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It almost feels like Minnesota had autumn for like…a minute. The falls colors in our maples and poplars exploded overnight only to be whisked away by the raw winds of October.
But it’s okay. I know there will be (God willing) more “Octobers” in my future.
I also love the autumn months because it closes the door to the busyness of summer and invites us all to slow down and snuggle in. These are also my reading months when I have the time to wrap myself up in a warm blankie and heavy socks and indulge in a good book. I love a good true crime mystery, but I am also drawn to any book that stirs my soul and inspires me to be a better human.
With that in mind, here are four amazing books that I recommend adding to your reading list ASAP.
4 Soul-Stirring Non-Fiction Books to Read this Fall
Thrive: Living A Self-Healed Life by Valarie Budayr (self-help/inspiration)
This book is exceptionally good at pointing out that everyone has experienced varying degrees of trauma in our lives. We are all broken or wounded in some way. But, as Budayr points out, these wounds DO NOT get to dictate how our life plays out unless we allow them to do so.
Through her own healing journey, Valarie discovered comfort and healing in what she calls The Four Pillars of Healing: Breath, Sound, Movement, and Meditation.
Within the pages of this book, Valarie shares how Breath is a powerful healing tool that is so much more than inhaling and exhaling. She retells the moment that she discovered the joys of Sound Therapy and emersed herself into becoming a Certified Breath Coach. Movement became her saving grace when an autoimmue disorder threatened to take away her mobility. And lastely, she shares how she found out that a Mindfulness Meditation was exactly what she needed to unhook her ruminating mind and just be. For anyone looking for true healing, restoration to wholeness, this book is a “must read.” Remeber, you don’t need to be fixed. You don’t need to be more. You just need to be wholly and vibrantly you.
Budayr’s super-strengths are her optimism, wisdom, generosity, and ability to address tough topics with ease and grace. Thrive is a “must-read” book.~Amazon review
Loved Just As I Am by Melissa McDaniel (self-help/memoir/faith)
Shame is a bully. Shame also works overtime to keeps victims quiet. Author and Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, Melissa McDaniel, shares the story how her idyllic life in the deep south was changed forever when she was sexually assaulted at age eleven. Driven by an incredibly strong faith and the heart of a warrior woman, it took Melissa over three decades to kick the shame bully to the curb and rise up to tell her story. But this is not just a true story of navigating trauma, it is a story of inclusion, racism, love, and a belief that God loves us all, just as we are.
P.s. This book is freaking AMAZING.
The Hand I’ve Been Dealt by Barbara J Mack (memoir)
Barbara J Mack grew up in a loving home on a typical hardworking family farm. Life as she knew suddenly shifted at the age of 20 when a near-tragic car accident changed her life forever. Diagnosed with a seizure disorder during a time when there was little information or support caused her to lean even more on her tight-knit family. Just as her seizures were becoming manageable, a new wrinkle was added to her already challenging life when she unexpectedly became pregnant. Her new role as a single mom led to more challenges, but again the support of friends and family helped her navigate trying times.
Through her whimsical stories of family life and years of heartbreaking medical challenges, Barb’s story educates and inspires others to better cope with the hand they’ve been dealt with dignity and grace.
Murdered By Mistake: My Quest for Justice by Jeanie Hall (true-crime/memoir)
This book was shocking, moving, and was like reading a roadmap with unshakable proof that something horrific and criminal happened in December of 1993. Author Jeanie Hall expertly unwinds a tangled web of lies and deception that resulted the mistaken closed case regarding the death of her next door neighbor. Written off as a “crazy lady” by friends, law enforcement, and even her own family, Hall retells a story (with concrete facts and documentation) of the night hired killers went one driveway too far, murdered her elderly friend (Pearl), and set a fire to cover up the evidence. The timeline of this disturbing story is well-written and meticulous. This book will haunt you from beginning to end and leave you wondering “WTF!” as well. Armed with this book, I can only hope authorities reopened the case so Pearl can finally have justice.