5 Books Guaranteed to Inspire You


Yes, today is a bookish post, as I share 5 books guaranteed to inspire you.

I have been reading quite a lot this month, which always makes for a happy month for me. If you saw my To Be Read Pile video last week, you’ll know that I got plenty of books for Christmas and I have then since being buying more, and I’ve a vlog up this afternoon sharing my mailbox delights this month, including books, of course!

As well as reading a fair smattering of fiction, I have found myself reading several non-fiction books this month, inspirational reads. From lifestyle to parenting to blogging, all have grabbed me so I am keen to share them with you and I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve read any of these.

5 Books Guaranteed to Inspire You

The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist presents a simple fable, based on simple truths and places it in a highly unique situation. And though we may sense a bestselling formula, it is certainly not a new one: even the ancient tribal storytellers knew that this is the most successful method of entertaining an audience while slipping in a lesson or two. Brazilian storyteller Paulo Coehlo introduces Santiago, an Andalucian shepherd boy who one night dreams of a distant treasure in the Egyptian pyramids. And so he’s off: leaving Spain to literally follow his dream.

I read an interview with Will Smith where he said that this was his all-time favourite book. Aside from the fact that I’m always amazed that people can choose just one book (how do they do that?!) I am always nosy when they do so, so I went and took a look at this one and knew it would be for me.

It’s simply told, almost parable-like. I’m partway through this one and am enjoying it so far, so I’ll report back!

The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking

‘Hygge has been translated as everything from the art of creating intimacy to cosiness of the soul to taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things. My personal favourite is cocoa by candlelight…’

You know hygge when you feel it. It is when you are cuddled up on a sofa with a loved one, or sharing comfort food with your closest friends. It is those crisp blue mornings when the light through your window is just right.

You may well have seen my post recently ‘Can Embracing Hygge Make You Happier?’, and if so, you’ll know that I am all about hygge at the moment, so this one has definitely inspired me and I’m sure it will continue to do so. It’s a fun and interesting read, the kind that you can dip in and out of, though I found that once I started it I read it all that evening! It has ideas and inspiration for bringing a little hygge into your life, which can only be a good thing in winter.

The Happiest Kids in the World: Bringing up Children the Dutch Way by Rina Mae Acosta & Michele Hutchison

In a recent UNICEF study of child well-being, Dutch children came out on top as the happiest all-round. Rina Mae Acosta and Michele Hutchison, both married to Dutchmen and bringing up their kids in Holland, examine the unique environment that enables the Dutch to turn out such contented, well-adjusted and healthy babies, children and teens.

Now I’m not one for parenting guides generally, as I think we all do things our way and there is no ‘right way’ or instruction manual when it comes to raising your children, but for this book I will make the exception.

I’d describe this as more autobiographical and anecdotal than a guide, though it does include lots of facts and practical tips. Rina writes from the perspective of being a mother of a baby through to preschooler and then Michele writes about school-age children. Some of the things making kids happier are ingrained in the Dutch culture (29 hour working week, anyone? No primary school homework?) along with a calmer, less competitive and helicopter-type parenting all around, but there are other more transferable tips that anyone can take away. This one got me reflecting on our parenting, family life and habits in general, and it has given me several take-aways of things that I’m going to be doing differently.

The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World’s Happiest Country by Helen Russell

When she was suddenly given the opportunity of a new life in rural Jutland, journalist and archetypal Londoner Helen Russell discovered a startling statistic: the happiest place on earth isn’t Disneyland, but Denmark, a land often thought of by foreigners as consisting entirely of long dark winters, cured herring, Lego and pastries.

What is the secret to their success? Are happy Danes born, or made?

I spotted this over on Hayley from Home’s blog and as she spoke of it so lovingly, I immediately ordered it!

This book made me laugh out loud, want to move to Denmark and really got me thinking, which has got to be a good combination! No, we’re not now moving to Denmark (maybe one day…?!) but I found it fascinating to read how differently their culture is over there, from work/life balance, the welfare state and education and raising children. Similarly to the book above, it got me thinking about things we could do differently, along with bringing more hygge in!

How to Blog for Profit: Without Selling Your Soul by Ruth Soukup

Whether you have been blogging for years or just a few weeks, How to Blog For Profit (Without Selling Your Soul) offers solid advice and practical action plans for creating an authentic, successful, and profitable blog.

With wit, wisdom, and the insight of someone who’s been there, Ruth Soukup shares how she grew her own blog, Living Well Spending Less, to over one million monthly visitors, earns a full time income, and still is able to write about the things she truly cares about.

One for the bloggers amongst us, I would definitely recommend this one. The book shares Ruth’s blogging journey and learns, with really practical advice on what to look at and things to do differently with your blog. With chapters such as ‘Social Media and Viral Growth’, ‘Growing Your Platform’, ‘Work Smarter, Not Harder’ and sections around Pinterest, affiliate and ad networks, pitching and brand relationships, and so much more, she does seem to have most areas covered here. It has helped me to try a few things differently and it has given me so much more to work on and try, which I will get round to…one day!

What do you think of these books? Have you read any of them or have I inspired you to try one?

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7 thoughts on “5 Books Guaranteed to Inspire You

  • Gail

    Great post Jocelyn, and all of these books look great! I already have The Year of Living Danishly on my to-read list but I think I’ll also add the happiest kids in the world one and the blogging guide. Thanks for the inspiration! x

  • Anne

    I love Paulo Coelho, his website is filled with inspiring quotes. I started with the Alchemist and promise I won’t tell you the ending. Some of his books are little weird but always full of philosophy which I love. The Hygge and Danish books sound good too, I guess it would be good to try something that is successful in other cultures. Also, the blogging book looks interesting, I’ve changed my mind from earning from my blog so many times because I really want it to be more about what I want to write rather than what others want to read. It would be good to combine the too without selling my soul.
    Thanks, this was a really interesting read 🙂

    • Jocelyn Post author

      Thanks, Anne, glad you enjoyed it. I loved reading around different cultures, so much to learn from them. That blogging book is really useful, no soul-selling required! x

  • Hayley @hayleyfromhome

    I would love to read The Happiest Kids in the World one, I find the whole Danish way of life so interesting! I would seriously consider loving there is we could…although it is very cold 🙂 The bloggers guide sounds fab too. Thanks for the mention as well, I recommend that book to absolutely everyone!!

    • Jocelyn Post author

      It is a brilliant book, I absolutely loved it! And I thought about moving, too, but the cold is a huge issue for me! Try the other books, I’m sure you’ll love them x