Looking for the best books to buy for yourself or a friend this Christmas?
Check out my Holiday Gift Guide of my top book recommendations in 7 categories. These books are all excellent investments in your emotional and sexual health, faith, parenting, and relationships. If you want to learn more about a book, click it to go to my Amazon storefront. Any purchase you make earns me a small commission.
And there’s a bonus giveaway! Enter my giveaway and one randomly selected winner will get to choose any book from my Holiday Gift Guide for free!
Scroll to the bottom of this page to find out how to enter.
For you and your spouse as you work on your intimacy or yourself as you work on having a healthier view of sexuality!
Here are my favorite books on Healthy Sexuality. Invest in your relationships by checking out one of these books!
A Celebration of Sex by Douglas E. Rosenau
This was used in my graduate class on Human Sexuality and when I later taught a college class on sexuality, I used this book again. It’s my go-to resource for sex therapy and my most recommended book to couples with sexual issues or clients who need a holistic, Christian sex education.
Things Your Mother Never Told You by Kim Gaines Eckert
Written by one of my college psychology professors
The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex/The Good Guy’s Guide to Great Sex by Sheila Wray Gregoire and Keith Gregoire
Buy a copy for your newlywed (or engaged) girl friend and give a copy to her husband too!
Redeeming Sex by Debra Hirsch
Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski
For the friend who was parented the James Dobson way.
It’s time to deconstruct traditional parenting! These books can help you break old patterns and start parenting in an evidenced-based, respectful way.
The Power of Showing Up by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson
Worried you’ll never be able to have a secure and close connection with your kids because of the relationship you had with your parents as a child? This book will give you so much hope.
No-Drama Discipline by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson
How To Talk So Little Kids Will Listen by Joanna Faber and Julie King
Practical scripts to gain cooperation from little kids (ages 2-7).
No Bad Kids by Janet Lansbury
We are a WWJD family–what would Janet do? She is truly my go-to parenting expert.
Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids by Laura Markham
For your fierce feminist friend!
Buy one of these empowering books on egalitarianism and gender equality for yourself or a feminist friend this Christmas! I recommend these to my Egalitarian Coaching clients!
The Making of Biblical Womanhood by Beth Allison Barr
A compelling read with a message I thoroughly endorse. This book has a powerful message with the potential to shatter evangelical’s tightly-held beliefs in “biblical womanhood”.
Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey
Women Rising by Meghan Tschanz
Through Meghan’s story, she invites us to share her passion for feminism. I think this book will be most powerful for young women who are starting to explore their faith outside of the American evangelical church and questioning their beliefs on gender roles. Meghan shows us how “learning to listen and reclaiming our voice” are the keys to establishing the full equality of women and men in value AND role.
Buried Talents by Susan Harris Howell
Susan Harris Howell writes a fantastic analysis of the ways we socialize boys and girls differently–and the outcomes in adulthood. A psychologist and professor of gender studies, Howell deftly applies psychological research on gender socialization with therapeutic techniques to help readers overcome the stereotyped messages they received.
Together by Tim and Anne Evans
For yourself as you work on deconstructing and healing from purity culture.
These are the books I recommend to my Purity Culture Recovery Coaching clients.
As I’m working on my own book on healing from purity culture, here are some of my favorites that have already been released.
Talking Back to Purity Culture by Rachel Joy Welcher
Rachel’s book is one of the only purity culture-focused books I personally recommend. She critiques the harmful messages of purity culture while still adhering to a biblical sexual ethic. I applaud Welcher for reigniting the conversation about purity culture among Christians. This is a trusted and thought-provoking start to the conversation in our churches and communities.
The Great Sex Rescue by Sheila Wray Gregoire
I recommend this to ALL my Purity Culture Recovery Coaching clients. The Great Sex Rescue is a long overdue correction to Christian books on marriage and sex. With both biblical truth and evidenced-based research on sexuality, Sheila and her co-authors tackle the myths that keep many Christian couples from enjoying true passion and intimacy.
Read my full review here.
Real Sex by Lauren F. Winner
Explores the virtue of chastity as a spiritual discipline.
Making Chastity Sexy by Christine J. Gardner
Non-Toxic Masculinity by Zachary Wagner
Releases in April 2023 and I can’t wait!
Watch my interview with the author here.
For your family member who has never been to therapy and doesn’t know what a boundary is!
These are the MUST READS I recommend to my therapy clients for mental & emotional health. They are helpful for anyone!
I Thought It Was Just Me (but It Isn’t) and The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown
Other Brené books get more attention, but her first two are my favorite.
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John M. Gottman
When I see couples for therapy, this is the book I have them read.
Try Softer by Aundi Kolber
I recommend this book to every perfectionist client I have! I love how Aundi makes complex psychological concepts like trauma and our nervous system understandable to any reader. A gentle companion if you are healing from anxiety, stress, and trauma.
The Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner
The Body Keeps The Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk
For yourself or your girl friend who is struggling with singleness.
There’s a lot of cheesy, unhelpful books on singleness, but here are a few that are helpful and trustworthy.
Party of One by Joy Beth Smith
Finally I have a book I can wholeheartedly recommend. Joy Beth doesn’t shy away from hard topics like masturbation, or from challenging poor theology with her chapters titled “God doesn’t owe you a husband” and “Jesus might not meet all your needs.” I also really appreciate the research through the round-table discussions she did with other single women, so the book has more diverse voices and stories than just her own.
Sexless in the City by Kat Harris
Singled Out by Christine A. Colón and Bonnie E. Field
How to Get a Date Worth Keeping by Henry Cloud
For your spiritual friend who likes deep, nuanced books on faith and culture.
I met my goal of reading 35 books this year! (Even though I read 55 last year, I’m pretty pleased with this year, considering I had a baby in February!)
Unwanted by Jay Stringer
At first glance, I didn’t think therapist Jay Stringer’s book on unwanted sexual behavior (sexual addiction and compulsivity) would interest me. But I was wrong. His thesis that understanding our sexual fantasies are is the key to our healing makes so much sense. I have already recommended this book to several clients.
The Best of You by Alison Cook
I interviewed Dr. Alison Cook about her new book on boundaries, emotional health, spiritual bypassing, and more. In Dr. Cook, we find a wise and safe guide who both validates the impact of confusing church messages and spiritual abuse while pointing us toward the One who can provide ultimate healing.
Celebrities for Jesus by Katelyn Beaty
Kately Beaty offers an incisive look at “how personas, platforms, and profits are hurting the church”. I admired how Beaty manages to make a book critiquing Christian celebrity culture surprisingly hopeful and positive.
The Wisdom of Your Body by Hillary L. McBride
Dr. Hillary McBride is an expert on embodiment. While I wish this book included more about the theology of the body, there are a lot of helpful embodiment practices for making peace with the body and being more in tune to the connection between body, mind, and spirit. I recommend this to my coaching clients who struggle with mind-body integration.
Grace Can Lead Us Home by Kevin Nye
Kevin Nye is ideally suited to lead us on this journey of the Christian response to homelessness. He combines the heart and theological wisdom of a pastor with the empathy and trauma-informed perspective of a social worker.
Winner will be randomly selected on Friday, December 16 by 12:00pm EST and notified via email to choose their book. The book will be mailed to the winner the following week. No purchase necessary to enter. Open to all participants who sign up.