1. Untamed by Glennon Doyle
This #1 best-selling memoir follows author and activist Glennon Doyle's journey to rediscover -- and re-define herself, not by other people's measurements, but by measuring her own worth. As the book's description so aptly puts it, "She quit pleasing and started living."
Already a favorite of celebs like Reese Witherspoon, who chose Untamed for her book club, the memoir also tops Carlile's list of favorite reads. "The way that Glennon can craft and deliver universal truths to empower so many people is unmatched," the singer says. "I'm so proud to call this brilliant woman my friend." (Untamed, $15.50 on Amazon)
2. The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning
First released in 2008 by the late Korean War vet and former Franciscan priest Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out, continues to resonate with audiences today, including Carlile. "Brennan Manning unlocked the door to the acceptance, forgiveness, and spiritual solace that religion denied me in my youth," Carlile says, about why she continues to turn to this book for advice. "His words were and still are my constant guide and companion. Brennan helped me lose my religion and find my faith."
A book that repositions Christianity in a contemporary context, exploring themes of love, humility and forgiveness on an everyday basis, The Ragamuffin Gospel takes its title from the name of a popular 2000s Christian band called A Ragamuffin Band. (The Ragamuffin Gospel, $15.52 on Amazon)
3. Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover
Tara Westover's best-selling memoir chronicles the author's journey from being born into a survivalist camp in the mountains of Idaho, to earning her PhD from Cambridge University. Carlile calls the book a "real inspiration."
"I think a wide array of people found many different meanings in Tara's book, Educated," Carlile says. "I was moved by how tough she is...and how she took something she was profoundly denied and made it her biggest achievement—an education. There's also an underlying affection that she seems to have for her inner kid and even her complicated childhood that I relate to." (Educated: A Memoir, $16.99 on Amazon)
4. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
One of the most awarded books in recent years, Carlile says "Reading and understanding the truths in Caste is a great start for us to begin unravelling systemic oppression and inequality in the U.S."
Author Isabel Wilkerson is a Pulitzer Prize winner, who gives her take on the hidden -- and not-so-hidden issues of racial disparity and hierarchy in the country. First published last August, in the middle of a huge racial reckoning across America, Caste remains a must-read almost a year later. "The true story of our shared history," Carlile says, "whether we like it or not." (Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, $18.99 on Amazon)
All of the books on Carlile's reading list are available to purchase on hardcover, paperback and for Kindle. You can also listen to the books for free, with a 30-day free trial to Audible here.