My favourite books (part 1 – memoirs)

November 5, 2023

I'm jess!

Life and leadership coach for women, mental health maven and soul guide.

I support women to do LESS people-pleasing, perfectionism and over-working ... and experience MORE ease, joy, vitality and confidence.


tell me more

Books are my sanctuary. To me there’s not much that beats a comfy armchair, a cup of tea and an enthralling book. An infinitely more pleasurable and healthy alternative to doom-scrolling! One thing I notice though is that if I don’t have a good book on the go, I’m more tempted by social media and other distractions that don’t feed my heart and soul. 

May we always have a compelling read on our nightstand!

To this end, I wanted to compile a list of all-time favourite books to share with you. The list will feature books that have entertained me, soothed me, inspired me, prodded me, galvanised me, fascinated me and profoundly opened me to Life, to others and to myself. 

To kick off, I’m starting with memoirs, which alongside WW2 fiction would have to be my favourite type of read. I always feel so privileged by the intimacy of memoirs: beautiful, brave souls bearing their hearts. 

So without further ado, here you go (in no particular order, although I can’t help but notice that my absolute faves seem to have found their way to the top!)

Fascinating, inspiring and/or heart-opening memoirs

  1. The Choice – Edith Eger
  2. Educated – Tara Westover
  3. Tuesdays with Morrie – Mitch Albom
  4. Wild – Cheryl Strayed
  5. Untamed – Glennon Doyle
  6. Stranger Care – Sarah Sentilles
  7. Dying to Be Me – Anita Moorjani
  8. We Were Dreamers – Simu Liu
  9. Invisible Child – Andrea Elliott
  10. The Lost Child of Philomena Lee– Martin Sixsmith
  11. Becoming – Michelle Obama
  12. The Salt Path – Raynor Winn
  13. This is Going to Hurt – Adam Kay
  14. The Lightless Sky – Gulwali Passarlay and Nadene Ghouri
  15. When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi
  16. Lion – Saroo Brierley
  17. Proof of Heaven – Eben Alexander
  18. Mama’s Boy – Dustin Lance Black
  19. The Boy who Harnessed the Wind – William Kamkwamba
  20. The Girl with Seven Names – Lee Hyeon-seo
  21. I am Malala – Malala Yousafzai
  22. The Bright Hour – Nina Riggs
  23. Your Own Kind of Girl – Clare Bowditch
  24. On Living – Kerry Egan
  25. Spare – Prince Harry
  26. Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing – Matthew Perry
  27. The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank
  28. The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying – Bronnie Ware
  29. Angela’s Ashes – Frank McCourt
  30. Greenlights – Matthew McConaughey (**highly recommend an audiobook for this one, his voice is like honey)

I'm Jess, mind whisperer, mama & ocean lover

I'm a former lawyer turned women’s leadership and life coach. 

I guide women who have created their success largely through driving, pushing and controlling, to reconnect with their intuition, vitality and radiance.

more about me

hey there!

Why I don't recommend meditation for women

tell me more

blog post

7 things I want every woman to know

read it

blog post

 Top Resources

5 secrets to calm your busy mind

Packed with simple, practical tools to anchor you in your next thought storm

PLUS learn why your body, not your mind, holds the key 

download my free guide

 I gratefully acknowledge the Turrbal and Jagera people as the traditional owners of this land upon which I live and work.

jess heading

© jess heading Coaching 2024  |  Design by Tonic  |  Photos by paula ivy & pexels

online program



@jessheading >

follow along 
on Instagram: