Reading is one of my favorite activities. I love to read non-fiction, fiction, self-help, listen to books on audio, read to my children…I love to READ. I wanted to include a list of books that parents can read to help their own service journey. I’ve read every book on here and they have all had a big impact on me.
Check back often as the list will be ever evolving. CLICK HERE for a Kids in Service Book List printable that you can take with you to the local library or bookstore.
This book is like a daily hug for parents! This book is divided into 4 seasons with 37 readings for each season. Each reading takes about 2-4 minutes to read and because there are only 37 entries each season, you read them when you can. Rachel has a gift for the word and the ability to lift you up when you are weary and help to remind you of what really matters in life. I have given this book to many of the moms I love and I highly recommend it to YOU.
From the Publisher: “With a flexible, non-dated structure, Only Love Today is perfect to pick up at any time of the year and find hope and encouragement to address your current challenge or need – family, parenting, relationships, finding peace in a stressed out world. Stafford offers you strength and vision for a new and more connected way to live. This is a timeless book of inspiration to remember and live for what really matters.”
“The pages of this book have been like a life line for my family. They have not only helped me to better parent my son but have made me look long and hard about some of the parenting choices I have made with my ten year old daughter. This book has prompted dinner time discussions around internet safety, the importance of human connection, fear and the things we are not willing to trade away when it comes to technology use. My son and I have had long talks about what is not working in our current situation and we are working to fix those things. I have taken pages and pages of notes for my husband and have spent many late nights sharing the words from this book. We have discussed how we can better support our children and show them that we love them for who they are and not what they accomplish.” You can read the rest of the review I wrote for this book HERE.
Once in awhile you come across a book that changes your life, this is one of those books for me. This story is filled with CRAZY, true stories from the authors life and how love helped to make a big impact on how the story turned out. Bob Goff is LOVE and this book is a must read. This book is even more magical if you are able to listen to the author, Bob Goff, read it to you on the audio book.
From the Publisher: “Bob Goff has become something of a legend, and his friends consider him the world’s best-kept secret. Those same friends have long insisted he write a book. What follows are paradigm shifts, musings, and stories from one of the world’s most delightfully engaging and winsome people. What fuels his impact? Love. But it’s not the kind of love that stops at thoughts and feelings. Bob’s love takes action. Bob believes Love Does.”
I often underline parts in books that I want to return to again and again, this book has sooooo many parts underlined. I am trying so hard to raise my children to be kind and this book reinforced all of the concepts that I am trying to teach them and need to remember for myself. Such a gem of a book!
From the Publisher: “When The Power of Kindness first appeared in 2006 it thrilled and challenged readers with one audacious promise: Your acts of generosity and decency are the secret to a fuller, more satisfying life. Kindness is not some squishy virtue but the very key to your own happiness.“
I bought this book the MINUTE it came out. I am a huge fan of the entire Goff family and this book did not disappoint. This book is the second from Bob Goff and it is just as good as his first. Once again, I listened to Bob narrate the book on audio and it was so fun to spend time with him once again and listen to these INCREDIBLE stories from his life and people he knows. This book is jam packed with lessons in love, empathy and compassion. I highly recommend you get your hands on this book!
From the Publisher: “Driven by Bob’s trademark storytelling, Everybody, Always reveals the lessons Bob learned–often the hard way–about what it means to love without inhibition, insecurity, or restriction. From finding the right friends to discovering the upside of failure, Everybody, Always points the way to embodying love by doing the unexpected, the intimidating, the seemingly impossible. Whether losing his shoes while skydiving solo or befriending a Ugandan witch doctor, Bob steps into life with a no-limits embrace of others that is as infectious as it is extraordinarily ordinary. Everybody, Always reveals how we can do the same.”
This is a journal unlike any other. Leon Logothetis is the KINDNESS GUY and je has gone around the entire world relying only on the kindness of strangers! He has written a few books about his experiences and has a wonderful series on Netflix and Amazon (perfect for the whole family). This journal is inspiring and will get you out in the community, spreading kindness from day 1. Leon recommends having a journal buddy and I think that it would be a wonderful experience for adults and teens to go through together.
From the publisher: “Go Be Kind isn’t just a journal or another how-to guide to creating the life you want. It’s a series of daily adventures that will help you rediscover the greatest human gift—kindness, which inspires interpersonal connection and is the most rewarding way to lead a more magnificent life.
Created by Leon Logothetis, host of The Kindness Diaries on Netflix, this life-changing book is filled with highly classified missions, treasure hunts, dream dates, awkward moments, and daily adventures that are guaranteed to change your life.”
Fiction Books With a Theme of Gratitude, Service and/or Kindness
What a fun and inspirational story! I plan to have my kids listen to this book on audio this spring. It is a book that can be revisited again and again because the message is so timeless.
From the Publisher: “Paulo Coelho’s masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different—and far more satisfying—than he ever imagined. Santiago’s journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams.”
This book started a new tradition in my family a few years ago. This is a heartwarming, fictional story about a family who saves their change all year long in a jar to pass on anonymously to someone in need at Christmas time. This story has gone on to create a whole movement of real life Christmas Jars. Thanks to this book, people are changing many lives and spreading hope and love with a jar of loose change.
From the Publisher: After journalist Holly Jensen’s apartment is robbed on Christmas Eve, someone leaves her a jar full of money labeled “Christmas jar,” and she sets out on a quest to discover the origins of these mysterious jars.
This book is about a family who is grieving the loss of their husband/father at Christmas time. Anonymous gifts begin to appear daily on their door step and with each gift, they are given a little more hope and healing. This beautiful book inspired a friend and I to do something similar a few Christmas’ ago when another friend lost her husband. This is a wonderful tale to read at Christmas time to inspire you to spread some love and kindness to someone in need.
From the Publisher: “After the unexpected death of her husband, Joanne Huist Smith had no idea how she would keep herself together and be strong for her three children–especially with the holiday season approaching. But 12 days before Christmas, presents begin appearing on her doorstep with notes from their “True Friends.” As the Smiths came together to solve the mystery of who the gifts were from, they began to thaw out from their grief and come together again as a family. This true story about the power of random acts of kindness will warm the heart, a beautiful reminder of the miracles of Christmas and the gift of family during the holiday season.”
This is a fun book filled with joy, love, hope and holiday spirit! You will fall in love with Joy, Miranda and the characters they meet along the way on their road trip from Chicago to Phoenix. This is a light read that is sure to put you into the holiday spirit.
From the Publisher: “Miranda did not put adventure on her Christmas list, but thanks to her eighty-five-year-old neighbor Joy, that’s exactly what she’s getting this year. When Joy tells Miranda that she plans to drive an old RV decked out in Christmas decorations from their Chicago neighborhood to her new retirement digs in Phoenix–in the dead of winter, no less–the much younger Miranda insists that Joy cannot make such a trip by herself. Besides, a crazy trip with Joy would be more interesting than another Christmas home alone. Unemployed and facing foreclosure, Miranda feels she has nothing to lose by packing a bag and heading off to Route 66. But Joy has a hidden agenda for their Christmas joyride–and a hidden problem that could derail the whole venture.”
Fiction Books That I Read This Year and LOVED
This was one of my favorite books I read this year. Anthony is the Keeper of Lost Things and catalogs them all in his study. This characters in this book are so endearing and the flashbacks are beautifully woven in to make this story so unique. The book is filled with messages of kindness, hope, love and perseverance. I HIGHLY recommend this book.
From the Publisher: “A charming, clever, and quietly moving debut novel of of endless possibilities and joyful discoveries that explores the promises we make and break, losing and finding ourselves, the objects that hold magic and meaning for our lives, and the surprising connections that bind us.”
This was another favorite story of 2018 for me. The characters in this book are lovable and the unexpected twists and turns in the story make it unable to put down (I devoured it in 2 days). This book is filled with love, loss, hope, kindness, books and more books!
From the Publisher: “A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. He lives alone, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. But when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore, its unexpected arrival gives Fikry the chance to make his life over–and see everything anew.”