Favorite Self-Improvement Books On My Bookshelf #NonFiction #WhatsOnYourBookshelfChallenge #WOYBS

Favorite Self-Improvement Books On My Bookshelf

January is an excellent time to think about self-improvement goals. Today, I’m sharing a few favorite self-help books with you!

10 Favorite Books For Self-Improvement (white text over a background photo of a woman in a blue denim shirt gazing upward and smiling and reflecting)

Image Source: Canva

How often do you pick up a self-improvement book in January?

Among the multitude of self-improvement books that are published every year, I have a few favorites on my bookshelf.

***Titles are Amazon affiliate links or links to my reviews.

Self-Improvement Books on my Shelf

(In no particular order)

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear

One of the most practical self-improvement books I’ve read that includes excellent and easy-to-implement strategies.

The Choice: Embrace the Possible by Dr. Edith Eva Eger

Even though this is a memoir, Dr. Eger offers reflection on overcoming tragic circumstances and choosing our futures.

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth: by Col. Chris Hadfield

Inspiring and entertaining, Col. Hadfield shares strategies that have helped him achieve success.

I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet: Discovering New Ways of Living When the Old Ways Stop Working by Shaunna Neiquist

Shaunna shares her story of refocusing and reconstructing her life after disappointment. (Christian)

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

A book for every introvert to discover her/his value and contribution.

Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness by Ingrid Fetell Lee

If you’re redecorating or simply looking to add a bit of whimsy and sparkle to your life, check out the suggestions here.

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott

If writing goals or simply keeping a diary are among your 2023 goals, you might find this encouraging and inspiring.

Be the Bridge: Pursuing God’s Heart for Racial Reconciliation by LaTasha Morrison

If you or your church are looking to do more work in the area of racial reconciliation, this might be a good starting point. (Christian)

Don’t Overthink It: Make Easier Decisions, Stop Second-Guessing, and Bring More Joy to Your Life by Anne Bogel

Lots of practical advice for over thinkers here.

Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

These quiet and poignant reflections encourage contemplation for a life well lived.


Do you have a favorite self-improvement book?

 I’m linking up with Deb @ Deb’s World and Sue @ Women Living Well After 50, Donna @ Retirement Reflections, and Jo @ And Anyways…. for the January installment of #WhatsOnYourBookShelfChallenge.

Whats On Your Bookshelf Challenge

Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.” ~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.” ~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.” ~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.” ~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text

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All books I review are bought or borrowed from the library unless explicitly stated that they are free (arcs).

Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website receives all credit for book covers and author photos used in the creation of a blog post.

© ReadingLadies.com


  1. I love this list. An Astronauts Guide to Life had a lot to offer in terms of how to deal with the unexpected and resilience I thought. I love the sound of Bird by Bird too.

    • Thanks Janette! Hadfield is amazing and inspirational! Bird by Bird is motivational for anyone who writes! Thanks for commenting!

  2. I must admit I’ve not picked up a self improvement book for quite some time Carol, but the Bird by Bird sounds like a good read. I did read Gift from the Sea last year (I think). Your selection is great to have as a guide, so thanks for that and for joining in with us.

  3. A lovely post Carol. I have a separate page on my blog for Spiritual Wellbeing Reads, so that I can easy return to them as these are perhaps the only books I might reread.

    This January I’m rereading the wonderful Bell Hooks book All About Love: New Visions written at a time she was looking for nonfiction on the subject and discovered nearly all the books had been written by men. There are so many passages I highlighted and it is like bathing in winter sun to read, such a clear eyed, nurturing perspective, one we need an annual reminder of.

    I’m also slow reading a wonderful book called Belonging, Remembering Ourselves Home by Toko-pa Turner which is also interesting.

    Loved Bird by Bird, that’s where I got the inspiration for the name of my blog. 🕊️

  4. Hi, Carol – Thank you for sharing this list. Years ago I received ‘Gifts from the Sea’ from my mother. It has been sitting quietly on my bookshelf for quite some time. It is definitely time for another read.
    I haven’t read many self-help books. Quite a while ago, I read Deepak Chopra’s The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. I got stuck on the first page of chapter one for quite some time. :O

  5. Hi Carol some interesting books on your self-improvement list and there are a couple I would be keen to read such as ‘Don’t overthink it’ and ‘Joyful’. Thanks for sharing and joining us at What’s On Your Bookshelf? and I hope you join up with us each month. I always glean new books to read and it is a lovely way to connect with fellow readers. Happy reading and enjoy your weekend. x

  6. I gave up on this kind of book many years ago when I started to feel they essentially contained about 5% of worthwhile content and the rest was flannel. The only one I’ve read in recent years is the one by Marie Kondo – again a lot of flim flam but I did actually find her folding techniques for underwear, scarves and socks extremely helpful!

  7. I’m not a big one for self-improvement books (although goodness knows I need some improving lol) but I did flip through my daughter’s copy of Atomic Habits over Christmas and have since bought it to listen to on Audible. Bird by Bird, though, is a fave. Thanks for linking up!

    • I don’t read very many and the ones on my shelf are probably not typical of the genre. I hope you enjoy Atomic Habits! Thanks for commenting!

  8. It’s been a while since I read a self improvement book. I’ve been meaning to read “Quiet, The Power of Introverts”. Really interesting list.

  9. I enjoyed Atomic Habits and loved Bird by Bird. I also really liked The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey, Rest by Alex Pang, and The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod.

  10. I don’t exactly have a favorite self-help book since I have read so few of them. I recently read “Unicorn Space” by Eve Rodsky and it’s the first self-help book I read in a long time. I enjoy the book because I do miss having a “creative hour” since being a mom. It was a nice reminder to continue pursuing your passion even if you are busy and/or you don’t have limitless amount of time.

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