Book Recommendations to Uplevel Your Life

I get asked for book recommendations from my clients, friends, and readers, all the time. You have to understand, I have a very serious Audible addiction. Over the last few years, I’ve listened on average to one new non-fiction book every week. (Fiction is saved...

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I get asked for book recommendations from my clients, friends, and readers, all the time.

You have to understand, I have a very serious Audible addiction. Over the last few years, I’ve listened on average to one new non-fiction book every week. (Fiction is saved for my beloved Kindle cuddle-time.)

Basically I’ll read anything that could possibly improve my work with women (or my own life) and I dedicate time to learning every day. They’re not all winners though, which is why I love offering recommendations– to help people get straight to the good stuff.

I sent out a list of my recommended reading to my email list about a year ago (the original list is at the bottom of this post), and I’ve decided to create a Part 2 and share the whole thing publicly.

Every single book I’m including here has impacted me, or the work I do. Some changes were like huge, life-altering, “red pills” that took me down the rabbit hole. Others offered interesting education, or unexpected insights.

This list covers a variety of topics, from self-development to psychology to trauma to sex and feminism. Many of them directly impacted my work with clients, inspired social media posts and videos, and spawned numerous discussions with friends and family.

Note #1: I certainly don’t agree with or stand by everything written in each book, but there is value in each. I’ll leave it to you to decide which parts you agree with, and which you don’t.

Note #2: I didn’t include any of the business or marketing books I read, because, frankly, I find them so incredibly uninspiring.

Feel free to ask questions or let me know what you’re looking to learn, and I’ll offer some insight into where to start!

The books that I’ve loved and highly recommend since my list went out last time, in no particular order:
  1. I Thought it Was Just Me (But it Isn’t), by Brene Brown
  2. Queen’s Code, by Alison Armstrong (note: this one is technically fiction, but its fictional front is just a weak ruse for teaching important non-fiction themes)
  3. Full Frontal Feminism, by Jessica Valenti
  4. Pussy: A Reclamation, by Regena Thomashauer
  5. Slow Sex: the Art and Craft of the Female Orgasm, by Nicole Daedone
  6. Mating in Captivity: Reconciling the Erotic and the Domestic, by Esther Perel
  7. Sexual Healing: Transforming the Sacred Wound, by Peter A. Levine
  8. Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers: The Acclaimed Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping, by Robert M. Sapolsky
  9. Attached: the New Science of Adult Attachment and How it Can Help You Find– and Keep– Love, by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller
  10. Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients, by Ben Goldacre
  11. The Four Day Win: End Your Diet War and Achieve Thinner Peace, by Martha N. Beck
  12. Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person, by Shonda Rhimes
  13. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life, by Mark Manson
  14. Man’s Search for Meaning, by Victor Frankl

Plus a quick highlight on these three books:


Why Me Want Eat is brand new, written by my friend and kickass coach Krista Scott-Dixon. It reads fast, and funny, and straight to the point of issues or “weirdness” around food, eating, weight and your body.

The other two– The Body Keeps the Score and Waking The Tiger, were two of of the most influential and important books I have ever read, on what trauma is, how trauma affects the body, and what we can do about it.

Oh, and in case you missed my original recommended reading list, here it is again:

book recommendations | Jessi Kneeland | body image

  1. Women, Food, and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything, by Geneen Roth
  2. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Dr Carol Dweck
  3. You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life, by Jen Sincero
  4. The Language of Emotions: What Your Feelings Are Trying to Tell You, by Karla McLaren
  5. Body of Truth: How Science, History, and Culture Drive Our Obsession with Weight–and What We Can Do about It, by Harriet Brown
  6. The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz
  7. Come As Your Are, The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life, by Emily Nagoski Ph.D.
  8. The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem, by Dr. Nathaniel Branden
  9. Tiny Beautiful Things, Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar, by Cheryl Strayed
  10. David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants, by Malcom Gladwell
  11. The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal, by Jim Loehr & Tony Schwartz
  12. Sex Object: A Memoir, by Jessica Valenti
  13. The Power of the Other: The startling effect other people have on you, from the boardroom to the bedroom and beyond-and what to do about it, by Dr. Henry Cloud
  14. Love Warrior: A Memoir, by Glennon Doyle Melton
  15. The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself, by Michael A. Singer
  16. Finding Your Own North Star, by Martha Beck
  17. Eating in the Light of the Moon: How Women Can Transform Their Relationship with Food Through Myths, Metaphors, and Storytelling, by Anita A. Johnston
  18. The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter, & Miracles, by Bruce H. Lipton
  19. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephan Covoy
  20. The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life, by Benjamin Zander and Rosamund Stone Zander
  21. Big magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, by Elizabeth Gilbert


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