Tuesday 12 April 2016

Top Ten Books Every Passionate Person Should Read

No, these aren't romance books, it's not that kind of passion, but today's topic for Top Ten Tuesday was difficult for me because I'm a ridiculously eclectic reader and it wasn't easy to find a theme to fit my list around. Eventually I decided that the books I love to recommend the most are the ones which get me all fired up and make me feel something and so this week you have my top ten books to feed your (my) passions!

Because I am also passionate about spreading the love for things I love I've added extra bonus bits of internet based brilliance which might also inspire you and I hope you'll find something in this post to be passionate about and share what makes you inspired in the comments.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

THE FREEDOM WRITERS DIARY by Erin Gruwell & the Freedom Writers and TRUE NOTEBOOKS by Mark Salzman

I wrote about True Notebooks the other day, but basically both these books are about the expectations (or lack thereof) for young people from certain backgrounds and how easy it is for them to be sucked into gangs, drugs, and crime in general because they feel that there is nothing else out there for them. Both books show the power of literacy and creativity to effect change on these young people, although by virtue of situation one has more of a hopeful outlook than the other. I'd also highly recommend the beautiful film of Freedom Writers with Hilary Swank and Imelda Staunton.

Other things to try: Social Justice Book Club (#sjbc)

ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MIRACLE by Barbara Kingsolver and THE THRIFT BOOK by India Knight

Long time readers of this blog will know of my love for AVM. It's becoming an annual re-read when I need gardening motivation! For those who don't know it's novelist Barbara Kingsolver's account of how she and her family moved to Vermont and attempted to feed themselves for a year on just what they could grow themselves or buy locally. People have all sorts of issues with her tone and middle classness (totally a word) but I adore this book and find it absolutely inspiring. The Thrift Book by India Knight is a source of considerable inspiration for me whenever I'm feeling overwhelmed by the amount of money we've spent or the stuff we've bought lately. It goes through everything from thrifty food to thrifty (but good) gifts and holidays to making your own beauty products and I love it!

Other things to try: Ravelry  //  The River Cottage Family Cook Book*  //  Living Well Spending Less

WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINISTS by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and I AM MALALA by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb

I read We Should All Be Feminists, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's short book based on her TED talk during a Minithon a while ago and caused at least two other people that I know of to immediately go and buy it. I literally marked up every other page because I agreed so strongly with what she was saying. This book does exactly what it says in the title; it explain to the reader why it is necessary for everyone to be a feminist, and if you know anyone who needs convincing that they should be one, this is the book to give them! And then to go with that there's nothing like a book about a girl who was actually shot because of her desire for girls to be able to get a good education to remind us all how important and relevant womens rights still are and how much there is still to be done. It's good to be reminded of how much can be achieved by people who aren't afraid to use their voices.

Other things to try: The Feminist Orchestra Book Club (#feministorchestra)


I keep promising myself that I'll review The Artful Parent on the blog, but I never get around to it. It's a beautiful, inspirational book full of information, ideas and projects for incorporating art into daily life with kids. The activities range from small project to large and use almost every conceivable material. Jean Van't Hul, founder of the blog of the same name, is great at providing ideas for workign in music, movement and nature as well as teaching kids about the work of various different artists.

I loved and was hugely inspired by Simplicity Parenting when I first read it, and we've been getting rid of toys and monitoring screen time to great effect ever since, despite being a little sceptical at first! It's really good to remember how easy it must be for kids, especially little ones, to feel overwhelmed by all the things and noises and activity of the world and that calmer and simpler can help them to be more focused.

Other things to try: Pinterest  // Tinkerlab // Nurturestore // Rainy Day Mum // Becoming Minimalist // The Minimalists // Be More with Less // The Simple Show // Slow Your Home

THE YEAR OF YES by Shonda Rhimes and THE HAPPINESS PROJECT by Gretchen Rubin 

I've just started an audible trial (see below r.e Amazon, but I do love the audio books and can't really see any viable alternatives, please let me know if you know of one!) and picked The Year of Yes as my book because people kept telling me it was great and they were not wrong, although I do now have an overwhelming need to watch some Greys Anatomy. Between this and The Happiness Project I just want to take small, positive steps to making my life more fulfilled all day every day! Also, The Year of Yes is as hilarious and empowering as The Happiness Project is inspiring and empowering. So there's that.

Other things to try: Parcels of Joy (#parcelsofjoy)  // The Ninja Book Swap  // Happify  // Happier Podcast

So that's my ten books that make me the most passionate. What are yours? And what other awesome, fire starting, inspiration building resources have I missed? I'd love it if you'd let me know!
*Please note that although I strongly disagree with supporting Amazon and try not to do it, in this case I couldn't find this book anywhere else online so it was unavoidable, because it's a really great book.


  1. I really want to read The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes- and in audio format.

    I guess my only non-Audible suggestion is to check out the Overdrive app and your local libraries. I like Audible because I like to listen at a faster rate than 1x, but a lot of my friends just get audiobooks for free through Overdrive.

  2. Wow. These are some great recommendations, Bex! I live that you went with what inspires passion. You have the neatest ideas! I rather felt like you did about selecting a topic and ended up posting about what children's lit grandma/grandpa should read and share with grandkids! (Silly but unique!) I have yet to read either of the feminist titles, but I hope to get to them. These are inspiring ideas!

  3. I just finished Year of Yes today and OMG I could not have loved it more. I am also a big fan of Gretchen Rubin and listen to her podcast, which is great.