I'm not really a resolution kind of girl--generally I just have Really Good Ideas for the coming year, like "Talk to girls without shaking like a Chihuahua" or "use that daily planner the way it was intended." However, there's nothing like a new year to make a fresh start on, and what better way to set your intentions than with some exciting, inspiring reading material?
These are my favorite reads when I need a boost to the mind, body, or spirit.
The Red Book is a breathtakingly outrageous and tender guide to getting in touch with The Big Unknown and Unseen. It's the smartest book I've read about spirituality, and the one that speaks to me the clearest and brightest. Sera Beak's a jewel, and you should drop in on her blog, Spiritual Cowgirl.
Speaking of potential controversies, I'm just going to link to that Four-Letter One-Word Guide to Loving Your Damn Body and Womankind in General by Inga Muscio, for those of you that like your empowerment sprinkled with expletives.
Girlosophy is a guide to life and a journey through girlhood in all corners of the world. Anthea Paul takes gorgeous photos of every shape, size, and color of women and brings them together with tiny but heady bits of wisdom. There are more books in the Girlosophy series, all about traveling and food and writing and healing your heart. I love them.
The Teenage Liberation Handbook by Grace Llewellyn will make you fall in love with learning all over again. Even if you're not a teenager and unschooling's totally out of the picture, you can find out dozens of ways to learn and grow and change your life and the lives of others.
How to Be an Explorer of the World by Keri Smith gives you a whole new way of seeing the world around us. It has exercises and places to doodle and ponder and document your life. This one's a bit more theoretical than the rest of Keri Smith's crop, but in an accessible, down-to-earth way.
The Teany Book: Stories, Food, Romance, Cartoons, and of Course, Tea is a book about tea, but it's also a book about life, with vegan recipes and herbal remedies in. It's wonderfully designed, clean and bright but with little doodles and crazy photos and asides to liven it up.
The Femme's Guide to the Universe (out of print, but good luck hunting!) is a million times better than any of those other life-as-a-twentysomething-with-lipsticks-and-a-credit-card guides, because Shar Rednour is whip-smart, hysterical, life-loving and mindful of those of us without a trust fund as backup.Plus, I personally find it awesome to read a guide-to-twentysomething life written for girl-loving-girls like me!
The Bodacious Book of Succulence is, oh yes, the ubiquitous SARK, but I think this (and Inspiration Sandwich) is her best work. It's an expansive guide to coaxing your inner muse out of hiding, and what to do with her once she's sitting on the fridge, peering at you curiously and eating all the Oreos.
Poemcrazy by Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge is full of exercises, stories, and poetry to woo your muse off the fridge. It has this delicate quality and nature-based imagery that's soothing and inspiring all in one.
Beauty*licious and Think Pink by Lisa Clark are newcomers to the game, and I never turned down a book just cause it's written for chiquitas half my age. (Hello, 90% of this blog.) They're quirky little guides to life, love, and the pursuit of the perfect back-to-school outfit written from the point of view of a preteen pink-haired diva. They're like brain candy, if candy was secretly good for your self-esteem and taught you a few things about negotiating with your friends, moving your body in ways that makes you happy, and wearing what looks good on you and not your classmates. Awww.