When I write a new fiction book, I start by defining my characters first. Each of my lovely ladies is at a crossroad in life. They face divorce, death, changes in their careers, an empty nest. They each go searching for something more. Some know immediately what they want. Some only have a feeling something’s not quite right.

My books are about journeys. It’s about women who are ready for big changes.

It’s no coincidence that I am at the same crossroad in my own life. I’m the queen at change. I’ve uprooted my life over and over again. But that doesn’t make any point in my life easier to navigate. Change is always difficult.

I get through it by reading. (And writing!) I read … A LOT! And some of my biggest influencers this year are these few books.

Life Reimagined

Don’t sit down with this book without a pen in hand. It may look like a read-only book, but I found myself using sticky notes all over taking notes and coming up with my own ideas. I love when women open up and let you in to their own lives and what steps they took to create better lives. This book won’t disappoint. In fact, it helped me solidify some of my own plans for the future.

It’s Never Too Late To Begin Again

If you haven’t heard of The Artist’s Way, pick that book up too. (You don’t have to be an artist; it’s more about ideas for living a brilliant life.) I’ve loved that book for years and have picked it up multiple times. When someone recommended Julia’s newest book, I couldn’t wait to sit down and work my way through it. Think of this as a workbook. It will make you think.

Designing Your Life

Seeing a trend here? Yep, each of these books has it’s own unique take on how to move forward with your life. I’ve been reading each of these multiple times over the past couple of years as I’m weaving new things into my life. That’s the beauty of each of these books – they all have different meaning depending on when you read it.

Big Magic

I’ve loved Elizabeth Gilbert’s writing since Eat, Love, Pray. I’ve watched that movie over and over again. When she released this book a few years ago, I happily said: Yes, please. This isn’t a book to read quickly. Read a chapter and think. How can you apply what you learn to your own life?

Waking Up In Winter

There’s something about reading someone else’s approach to creating a perfect midlife lifestyle. This is more memoir, taken from how she journaled when she knew she needed a change in midlife. I loved her wisdom and how she used each day to redesign her life into something beautiful.

The Crossroads of Should and Must

You’ll notice that all of my picks here have action steps, to-do sections, or in some way make you think and take action to let real change enter your life. This book became an instant favorite when I opened up the book and saw the colorful pages inside. That’s what I love to do with self-help books. Pick them up, read a page, and ponder it for a day or two before I pick it up and do it again. This book will be on my nightstand for a long time as I work my way through the quotes and other short messages.

Have a favorite book that’s helped you out as you’re reinventing your life? Let me know what it is in the comments.