Pocket Scrapbooking with Project Life

Cultivate a good life and record it.



BH favorites: books

Did you know that today is Read Across America Day? Aaaand … happy birthday, Dr. Seuss! To celebrate we thought it’d be fun to share some of our team’s favorite books!

I (Becky) tend to read books that are from the religious and self-help genres. My requirement for books (and movies, TV, social media, etc.) is that I either LEARN something or FEEL something. Ideally, both. I want what I read to help me in my lifetime quest to cultivate a good life.

The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ – Hands-down, this is the most important book I’ve ever read (and re-read and re-read) and the only book I try to read nearly every day. The Book of Mormon is the cornerstone of my religion and my personal faith, and goes hand-in-hand with the Holy Bible. Having truth and wisdom and inspiration (the Word of God) from the scriptures available at our fingertips is a huge blessing when there is so much negativity swirling around us these days.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey – I probably read this book 20 years ago and some of the golden nuggets I got out of it still ring in my mind from time to time. That makes this a pretty effective book if you ask me! I continue to quote the author on the principles he outlines in this book and think that what he shared is solid life advice for anyone. No wonder it’s a best seller.

The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands by Dr. Laura Schlessinger – I studied marriage and family in college (my bachelor’s degree is Family Science) and of everything that I read, this is actually one of the books that stands out in my mind the most. I read it many years ago and while I didn’t totally dig everything the author shared, I absolutely had several “ah-ha!” moments that affected the way I viewed my role as a wife.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo – This is one of my most recent reads. Now, keep in mind that I have a natural lifetime love for organization and I would say David and I have been pretty good about decluttering fairly regularly. But after reading this book (actually we listened to the audiobook together), we had a very different approach to what organization really means… and how decluttering plays a huge, huge, huge role in that. We’ve been on a mission ever since to get rid of anything that doesn’t spark joy!

Laurie is the resident bookworm here at Becky Higgins, and I’m personally so impressed with how she creates the time to read with everything else she juggles!

The Mercy of Thin Air by Ronlyn Domingue – You don’t just read this book. You taste it, feel it, and hear it. The language in this book is so beautifully lyrical and descriptive. It is also a book that comes full circle, and it left me feeling so completely satisfied. It has remained one of my most favorite books for years.

The House at Riverton by Kate Morton – It was hard for me to pick a favorite book by Kate Morton. She is one of my favorite authors. Every book she writes is a mystery so beautifully crafted. I particularly loved The House at Riverton because it has a Downton Abbey feel to it, which also happens to be one of my favorite TV shows. ;)

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – World War II historical fiction is one of my favorite genres to read. I love to read about the strength of the people who went through such tremendous struggles. I particularly love The Nightingale because it demonstrates the strength of females in this time period and the lengths they went to in order to protect their family and loved ones.

Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – This book is unlike any book I have read before. The imagination of the writer is incredible and the imagery in this book was so rich. It’s definitely one I will be reading again.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer – The Lunar Chronicles is a series of books that are futuristic retellings of classic fairy tales. I LOVED this series and was so sad to finish the last one. I love how the author was able to weave together the fairytale characters to create a much bigger story than each fairytale by itself. Each book is an easy read and thoroughly enjoyable.

Molly has a long commute to the office and finds this to be some of the best time for listening to audiobooks, though she also reads a bit in her free time! She loves a good mystery that will keep her guessing until the last page.

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty – I LOVE Liane Moriarty; every single one of her books is fantastic (Big Little Lies is my second favorite). This is a gripping story of a woman who wakes up with a bump on her head and no knowledge of the past ten years. You will be sucked right in as she struggles to unravel the mystery that is her life! This was so thought provoking as I easily stepped into her shoes and wondered what I would do in the same situation.

Getting Life by Michael Morton – This book is a memoir about an innocent man’s 25-year journey from prison to peace. Michael Morton is the epitome of grace as he retells his story of being wrongfully accused and imprisoned for the murder of his wife. This true story will make you think twice about our justice system and the possibility that many others have been wrongfully convicted and still sit in prison today.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart – This was one of my favorite books from book club this year. The story twists and turns until the final twist that no one saw coming. We spent hours and hours talking about this book — we had to! It is considered an adolescent novel but definitely appealed to my group of middle-aged moms!

Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah – I took this review straight from Amazon because I couldn’t have said it better myself! “Mesmerizing from the first page to the last, Winter Garden is one woman’s sweeping, heartbreaking story of love, loss, and redemption. At once an epic love story set in World War II Russia and an intimate portrait of contemporary mothers and daughters poised at the crossroads of their lives, it explores the heartbreak of war, the cost of survival and the ultimate triumph of the human spirit. It is a novel that will haunt the reader long after the last page is turned.”

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory – I love the historical context of this novel. It was so interesting to me to read about and learn so much about the court of King Henry the 8th in Europe. The truth is, when I read this a few years ago, I was a little scared about how long it was because I wasn’t much of a reader at the time. In the end I literally could not put it down!

Our team isn’t complete without our resident guy, Race. Husband and father to 3 little girls, here’s his list of favorite reads.

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein – I remember growing up with this book, and it’s so fun to read these poems to my kids now. They’re timeless enough for me, simple enough for my 3 year old, and short enough to suit all of our attention spans.

Eddie Fantastic by Chris Heimerdinger – I’ve always loved technology, and even in this teen fiction novel, I’m inspired by the idea that all truth and knowledge has a divine source.

Believing Christ by Stephen E. Robinson – This is a short read, but it helped fundamentally shape my understanding of theology and its application in my daily life with just a few simple explanations.

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin – This book had me glued to the couch. It’s long and utterly fictitious, but the character development is remarkably complex, and the storyline is made wildly unpredictable by the realism inherent in the writer’s crafting of relationships and power struggles. It’s entertaining in the way that it would be entertaining to watch someone knock over a twisting chain of 4 million dominoes.

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis – C.S. Lewis has a sophisticated writing style that I love, and he covers some profound subject matter that really gets you thinking. Better still, he writes the entire book from a fictional point of view, lending a context which keeps the book from getting too intense or serious for me.

Wendy is a mom of five, a brand-new grandma, and currently serves as the (volunteer) president of all the teenage girls in her church congregation, so coming across spare time for reading these days is pretty tricky. Still, she is sharing a few of her all-time favorites.

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman – This is a book that I believe every human on the planet would benefit from reading. Being married for over 25 years and raising 5 children, this book and its teachings have been so helpful to my relationships every. single. day.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey – I didn’t read this book until my 2 oldest were almost out of their teens, but it has been so valuable! This book has helped in these years in showing that the choices they make are so critical to the rest of their lives.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett – If you are stuck in a reading rut, this is just the book to get you out of it! I don’t have time to read much, so when I do it needs to be one I can’t put down and this book is exactly that.

Kari had a hard time coming up with any books. We all know she spends most of her free time running, so we will give her a pass! She did come up with a fantastic book choice however!

Hands Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford – The ONLY book that I can even conjure up right now is this. I think that most of us struggle with digital distractions these days and this book shared some great stories + prompts about how we can become more “hands free” and engaged with our family, friends, and loved ones in ways that will pay big dividends for all.

Kara is often letting us know about a great book she has read about business and being a mom. Her list definitely reflects that!

Purple Cow by Seth Godin – I am a sucker for all things “Seth Godin” and this book did not disappoint. I love his ideas on standing out and being remarkable.

The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith – Oh man, this book is a must-read for any home-maker, female, wife, and mother. She completely breaks through this idea of being “perfect” and our homes having to be a “certain way.” Home is all about comfort and being imperfectly perfect.

Lovemarks by Kevin Roberts – Are you noticing a theme here? I am all about the self-help and business books down to a fault. There are some fantastic reads out there and this will forever be in my top three. Kevin Roberts discusses brands and businesses going above and beyond to being a “lovemark.” Absolutely inspiring and if you are an entrepreneur or business owner, it really is a must read.

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert – This was my latest read and will forever change the way I view being creative in life – both personally and professionally. Elizabeth’s take on ideas and receiving inspiration is absolutely fantastic and completely blew my mind in the best way.

Toni is rounding out our team favorites with a few of hers.

The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans – This is a quick read but filled with so much meaning for me personally. It helped heal me during a very difficult time in my life. I read it every Christmas.

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown – I love a good suspense novel, and anything by Dan Brown sucks me right in. I couldn’t put this book down.

Love the One You’re With by Emily Griffin – A chick flick but in book form. Totally predictable and I loved every second of it.

As I saw everyone else’s lists, I not only found a few books I absolutely loved reading myself, but now I’ve added a few more titles to my list. I literally have a list called “Books to Read” in my phone and when I’m ready to read the next one, I turn to that and immediately have a sense of what I’m most in the mood to read at the time. I’m currently reading Smart Money Smart Kids by Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze and I’m loving it so far.

Feel free to leave a comment with one of your favorite books! We’d love to hear!


21 Responses

  1. Monica says:

    This is an EXCELLENT list. I’ve just downloaded one on my Kindle, one that I think I will enjoy.

    Thank you!


  2. Rccrowd says:

    Great list. I would add Continuous Atonement by Brad Wilcox. Fantastic!

  3. Monica says:

    I’ve read The Book of Mormon, Tidying Up, and The Night Circus. I’ll have to look into the others. Thanks for all the suggestions! I usually depend on book club to determine what I read haha

  4. Kim Andersen says:

    This is a great list. Thank you! I would add to it “All The Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr. It’s a beautifully written and thought provoking book about WWII.

  5. Michelle says:

    Thank you for an interesting post.

  6. allyson says:

    Would love to see book posts more often and would love to hear recommendations from blog readers!

  7. Debora Prass says:

    Laurie! I’m a huge Kate Morton fan also! But my favorite is The Secret Garden. :) I’m look into your other suggestions! Tks for sharing!

  8. Shanna says:

    Great List. I have my wish list on Amazon and whenever I have free time or need some stress relief I download one to my Kindle. I was so against getting a Kindle because I LOVE books but in this busy life I lead, it has made it so much easier to get reading time in!

  9. Sierra Heath says:

    One of my favorites is To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Eat, pray, love by Elizabeth Gilbert.
    I love the app Goodreads it has a to read shelf and keeps track of what you read, you can also read reviews for the books too. I just bought Big Magic after seeing you reading it.

  10. Rebecca says:

    Gilead by Mari Lynne Robinson. It’s the only book that literally made me cry because the way the author describes things is so beautiful. There’s two companion novels to the book that you need to read after, Home and Lila. Theyare just as good.

  11. Sean Eyring says:

    It’s probably the fact that I was (once upon a time) a 5th grade teacher, but I’m always drawn to kid fiction and young adult fiction. And I love a good series. So in that vein, I have read (and in most cases, reread) some really great series including the Hank Zipzer series by Henry Winkler (yes The Fonz) and Lin Oliver, the Pendragon series by DJ MacHale, the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer, the I, Q series by Roland Smith, the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling, and both the Fablehaven and Candy Shop Wars series by Brandon Mull. I’m just starting the Micheal Vey series by Richard Paul Evans (currently on #3) and am loving them as well.

  12. Carol Swedlund says:

    I agree with Laurie and Molly – while I like most of Kristen Hannah’s books, those are my two favorites. Lisa Genova’s first two books, Still Alice and Left Neglected are amazing books.

  13. Kim says:

    Holy smokes my good reads to-read list just grew a bunch!!

  14. Fiona Moore says:

    My favourite book of all time is “Outlander” by Diana Gabaldon. I love the historical aspect, the love story, the time travel, the detail….

  15. Claire says:

    Love that you’re reading Smart Money, Smart Kids! I loved this book! If you ever get the chance to see them live, I highly recommend it! Love the Ramsey team and yours!!

    • Claire says:

      Also any books by Robin Jones Gunn and Karen Kingsbury are amazing! Both women are so sweet too if you ever get to meet them!

  16. Kim says:

    I thought there were some good points and thoughts in the book Dave Ramsey wrote with his daughter, but it started to get kind of repetitive in my opinion. It seemed like they were looking for filler to write about.

  17. Marcia says:

    I’m reading Smart Money Smart Kids now! 😉

  18. Meredith Greene says:

    Good Reads is the best app around! Basically an online Reading Journal and TBR list. I highly recommend it. My favorites are A Prayer for Owen Meany, All the Light We Cannot See, I Capture the Castle, Behind the Beautiful Forevers, Still Alice.
    I love books with strong female characters as well as lovable characters. I will put down a book and not pick it back up if the main characters are not likeable or relatable