There are so many books I love, this could never be simply a list of my favorites. The books on this page I recommend as imagination food, artistic inspiration, growth springboards, and skill improvers. All essentials to artful living!

Expressive Photography by The Shutter Sisters- an inspiring look at the how’s and why’s of meaningful photos. Beautiful to page through and learn from.

Cultivating the Creative Life by Alena Hennessy- Habits, challenges, ideas to stretch your creativity. Lovely illustrations!

The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkein- The world of Middle Earth is a realistically complex place….one I can lose months in. It makes me more noble…more brave….more good. And it makes me want to sew a bunch of beautiful gowns to live out my medieval daydreams in!

Maryjane’s Outpost by Maryjane Butters- Oooo, this is such good stuff! Outdoor beds and bathtubs, foraging, backpacking, a bit of homesteading. Basically being outside and loving it.

5-Where Will You Be in Five Years?– Great goal-setting tool. But without feeling like a tool. Through structured brainstorming it helps to pinpoint your core values, cause, support network, role models, and of course, financial, relational, career, and hobby goals. I’ve read through so many of this type of book, and this one is the most effective.

Alabama Studio Style by Alabama Chanin- sumptuously intricate handiwork. It’s just brilliant to page through her style, view her craftsmanship (should we all be so detail-oriented!) and maybe even plan a attempt to make one of these organic cotton dresses blanketed with appliqué and embroidery.

Gone-Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright- Yes, this is kids’ lit. But sometimes kids’ lit does the best job of helping you escape into another world. And boy, does this book deliver! I want to spend my summer outside exploring and discovering like these kids do, finding quirky places and quirkier people.

Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge- Useful for women, this book takes you through a learning process about who and what you were created to be. It’s so freeing, I feel more alive during and after reading it!

List Yourself by Segalove & Velick- I loooooooove making lists! And to list with the purpose of growth and self-discovery? All in! List Your Creative Self is wonderful, too.

How to Live at the Beach by Sandy Gringras- Living from the perspective of simplicity. A wise little book. And illustrated!

The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis (book one of the Narnia series)- Oh, the adventures a bit of mischief can trigger! This adventure happens to be beautiful and lush and wildly invigorating. I love it.

Better Photo Basics by Jim Miotke- So. Much. Information. But all of it so useful! I got a tip on every page about how to improve my photography. Fun to read, and I’m telling you, you’ll learn something.

Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery- Yet another stunning world to escape to! I adore this character. She’s so dramatic in her head, speaks her mind with no filter, and has a lot of wisdom. I also relate to her nature-swooning ways :)

Creative is a Verb by Patti Digh- The quotes you could pull from this book go on and on. A no nonsense voice that will motivate you to creative action! This one’s a game-changer!

The Me I Want to Be by Ortberg- Being who you were created to be. A practical, spiritual, heart changing quest. Journey through this one for a bit.

The Gift of Imperfection by Brene Brown- how vulnerability is good. Why it makes such a difference in relationships and being fulfilled.


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