Growing up on a Christmas tree farm in Connecticut – with no neighbors, record player or TV – Elizabeth Gilbert was raised by books. The acclaimed journalist and bestselling author of Eat Pray Love, Big Magic and last year’s City of Girls credits her writing career to a childhood spent reading the Wizard of Oz and writing stories to keep herself entertained.

In a recent reading list for Goodreads, Gilbert spoke on the power of books to remind us of the resiliency of the human spirit:

“In these uncertain days, it’s easy for us to be carried away by our fear into realms of panic, anxiety, and helplessness. At such times, it might be useful to dive into a book that reminds us of how strong human beings can be — both as individuals and as a collective. Here is a selection of books that I have chosen — novels, memoirs, biographies, non-fiction masterpieces and helpful guides — that have inspired me over the years into a place of greater courage in my own soul, as well restoring my confidence in humanity as a whole.”

Find Gilbert’s reading recommendations below, and complement with the bookshelves of Glennon Doyle, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Brené Brown.

When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chödrön

I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives by Caitlin Alifirenka

Tracks: A Woman’s Solo Trek Across 1700 Miles of Australian Outback by Robyn Davidson

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout

Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing

Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela (also rec’d by James Mattis & Richard Branson)

Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore

Educated by Tara Westover

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson (also rec’d by Gabrielle Union)

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman

My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem (also rec’d by Emma Watson)

Sometimes Brilliant by Larry Brilliant

(via Goodreads)
Categories: Writers