7 Non-Fiction Books for Morning Inspiration

In the morning, I like to curl up in my favorite chair with some coffee and read a chapter of a non-fiction book. The chapter usually gives me something to reflect on throughout the day. Over time, I can look back and notice little shifts that have happened in my life as a result of the books I’ve chosen to read.

This hasn’t always been the case. Novels have had my heart from childhood, and I didn’t spend much time on non-fiction. But as I entered my thirties (and I realized how little I knew about so many things) I made more time to read books written by wise, thoughtful people in the hopes that I could learn something from them along the way. Today I compiled a few favorites that have helped to shape the way I think and live. You’ll probably notice some trends as you look at my list below.

Side note: I’m really enjoying creating these more focused book lists for the blog, so that when you need book ideas this will be an easy place to return to. Please feel free to add your own favorites to the comments. One perk of a blog (vs. social media) is the search tab which you can use to quickly find older posts. Win!


Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World, by Cal Newport

A practical philosophy for determining how much technology is enough and how to declutter the rest. Reading this book in January had a profound impact on how I think about technology and it gave me the freedom to get rid of tech that wasn’t working for me, while still preserving the tools I use.

The Family Firm: A Data-Driven Guide to Better Decision Making in the Early School Years, by Emily Oster

Help for navigating the complexity of day-to-day family logistics, using data, a dash of humor, and clear thinking. I don’t normally endorse many parenting books, but I am a big fan of this one (and if you are in earlier stages of parenting or pregnancy, check out her other two books).

Following Jesus: Finding our Way Home in an Age of Anxiety, by Henri Nouwen

A compelling vision for what it looks like to follow Jesus that felt very refreshing in the middle of the pandemic, when anxiety was running rampant. With simple yet deep chapters, this book was a calming way to start my day.

The Little Book of Living Small, by Laura Fenton

Full of photos and design secrets, if you are interested in how to make a smaller space work for a family, this book is a smart and comprehensive guide of real homes. My husband and I had so much fun thumbing through the different case studies and brainstorming how to better use our own space.

Live No Lies: Recognize and Resist the Three Enemies that Sabotage Your Peace, by John Mark Comer

A brilliant and compelling new book from a favorite author/pastor. I listened to the audiobook, which was wonderfully done, but you may want to have the hard copy available to reference too. This one is an instant classic that I will definitely return to.

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids, by Kim John Payne

This list would not be complete without Simplicity Parenting. Long-time readers know this is one of my absolute favorite parenting books, and it has profoundly shaped the way our family and home function. If you feel overwhelmed by all the stuff that comes with having kids and want a blueprint for how to simplify their childhood, this is the book for you.

An Altar in the World, by Barbara Brown Taylor

Gentle and deeply wise, Barbara Brown Taylor’s memoirs are full of meaning and gentleness. I had a hard time choosing just one for this list. Learning to Walk in the Dark was so profound and has stuck with me long after I finished the last page.


You can find more of my favorite books linked in my Amazon Shop.

Lindsey is an Indiana-based blogger who writes about everyday style and simplicity. She loves pizza, yoga, novels, and a great pair of jeans.


  • Lindsay Vaudt

    Such great recommendations- thank you! I am currently reading “How to Hear God- A Simple Guide for Normal People” by Pete Greig. I am loving it and it has totally rocked my prayer life. Highly recommend!

  • Taylor

    Such a good list! I’ve read all but two. These are excellent. On those same lines … I recommend to you “Burnout” by Amelia and Emily Nagoski. As well as “How to Read the Bible for all Its Worth,” I don’t recall the author but it’s two guys.
    Oh and I’m just starting “Raising Critical Thinkers” by Julie Bogart and it’s awesome. Yay reading!

  • Jenny

    Lindsey, such great recommedations! I just put a few on hold at our library.

    I love your blog content, and I am so glad that you are back :)

  • Lauren

    These are fantastic. Adding a few new-to-me ones to my list.

    You’d probably love The Enchanted Hour by Meghan Cox Gurdon. It’s about reading aloud to your kids and the science / research behind it but is told in the most beautiful way. I read it and immediately reread it.