Home > My Favourite Books of the Past Six Months

My Favourite Books of the Past Six Months

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 AsiansKevin 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):

The ABCs of Success: The Essential Principles from America’s Greatest Prosperity Teacher, Bob Procter

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…

#GIRLBOSSSophia 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).

Tina Fey Amy Poehler YEs Please Book Review Style Domination Ottawa Fashion Blogger
Tina and Amy

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.

The Secret Garden Johanna Blasford Style dOmination Ottawa Fashion Blogger Book Review
A favourite weekend activity: colouring!

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!


Style Domination Ottawa Fashion Blogger Logo

* Affiliate links used in this post. All proceeds made are used to make styledomination.com bigger, better and more awesome.

Dominique Baker
Dominique Baker

Dominique is a Canadian-based fashion and beauty influencer with a strong voice in Ottawa’s black community. Since launching her blog Style Domination in 2015, she has amassed a global fanbase. Dominique shares her life through beautiful imagery and compelling story-telling that speaks to her fans on a personal level. She’s been featured in The Guardian, Flare, The Kit and Cityline. She also hosts events for Dress for Success, the Gem Conference, and has been named a United Way Person 2 Know for the past three years.

Find me on: Web | Instagram

Leave a comment

  1. November 6, 2015 / 7:18 am

    I’ve just bought the ‘how to be a parisian’ book this week! Have read only a couple of pages, but had a few laughs already 🙂 I especially like novels and my favorite novel writer is Maeve Binchy 🙂 Love, Kathleen

    • November 6, 2015 / 9:26 am

      Maeve Binchy is wonderful! We all think so for sure, so much so that one of my close friends named her daughter “Maeve”! Yes – I loved the How To Parisian…” book! A great read full of laughs…I couldn’t put it down. Thanks for reading! xoxoxo

  2. November 6, 2015 / 7:25 am

    What a fun list! I admit that I tend to read fiction more than anything else, and the odd non-fiction book tends to be on history or science, but I like the sound of a lot of these! Tipping Point is probably the most obvious one that I should read.

    Hope you do another round in 6 months!

    • November 6, 2015 / 9:25 am

      I think you would really enjoy The Tipping Point! It is such an interesting read. I learned a lot and also a lot about myself and my thinking process. I love non-fiction books and rarely read fiction actually. Jeez – I didn’t really take that into consideration while writing that post that maybe I should have included some fiction! LOL! YES – great idea! I’ll do another round up in a few months! Keep your eye on my blog in the coming days for an exciting giveaway! Thanks for reading! xo

      • November 6, 2015 / 9:36 am

        I’ll definitely have to pick that one up on Kindle! (Unless DH already has a copy…I should ask.)

        Looking forward to the giveaway! 🙂

  3. November 6, 2015 / 8:57 am

    Love the post! These books are now added to my to-read list! I love colouring too, it’s so relaxing and to me, a very impatient person, it also helps to develop some more patience and ability to focus.

    • November 6, 2015 / 9:23 am

      That colouring book is my favourite thing of life! LOL! It is so much fun and so relaxing at the same time! And you’re right – some of the designs are so intricate that you must really practice patience. Keep your eye on my blog over the next few days for an exciting giveaway! xoxoxo Thank you so much for reading!

      • November 6, 2015 / 9:50 am

        I will! Giveaway coming soon on my blog too btw haha (reached 100 followers last week)!

        • November 6, 2015 / 10:36 am

          WAY TO GO!!!! That’s awesome! I will definitely keep my eyes peeled for your giveaway!

  4. November 6, 2015 / 12:06 pm

    I have to revisit Gladwell’s ‘Tipping Point’. I think I might revisit my library instead of buying a new book when I am travelling to Singapore this December…though that ‘How to Be Parisian’ book looks interesting 🙂

    • November 6, 2015 / 3:48 pm

      The Parisian book was definitely fun! Inever re-read the books I have. I really should start as I have so many and some were such good reads! Wow – Singapore – you are going to have a great time! Please post about it!!

  5. November 6, 2015 / 1:38 pm

    I love this post! I am definitely going to purchase #GIRLBOSS after your review! Also, I LOVE that colouring book, I have it too and find it a great way to relax:) Thank you for introducing me to some new books:) xxxx

    • November 6, 2015 / 3:45 pm

      No problem, luv! So glad you found one that you are interested in! I loved every second of Girlboss. As for the colouring book, I’m shocked and embarrassed at how many coloured pencils and pens I’ve bought since I got my colouring book. LOL!

  6. November 6, 2015 / 3:14 pm

    I’ve got such a long list of “to reads” that I haven’t gotten Amy’s book yet. I’m looking forward to it though! Right now I’m trying to get through a couple of Neil Gaiman books – “American Gods” and “Trigger Warning.” Plus I have another of his waiting in the wings. I just finished, “My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry” by Fredrik Backman. It was such a great book! I laughed, I cried! I can’t wait to read it again!!
    (It’s funny how the adult colouring book had become a thing! I love them!!)

    • November 6, 2015 / 3:44 pm

      OMG – Clara! Thank you for sending along your book picks! I was hoping someone would. I will add your reads to my reading list! And yes – I sooo wish I came up with the adult colouring book idea! Thanks for reading!

      • November 6, 2015 / 3:58 pm

        “My Grandmother” isn’t horror/suspense, (which I know you said is your favorite!) but it had a mystery. It was, for lack of a better word, cute (and heartbreaking and heartwarming)!
        Neil Gaiman…what can I say, you never know where you’re going! I hope you enjoy them!

  7. November 7, 2015 / 9:56 am

    Read LA candy by Lauren Conrad I think you’ll really like it

    • November 7, 2015 / 6:15 pm

      Oh – it’s on my radar. Thanks for the reminder!

  8. November 7, 2015 / 4:22 pm

    I have ‘Yes Please’ and haven’t finished it yet…you have just reminded me! Thanks!

  9. November 8, 2015 / 4:53 pm

    I want to read girlboss and yes please! Read bossypants and loved it. You should read Mindy Kaling’s book!

    • November 9, 2015 / 3:32 pm

      Yes – her book is on my list! Thanks for the reminder. You will love both Girlboss and Yes Please! Bossypants reamins on of my fave books of all time!

  10. November 9, 2015 / 12:58 pm

    Love this list! I’ve been meaning to read more books outside of my comfort zone and these are a great starting place. Thanks for the auggestions! I’m really interest in Girl Boss since I “plan” on starting my own business one day.


    • November 9, 2015 / 1:12 pm

      Amanda – it’s super motivating. Get it – you won’t regret it. It may be that little nudge you need to dive right in! Thanks for reading

  11. November 9, 2015 / 4:57 pm

    I’ve never read the Tipping Point, but I do love Malcolm Gladwell! I really loved the How to be Parisian book though!

    • November 9, 2015 / 8:47 pm

      Karin – pick up The Tipping Point! It’s truly fascinating! I learned a lot from that great read. Loved the Parisian book – so much fun!

  12. November 11, 2015 / 3:40 pm

    I just ordered Girl Boss, can’t wait to read it!

    • November 12, 2015 / 9:53 am

      I think you’ll love it. It was a great, motivating read!

    • November 15, 2015 / 5:02 pm

      Awesome! I hope you like it – I sure did. Well written and loads of laughs!

  13. November 15, 2015 / 7:39 pm

    Thank you for this. i needed some new books to read. I think i am going get the girlboss and secret garden. I’ll let you know how i get on with the books once i get them xx. If your looking for something new to read try a book called ‘A piece of cake book’ i loved it. xx

    • November 15, 2015 / 7:41 pm

      Oooh! Thanks for the recommendation! Always on the hunt for new books to read. Girlboss was so motivating. It will be a book I refer to over and over again. Secret Garden is just plain fun!! xoxo

  14. aflagel
    December 28, 2015 / 12:52 pm

    I need to add some of these to my reading list! I love the Secret Garden (as I head over to amazon to purchase).

    • December 28, 2015 / 12:56 pm

      Haha! Good for you! I’ve been colouring for hours this holiday. It was a real treat. I got a pocket version in my stocking. I’ll be colouring for years! LOL!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.