Tag Archives: book club

5 Books that will Improve Your Life


by Catherine Sanderson

by Catherine Sanderson

With February comes a lot of focus on showing others our love through Valentine’s Day…but what about loving ourselves well in February?   Really, if we don’t love ourselves well first, it’s impossible to give our best love and care to the others in our life. So on that note, we wanted to share 5 great books that will help you do just that — show some love to the one and only you by making sure you’re taken care of first.

Carry on Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life by Glennon Doyle Melton

Cary's pick

Cary’s pick

“I love Carry on Warrior.  Not a book of inspirations or how to’s, but inspiring and real, I just love it.”

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz


Catherine’s pick

“I first learned about The Four Agreements from Neissa, who raved about it — so I knew I had to read it.  The book is short & sweet– and the four simple principles it introduces really and truly change how you approach every single uncomfortable situation and difficult decision.   Once I started applying the 4 ideas to my daily mindset, I noticed a huge change in the stress and discomfort I felt in previously ‘difficult’ situations.  So, so worth the read!  I even found my bff and I talking about one of the ‘agreements’ at a happy hour last week — It’s stuff that sticks with you.” 

When the Heart Waits by Sue Monk Kidd

Amy's pick

Amy’s pick

“I love the book When the Heart Waits. It is really well-written. Grounded in personal experience and bolstered with classical spiritual disciplines, this book offers an alternative to fast-fix spirituality.” 

 The Greatest Miracle in the World by Og Mandino

Neissa's pick

Neissa’s pick

“One of my favorite self-love/self-improvement books is The Greatest Miracle in the World by Og Mandino. I read this book at a confusing time of my life when my self-esteem low and I was questioning my purpose and future. This book is a quick yet powerful read because it beautifully states how uniquely and purposefully created we are- full of nothing but potential. It was a game changer for me and it, along with The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz, are the two books I give every college graduate.” 

Spiritual Disciples Handbook: Practices that Transform Us  by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun

Alli's pick

Alli’s pick

“I was introduced to Spiritual Disciplines Handbook a few years ago when I served as an elder on the session at my church.  We, as a session, decided to study this book over the course of two years. Each month, one or two of us would choose one of the 50+ disciplines described in the book that seemed pertinent to us individually, then introduce it to the other members of the session at our monthly meeting. Then, all of us would work on that discipline and report back about the impact on our lives at the next meeting.  This book has since then been a fixture on my bedside table, and I still refer to it regularly. Truly, the practices are transformative.”   Try them out and let us know what you think!

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Our Summer Reading List

 Gone_Girl_(Flynn_novel) Heaven is Here



I LOVED The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd because it is a well-written, captivating book that grabs your interest from start to finish. Based in Charleston in the early 19th century, this book weaves together many women’s lives in their quest for hope, freedom and connection.


Heaven is Here is an beautiful memoir demonstrating the power of faith, hope, family, and love.  Stephanie Nielson and her husband, Christian, have the happiest of lives until a tragic airplane crash leaves them burned, with Stephanie severely burned, in the hospital for months and fighting for her life.  The book chronicles Stephanie’s amazing and heroic recovery, her transparent physical and emotional struggle with life after the accident, but most importantly it showcases what all the human spirit is capable of enduring and overcoming.






I love Gone Girl!  Gone Girl is a suspenseful and twisted page turner that you won’t want to put down. I felt it was completely unpredictable the whole way through — I love being shocked at the end of a book!




Mile Markers The 10 Essential Hugs of Life The Closer




Mile Markers: The 26.2 Most Important Reasons Why Women Run by Kristin Armstrong
In this book, which is actually a compilation of articles written for Runner’s World, Kristin beautifully and hilariously describes life lessons she’s learned by running, specifically by running with a group of girl friends she affectionately refers to as her “sweat sisters.” Further, she describes how running (and/or physical exercise of any sort), in community with other women, helps her better to connect with herself, her loved ones, and her God. Sound familiar? Kristin’s experiences with her sweat-sisters-community are virtually identical to the iGnite experience.




The 10 Essential Hugs of Life by Roy Spence
The author spoke about his book at my church on Father’s Day and I immediately bought it. I’m just starting to read it, but I know it will be great from what he spoke about. It’s all about embracing life, whatever comes at you!





I added The Closer by Mariano Rivera to my reading list for the summer after hearing an interview with him and being so inspired by his incredible story, upstanding character and passion for life. In his memoir, Rivera shares his journey from poor boy in Panama to the greatest relief pitcher of all time, and the adventures and struggles he encountered along the way.

In the Garden of Beasts

Sha Klatt


I’m currently reading In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin by Erik Larson.  It’s a historical biography/memoir that takes place in Berlin during Hitler’s rise to power.   In it, the American ambassador to Berlin takes his wife, son and flamboyant daughter to Berlin where she is enamored with the “New Germany” and loves to party with the handsome members of the Third Reich.  The family slowly realizes the terrible history that is unfolding before them.


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