wholehearted living

A Self-Love Reading List for the New Year


A few weeks ago, a sweet friend invited our family over for dinner. She made an amazing meal, complete with jarred food from her summer garden, surrounded by home projects she had made herself. She has more kids than I do and seemed totally good with that. Heavens, the apron she wore was probably hand-sewn.

Later that night and through the next day, I had this lingering—barely even noticeable—feeling of less than. Not enough.

The haphazard meals I throw on the table…

The mad dash to school every morning…

The lack of DIY projects in my home.

But I pushed those thoughts aside as soon as I identified them, borrowing the Hands Free Mama’s mantra of “Only Love Today.” Being wholehearted means never putting your worth on the table—even if that table was decked out with really good food. :)

With that said, I’ve got one thing in mind for 2015—a lot more self-love. Maybe it has to do with turning 30 or maybe it has something to do with raising a daughter, but I need to hold my own heart with care. I hope you will too this year.

I’m sure you all agree that books are a fantastic motivator. :)

A Self-Love Reading List for 2015 | 8 books to help you develop a kinder inner voice this year!

A Self-Love Reading List for 2015

1. Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte

Written by a Washington Post reporter / “harried mother of two,” what piqued my interest about this book is all of the reviewers who say she has filled it with research but includes enough personal experience to make the book a page-turner. (Which we all know can be hard to pull off with nonfiction.) They say it’s bent toward parents but applicable to anyone who feels like busy-ness is contaminating their life.

2. 10 Mindful Minutes: Giving Our Children—and Ourselves—the Social and Emotional Skills to Reduce Stress and Anxiety for Healthier, Happy Lives by Goldie Hawn

Celeb status aside, Goldie is on to something with her mindfulness focus. I’m reading this one as much for myself as for my kids.

3. The Abundant Mama’s Guide to Savoring Slow: Simplify, Embrace the Chaos and Find an Abundance of Time at Home by Shawn Fink

The thing that is unique about Shawn is that she isn’t all about scaling down our lives to the bare bones but more about finding how to change our mindsets no matter our circumstances.

4. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown

Considering I’m a Brené Brown superfan, do not even ask me how I haven’t read this one yet! This year is my year. :) If you’re not familiar with Brene’s work, I highly recommend starting here.

5. Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy by Donald Miller

Due to hit the market in February, this is the story of the writer’s decision to be himself no matter the cost, in order to to “impress fewer people and connect with more.” Love that.

6. Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant

I’m grateful to the reviewer who said this book is less instructional more anecdotal—better for inspiration than instruction. Sometimes inspiration is just what a girl needs. (The kindle price is 2.99 right now!)

7. Making Peace with the Image in the Mirror by Steven R. Hawks

A friend of mine, whose taste and opinions I absolutely respect, recommends this book to everyone she knows. No self-love list would be complete without some material on body image!

8. Carry On, Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life by Glennon Doyle Melton

This is one of the few on this list that I’ve already read. If you follow Glennon’s blog, the book may be repetitive to you. But if you are new to Glennon and her community of warrior moms, don’t miss this one. It is a light, funny, hope-filled read that will make you want to embrace this big, messy world.

let why lead

All right, team, get ready for a motherload of questions! Have you read any of these?

Do you have any other self-love books to recommend? (I’d love to have the comments section be an extension of this list!)

Here’s to a kinder inner voice in 2015!


A couple of notes. (1) To my awesome friend who inspired this post: You rock. Don’t change. (2) If you purchase something through a link in this post, I’ll receive a small portion at no cost to you. (3) Update: I recently shared a list of books I’ve read and loved that will all nurture your self-love: Books to Inspire a Kinder Inner Voice. Enjoy!


  • Beth
    January 14, 2015 at 7:51 am

    Yes to the book club! I can’t promise I’ll read them all but there are some on your list that I don’t want to miss out on!!

    • Erica Layne
      January 14, 2015 at 3:25 pm

      Agreed, Beth! I’m not even sure I’ll pull them all off this year, but I’m gonna try! And I’d be happy to share thoughts after I finish each one. We will see…! And come back here and let me know if you read any of them!

  • Amber
    January 14, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    I love your reading list and this topic is right on cue with what we are striving for as a family this year! Slowing down, loving more, stressing less, etc. Thanks for the book list! And your awesomeness!

  • Evanthia
    January 14, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    What interesting titles! I’m definitely going to try to pick up one or two this year. I know what you mean about parenting (especially girls?) forcing you to reflect on your own self-image. Thanks for the suggestions, Erica!
    Evanthia recently posted..Early Literacy: Beyond the AlphabetMy Profile

    • Erica Layne
      January 14, 2015 at 3:25 pm

      Well said, Evie! I couldn’t agree more.

  • Sierra Burton
    January 14, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    You can bet I’ll be adding some of these to my reading list!
    Sierra Burton recently posted..Shenanigans in SeattleMy Profile

    • Erica Layne
      January 14, 2015 at 3:24 pm

      I’m glad, Sierra! Still reading at Panera? I hope so! (Heaven knows I would be!) :)

  • Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom
    January 14, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    Ooooh my. You’ve shared a delicious assortment of books here! I just want to dig in.

    The second books sounds super intriguing. That just might go to the top of my reading list for this year.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Wishing you a lovely day.
    xoxo
    Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom recently posted..Switching to a Year Round School ScheduleMy Profile

    • Erica Layne
      January 14, 2015 at 6:27 pm

      I’m listening to 10 Mindful Minutes right now! So far so good! Glad to have connected, Jennifer!

  • Katie @ Wonderfully Made
    January 14, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    What a great list! I say yes to the book club idea!

  • kristie Young
    January 15, 2015 at 11:45 am

    I am interested for sure.

    • Erica Layne
      January 15, 2015 at 6:15 pm

      Ooh, good, Kristie! Will keep you posted!

  • Susan Smith
    January 15, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    I would be interested in the book club!

    • Erica Layne
      January 15, 2015 at 6:14 pm

      Glad to hear it, Susan! I’ll keep y’all posted!

  • Akirah
    January 15, 2015 at 9:18 pm

    This is wonderful! I’m hosting my first Self-Love Challenge next month and I’ll definitely be sharing this list as a part of it. Thanks for the wonderful suggestions.
    Akirah recently posted..Introducing the February Self-Love Challenge!My Profile

    • Erica Layne
      January 16, 2015 at 4:47 pm

      Thanks so much, Akirah! I checked out your website, and it is so impressive! I love your very clear message.

  • Katie @ Pick Any Two
    January 18, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    I want to read all of these! I’m especially intrigued by #2. Because I’ve always struggled with stress and anxiety, I’m really open to learning how to ensure my children are able to lead a more peaceful existence…and of course help myself in the process, too!
    Katie @ Pick Any Two recently posted..12 Thoughts You Have When You Learn You’re Pregnant with Baby #2My Profile

  • Deb
    January 20, 2015 at 3:43 am

    Yes to the book club! Count me in!

  • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect
    January 31, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    So many good books to read!!! I’d already read this list, but I’m glad you linked up to WFMW! :)
    Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect recently posted..What I’m Into :: January 2015My Profile

  • Richella Parham
    February 5, 2015 at 6:43 am

    Erica, I love this list–and the inspiration behind it! You go, girl–and thanks for encouraging all of us to take good care of ourselves, too.

    Thanks so much for sharing it at Grace at Home–I’m featuring you this week!
    Richella Parham recently posted..Prayer for a midwinter dayMy Profile

    • Erica Layne
      February 8, 2015 at 2:44 pm

      Thanks so much for the feature, Richella! I hope you’re doing well!

  • Michelle Westbrook
    February 18, 2015 at 7:28 am

    Erica, Thanks for linking up to the Sparks of Happiness link up. This post was a perfect fit. I haven’t read any of these books but I am adding #6 (Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It) to my wish list! I shared your post on Pinterest and Twitter :)
    Michelle Westbrook recently posted..Be Kind on Your Morning CommuteMy Profile

    • Erica Layne
      February 18, 2015 at 9:10 am

      Thank you so much, Michelle! It was fun to participate – I just love the concept of your linkup!

  • Nidha
    April 2, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    I’d be interested in a book club! don’t know if I can do every one but if I can I’d definitely participate!

    • Erica Layne
      April 2, 2015 at 7:45 pm

      Great, Nidha! Like I mentioned, it’s the world’s most casual book club. So basically, I just tell everyone what I’m reading and then try to chat about it at the end of the month, either on the blog or Facebook. This month, I’m reading Scary Close. Would LOVE to hear your thoughts toward the end of the month! (Or a little later, because like I said, casual.) :)

  • Pinterest Reading Lists! | Iowa Living Magazines
    November 18, 2015 at 9:30 am

    […] A Self Love Reading List for the New Year:  http://ericalayne.co/2015/01/a-self-love-reading-list-for-new-year.html […]

  • Sparkle #175: Fall in Love with Yourself First! – Pumpernickel Pixie
    February 1, 2016 at 9:44 am

    […] these – self love reading list, 50 songs on self love, free ebooks on self love, quotes on self love, self love […]