My Favourite Books of 2018

The Trail // My Favourite Books of 2018. Here's what I've been reading in spiritual, gardening, business & marketing, and just for pure fun!

I don’t know if you know this about me, but I read every single day. I’m a total bibliophile. I know my librarian(s) by name at the local libraries to me, and I know what library has what when I’m looking for something. Books allow me to research a new topic that I’m interested in, and the library is the most cost effective way I know how to do that. There’s so much thought leadership in books that is nurturing and can really change our minds on a single topic.

My typical process goes: take out a bunch of books from the library about the topic that has my interest, then read & flip through them, figure out which ones I like the best, then figure out if the book is worth buying. Some books I’ve taken out of the library at least 3x before I realize I just need a copy.

A couple provisos about my list:

  • I picked out the best of the best of what I read for this year. The book may have been published prior to this year and this is not an exhaustive list of what I’ve read.
  • I haven’t included the books I wouldn’t recommend, but I definitely have a list of those too 😉
  • If I’ve got a topic that is of interest to you on here, I likely have read many many more books on this topic or more by the same author. I didn’t include all the topics of the year but instead the ones I have at least 3 recommendations on.

Business & Marketing

Story Driven: The essential questions to ask yourself about how you serve people in the world, and to lead from story.
This is Marketing: Seth Godin explains marketing – REAL marketing – not that flash in the pan kind of stuff. Expand your mind.
Worry-Free Money: This book is brilliant at helping you conquer cash flows. I’ve used it in business & personal and already have the next book – Living Debt Free on my reading list for 2019.

Goddesses Rising

Goddess Wisdom: This book has so many dog-eared pages, it’s a great read for unleashing your Goddess mojo, seeing mothers as the sacred beings they are, understanding the Wheel of the Year, and women’s rituals.
Rise Sister Rise: I wish I had found this book way earlier in my journey. For those further along, start at Part IV. This is the book for women rising, with short little love notes on how to unleash the wise, wild women within. The quotes in this book fill my heart.
The Optimized Woman: Using Your Menstrual Cycle to Achieve Success & Fulfillment: For women ready to work with their cyclical nature, showing the steps of menstruation & what tasks are wholly suited for each one, and a worksheet on how to find yours.

Creativity & Living a Life You Love

The Desire MapDanielle LaPorte is my spirit animal, that free-living BC girl gets it. In 2018, I started the process of mapping out how I wanted to feel instead of hard & fast goals on what I wanted to do. This changes EVERYTHING.
Big MagicThis is the bible for creative people. So many times in this book, I LOLed and said “oh yeah, been there”. Elizabeth Gilbert is a treasure and writes right from the heart.
Unstoppable InfluenceI literally sent this book to my 6 favourite Business BFFs at the beginning of the year because it’s the sounding of the horn to step into your Genius and own it. And you need to that that, my friend – like yesterday.
The Courage to be Creative: This book is written in short little paragraphs on each topic, making it really easy to read and consume. I love how Doreen Virtue lays out creativity and makes it simple.

Meditations with HL Flair

Wild & Wise: Sacred Feminine Meditations for Women’s Circles and Sacred AwakeningsThese meditations that follow the Wheel of the Year are rich with descriptions for earth goddesses, if you’re a gardener, you’ll appreciate these.
Awake in the Wild: Mindfulness in Nature as Self DiscoveryTo those of us who meditate among the trees or hit the trail for stress relief, these are the walking meditations & ways to start if sitting still in a chair is just not for you.
Breathe Mama Breathe: 5-Minute Mindfulness for Busy Moms: FINALLY! A meditation book for mother’s on the go – if you don’t know how people find 30 minutes a day to meditate but want to be mindful – this book will get you, mama.

Healing Yourself

Heal Your Body: Look up any aliment you have and it will tell you the mental link to it and an affirmation to help. This can help you release the emotion surrounding your illness and get you on the path to healing.
Right Body for You: If you’re wondering how to step back into hearing your body’s wisdom and getting in touch with it – this book is it.
Mind Over Medicine: I maintained there is a connection between the mind & healing the body for a long time. Here’s the scientific proof. You’re welcome.

Gardening & Herbalism

The Garden Awakening: For designing gardens that work with the land. This book is brilliant and I love how she writes it with deep passion, magick and a wee bit of Irish whimsy.
Secret Medicine from Your Garden: This is a deep dive into plants, their meanings and what they can be used for, as well as common ailments. Although not all the plants are here in the Boreal Forest, it’s a great place to start.
Plant Spirit Medicine: This book took me forever to read. It’s so rich with descriptions, and mind-bending possibilities about plants and their magick.
The Medicine Wheel Garden: Currently making one. This guide shows you how to blessing your space, where to start, as well as 50 magical plants to plant. Not all of them grow here but it’s a great jumping off point. I’ve marked mine up for which are which.
Boreal Herbal: For local plants, this is where it’s at.  I’ve taken this one out over 4x and probably should just buy it.

Books That Made Me Feel Deeply

Wild: The story of a girl who leaps into the Pacific Crest Trail after she’s lost everything. Cheryl keeps it real, and lays it all out on the page – from the broken to the found.
Love Warrior: If you’re a empathic or highly sensitive person, be prepared. Glennon lays out all of the emotions as she flows through this period of her life. It’s honest, it’s real and it’s full of feelings in the deepest way I’ve ever read them.

Trashy Romance Authors I’m Loving

Sometimes I need a little lighter read for obvious reasons. These are the authors that I’m totally digging right now:

What were your top reads from 2018? What should I read next?


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About Me

Hey, I’m Holly. I’m an explorer who followed her deep connection to Nature, and became wild. I’m a writer, photographer, and essence maker who has a background in grassroots community development, digital marketing, website design and authentic brand essence.

When I’m not in my studio, I’m gardening organically on 11 acres of land in Northern Alberta with my family, hiking with my hairy border collie, or off on another adventure in my trusty Escape or canoe.