Well, this year, I made an active attempt to watch much less tv. It certainly helped when my husband got fed up with Rogers Digital Cable and had it disconnected (we had about 700 channels and there was still never anything on).
So, I made a point of buying just about every single book I had been meaning to read over the past few years and here is my short list of my favourite titles:
Crazy Rich Asians, Kevin Kwan
I won’t lie. I was embarrassed to buy this. When I finally did, I hid it in a gorgeous buffalo check throw I “needed” for our sofa. I didn’t want any one seeing me buy a book with such a ridiculous, potentially offensive name, but boy – am I glad I did! I couldn’t put it down!
Reading about Nicholas, one of the characters’ in the book’s “perfectly tousled black, hair, chiseled Cantonese pop-idol features, and impossibly thick eyelashes”…I wanted to meet this person. I also wanted see this closet where the hundreds of designer shoes are kept 15 degrees warmer than the cashmere and furs. Wow. This book is the guiltiest of pleasures mixed with great humour. Reading about the embarrassment of riches and wretched excess was right up my alley, mixed with a little sweet romance? RECOMMEND!!!
Click on image below to buy on Crazy Rich Asians for $9.49 (you won’t regret it – trust me):
Part of my “Dom Improvement Plan” included picking up a few self-help books to focus my goals and quiet that inner voice that keeps whispering: “You can’t do that. You can’t write! No one will read this stuff. Who do you think you are?” While waiting for my flight at Vancouver Airport, I picked up The ABCs of Success: The Essential Principles from America’s Greatest Prosperity Teacher.
Written by Bob Proctor, this book teaches in simple, non-preachy ways how to set goals, how to achieve them, how to cut out the negativity in your life, how to focus, and best of all, how to inspire others.
With plenty of thoughtful tips and quotes such as “Don’t let yourself be swayed by the opinions of others, by the chatter of the masses. Only you can decide to develop an unflinching will, to concentrate, to stay focused on your chosen objective until the task is successfully completed.”, this book encourages readers to focus on themselves to achieve success, evaluate their own weakness and surround themselves with positive forces.
This book is not rocket science, but it’s common sense, and it offers a whole bunch of tips that we need to be reminded of every now and then.
Buy below on Amazon for $12.24:
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, Malcolm Gladwell
This is an incredibly interesting book on how simple things go viral and spread like wildfire. It offers a really cool, easy-to-understand analysis of how trends are created, take hold and take over.
I found Gladwell’s tips on how to package information properly to make it “irresistible” really interesting and informative to a blogger like me. The chapter devoted to connectors, mavens and salesmen was really interesting and inspiring. I think I’m a total maven – those who know me can attest to that.
A ton of really thought-provoking information in this book. Pick it up and maybe it will help you become the next viral star!
Available by clicking on image below for $12.55:
How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are: Love, Style, and Bad Habits, Caroline De Maigret, Sophie Mas, Audrey Divan and Anne Berest
The minute we finished our Parisian vacation last year, my husband bought me this book. I totally fell in love with Paris – the food, the wine, the sights and the fashion were enough to make me apply immediately for French citizenship.
This cute little book written by style-setters Caroline de Maigret, Sophie Mas, Audrey Divan and Anne Berest, is full of “French secrets” to bon vivre. This is your how-to guide for dealing with men (tease and be difficult, but not too difficult), the art of being naked, how to dress like a French woman (aka “on point fashionista”) and finding your signature style.
Some advice is really tongue-in-cheek, but almost all of it I agree with! I lol’ed at these two gems: ” ‘Always be f*ckable’ – even when you are standing in line to buy a baguette’ ” and “WHAT YOU WON’T FIND IN HER CLOSET * Three-inch heels. Why live life halfway? * Logos. You are not a billboard. * Nylon, polyester, viscose and vinyl will make you sweaty, smelly and shiny. * Sweatpants. No man should ever see you in those. Except your gym teacher – and even then. Leggings are tolerated. * Blingy jeans with embroidery and holes in them. They belong to Bollywood. * UGG boots. Enough said.”
Treat yourself and start your journey to becoming so beautifully and fabulously French…
#GIRLBOSS, Sophia Amoruso
I couldn’t put this book down, in fact, I read the bulk of the book on my way to Toronto to work at the Toronto International Film Festival. #GIRLBOSS could very well be one of my favourite reads of all time.
I bought this book despite the bad press that Nasty Gal has suffered this year. I was really looking for the right motivation to grow my blog and be a little bit more confident about taking risks. Well, this easy-to-read autobiography of Sophia Amoruso’s success was pretty much everything I was looking for.
Her writing style is great – I’m a huge fan of writing as if you are talking to a close friend, and her tips are just plain common sense, and at times, just the right kick in the pants to get you started on achieving your dreams. Some quotes really stuck with me such as “Failure is your invention.” and “I stopped feeling as if I didn’t belong anywhere, and realized that I belonged anywhere I wanted to be – whether that was a boardroom, business class, or on stage at a Women’s Wear Daily CEO Summit.”
If you need a boost of confidence, some extra drive and a little roadmap for achieving success, order yourself up a copy:
Yes Please, Amy Poehler
I LOVE AMY POEHLER. In fact, her and Tina Fey are my dream team. I wish they were my friends!! Amy Poehler is one of the funniest ladies on tv. Parks and Recreation is a favourite tv show of mine, so much so, that I rewatch the entire series frequently (I mean, who can’t get enough of Andy Dwyer and Tom Haverford, but I digress).
This book is a really sweet and hilarious memoir of Amy’s life. I learned a lot about the person I thought was as nerdy and good-girl as Leslie Knope, like her love of sex (“I’m good at it!”) and the period of her life devoted to drugs. This book kept me in stitches and for a time, one of my favourite things of life was snuggling up with it and a giant glass of wine and never putting the book down. Surprisingly full of wise tips and really well written, it’s not as good as Tina Fey’s Bossypants, but it’s damn good nonetheless. Thank you so much, Ryan! Great gift!
Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book, Johanna Blasford
I started this blog originally as a way to keep in touch with my extended family and friends, and also, as a way to keep myself busy at the beginning of the year when my husband worked in Manila for three months. Those three months at times were really lonely and l o n g. During this time, I picked up one of the most fun books EVER: The Secret Garden by Johanna Blasford. Johanna Blasford is a British illustrator who started drawing the illustrations in 2013 as a way to relax – and does it ever provide relaxation! I can happily colour my everyday stresses away for hours.
Now, this is a colouring book for adults (not an adult colouring book!!). The drawings within the book are so intricately beautiful that one drawing in particular has taken me weeks to complete (but I’m super perfection-y about my colouring).
Johanna’s colouring books have become so incredibly popular, that The Secret Garden has sold over 2 million copies worldwide and has been translated into over 14 different languages.
Of all the books on this list, this is my favourite! So unique and fun…and who doesn’t like to colour?? Check out The Secret Garden by clicking on the link below (and scope out the several other Johanna Blasford colouring books on Amazon):
Thanks for reading! What are some of your favourite reads? Please share in the comments!
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