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The 10 Books that Changed my Life

It’s hard to overstate the impact that books have had on my life, developing my understanding of people and society as much, if not more than, human interaction.

So here are my top 10 book recommends that have been major catalysts for emotional, spiritual and intellectual growth. I hope the below will help inspire you as they have me:

1. The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael J Singer
This NY Times bestseller really expedited the healing process after a life-changing relationship ended. It’s truly eye-opening if you’ve ever struggled with anger or frustration that life or people aren’t how you want them to be. Singer also helps you understand how to overcome blocks within yourself that may threaten relationships whether romantic, platonic, professional or otherwise. His serious mix of EQ and IQ is quite breath-taking.

2. The Power of Now by Ekhart Tolle
This love / hate international bestseller taught me about the power of mindfulness and what it really is, opening with the author’s transformation from suicidal crisis to spiritual enlightenment. Tolle goes on to explain where stress comes from, why you are not your mind and how you can control your thoughts and emotions. It may leave you feeling like you’ve uncovered the secrets of the universe.

3. A Return To Love by Marianne Williamson
I read this book in the wake of a painful but necessary break-up. It clarified the different kinds of romantic love and how they’re part of your wider journey. The number 1 bestseller, it explores how miracles start to happen when you resolve to trust the universe and learn to love yourself, guiding the reader to deep spiritual awakening.

4. The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living by the Dalai Lama XIV
This book deepened my knowledge of the most important aspect of human nature in any relationship: empathy. I read it when I felt unsupported in a relationship and the teachings were a catalyst for me leaving. In collaboration with Howard Cutler, a western psychiatrist, the Dalai Lama incorporates stories and meditations on how to overcome challenging emotions and what good relationships are built on. The 2,500 years of Buddhist teachings within will help you understand how to find peace in your daily life.

5. A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled by Ruby Wax
This read inspired me to develop mindfulness workshops in companies, charities and prisons. Outrageously witty, smart and accessible, Ruby Wax’s book on mindfulness explains the well-known term with humour and simplicity across a range of subjects from stress and relationships to careers and mental health. If you thought Wax was just some silly comic, think again. She has an OBE for her services to mental health, her book is inspired by her studies of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy at Oxford University and she believes that mindfulness is the only thing that has eased her crippling depression.

6. Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything by Elizabeth Gilbert
I read this worldwide bestseller while I was in New York after emerging from a toxic relationship. It starts at 3am, with Gilbert sobbing on the floor. She’s in her 30s, has a husband, a house and is trying for a baby – and she doesn’t want any of it. A bitter divorce and a turbulent love affair later, she emerges battered and bewildered and realises it’s time to pursue her own journey in search of happiness. So she travels to Rome, India and Bali where she re-finds herself quite entirely. I’d recommend this book if you’re at a cross-roads in your love life and wondering what makes you tick. I had many laugh out loud moments and equal doses of comfort and catharsis.

7. The Road Less Travelled by M Scott Peck
Peck was an American psychiatrist and best-selling author whose book melds love, science, and religion into a primer on personal growth. At the forefront of spiritual psychology, his book is broken into the grand themes of life like love and parenthood to v powerful effect, sharing his own life stories and those of anonymous therapy clients to bring the complex to life. His words on love and parenting stand out more than any others I’ve read on the subjects.

8. The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma
This was the seed of my awakening to what really matters in life – the beginnings of reconnecting to my true self – bridging the gap between the conventional past life of law and the new, more inner-directed life of coaching. Teaching about the difference between ‘shoulds’ and ‘wants’, prestige and inner power, feelings over thinkings, the pearls of wisdom in this number one bestseller have contributed to reshaping my views on careers, love and life at large. This book is, quite simply, one of the most powerful stories you will ever read. Described by Brian Tracy, as a ‘fun, fascinating, fanciful adventure into the realms of personal development’, this is a must-read on how to achieve greater balance, control and happiness in life. Written by one of the world’s leading experts on leadership and personal development and author of 12 international bestsellers, Robin Sharma knows a thing or two about success in the widest sense.

9. The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food & Love by Kristen Kimball
Read at the start of a journey that would change my life, I’d just moved to Madrid after leaving law, I was embarking on a love affair with a Mowgli lookalike French boy nobody would have ever put me with and I was beginning to connect with my true self – closing the gap between who I thought I should be and who I really am. Based on Kimball’s unconventional journey from the glitzy world of Harvard and New York journalism to the rugged wilderness of the countryside with a farmer she falls in love with, ‘The Dirty Life’ is a powerful tale about love, fulfilment and the power of instinct. Exposing stark ironies about conventional perceptions of ‘success’ and ‘happiness’, Kimball takes us on a journey full of surprises, a world away from the corporate sphere she might have settled into in favour of a world full of simple pleasures. ‘The Dirty Life’ is a heart-warming must-read if you’re feeling disillusioned with the daily grind or conflicted by society’s expectations of you versus your inner longings.

10. The 5 Languages of Love by Gary Chapman
A woman in Chamonix said this book saved her marriage. I can see why. Its pocket sized dimensions are completely disproportionate to its power, for though you can read it in two hours straight, ‘The 5 Languages of Love’ is a life-changer in the relationship game. A New York Times bestseller, with over 5 million copies sold and translated into 38 languages, it guides you to identify, understand, and speak your partner’s primary love language – quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service or physical touch. This little love bible can transform relationships.

mel blog

Clarity. Confidence. Possibility. Love. Creativity. Focus. Calm.

I’m Melanie Pritchard, recovering lawyer turned life coach, NLP practitioner and truth-teller with a passion for helping people be, do and have anything they want in life.

I feel blessed to help courage-fuelled go-getters design their lives in a way that brings them true happiness and I’m so excited to be with you on your path to success.

Let’s get to know each other a bit better.


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