My Favorite Books – Self-Help Books

I have had several requests for a list of books that I recommend.  Since I can likely recommend thousands of books I thought it would be a good idea for me to divide them into categories.

So I give you….

Drumroll please…

My ten favorite life books for adults and parents (and the crowd exhales loudly through their mouths)!


These are books primarily about parenting, finances, relationships, and family.  Let’s get started shall we?

Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey.

I can’t tell you how much I wish we would have discovered Dave Ramsey BEFORE 2006.  If we had known about him before we graduated from school we would have avoided paying stupid tax to the tune of $90k (that is Dave speak for spending money because you were stupid).  Dave lays out sound financial principles in every day english that work for everyone.  It’s not always easy to live this way (we drive a 30 year old van and it’s not easy) but it’s worth it!  Every single person should read this book.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey


There is a reason why this is one of the most successful self-help books of all time.

7 Habits of Highly Effective Families by Stephen Covey


Let’s be honest, beyond the newborn and infant stage there is little about parenting that comes naturally.  If I did what “came naturally” I would do nothing but yell all day long.  That is hardly a recipe for a harmonious family life.  This book teaches you how to focus your energy so that you aren’t just living day by day.  You learn how to keep a big picture vision.  Sometimes a little more work in the short run will save you a lot of frustration in the long run.

The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands by Dr. Laura


This is the best marriage book I have ever read.  We all know that we only have the ability to change or control ourselves and our own behavior, yet we continue to look for advice and ways to change our situation without actually changing ourselves.  We only ever want to blame others.  This book was able to open my eyes and help me look inward to see what I was doing to contribute to the problems in my marriage.  In changing my behavior and attitude I discover what a profound impact I have on the behavior and attitudes of my family members.  Every woman in a relationship should read this book.

A House United: Teaching Self-Government by Nicholeen Peck


This book is an excellent resource for parents who are dealing with behavioral issues.  The techniques and methods found in this book allow you to help teach your children how to master their emotions, and keep control of their actions.  It also helps US to create an environment in which our children can predict consequences, help us parent intentionally, and teach us to stay calm when things don’t always go our way.  I can tell you that this book has personally changed our family dynamic.  We no longer dole out punishments like knee jerk reactions, and our children’s behavior has improved exponentially.  I wish I would have known about this back when I had my first baby 11 years ago.  Every parent should read this.

The Entitlement Trap by Richard and Linda Eyre


If A House United helps you keep a feeling of peace, harmony, and predictability in your home, The Entitlement Trap teaches you how to help mould your children’s characters so that they grow into productive, positive, proactive citizens with a great work ethic.  This book helps you avoid “afluenza” and the entitlement mentality that plagues far too many children (and adults) today.  Every parent should read this.

Raising Real Men by Hal and Melanie Young


Boys and girls are different.  The intellectual elites might try and tell us that gender doesn’t matter, but anyone with both daughters and sons knows that that is absolutely nonsensical.  It does our children and our society no good at all to pretend these difference don’t exist or worse, try and “train” the differences out of them.  For me, raising my girls has been pretty straight forward.  Pink, tea parties, ruffles, crayons, baby dolls, and plenty of drawing paper means for peaceful days.  None of those things worked for my boys.  Wrestling, swords, cars, dirt, rocks, sticks and more food than it seems possible that any child would need over the course of a day are what I need for… well, not peaceful days… but at lease days that are not filled with angst and unnecessary stress.  This book helps teach us how to shape our boys into chivalrous men by teaching us how to work with their nature, rather than against it.  Every parent (especially mothers) of boys should read this.

A Sane Woman’s Guide to Raising a Large Family by Mary Ostyn


Boys are different from girls.  Big families are different from small families.  It’s just a fact.  What works for you, with your one or two children will not necessarily work for me and my five.  Mess, meals, chores, travel, laundry, noise, school… everything is different when you have a large family.  Now I’m not going to get into what does and does not constitute a “large” family, in this day and age three or four children could certainly be considered large (especially if those three children are all boys or very active).  If you feel overrun and overwhelmed by raising your family and running your home then you can benefit from this book.

French Kids Eat Everything by Karen Le Billon


This is a book about one woman’s experience moving to France and having to help her children adapt to french cuisine.  It has a lot of great rules, tips, and ideas on how to cure your children’s picky eating.

A Thomas Jefferson Education by Oliver DeMille.


Believe it or not, this is not a book just for homeschoolers.  This book lays out the keys and principles that are necessary for a superb, world class, leadership education.  These principles can be applied in whatever educational situation you find yourself in, public school, private school, homeschool, charter school, post school… no matter your age or stage of life, if you apply the keys you learn about in this book you will be well on your way to an excellent education and helping your children to receive one of their own.  Whether you are interested in this for yourself or your children, you are never too old to learn something new.  In fact, I recommend everything written by the DeMilles.

These are just a few of the self-help books that I have lining my shelves.  They are my very favorite and the one’s I come back to over and over again.  What about you?  What are your favorite lifestyle books?


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Sanz says:

    LOVE many of these myself and I am definitely looking forward to adding several of them to my list. I’ve heard Nicholeen Peck speak and didn’t know she had a book. We LOVE Dave Ramsey too! I’m actually considering place a call to him. :) HA!


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