I Can-the next beautiful picture celebrating self-esteem from Grace Byers and Keturah A. Bobo!

Book cover of When Life Gives You Mangos

Callie Browning Author Of The Girl with the Hazel Eyes

From the list on the power (and danger) of love.

Who am I?

I’m an award-winning author whose books are all set on my beautiful island of Barbados. Reading and writing have always been a part of my life and I’m obsessed with books that explore other cultures and lifestyles. There’s nothing more intoxicating than reading about new foods and new environments all interconnected by our shared humanity. They could be fantasy books with great world-building or literary fiction that explore a tiny Asian city I never heard about. All of these incredible books have influenced my writing and expanded my knowledge of the world around me. 

Callie's book list on the power (and danger) of love

Why did Callie love this book?

This book touched me. I remember reading it late one night and being instantly transported to a culture that sounded like the one I’ve known all my life.

This is a beautifully wrought children’s book set on the island of Jamaica that explores a child’s search for some semblance of the truth. Along the way, readers will love ‘seeing’ her play games, interact with a hilariously miserable old neighbour and take in the Jamaican culture with wonderment.

By Kereen Getten,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked When Life Gives You Mangos as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Nothing much happens in Sycamore, the small village where Clara lives - at least, that's how it looks. She loves eating ripe mangoes fallen from trees, running outside in the rainy season and escaping to her secret hideout with her best friend Gaynah. There's only one problem - she can't remember anything that happened last summer.

When a quirky girl called Rudy arrives from England, everything starts to change. Gaynah stops acting like a best friend, while Rudy and Clara roam across the island and uncover an old family secret. As the summer reaches its peak and the island storms…


By Katherine May,

Book cover of Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times

Barbara Mariconda Author Of After the Diagnosis...A Guide for Living

From the list on transforming suffering.

Who am I?

From darkness, light. From death, life. I believe this, passionately. When emptied by love, by suffering, by life, it’s possible to fill that space with something greater than ourselves – and that something is God. None of us gets through life without suffering. For me, it was growing up in an alcoholic home and later going through a divorce. The question is, will our suffering destroy us or transform us? Co-author Fr. Tom Lynch and I started Journey of the Soul Ministry to help others transform their suffering into an ability to live more freely and love more deeply. That’s what our book explores, as do my other recommendations.

Barbara's book list on transforming suffering

Why did Barbara love this book?

Katherine May’s Wintering is a treasure for any season of life. This personal narrative, told through gorgeous, evocative prose, describes a period of physical and emotional suffering in the author’s life akin to winter – when the world feels cold and causes us to retreat to a much darker place that we’d prefer to avoid. Ms. May chronicles this painful stage of her life and describes the spiritual “hunkering down” necessary for not only acceptance and healing, but for true transformation, emerging on the other side wiser, freer, and more fully alive. I cracked open this book as the COVID-19 pandemic was at its peak, and May’s wisdom offered a balm of hope during an isolating, stressful time.

By Katherine May,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


'A beautiful, gentle exploration of the dark season of life and the light of spring that eventually follows' RAYNOR WINN

'My favourite book of the last five years' CAITLIN MORAN

Wintering is a poignant and comforting meditation on the fallow periods of life, times when we must retreat to care for and repair ourselves. Katherine May thoughtfully shows us how to come through these times with the wisdom of knowing that, like the seasons, our winters and summers are the ebb and flow of life.

'Every bit as beautiful…

The Star in the Christmas Play

By Lynne Marie, Lorna Hussey (illustrator),

Book cover of The Star in the Christmas Play

Linda Whalen Author Of Little Red Rolls Away

From the list on dealing with emotions and change.

Who am I?

Often, people don’t understand the emotions of a child. The care and keeping of children have been my life focus as a mother of five, 4-H leader, Kindergarten aide, religious education teacher, and owner of Whalen’s Country Childcare. I hold dear the awe and wonder seen in the eyes of a child and hope to forever be inspired by the sight. Since my new book, Little Red Rolls Away was released, I have presented at schools, libraries, appeared in newspapers, magazines, and been featured on CBS Good Day Sacramento. Endorsements include filmmaker Joey Travolta, Founder and Creative Director, Inclusion Films, a company that aims to teach the art of filmmaking to people with developmental disabilities.

Linda's book list on dealing with emotions and change

Why did Linda love this book?

“I wish I was any animal but a giraffe,” said Raffi. Disappointment melts through this little(or not so little) guy like butter in the sun. When children set up hope for something and it doesn’t work out, they are devastated. Raffi realizes that while he is not suited for some things, he is just the right answer for another. Where there is a will there is a way.

By Lynne Marie, Lorna Hussey (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Star in the Christmas Play as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

All of the savanna animals are excited to audition for the school Christmas Play, except Raffi the giraffe. He's too tall to play baby Jesus, or Joseph, or even a manger animal. He feels discouraged, until he realizes that he's just the right size to play the most important part.

This endearing Christmas story for ages 4 to 8 will resonate with children who are still learning to be comfortable in their own skin.


By Gail Carson Levine,

Book cover of Fairest

Elizabeth Lowham Author Of Beauty Reborn

From the list on giving new life to old fairy tales.

Who am I?

My debut novel is a Beauty and the Beast retelling because I’ve been obsessed with fairy tales all my life, and I’m thrilled to share some of my favorite retellings with you! When I was a child, my grandma gave me an illustrated collection of fairy tales. She had grown up reading stories from Hans Christian Andersen and the Grimm brothers, and she wanted to share that with me. It was an interest I gladly adopted. I love seeing my favorite fairy tales told with new twists and elements that bring the stories to life all over again and let me fall in love with them one more time.

Elizabeth's book list on giving new life to old fairy tales

Why did Elizabeth love this book?

Gail Carson Levine has been one of my favorite authors all my life. She and my maternal grandmother are jointly responsible for my deep obsession with fairy tales.

While Ella Enchanted is more well known, Fairest is my favorite of her fairy tale novels. It’s a Snow White retelling that made me truly fall in love with the main character. Aza’s insecurities felt real to me, and I loved the twist that she is not fairest in all the land because of looks but, rather, because of her voice.

This story breaks me down and builds me back up again. I’ve reread it many times and intend to reread it many more.

By Gail Carson Levine,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Once upon a time, there was a girl who wanted to be pretty ...Aza's singing is the fairest in all the land, and the most unusual. She can "throw" her voice so it seems to come from anywhere. But singing is only one of the two qualities prized in the Kingdom of Ayortha. Aza doesn't possess the other: beauty. Not even close. She's hidden in the shadows in her parents' inn, but when she becomes lady-in-waiting to the new queen, she has to step into the light-especially when the queen demands a dangerous favor. A magic mirror, a charming prince,…

Superhero Therapy

By Janina Scarlet, Wellinton Alves (illustrator),

Book cover of Superhero Therapy: Mindfulness Skills to Help Teens and Young Adults Deal with Anxiety, Depression, and Trauma

E. Paul Zehr Author Of Chasing Captain America: How Advances in Science, Engineering, and Biotechnology Will Produce a Superhuman

From the list on the superhero in you.

Who am I?

I got hooked on superheroes from a very early age. My mom grew up in the Golden Age of comics and loved superheroes. She'd bring home a random assortment of adventures—Batman, Iron Man, Flash, Avengers, Justice League, Iron Fist, Captain America. I was especially keen on the martial arts mayhem so many could bring to bear. That got me started (and I've never stopped since) in martial arts as a teen and took me into a career in science. I bring my own interest, my knowledge of martial arts, and my extensive career and training as a sensorimotor neuroscientist as I explore the science of human achievement through the lens of comic book superheroes.

E.'s book list on the superhero in you

Why did E. love this book?

Stories of comic book superheroes resonate in real life and this book vibed with me in a big way.

There are so many superhero origin stories that begin with childhood trauma. I loved this book because Janina Scarlet cleverly explores ways to improve mental health in younger folks with the healing power of superheroes. In so doing she probably prevents the emergence of a few more superheroes or supervillains but she helps so many along the way.

Scarlet wields her great power with responsibility in a read for all of us.

By Janina Scarlet, Wellinton Alves (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Psychologist Scarlet, a childhood survivor of the Chernobyl nuclear explosion, draws on the techniques of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) in this innovative approach to helping readers with emotional and psychological difficulties." 
—Publishers Weekly

"Eye-catching art and a focus on setting simple, achievable daily goals, makes this a promising alternative to more conventional self-help programs."

Winner of the United Nations Association’s Eleonor Roosevelt Human Rights Award!

A hero’s journey always begins with a struggle—what’s yours? For the first time ever, psychologist Janina Scarlet and Marvel and DC Comics illustrator Wellinton Alves join forces to create Superhero Therapy—a dynamic, illustrated…


By Wendy Xu,

Book cover of Tidesong

Stephanie Cooke Author Of Paranorthern: And the Chaos Bunny A-Hop-Calypse

From the list on magical middle-grade graphic novels.

Who am I?

As a kid, I was obsessed with the fantastical, especially when it came to books. I was constantly trying to find my own door to Narnia to go off on an incredible adventure. While I never found a door that led to another world, I found that books offered me a similar experience…and all from the comfort of my fave places to read. Magic is still something I’m enthralled with and love exploring in books I read as well as the ones I write. And these are some of my favorite magical graphic novels.

Stephanie's book list on magical middle-grade graphic novels

Why did Stephanie love this book?

If, like me, you’re a fan of Studio Ghibli films like Spirited Away or Ponyo, then this graphic novel is for you. It not only tackles a story revolving around growing up with magic but it adds in many other things that many of us have struggled with such as family expectations, living up to your potential, and more. Of course, everything feels a little more exciting when magic is added to the mix, but those themes that exist in the real world ground this story and allow for a strong connection to Sophie, our young protagonist.

By Wendy Xu,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Perfect for fans of Studio Ghibli and The Tea Dragon Society, this is a magically heartwarming graphic novel about self-acceptance and friendship.

Sophie is a young witch whose mother and grandmother pressure her to attend the Royal Magic Academy—the best magic school in the realm—even though her magic is shaky at best. To train for her entrance exams, Sophie is sent to relatives she’s never met.

Cousin Sage and Great-Aunt Lan seem more interested in giving Sophie chores than in teaching her magic. Frustrated, Sophie attempts magic on her own, but the spell goes wrong, and she accidentally entangles her…

Book cover of The Self-Compassion Workbook for OCD: Lean Into Your Fear, Manage Difficult Emotions, and Focus on Recovery

Drew Linsalata Author Of Seven Percent Slower - A Simple Trick For Moving Past Anxiety And Stress

From the list on understanding and overcoming anxiety.

Who am I?

I am a podcaster, author, and psychoeducator in the field of anxiety and anxiety disorders. I am also—as of 2022—a graduate student in clinical mental health counseling on the way to becoming a licensed psychotherapist. My own experience with anxiety and depression over 25+ years has fueled a passion for the theory and mechanics behind anxiety disorders and how they are treated. It would appear that my superpower is not only understanding these things, but also explaining them in a way that people can then understand for themselves. If that means I can help, then I’m happy to be doing what I do every day.

Drew's book list on understanding and overcoming anxiety

Why did Drew love this book?

I love this book because Kim Quinlan takes a somewhat nebulous concept and explains it in very practical and engaging terms. People struggling to overcome OCD often wind up beating themselves up and treating themselves very un-kindly, making a difficult situation even more difficult. Kimberley strikes many chords in this book in the way she explains why being kind and compassionate to yourself is so important when working to overcome OCD. She doesn’t stop there. She offers many excellent, practical ways that one can explore and practice self-compassion. A must-read for anyone dealing with OCD.

By Kimberley Quinlan,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Self-Compassion Workbook for OCD as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A compassionate guide to help you manage OCD symptoms, overcome feelings of shame and stigma, and revitalize your life!

If you're one of millions who suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), you're all-too-familiar with feelings of anxiety, panic, shame, and uncertainty. In addition, the stigma associated with OCD can make you feel unworthy of receiving the compassion and kindness you need and deserve. You may even experience unwanted intrusive thoughts that result in harsh self-judgment-which can actually hinder your recovery and lead to additional mental health problems. So, how can you break this destructive cycle and start feeling better?

The Self-Compassion…

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon

By Patty Lovell, David Catrow (illustrator),

Book cover of Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon

Michelle Kaiser Author Of Special Ed and the Bull-ies

From the list on children’s stories teaching kindness and inclusion.

Who am I?

I joined the anti-bullying crusade late in life. After writing my first book, entities were contacting me and asking if I would share their anti-bullying messages on my website. I learned so much about the increasing problem of bullying and how its tentacles reach out to other social issues such as teen suicide, school shootings, and drug use. I thought that Special Ed and the Bull-ies would be my only book but decided that it was important to make it into a series. With each book I can focus on a different aspect of this growing problem and hopefully make a difference in this world.

Michelle's book list on children’s stories teaching kindness and inclusion

Why did Michelle love this book?

As soon as I saw the cover, I fell in love with this book. The illustrations are fabulous, and the storyline is in sync with my anti-bullying books. Poor Molly Lou is – shall we say… unattractive? – and picked on at school. But Molly Lou is a confident young girl with good self-esteem instilled from her grandmother, so the bully doesn’t stand a chance! A wonderful story about a clever girl fighting back without physically fighting.

By Patty Lovell, David Catrow (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Be yourself like Molly Lou Melon no matter what a bully may do.

Molly Lou Melon is short and clumsy, has buck teeth, and has a voice that sounds like a bullfrog being squeezed by a boa constrictor. She doesn't mind. Her grandmother has always told her to walk proud, smile big, and sing loud, and she takes that advice to heart.

But then Molly Lou has to start in a new school. A horrible bully picks on her on the very first day, but Molly Lou Melon knows just what to do about that. 

Book cover of Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers

Karen C.L. Anderson Author Of You Are Not Your Mother: Releasing Generational Trauma and Shame

From the list on difficult mother/adult daughter relationships.

Who am I?

In the 1980s, my mother “divorced” her mother with a letter in the mail. In 2010 I did the same via email. I thought it was just my dysfunctional family, but come to find out, mother-adult daughter estrangement is not unusual and difficult mother-daughter relationships don’t happen in a vacuum, they happen in the context of patriarchy, white supremacy, internalized misogyny, and other oppressive systems. Through therapy and, later, when I trained to be a life coach, allllll my “mother stuff” came up. The tools and practices I learned and developed were so helpful to me, I couldn’t keep them to myself. 

Karen's book list on difficult mother/adult daughter relationships

Why did Karen love this book?

This is one of the first books I read on the subject and it provided so much relief and finally gave me an explanation, not only about why my mother might be the way she is, but why I might be the way I am.

It might be rather simplistic and pathologizing, but in her book McBride discusses how daughters of narcissistic mothers often fall into one of two categories: overachievers and underachievers. As someone who used to identify as an underachiever, it would have never dawned on me that being an overachiever was just as fraught with pain, self-doubt, and shame.

By Karyl McBride,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From experienced family therapist Dr. Karyl McBride, Will I Ever Be Good Enough? is an essential guide to recovery for women with selfish, emotionally abusive, and toxic mothers—designed to help daughters reclaim their lives.

The first book for daughters who have suffered the abuse of narcissistic, self-involved mothers, Will I Ever Be Good Enough? provides the expert assistance you need in order to overcome this debilitating history and reclaim your life. Drawing on more than two decades of experience as a therapist specializing in women’s health and hundreds of interviews with suffering daughters, Dr. Karyl McBride helps you recognize the…

You Are Enough

By Margaret O'Hair, Sofia Sanchez (illustrator),

Book cover of You Are Enough: A Book about Inclusion

Norene Paulson Author Of What's Silly Hair Day with No Hair?

From the list on children’s picture books on inclusion.

Who am I?

As a former middle school language arts teacher, I’ve witnessed firsthand the struggles some students face trying to be accepted and the heartbreak they experience when they are not. Every child deserves to be seen and appreciated for who they are and not be excluded or ostracized due to factors over which they have little control. I write and promote picture books about friendship, acceptance, and inclusion because everyone deserves to be included…always. 

Norene's book list on children’s picture books on inclusion

Why did Norene love this book?

You Are Enough is a powerful book celebrating diversity and inclusion. I literally had goosebumps the first time I read it. Every line is poster-worthy and each page is amazingly illustrated with kids from diverse backgrounds and abilities. Working together, the text paired with the illustrations reinforce the messages that “our differences are what make us special,” “we all belong,” and “you are just right exactly as you are.” 

By Margaret O'Hair, Sofia Sanchez (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A positive, beautiful and inclusive picture book all
about celebrating being yourself from Down syndrome advocate Sofia
Wouldn't it be boring if we were all the same? Being just
who we are is great!

This inclusive and empowering picture book from Sofia Sanchez,
a twelve-year-old model and actress with Down syndrome, reminds
readers how important it is to embrace what makes you unique,
be confident, and be proud
of who you are.

Imagine all of the wonderful things you can do if you don't let
anyone stop you! You are enough just how you are. Sofia is unique,

I Really Want to Win

By Simon Philip, Lucia Gaggiotti (illustrator),

Book cover of I Really Want to Win

Claire Annette Noland Author Of Evie's Field Day: More Than One Way to Win

From the list on help children develop good sportsmanship.

Who am I?

As a children’s librarian, teacher, and parent, I know that children have big feelings. I write heart-filled books that speak to the issues that they deal with while navigating new experiences. I was inspired to write Evie’s Field Day because of the frustrations most children deal with when they lose. I hope that my book will encourage children to enjoy the process of playing sports and games with others and the rewards of being a friend and a good sport.

Claire's book list on help children develop good sportsmanship

Why did Claire love this book?

On School Sports Day, an exuberant girl is already planning her celebration because she knows she is going to win. When she loses several competitions to another girl, she is anything but gracious as she makes excuses and decides sports aren’t her thing. She wants trophies and ribbons so she competes in a spelling bee and dance contest and loses – to the same competitor! Our narrator is mad but when she sees her nemesis lose and happily congratulate the winner, she begins to understand that winning isn’t everything.

Filled with humor and whimsy, this is a book where children can easily identify good and bad sportsmanship as they come to realize that doing their best is what really matters. It also shows that everyone has special talents – they just need to practice to get better.

By Simon Philip, Lucia Gaggiotti (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Really Want to Win as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Today is Sports Day. I CAN'T WAIT! And as I know that I'll be great, I've planned how I will celebrate - because I'm going to win.

Our heroine is determined that she's going to win all the events at school sports day. The problem is that winning isn't as easy as it looks. She doesn't win the running race or the tug of war - and she can't even win a game of hide-and-seek. But maybe winning isn't really the point?

A joyful picture book with an important message from the author and illustrator of I Really Want the…

Book cover of The Practice of Groundedness: A Transformative Path to Success That Feeds--Not Crushes--Your Soul

Nita Sweeney Author Of How to Make Every Move a Meditation: Mindful Movement for Mental Health, Well-Being, and Insight

From the list on why meditation is worth your time and effort.

Who am I?

As a thirty-year meditator, certified meditation leader, and award-winning author, it’s my job to keep up on the latest books about mindfulness and Zen practice. Despite seeing new volumes being published regularly, I return to these books as great sources of solid practice information. Each of these authors explains meditation in accessible terms, easy for readers to follow and understand. I can’t remember who said that a confused reader is an antagonistic reader, but they are right. The books I’ve suggested offer clarity. They help readers begin or continue their practice and understand how and why meditation is worth their time.

Nita's book list on why meditation is worth your time and effort

Why did Nita love this book?

I found Brad Stulberg’s latest book when I was researching my book and immediately toned down my prose to meet the challenge of distilling practices nearly impossible to explain in simple terms anyone can understand. Sound impossible? Brad makes it look effortless. There’s just enough science balanced by personal experience and other anecdotes that what could have been a PhD dissertation (was it?) reads with ease. The power and simplicity make it elegant and ever so useful.

By Brad Stulberg,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Join thousands of readers and learn about the foundations of sustainable excellence and concrete habits for peak performance and a more genuine kind of success.
"A thoughtful, actionable book for pursuing more excellence with less angst." --Adam Grant, author of Think Again and host of the TED podcast WorkLife
"Ambitious, far-reaching, and impactful" -- David Epstein, author of Range

"This book taps into something that so many of us feel but can't articulate." --Arianna Huffington, Founder & CEO, Thrive Global
From the bestselling author of Peak Performance comes a powerful antidote to heroic individualism and the ensuing epidemic of…

Book cover of You're Not Enough (and That's Okay): Escaping the Toxic Culture of Self-Love

Amy Larry Author Of God Above Cancer: Faith When It's Ugly

From the list on true Christian stories to point to God.

Who am I?

I love God stories! Sharing what God has done in my life and hearing others’ stories is a passion of mine. I’ve had a lot of opportunities to grow in my faith; however, nothing matures someone faster than going through a hard season. Mine came when I was a mom of four young children and endured cancer treatments during the Covid lockdowns. I went from feeling anxious and alone to remembering God’s love. Reading others’ stories encouraged me when the weight of life brought me down, and I want to pay it forward by giving the world my story too.

Amy's book list on true Christian stories to point to God

Why did Amy love this book?

Allie uses her struggles during college and the beginning of her career to point out the flaws of selfishness within our culture.

Seeing how to lean on Jesus (who is enough) and not on myself, helped me not worry about being strong or brave during my own suffering. I tend to strive for perfection, but Allie’s stories made me aware of the secular influence in social media and TV shows that push me toward that unbiblical worldview.

Now, I can better point out a misleading message and combat it with the truth found in scripture.

By Allie Beth Stuckey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked You're Not Enough (and That's Okay) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From one of the sharpest Christian voices of her generation and host of the podcast Relatable comes a framework for escaping our culture of trendy narcissism—and embracing God instead. 

We're told that the key to happiness is self-love. Instagram influencers, mommy bloggers, self-help gurus, and even Christian teachers promise that if we learn to love ourselves, we'll be successful, secure, and complete. But the promise doesn't deliver. Instead of feeling fulfilled, our pursuit of self-love traps us in an exhausting cycle: as we strive for self-acceptance, we become addicted to self-improvement.

The truth is we can't find satisfaction inside ourselves…


By Kobi Yamada, Elise Hurst (illustrator),

Book cover of Trying

Martin Kearns Author Of Beneath the Veil

From Martin's 5-year-old's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Writer Theologian Reader Teacher

Martin's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Plus, Martin's 5-year-old's favorite books.

Why did Martin's 5-year-old love this book?

My son loves this book that’s a bit on the high-end for a five-year-old. It opens with a boy stumbling upon a master sculptor, and the artwork immediately pulls you into the story.

The boy is encouraged to try to sculpt and becomes discouraged because he’s not quite as good as he’d like to be. He quits but is told to try. I believe that failure isn’t failure but stepping stones to greatness and this book helps me turnkey this belief into my son.

We revisit this book often, and he’s even made me pick up sculpting clay to create his own sculptures. It’s pretty phenomenal.

By Kobi Yamada, Elise Hurst (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

How will you know what's possible if you don't try? This is a story for anyone who has ever felt like a beginner, or had doubts, or worried they weren't good enough. It's a story for those who have experienced the pain of trying something new and not having it turn out as they had hoped. Written by New York Times best-selling author Kobi Yamada, this captivating book celebrates the way failure is the just the beginning of the journey. With alluring black-and-white illustrations and a powerful message, this beautiful tale is about how failure has so much to offer--lessons…

Jerome by Heart

By Thomas Scotto, Olivier Tallec (illustrator), Claudia Bedrick (translator)

Book cover of Jerome by Heart

Sarah S. Brannen Author Of Uncle Bobby's Wedding

From the list on children’s picture books with LGBTQ+ characters.

Who am I?

I wrote Uncle Bobby’s Wedding in 2005, just after same-sex marriage became legal in Massachusetts. It was published in 2008 and immediately became the target of anti-LGBT attacks. Many people attempted to ban it. Some went so far as to burn it – and then they wrote to tell me they had. It was one of the most challenged books in the country that year, and it was one of the 100 most-challenged books of the decade. I have been deeply involved with LGBTQ+ picture books ever since. 

Sarah's book list on children’s picture books with LGBTQ+ characters

Why did Sarah love this book?

The main character, a little boy named Raphael, loves his friend Jerome. And Raphael loves Jerome for good reasons – Jerome makes him feel protected, Jerome holds his hand, “Jerome always sees me, even when he’s with his friends.” Despite a little opposition from Raphael’s parents, this is the warmest of books about how sweet and life-affirming the love between two children can be.

By Thomas Scotto, Olivier Tallec (illustrator), Claudia Bedrick (translator)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Raphael loves Jerome. I say it. It's easy."
This story follows a little boy named Raphael, whose daily rhythm is steeped in his immense affection for his friend Jerome. The two boys share jokes and snacks and plan future adventures to the Himalayas. Even when Raphael's constant talk of Jerome is driving his parents crazy, he remains steadfast: "Raphael loves Jerome. I can say it. It's easy." And the truth is, when he's with Jerome, Raphael feels happy, liked, and understood- even special. Thomas Scotto's simple, strong, and insightful prose and Olivier Tallec's delightful, expressive illustrations give much emotion and…