Recommended Reads

My 2017 Reading List

Although I am an avid reader, several years ago, amidst grad school and the early years of opening my piano studio, I found myself reading very little (except what was assigned in school, of course). A few years following, I still found myself continually saying how much I missed reading so I finally set my foot down for myself and said – no more.

Each year I now set a goal for how many books I want to read and increase it by 1-2 books per year. In 2017 the goal was 20 and I hit it spot on. Next year the goal will be 21. See? Baby steps are manageable. Before I know it, I’ll be reading 30 books a year.

After being inspired by the following quotes…

“If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ~Oscar Wilde

“It is a good rule after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between.” ~C.S. Lewis

…I vowed this year, to begin including re-reads in my list. The goal was to re-read 5 books (25%) but unfortunately, I only ended up re-reading one (Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert). That’s OK though, I just reminded myself that it’s about baby steps. So, my goal for 2018 my goal will be that 2 of the 21 books will be re-reads.

I hope you can find some inspiration for your own personal book list below. Let me know what you’re reading and some of your top recommendations from this past year in the comments!



Business / Professional

The Savvy Musician by David Cutler

Beware, this book is more of a manual than a pleasure read. 🙂 It is absolutely chock full of ideas for thinking outside the box as an independent music teacher. New teachers and those looking to build their business or explore new income streams will find this book extremely useful.


Tales of a Musical Journey (Teacher Handbook)

While I don’t use Irina Gorin’s books directly, I have toyed with them in the past and am very intrigued with her approach to teaching technique to young beginners. I have learned a lot from following her online, reading this handbook, and trying her method.


The Success Factor in Piano Teaching by Elvira Pearce

This is another book that is especially good for new teachers. For seasoned teachers, it will feel like a good refresher course.



Women, Work & the Art of Savoir Faire: Business Sense & Sensibility by Mirelle Guiliano

I really enjoy Mirelle Guiliano’s style of writing. After reading her first book, French Women Don’t Get Fat years ago, I’ve been wanting to read her two follow up books French Women Don’t Get Facelifts (listed below) and this one. While Women, Work & the Art of Savoir Faire was geared toward women specifically in the business world, I still found it an enjoyable and interesting read.


Leisure / Fiction

Wonder by R.J. Palicio

A popular and best-selling novel, and now a major motion picture, Wonder is a beautiful story of a little boy with facial anomalies. We can all learn something by seeing life through his eyes. I even keep this one in my little studio library for students to check out.


Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (re-read)

This was my first “re-read.” I read Gilbert’s book when it first came out in 2007 and while I already knew the stories in the book, they still came to life and were as pleasurable to read as they were 10 years ago.


Wings of the Nightingale Series, Books 1, 2, 3 by Sarah Sundin

I remember my grandmother loving to read Lori Wick and Beverly Lewis’s Christian romance novels. I haven’t read a lot of fiction in the recent years but have recently tried to do more reading for leisure and not just business/learning. I tend to pick an author and then read all their books before moving on to another. This WWII Christian romance/mystery novels have been a welcome breath of fresh air. Sometimes you just need an easy read.

Waves of Freedom Series, Books 1, 2, 3 by Sarah Sundin



With Love, Wherever You Are by Dandi Daley Mackall

After a friend from church who is an author of WWII books saw me reading a Sarah Sundin book, she loaned me one of her favorites. This book is based on the true story of the author’s parents and a delightful read.




The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

This has been on my to-read list for awhile. It’s a very motivating book choice – especially for the beginning of the year when many are setting their sights on goals for the new year.



Intuitive Eating by Elyse Resch and Evelyn

A friend recommended this book to me. While I don’t agree with their philosophy of food and eating completely, there’s a lot of practical advice and principals for having a healthy relationship with food I gleaned from this book. P.S. It’s one of those books I didn’t read in full but skimmed a lot of sections.


French Women Don’t Get Facelifts by Mireille Guiliano

Again, I like to stick with the same authors hence book #2 in 2017 by Ms. Guiliano. She has a lot of great suggestions for personal care in general including specific products.

Those that I purchased and LOVE include this hairdryer (which is so sturdy I’m convinced it will last me 20 years), this apple cider shampoo that I use on the weekends as a sort of “cleanser” from my regular shampoo, and this foundation makeup brush.


Faith/Spiritual/Bible Study

Unceasing Worship: Biblical Perspectives on Worship and the Arts by Harold M. Best

The first book I read by Harold Best was in an undergrad music and worship class I took. I remember thoroughly enjoying the book Music Through the Eyes of FaithThe author is Dean Emeritus at Wheaton College Conservatory of Music and a Past President of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). The book took me quite awhile to get through as it requires deep thinking and slow reading in a way to help you absorb all he is saying but it very much worth reading. It is already on my read-again list.


Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

This has been a very popular book and I enjoyed reading it as a part of my ladies Bible study I attend. That being said, I personally did not feel a connection to the topic at hand and wouldn’t put it on my re-read list. The topic hits home with many however and absolutely could be just what you need in this moment.


The Restoration Movement by Enos E. Dowling

This is a book from the 1960s that I read about half of then skimmed the rest. It tells the history of what’s called the “restoration movement” in the Protestant churches that started in the early 19th century. One of the biggest focuses/results of the movement was abandoning denominational models and focusing on the church body as patterned after the church of the New Testament in the books of Acts.

Several branches of churches came out of this movement including the Churches of Christ (instrumental and non-instrumental) and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the first being that which I grew up in and currently attend. I was part of a transition team this year in which our church was seeking an interim pastor to help guide our church through a time of transition after losing our pastor of over 25 years. This time of searching made me curious about the history of the restoration movement.


Power Thoughts (Devotional) by Joyce Meyer

A year of daily devotionals.


For even more book ideas, catch my 2016 reading list.

What are you reading?


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