Five Powerful Non Fiction Books You Need To Read


Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive by Stephanie Land offers a compelling look at one woman’s experience working as a maid and trying to care for her daughter. I really empathized with Stephanie as she tried to make ends meet as a single mother.  Without coming across like a victim, Stephanie shares what it’s like being in the poorer end of the working class and her daily challenges including the complications of receiving government assistance.


While the gap between upper middle-class Americans and the working poor widens, grueling low-wage domestic and service work–primarily done by women–fuels the economic success of the wealthy. Stephanie Land worked for years as a maid, pulling long hours while struggling as a single mom to keep a roof over her daughter’s head. In Maid, she reveals the dark truth of what it takes to survive and thrive in today’s inequitable society.

While she worked hard to scratch her way out of poverty as a single parent, scrubbing the toilets of the wealthy, navigating domestic labor jobs, higher education, assisted housing, and a tangled web of government assistance, Stephanie wrote. She wrote the true stories that weren’t being told. The stories of overworked and underpaid Americans.

Written in honest, heart-rending prose and with great insight, Maid explores the underbelly of upper-middle class America and the reality of what it’s like to be in service to them. “I’d become a nameless ghost,” Stephanie writes. With this book, she gives voice to the “servant” worker, those who fight daily to scramble and scrape by for their own lives and the lives of their children.

I don’t think I could manage what Stephanie did as she tries to better herself and create a good life for her daughter. I really admire her extremely hard work and refusal to settle for anything less than what she deserved. Very good book.




I’m sure you are aware of the amazing book, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  In Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep we learn about a serial killer and how Harper Lee spent time digging into this case.


The stunning story of an Alabama serial killer and the true-crime book that Harper Lee worked on obsessively in the years after To Kill a Mockingbird. Reverend Willie Maxwell was a rural preacher accused of murdering five of his family members for insurance money in the 1970s. With the help of a savvy lawyer, he escaped justice for years until a relative shot him dead at the funeral of his last victim. Despite hundreds of witnesses, Maxwell’s murderer was acquitted–thanks to the same attorney who had previously defended the Reverend.

Sitting in the audience during the vigilante’s trial was Harper Lee, who had traveled from New York City to her native Alabama with the idea of writing her own In Cold Blood, the true-crime classic she had helped her friend Truman Capote research seventeen years earlier. Lee spent a year in town reporting, and many more working on her own version of the case.

Now Casey Cep brings this story to life, from the shocking murders to the courtroom drama to the racial politics of the Deep South.

This book is out now, I have it on my ipad, ready to read. I love true crime and cannot wait to sit down and get into it.



If you consider yourself to be an empath, you might be very familiar with empath expert Judith Orloff MD, who has written excellent books such as The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People,  Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life, and now she has written Thriving As An Empath-365 Days of Self-Care for Sensitive People.

In her newest book, due out on October 22, she writes about how to set boundaries for those who are sensitive, how to protect your energy, how not to take on the negative energy of those who leave you feeling exhausted. I love Judith’s writing and her wisdom. I will happily read anything she writes!

The book is divided into four parts:

Winter: Going Inward, Sensing Truth
Spring: Rebirth, Growth, and Rejuvenation
Summer: Passion, Play, and Abundance
Autumn: Harvest, Change, and Letting Go

Here’s everything you need to know about this book:

Empaths have so much to offer as healers, creatives, friends, lovers, and innovators at work. Yet highly sensitive and empathic people often give too much at the expense of their own well-being—and end up absorbing the stress of others. “To stay healthy and happy,” writes Judith Orloff, MD, “you must be ready with daily self-care practices that work.” With Thriving as an Empath, Dr. Orloff provides an invaluable resource to help you protect yourself from the stresses of an overwhelming world and embrace the “gift of being different.”

If you want daily tools to put into action, this book is for you. Building on the principles Dr. Orloff introduced in The Empath’s Survival Guide, this book brings you daily self-care practices and support for becoming a compassionate, empowered empath, including:

• Setting strong boundaries
• Protecting your energy
• Inoculating yourself against stress and overwhelm
• Self-soothing techniques
• Knowing that it is not your job to take on the world’s stress
• Breaking the momentum of sensory overload
• Tapping the vitality of all four seasons and the elements
• Deepening your connection with the cycles of nature
• Moving out of clock-based time into “sacred time”

Thriving as an Empath was created to help you grow and flourish without internalizing the emotions and pain of others. “These self-care techniques have been life-saving for me and my patients,” writes Dr. Orloff. “I feel so strongly about regular self-care because I want you to enjoy the extraordinary gifts of sensitivity—including an open heart, intuition, and an intimate connection with the natural world.”

This is an absolute must-read for so many people! Pre-Order here.



In Pema Chodron’s book, Welcoming the Unwelcome: Wholehearted Living in a Brokenhearted World, she shares her profound wisdom and advice for ushering in positivity in a time of craziness. I really like how her words flow and the book is easy to read. I agree with her on how hard times can really bring forth changes within us.

Here’s the synopsis:

In her first new book of spiritual teachings in over seven years, Pema Chödrön offers a combination of wisdom, heartfelt reflections, and the signature mix of humor and insight that have made her a beloved figure to turn to during times of change. In an increasingly polarized world, Pema shows us how to strengthen our abilities to find common ground, even when we disagree, and influence our environment in positive ways. Sharing never-before told personal stories from her remarkable life, simple and powerful everyday practices, and directly relatable advice, Pema encourages us all to become triumphant bodhisattvas–compassionate beings–in times of hardship.

Welcoming the Unwelcome includes teachings on the true meaning of karma, recognizing the basic goodness in ourselves and the people we share our lives with–even the most challenging ones, transforming adversity into opportunities for growth, and freeing ourselves from the empty and illusory labels that separate us. Pema also provides step-by-step guides to a basic sitting meditation and a compassion meditation that anyone can use to bring light to the darkness we face, wherever and whatever it may be.

Short chapters, excellent advice, this book will give you hope and you will feel more positive and peaceful after reading it.

Out on October 8, pre-order here.



If you are a fan of true crime then you will enjoy Chase Darkness With Me by Billy Jensen. Isn’t the title so perfect for a story about true crime?

My true crime interest dates back to when I learned about Marilyn Monroe and her death. I pored over photos of her in books, looking for some kinds of clues. Even though the photos of her bedside post-death were creepy, I tried to find anything pointing to foul play and I was only a kid back then. Years later, I started reading Ann Rule’s excellent books and that was it. I was a genuine fan of true crime and never turned back.

You might know Billy from his help in finishing Michelle McNamara’s book, I’ll Be Gone In The Dark. He and Michelle had plans to work together but sadly she died.  If you haven’t read her book, you must! It’s very good.

In this book, Billy discusses his interest in crime and investigative journalism. I really liked the story of how he got his start in investigating and all the details about catching criminals. Billy shares some interesting cases and how he tries to solve crimes using social media and his passion and commitment are admirable. While I am interested in criminal cases, I am not cut out for jumping in and trying to solve mysteries and cold cases.

Thankfully, people like Billy Jensen exist!

Here’s the full synopsis:

Have you ever wanted to solve a murder? Gather the clues the police overlooked? Put together the pieces? Identify the suspect?

Journalist Billy Jensen spent fifteen years investigating unsolved murders, fighting for the families of victims. Every story he wrote had one thing in common―they didn’t have an ending. The killer was still out there.

But after the sudden death of a friend, crime writer and author of I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, Michelle McNamara, Billy became fed up. Following a dark night, he came up with a plan. A plan to investigate past the point when the cops had given up. A plan to solve the murders himself.

You’ll ride shotgun as Billy identifies the Halloween Mask Murderer, finds a missing girl in the California Redwoods, and investigates the only other murder in New York City on 9/11. You’ll hear intimate details of the hunts for two of the most terrifying serial killers in history: his friend Michelle McNamara’s pursuit of the Golden State Killer and his own quest to find the murderer of the Allenstown Four. And Billy gives you the tools―and the rules―to help solve murders yourself.

Gripping, complex, unforgettable, Chase Darkness with Me is an examination of the evil forces that walk among us, illustrating a novel way to catch those killers, and a true-crime narrative unlike any you’ve read before.

Read it now! Get it here.