3 Inspiring Books

If you know me well, you know that I can often be found with my nose in a book. Reading allows me to learn new things, to be introduced to new ideas and concepts.

I like all kinds of books, but the books that I enjoy reading most of all tend to be the ones that ignite a passion in my soul and inspire action.

The following three books definitely fall into that category:

somebody loves you mr hatch by eileen spinelliSomebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch written by Eileen Spinelli, illustrated by Paul Yalowitz (Aladdin Paperbacks, 1996)

Mr. Hatch is a balding older gentleman who works a ho-hum job at the shoelace factory. He is lonely and tired and he doesn't smile. Then, one day, Mr. Hatch receives something in the mail - a giant heart-shaped box filled with chocolates. Attached is an anonymous message: "Somebody loves you."

That message revolutionizes Mr. Hatch's way of life. He dresses differently. He spends his time differently. He sees people differently. Because he is loved.

I hate to be all sappy, but I have to say: I almost cry when I read the final page of this children's book every.single.time that I read it. The story is priceless. The illustrations are endearing. The message is inspiring. It is sure to be loved by you and your kids. A great read aloud story for all ages to enjoy together.

***Also available on Amazon for $7.99.

five where will you be five years from today by dan FIVE: Where will you be five years from today? written by Dan Zadra (Compendium Incorporated, 2009)

I have a special notebook that I carry around with me everywhere - all throughout the day. I write down my hopes, my goals, my dreams, my ideas, my ambitions. I have short-term goals and long-term goals and "impossible" goals. I have goals for today, for tomorrow, for next week, for five - ten - 20 years from now.

A few times throughout the year, my husband and I try to schedule separate days to spend alone, pray, write down our goals, reflect (preferably in nature somewhere). Then, we come back together to discuss where we are currently in life, where we want to be, WHO we want to be.

This book is PERFECT for those meditative times. If you're looking for a book to take along with you on a retreat or to read in a quiet moment when the house is asleep, this could be it. Packed with quotes, exercises, inspiration, and white space - you'll have plenty of room to doodle, draft, and draw your way to a fuller, richer life.

This is not a typical "read from cover-to-cover and then put on a bookshelf" book. This is a journaling book, a book to engage with and to come back to. It's an excellent pick for days/times when you get a little "alone time" to be contemplative.

the creative family by amanda blake souleThe Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections written by Amanda Blake Soule, illustrated by Betsy Thompson (Trumpeter, 2008)

Written by a BLOGGER {SouleMama} and mom of three, this book's subtitle is "simple projects and activities for you and your children." That description is highly accurate. The book covers arts & crafts, sewing, photography, family traditions, teaching gratitude, and much more. It's all about doing simple things to add beauty and imagination to our homes.

I came away with quite a few thoughts and ideas that I would like to try with my family: expressing daily gratitudes, hanging a bulletin board, creating an inspiration folder, using high-quality art supplies, etc.

I have to admit that I'm not quite as "crafty" as SouleMama so some of her projects are not really in my radar. That said, I DO appreciate beautiful things and I DO strive to live simply. Soule's book gave me ideas in both of those categories...and, for that, I am truly grateful. Overall, it's a beautiful book full of ingenuity and heavenly handmade creations. (Pssst...Madeline...this book reminds me of you).

***Also available on Amazon for $12.89.

WIN IT! There will be three winners.

To enter, leave a comment stating which book you would most like to win and why (If you would like to win all three, please list in order of preference) on this post prior to Monday, October 19th at 11:59 p.m. (Don’t forget to follow the rules…all generic comments like “Enter me!,” “Love it,” and “Cool stuff!” will be disqualified.).

*UPDATE* The winner of "Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch" is #21 jenny miller. The winner of "FIVE" is #25 Kathy Sena. The winner of "The Creative Family" is #31 Abbi. Congratulations!

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40 comments on “3 Inspiring Books”

  1. I'd love to win The Creative Family! I'm always looking for more crafty projects to do with my daughter. I also like 5 and would love to be motivated to get off my butt and do something. Thanks for sharing!

  2. These look like great books! My order of choice would be...
    1. Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch - I would totally be like you and tear up but that's okay, it sounds like a wonderful message.
    2. The Creative Family - I consider myself fairly crafty but sometimes I get stumped coming up with the idea of what to do, so this sounds great.
    3. FIVE - I definitely feel a little aimless in life sometimes, this sounds like it would be just the thing to sit and read to help find some direction.


  3. I would love to win Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli so I could read it with my 2 children. It looks like a book that could help me teach them what a joy it is to make someones day!

  4. I would love to have the creative family book. I'm always looking for new ideas for activities for our family. My second choice would be Five, because I like the idea of setting goals based on your future "state". The Mr Hatch story has such a great message, it would be great to share with my daughter.

    Thanks for the wonderful giveaway!

  5. The Creative Family would be a very welcome book in our home. Our little guy isn't quite to old enough for crafting, but I can't wait until he is. The Mr. Hatch book also looks lovely, with a beautiful theme. Thanks!

  6. I think I would like The Creative Family. I love doing things with the kids that cultivate creativity.

    My second choice would be Somebody Loves You My Hatch because I think it would be a great book for storytime.

  7. I would love to win the Creative family book. I am currently volunteering with children at the local children's hospital and would love to use this book for inspiration on how to get their creative juices flowing. Creativity is always a good tool for distraction from painful medical situations.

    -- Chelsea

  8. I just love Amaanda Soule's Creative Family book. I had heard about this book before, but then I things got really hectic and I forgot all about it..your post reminded me again thanks so much! I've been feeling like my house is so grey and drab lately and it would be wonderful to add some color and creativity into our lives.

  9. I would love to win Amanda Soule's "Creative Family". I have been following Amanda's blog for sometime now and really enjoy her talent for taking pictures and expressing herself. I love the way she makes simple things in life seem beautiful. I have heard good things about this book and would very much enjoy having it! Thanks for the great giveaway!

  10. I think the Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch would be a great book to read with my daughter. I love the concept and probably will cry myself...

  11. These all sound really neat. I think my top pick would be the "Creative Family" one - I strive to build creative things into our days, and my kiddos love doing special projects, so I'd enjoy all the new ideas. I would also enjoy "Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch" as a second choice. Well-written, poignant books like that always choke me up...I'd be sniffling for sure!

  12. I would like The Creative Family book because I am sooo not creative, yet I would love for my girls to be able to do fun projects, etc. Perhaps if I had guidance in projects, we could actually do some fun ones!

  13. I would love to read The Creative Family! My son loves doing crafty projects, but some days I run out of ideas. This sounds like a great resource!

    Somebody Loves You, Mr Hatch looks like an interesting read too!

  14. So hard to choose... I think you sold me on "Somebody loves you Mr Hatch" - we're building our children's library and more read-alone books are definitely needed.

    The "Creative Family" one would be a close second though - although I'm not considered the "crafty" one in my family or circle of friends, I've recently completely some surprisingly crafty projects. Which of course have only whetted my appetite for more...

  15. I would love to win "Five" because I think it is so important to think beyond the moment — when I have to pick up my son at school, what I'm going to make for dinner, the work deadline I have for tomorrow.

    Without taking time to step back and look at the big picture, it's easy to miss it completely. And suddenly, those 5, 10, 15 years have flown by while we're at the mercy of our to-do lists. I'd love to think bigger, wider, deeper about what I want to do with my life.

  16. I would love to have "The Creative Family: How To Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections. My husband travels, so it is usually just me and two toddlers together and would love to have some new ideas for our weekends together! Thank You!

  17. You have great taste in books! I read The Creative Family not too long ago, and loved it so much. It made me grin to see that it reminded you of me! That's quite a compliment.
    I'd love the Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch. It sounds like such a great kid's book to have around.

  18. I would absolutely love to win The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections. I have heard and read so many wonderfully creative things about it. We have started having family night on Friday evenings, so I would love to try some of the ideas/activities on that night.

    Keeping my fingers (and toes)crossed!

  19. I would love to win "The Creative Family." As my daughter (21 months) gets older I am always looking for creative ideas and projects to do together. I think allowing a child to participate in a lot of crafts really stimulates their imagination and develops their creativity. Plus it allows for quality time together and helps relieve stress for me! Thanks for the review and the chance to win!

  20. Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch would be my pick. I've never read it, but we are surrounded by elderly neighbors and this book sounds like a good reminder to up our efforts to make them feel loved.

  21. Oh they all three sound fabulous! I think I am going to buy the FIVE book for my husband for Christmas. We have been discussing our five year plan and I think this would be a great way for us to do something tactile to plan! I also like the creative family. I can't wait for my 15 month old to be able to really take part in crafts and games. Thanks for the great recommends I love them!

  22. They all sound like excellent books, but I'm particularly interested in FIVE. I love goal setting exercises and was just thinking that I need to sit down and re-evaluate my current short and long term goals.

  23. I am a book lover, my husband is too, and now we've got a house full of little bookies!! Amazingly we don't have any of these books in our collection yet. I would love to have The Creative Family, but I'm sure the girls would love Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch just as much.

  24. We are a family of book lovers. Somebody Loves
    You. Mr. Hatch would be a great family book!
    I am sappy and would enjoy this book. Also, your
    journaling books sounds like fun. I have always enjoyed keeping journals and diaries.
    Many thanks.....Cindi

  25. OH man, how do you choose? These all look like wonderful books! In order, I think I would want "The Creative Family," "Five," and "Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch." I guess. But I'll probably change my mind as soon as I hit "submit!"

    What a great idea you and your husband have- to take a day off for your own reflection and then come together to discuss. I'm taking that idea! Thanks for sharing!

  26. Since I already have the third book you mention, written by Amada Soule,(and I love it by the way...have already incorporate many of the suggestions in it!) I would be happy to win either of the other two books. As a teacher I am intrigued with the story line in Somebody Love You, Mr. Hatch, and as someone who loves to journal, the FIVE book sounds intriguing. You have come up with a great selection of books for this post, I must say!

  27. How in the world do you choose? They all 3 seem so good. But I have to say my number one choice would be The Creative Family. But I am sure the Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch would be such a fun book to read with my little boy.

  28. Seriously, I love being recommended to a book. I would Love to win the first book- Somebody Loves you, Mr. Hatch. I think my little girl would love it. She loves me to read to her :)

  29. What a fun giveaway!

    I would love to win a copy of The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections...I adore reading the Soulemama blog! I just recently received her new book Handmade Home and it is great, so I would love to own her first book as well.

  30. Such cool books - I actually wouldn't mind winning any of them - I would let whatever one inspire me in the way that it was supposed to.

    autumn398 @ yahoo.com

  31. The Creative Family-first, because I think our family needs. Somebody Loves You, Mr Hatch-second. I think my children would enjoy. Lastly, FIVE- I think I need it.


  32. I would like to win Amanda Soule's book. I read her blog regularly and am always out for new ideas for nurturing family activities to share with the children I care for and for my family! This is a wonderful chance for that book!

    Another great dreaming book is one called Are You Pregnant with A Dream? I encourage anyone interested in mroe dreaming read this book- those in RI participate in a dream circle. It's a wonderful opportunity and change to fertilize the dream seeds.

  33. All three of these books sound wonderful.

    Since I have two little ones in my house right now that I love reading books too I would probably pick that book.

    But... I love the concept of the 5 book and it is something I would really enjoy reading. Right now when the house is asleep I'm reading from two other books - one of them is about the story behind a bunch of the traditional Hymns (since I love music, I'm really intrigued by this book - the stories behind the songs.) And I'm also reading "Splashes of Serenity: Bathime Reflections for Drained Moms" a gift from my best friend right after Goose was born - I love it too!

    And... the Creative Family book - I LOVE those types of books and my bookshelves are testament to that because you will find various titles scattered all throughout my books. I love the fact that this books is tailored towards things you can do with your kids too though - most of the books I have are appropriate for older kids and adults.

    Long story short - I'll be happy with any book I happened to win if I happen to win :D

  34. I can't choose just one! I like all three for different reasons. But I think right now the most appealing one is the FIVE book. I feel in a rut... a rut in my dreams and aspirations, a rut in a few of my relationships, and a rut in my menu planning, but that's entirely different! :) This would be a great addition to my library. And one that I would really enjoy sitting with and reflecting upon.

  35. What a great list! I would love to win Somebody Loves You because I'm starting to build my children's collection. :)

    This is going to sound weird, but here it is: journals scare me. I have beautiful journals that I received as gifts and have never written in. The one and only time I successfully kept a journal was when I used a cheap spiral-bound notebook that I could easily remove pages from. At the same time, journals have great appeal for me. I admire people who keep note of their ideas, thoughts, and dreams, and I often think "oh, I should do that too!" So I was instantly attracted to the book FIVE on your list -- but then, just as instantly, decided I would never buy it because all that white space would stare at me, challenging me to have something important enough to write in it. Isn't it dumb the way we limit ourselves sometimes?

    On another note, have you read Three Cups of Tea yet? That's one of my recent 'inspirational' titles that I loved!

  36. I would love to win Somebody loves you, so I can read it with the kids. I love reading books like this with Jeremiah, that have so much feeling. Really hope I win!!!

  37. We would love to add The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections book to our library. Now that we have a little one we need all the help that we can get in becoming a family that truly connects. This sounds like something that could help us with this journey.

    Although, I must admit that all of the books would be wonderful to add... Thanks for sharing.

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