≡ Menu

Books that Will Inspire You

Last night it was damp, cold and rainy. It was the perfect evening to snuggle up in my loft and read a good book! I absolutely love to read because it opens my mind to new ideas. Plus, it’s an inexpensive form of entertainment.

Yesterday, while Logan and I were having lunch at Nature’s Kitchen I told him I wanted to write a post about the most inspiring books I read this year. And this morning Oprah gave me the push I needed. She was being interviewed on NPR about the re-launch of her book club.

In the interview, Oprah described how she loved discussing books with others. She noted:

“If you’re reading a book and you tell two friends, it’s better if 10 friends are reading it. And if you can get 10,000, even better.”

Oprah explained that the reading experience was more fun when it was shared. In that spirit, I want to share the most inspiring books I read during 2012. I hope you’ll pick up a copy at your library, local bookstore or amazon.com.

Love & Loss

1. Wild
2. this i know
3. The Mercy Papers
4. The Living End
5. One Hundred Names for Love
6. To Love What Is


1. Daring Greatly
2. Tiny Beautiful Things
3. Quiet
4. How to Publish Your Book
5. The $100 Startup


1. Gone Girl
2. True Vines
3. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
4. A Discovery of Witches
5. The Mortal Instruments Trilogy


1. Instant Love
2. Expressive Photography
3. Snapp Shots


1. I Quit Sugar
2. My Stroke of Insight
3. Everyday Bicycling

Tiny Homes

1. Tiny Homes
2. Go House Go

What books inspired you this year? Leave a comment and share your recommendations. 


In other news . . .

The Kindle version of new book will be on sale until December 22, 2012! Click here to buy a copy.

In addition, I’ve lowered the price of “Smalltopia” and “Go Small, Think Big.” Also, Courtney convinced me to release “Simply Car-free” again. I’m working on an expanded version of the essay collection. If all goes well, it will be available in 2013.

And last but not least . . .

I’m super excited about my upcoming photography course, Everyday Magic! It starts on January 7th. Join us in the new year!



Drawing by Kristin Noelle

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Shana December 12, 2012, 11:26 am

    Hi Tammy:
    Thanks for sharing your list. I have read several on the list, thanks for the recommendations. I am very excited about you re-release “Simply Care-Free”. I have just re-read that after being care-free for over a year now. Looking forward to the update. Have a wonderful Holiday Season. Thanks for sharing your passions.

    • Tammy Strobel December 12, 2012, 1:24 pm

      Hey Shana – Thanks for the sweet comment and for reading the blog. I really appreciate it. 🙂

  • Sandra / Always Well Within December 12, 2012, 11:28 am

    I love hearing about your favorite books. You’ve given me a whole basket of new reading opportunities. Three books that stood out for me this year are Quiet, Wild, and The Power of An Open Question.

    • Tammy Strobel December 12, 2012, 1:25 pm

      @Sandra – I’ll have to check out “The Power of An Open Question.” It sound fascinating. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Becky December 12, 2012, 11:36 am

    One of my resolutions is to make more time to read and more than one person has recommended Gone Girl. I’ll have to see how long the wait is at the library.

    • Tammy Strobel December 12, 2012, 1:25 pm

      @Becky – “Gone Girl” is an awesome read. It’s full of suspense. I think you’ll enjoy it. 🙂

  • Hari December 12, 2012, 11:45 am

    What a great list! I am carefully reading Daring Greatly. Such amazing work. I’m also enjoying her podcast. Thanks for sharing, Tammy! You have been a wonderful inspiration to me in 2012. Thanks for daring greatly.

    • Tammy Strobel December 12, 2012, 1:26 pm

      Ahhh thank you Hari.

      “Daring Greatly” is such a wonderful book. I’ve read it two times and keep referring to it. I love Brene’s podcast too! It’s super inspiring. xo.

  • Mopsa December 12, 2012, 2:58 pm

    Hi Tammy,

    Thank you for the reading suggestions. Several titles caught my interest!

    My books of the year are, perhaps:
    ‘I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was’, by Barbara Sher,
    ‘Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type’, by Isabel Briggs Myers,
    ‘The highly sensitive person’ by Elaine Aron.

    And is that your drawing? It’s lovely!

  • Mopsa December 12, 2012, 3:10 pm

    (Note: I just noticed you indicate the drawing is by Kristin Noelle!)

  • Alicia December 12, 2012, 3:37 pm

    Oh, books. I love to read. The books that stood out for me on your list are Quiet, Tiny Homes, and Daring Greatly.

  • diana December 13, 2012, 9:05 am

    I also loved Gone Girl and Daring Greatly! I am going to venture out and get a few that you’ve mentioned here downloaded onto my Kindle to enjoy in front of the wood burning stove. I have a feeling if you liked them, I probably will too.

    And thank you so much, my friend, for including my book on your list. I hope you have a fantastic, love filled, prosperous 2013 because you certainly deserve it.s <3

  • Brittany December 13, 2012, 9:20 am

    Oh, this is JUST the post I needed to see! I just got a job where I will be spending two hours a day on Tri-Met and I am actually looking forward to it because it will be a chance for me to sit and read! Something I love to do, but don’t always make time for. I’ve been thinking about books I’ve been wanting to read, but now I will check these out, as well. Thanks so much!

  • Natalie December 13, 2012, 11:09 am

    Thank you so much Tammy for your awesome book suggestions. I am never disappointed when I pick up something that you have recommended. 🙂

  • Karol Gajda December 13, 2012, 6:05 pm

    A couple of my favorite books I read this year are The Art of Racing In The Rain by Garth Stein and Sophie’s Choice by William Styron. I would warn you that they both have incredibly sad – tearjerking – moments. They inspired me in the fact that they really made me appreciate the power of the written word.

  • Sarah Amazing December 15, 2012, 2:22 pm

    You should absolutely read “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green. Probably going to win several big awards, but it’s just a thoroughly amazing novel.

  • Angela December 17, 2012, 8:56 am

    Love your blog!

  • Kelly December 17, 2012, 3:24 pm

    Here is what stuck in my heart from my 2012 book readings: One Man’s Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey by Sam Keith and Richard Proenneke; More Readings from One Man’s Wilderness: The Journals of Richard L. Proenneke; Canyon Solitude by Patricia McCairen; Tiny Homes Simple Shelter by Lloyd Kahn; Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck. I am currently on page 50 of your book “You Can Buy Happiness (and It’s Cheap). I’m certain it will be on my favorites list also as I am having a hard time keeping my nose out of it! There are also a half dozen or so blogs that I read faithfully, yours is included! They give me strength, determination and laughter, helping me through the very long workdays. Thank you Tammy!!!!!!!

    • Tammy Strobel December 17, 2012, 5:24 pm

      Kelly – Thank you for the book recommendations. I’ll be sure to check them out. And, OMG thank you for the kind words about my book and blog. I really hope you enjoy the book. Thank you SO much for reading. Happy holidays!