12 Best Books to Encourage a More Abundant Life

More time and space to read is one of my favorite benefits of pursuing a life of less. I know, it feels like I say that last part a lot doesn’t it? I guess I just can’t help it. The benefits are many, but a newfound love of reading is definitely in my top five.

In many ways I’m a different person than I was prior to minimalism, but I can’t really give “minimalism” the credit. Uncluttering our lives simply clears the path. What we do with that path is up to us.

I love to read! Like love-love. I’ve learned and grown so much. 

Click here to read more about how I became a reader with young kids at home. 

As this year comes to an end, I wanted to share a handful of my favorite reads from 2018. While you’ll certainly notice a simplicity theme, they aren’t all books on minimalism

Each of these books have inspired, challenged, or motivated me in new and unique ways to become a better version of myself and love people on purpose. 

Drumroll please…..

My favorite reads of 2018…Plus 4 Books I Can’t Wait to Read in 2019

How to Be Rich by Andy Stanley

Spoiler alert. You’re already rich. This book takes us away from ourselves, a place it’s all too easy to get stuck, and helps us see what we have for what it is. Enough.

How to Be Rich: It's Not What You Have. It's What You Do With What You Have.


“Whenever we have more than we need, our natural assumption will be that it’s for our own consumption.” – Andy Stanley

I’ve been learning that living abundantly goes hand in hand with giving abundantly. You can’t have one without the other.

Soulful Simplicity by Courtney Carver

A friend of mine thought I’d love this book and loaned me her copy. She was absolutely right! After reading just a page I wanted to underline it all!! But since it was hers, I knew I had to resist my rapidly growing urge to mark up all of my favorite parts.

Well a couple of chapters in, I spilled my water bottle all over that book. Maybe my subconscious did it on purpose. Sorry Brenna. I took it as a sign and totally made this book my own. Don’t worry, I replaced her copy.

It would take a whole post to tell you all of the things I loved about this book, but I’ll trust you to pick up your own copy. Oh, and if you purchase this book during the month of December, 2018, $1 of every sale goes to help Back On My Feet.

One of my favorite chapters was chapter 28, Adopt the Pace of Nature. It’s helped me slow down on those days when I’m rushing for the sake of rushing. 

“Overreacting never comes from a calm, peaceful, present place. Anytime I’ve overreacted, I wasn’t present. I was distracted, tired, or removed in another way. I wasn’t really there. For a while I thought I was creating time to do more, but what I was really doing was creating the presence of mind to show up. To show all the way up.” – Courtney Carver

Everybody Always by Bob Goff

Bob Goff is just hysterical. How one human being has had so many edge of your seat stories is just beyond me. You never know what’s next with this guy. 

In Everybody Always, Bob Goff reveals how much we have overcomplicated the practice of loving people like Jesus did. 

“Loving people means caring without an agenda. As soon as we have an agenda, it’s not love anymore. It’s acting like you care to get someone to do what you want or what you think God wants them to do. Do less of that, and people will see a lot less of you and more of Jesus.” – Bob Goff

Whenever I make my opinions more important than the difficult people God made, I turn the wine back into water. I’m trying to resist the bait that darkness offers me everyday to trade kindness for rightness.” – Bob Goff

I have every intention of reading this book again in 2019. I trust you’ll hold me accountable to that. In this life there’s nothing more important to me than reflecting the face of Jesus. This is best accomplished by loving everybody. Always

Essentialism by Greg McKeown

This one deserves a standing ovation. It’s a New York Times Bestseller and for good reason.

It covers so much and every bit of it was a jaw dropping revelation. From his definition of an essentialist to the concepts of decision fatigue, protecting the asset, sunk cost bias and trade-offs, it will change your life if you let it. 

“What if the whole world shifted from the undisciplined pursuit of more to the disciplined pursuit of less…only better? I have a vision of all these people courageously doing what they came here on this earth to do.” – Greg McKeown

Finish by Jon Acuff

Jon Acuff used to believe the biggest problem people had with accomplishing goals had to do with getting started. Makes sense. But after his first book Start, he learned starting is not the problem. We start stuff all the time! It’s seeing it all the way through that’s got us curled up in the fetal position or walking away all together.

In this book he talks about the allure of time management, noble obstacles and many other reasons we never seem to get from point a to z.

Finish helped me see just how much my perfectionist side was keeping me from accomplishing both big and little goals. 

“Perfectionism trots out a laundry list of reasons you shouldn’t begin. If you ignore this initial barrage and start something, perfectionism changes its tune completely. Now it says that you have to do it perfectly. It’s the only possibility that is acceptable.” – Jon Acuff

The Ministry of Ordinary Places by Shannan Martin

It’s hard for me to wrap this book up with a little blurb and a bow on top. The Ministry of Ordinary Places dares to show us a better way to minister to the hearts of our communities. To meet needs now, where we are, as we are.

“Too often, we tend toward rolling out a program when perhaps what every person needs most is a welcome mat, a place where they are known and welcomed and loved without exception, no strings attached.” – Shannan Martin

Shannan Martin doesn’t sugar coat anything. This book is real and raw and has opened my eyes to so many truths. Yet her sweet way of writing is like a small lantern leading you out of the dark fog of confusion and clarifies what it means to live a life of purpose.  

“Bigger and greater was never the point at all. The promise was the fruit of endurance.” – Shannan Martin

Minimalism for Families by Zoe Kim

Minimalism for Families is loaded with practical strategies for decluttering your home from top to bottom, inside and out.

Zoe Kim of Raising Simple, defines minimalism and helps you make family a priority over stuff. 

“We don’t build satisfying connections around possessions-not even shared possessions. Connections are built around shared experiences.” – Zoe Kim

This book takes you on a decluttering journey through every room in your home. It offers solutions and strategies to keep you on track and overcome the inevitable hurdles you’ll face as you journey toward a life of less. 

“A minimalist lifestyle just stops letting stuff- tangible and intangible get in the way of a wholehearted pursuit of joy and contentment.” – Zoe Kim

The Minimalist Kitchen by Melissa Coleman

Confession. I haven’t read this book from cover to cover because well, it’s a cookbook, and a beautiful one at that. I’ve been making my way through her recipes and they are delicious.

best minimalist books

But this is so much more than a cookbook. It’s a guide to creating your own simple kitchen, written by a minimalist kitchen genius. Melissa’s been living minimally since she was young… I can’t even wrap my brain around that. Not all minimalist kitchens are created equal. There is room to be yourself, Melissa Coleman shows you how. 

4 Books I Can’t Wait to Read in 2019

The Minimalist Home by Joshua Becker

This guy knows minimalism. Joshua Becker has been living life as a minimalist for over ten years. His blog, Becoming Minimalist, was the very first resource I came across when researching what minimalism was all about almost two years ago. It was pivotal in shaping the way our family took those first steps on the path toward a life of less. 

So when he writes a book, I buy it! This book releases in just a couple of days, on December 18, and I couldn’t be more excited.


Simple Happy Parenting by Denaye Barahona

This book just released this June, 2019! The Simple Families podcast and blog is one of my favorites. With a Ph.D. in Child Development and two little ones at home, Denaye is always sharing great insight into parenting well. Her book is not only insightful, but beautiful. It’s loaded with photos and illustrations making it a joy to read. Don’t miss it!

Getting Back to Happy by Marc and Angel Chernoff

I started this book a little while back and can’t find it! Which is why it’s landed itself in my next year’s book list. I guess that’s what happens when you tote your books all over the city with you… I’m banking on it turning up.

What I  can tell you so far is that it’s so good! Marc and Angel put an emphasis on implementing the right mindset and daily routines to get where you want to go. Starting small is the key to developing habits that last and a create a firm foundation for future success.

“Life is painful. Change is painful. Growth is painful. But in the end, nothing is as painful as staying stuck where you do not belong.”- Marc and Angel Chernoff

best minimalist books

The Next Right Thing by Emily P. Freeman

I absolutely adore this Author. Like the true weirdo I am, I often refer to her as “my friend Emily.” We’ve never actually met…awkward pause. But you know, when someone’s writing changes you, they feel like a close friend.

Emily has a podcast called The Next Right Thing and it’s absolutely amazing. I promise, you’ll love it! She’s written a book titled the same and it comes out Spring 2019. I literally preordered this book within five minutes of her email announcement… in true stalker fan fashion. 

Well friend, there you have it. My favorite reads of 2018. I know, I know, none of it is fiction. But this is where I’m at right now, and it’s so good. 

Now, I’m a sucker for a good book list. I’d love to hear some of your favorite books! Leave a comment and let me know.

*This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. If you purchase through my link, I get some change in return…literally, like pennies…at no additional cost to you. As always shop around or borrow from a friend or your local library when you can. Just watch those leaky water bottles 😉

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Declutter Your Life

It’s time to stop managing our families and start leading them!

2 years ago I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I had no capacity to mom on purpose.

Living with less has gifted me time, space and some much needed perspective of what truly matters most. Below is the link to my FREE Beginner’s Declutter Like a Minimalist Guidebook. It takes a deeper look at the 7 Steps to getting started highlighted in my popular post, Declutter Like a Minimalist.


Declutter Like a Minimalist Guidebook

8 thoughts on “12 Best Books to Encourage a More Abundant Life

  1. Bob Goff’s newest book “Love Does” – “God finds us in our failures and our successes, and He says that while we used to think one way about things, now He wants us to think another way about those same things. And for me, I’ve realized that I used to be afraid of failing at the things that really mattered to me, but now I’m more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.”

    Maria Goff “Love Lives Here” – I was wondering what it was like to be married to Bob Goff ????. Her book reveals a very thoughtful and wise person.

  2. Brene Brown has changed my life. She might be the one I call my friend Brene except I have never met her and she has no idea who I am…;) She does research on shame, vulnerability, authenticity and a ton of other important concepts for life. I am a pediatrician and now talk about shame a lot at well visits. It is really helpful for families. She just released Dare to Lead which is amazing. She is always at the top of my hat read list!!

  3. I love this Bev! Thanks for sharing. I did not know his wife had a book. I’m sure she has some stories to tell. Life with Bob Goff has got to be a story worth telling! ❤️ I heard he just came out with a Children’s book as well.

  4. Oh for sure!! I know what you mean. Rising Strong absolutely changed my life! I love that you are talking about shame with your patients. So smart. She has a parenting book I’d love to read soon as well. I started Dare to Lead, but the library needed it back before I could finish it. I may just have to buy that one❤️ Thanks so much for sharing.

  5. I’ve declared 2019 “The Year of Me”. Sounds selfish, I know, but by that I mean I plan to change my eating and exercise habits, declutter my life and stuff, and slow down enough to spend more time doing the things I love like reading. Thank you for this list of books! I’ll start here.

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