I wanted to share the books that moved me this year. I set a goal to read 25 books by December 31st. I didn’t make my goal. I read 20. I know some people can read a book in a few days. I’ve always been a good reader but a slow reader. I take my time looking for meaning in everything. I also like to read non-fiction that teaches me. When I’m learning, I’m digesting and savoring. That takes time. Are you a speed reader or a slow savorer? It’s my dream to be a fast reader with high comprehension.

Enough about my tortoise-like reading. Each of the following books affected me in a positive way. I highly recommend them. I hope you find them helpful or at least entertaining.


Running on Empty: Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect by Dr. Jonice Webb. This is the book that changed me the most. I found Dr. Webb’s take on how childhood affects our present lifestyle and relationships refreshing and eye-opening. I found her insight on self-discipline particularly interesting. This is my number one recommendation for the year. You’ll see yourself, your kids and your parents in this book.

The Social Animal:The Hidden Sources of Love, Character and Achievement by David Brooks. Brooks looks at humanity and our penchant for rationalism, individualism and IQ, then shows us how true success lies in trust, humility and social connection. I loved the structure of this book. Brooks uses research to make points but the points are made in the midst of a storyline of two hypothetical people whose lives we follow from birth to death.

Hold Onto Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers by Dr. Gordon Neufeld and Dr. Gabor Maté. This book made me think deeply about the world my kids live in. Hold Onto Your Kids talks about the disconnection many kids have with family. The book shows why kids’ friends are not the best attachment sources and how we can become closer with our children.


Hold Me Tight (Not Amazon affiliate) by Dr. Sue Johnson. This is the book on intimate relationships I found the most enlightening and straightforward. It is full of practical ways to address conflict and loss of connection. You will learn relationship changing skills from Dr. Johnson’s work.


The Stranger by Harlan Coben. This is the only fiction book on the list. I could not put it down. It’s a story about a family on the East Coast in modern times. I could relate to the depiction of family life with two teenaged boys. There are suspenseful twists and engaging storylines. This book is for pure pleasure reading.

Beyond the list but worth mentioning

Honorable Mentions: Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton, Wired for Love by Dr. Stan Tatkin

Of course, I can’t talk about my favorite books of 2017 without mentioning the one I created myself. It definitely has a special place in my heart. If you’re interested in finding a calm within yourself and fulfillment within a relationship, The Quiet Rise is perfect for you. Check it out on Amazon or in bookstores near you.

The Quiet Rise of Introverts: 8 Practices for Living and Loving in a Noisy World by some joker living in Minnesota.

If you’re interested in a free ebook and guide to living life as an INFJ ( I know many of you reading my blog are INFJs), click on this link and gain access to The INFJ Personality Guide: Understand Yourself, Reach Your Potential and Live a Life of Purpose by Bo Miller. Bo recently interviewed me for his podcast. I felt at home working with him. His work will resonate with many of you. INFJ personality guide




I hope you have time to kick back and enjoy one or two of the recommendations over the holiday season. I wish all of you the most love-filled and joy-filled holidays. Can’t wait to connect with you in 2018!


With much warmth and care,




*Disclaimer: I get a tiny payment for each book purchased on Amazon through brendaknowles.com.