Today is Small Business Saturday, an opportunity for you to take your shopping to local, indie businesses that benefit directly from every purchase. I am a BIG believer in shopping small and shopping local whenever possible because I know that when I do, my purchases help keep the economy of my place and help support creative, personal, unique, and human-driven businesses alive and thriving.
I also believe in shopping small because I own two small businesses myself – Andilit and God’s Whisper Farm. I know, as the owner, creator, and bookkeeper, that every single purchase matters in our businesses.
It’s easy to forget, though, that authors are small business owners, too. But we are. When you buy our books, you are directly helping us earn a living, so please know that the books you buy are helping to put food on the table for a family.
Great Books by Good People
With authors as businesses in mind, I have 7 nonfiction book recommendations from my friends who are writers.
(Note, these are affiliate links, so if you make a purchase of any of these books, I get a small commission at no extra cost to you, and you’ll be helping my small business in the process.)
- Chicken Scratch: Stories of Love, Risk, and Poultry by Kelly Chripczuk. This delightful collection of chicken-inspired essays is full of wisdom about the cyclical nature of life, about the way that slowing down gives us new eyes to see, and about chicken herding 101. Kelly is a dear friend, and this book speaks her heart so beautifully. A great gift for the farmer or would-be chicken-raiser in your life or for anyone who loves Wendell Berry or the essay form.
- Gather at the Table: The Healing Journey of a Daughter of Slavery and a Son of the Slave Trade by Sharon Morgan and Thomas Norman DeWolf. Sharon and Tom are two of the most honest, kindest, strongest people I know, and this book reflects all of those qualities. In these pages, they share their journey – both physical and emotional – to delve into their family histories and explore how the practice of slavery has affected all aspects of who they are. A great gift for historians, for genealogists, and for anyone looking to explore the history and legacy of slavery in these hard days.
- How to Use a Runaway Truck Ramp: And Other Tales from our 10,000-Mile Adventure by Shawn and Maile Smucker. This travel memoir tells the story of the Smucker family – 2 adults and 4 children – on a cross-country roadtrip in Willie Nelson’s old tour bus. The book reflects on journeying and togetherness, on risk and the sometimes unclear rewards of going big. Shawn and Maile’s insights here are rich and profound, and the stories speak from their deep and rich hearts. A great book for the travel junky or the unsettled friend who needs to consider an adventure, perhaps.
- Come, Lord Jesus: The Weight of Waiting by Kris Camealy. In this Advent devotional, Kris delves gently but richly into the challenges of waiting for good things, waiting in the midst of challenges, waiting in a world that pushes us to always do more. The words here are profound in their subtle strength. A great book for the Christian in your life who is struggling with hard times or who feels like the promises will never be fulfilled.
- Indie Confidence: Finding the Gumption to Get Your Story Out of Your Bones and Into the World by Elora Ramirez. In this lyric book of practical wisdom and vulnerable story-telling, Elora helps writers move from a place of inaction to a place of profound openness and strength. These pages combine advice about how to publish with Elora’s personal journey of publication in an inspiring and powerful work. A great book for that writer you know how just keeps holding back.
- The Contemplative Writer: Loving God through Christian Spirituality, Meditation, Daily Prayer, and Writing by Ed Cyzewski. One of the things my friend Ed has taught me is that there is great value to being deliberate in our practices of faith and writing. This book blends those habits beautifully, using a combination of practical advice and gentle meditation. A great book for the Christian writer who needs help in establishing a healthy routine for their work and prayer life.
- Bruja by Wendy C. Ortiz. A “dream-oir” is how this book is described, and I haven’t got language to do it better. Here, Wendy takes the language of dreams to share – wide-open – the stories of her life. This book is powerful and complex and above all lush and gorgeous. A great book for the reader who loves exciting new forms of creative nonfiction, who is writing her own memoir, or who will appreciate the craftsmanship of a memoir told fresh.
I hope you’ll check out these great titles and consider picking them up for yourself or for someone on your holiday shopping list. Each time you do, you help make it possible for these writers to keep creating great work to enrich us all.
Next week, I’ll be sharing fiction titles by writers I love. Stay tuned.
What books do you recommend that I check out this holiday season? Leave your recommendations in the comments, and I’ll take a look.
Just a few more days to get a copy of Achieve More in 2017 from Michael Hyatt. I read this great tool in just a few minutes and picked up some great tips – including the need to reflect on what DIDN’T work i 2016 – so that I’m all set for next year. It’s totally free.