I've officially been in my St. Louis loft for a month, and I am proud to say I've only got a couple boxes left to unpack. Between work and a fairly active social life, I have to cram the process of making my space a home in wherever I can. No one who knows me will be shocked to learn that unpacking my books onto my bookshelf was one of the first things I did, and I was delighted to find the perfect little nook in my bedroom for this bookshelf- one I've had since I was in middle school.
It's getting warmer, dresses are getting shorter and pool days are on the horizon. Trips are booked, or maybe you're staying put. Either way, time seems to be slowing down a bit. It's the perfect time (if you're like me, it's actually always the perfect time) to grab a new read. I wanted to share some of my favorites from the last few months- books that were perfect for various seasons.
For your career...
"The Power Playbook" by Lala Anthony
One of my best girl friends gave me this book days before I moved to St. Louis. She told me she saw the book while shopping and figured it would be good for me, as I make a major life and career shift. She was right. I am such a fan of Lala Anthony. She's obviously gorgeous and stylish, but her work and the way she presents herself through social media always make her seem so down-to-earth. To put it simply, she's someone I'd want to grab wine with and ask a zillion questions about her life and how she got to where she is. Well, this book is that (minus the wine bar and tipsy giggles). Her writing is so easy and conversational. The book is essentially a conversation about her career, how she started and a really frank explanation of the ways she's still working, training and growing. It's an easy read and one that's really helped me look at my own career through a better, broader lens. It was a great reminder that details, work ethic and personal branding matter and that there are always new frontiers to cross - even for the people at the top.
For a good story that's better than the movie...
"Memoirs of a Geisha" by Arthur Golden
This story is so fascinating, and it takes you into a world and culture you rarely hear or see anything about. A world where little girls are taught and groomed for the sole purpose of entertaining powerful men. There were definitely parts of this story that made me want to throw the book, but it sucks you in. It's told from the point of view of a little girl whose father sells her to a geisha house. I was so intrigued by all of her changing emotions, and I had a hard time putting it down. I recently watched the movie, and it was beautifully done. HOWEVER, like in most cases, the book was better and totally worth the read.
For alllll the #WCW vibes...
"Becoming" by Michelle Obama
I didn't realize how much I just didn't know about the former first lady until I read this book. I was blown away by how real, honest and sassy she was. I felt like I could relate to her and that she's super normal, which is crazy because she's so fabulous and brilliant. I think it's really cool and interesting to read her experience of being with a politically powerful man, while also learning to channel and grow her own personal power and influence instead of shrinking. I was so empowered by her determination to hone in on her voice. I was empowered by the fact that she's not afraid of her many accomplishments, and she's also not afraid to embrace where she's from, her value of family and her desire to have a life of her own. I think this is a powerful book for women- wives, mothers, career-oriented women- all women.
For a refreshing kick-start...
"You Are a Badass" by Jen Sincero
Wise-cracking, frank and a kick in the butt to do all the things you want to do in this life. I love Sincero's writing style. I think self-help books can sometimes be cheesy and eye-roll inducing. This isn't that book. It will make you laugh, and it will make you feel like self-doubt and negative self-talk are a waste of your time (which is absolutely true). There is a theme in the book about this powerful, other-worldly presence. As a Christian, I identified that as the presence of the Holy Spirit. When I made that connection, a lot of the book really resonated with me even more. I say that to say, while this book is not about faith, I was able to read it in a way that grew mine. Either way, it's a great place to start for inspiration.
For your faith...
"Come Matter Here" by Hannah Brencher
I've said this before, and I'll say it always- Hannah Brencher's writing was the spark that inspired me to start my blog. I stumbled across one of her blog posts my freshman year of college and inhaled every other post on her site. Since then, she's published two books. Both are necessary and incredible. Come Matter Here is her second book, and it's all about the nitty gritty heart work that it takes to truly bloom where you're planted. She shares prayers that are simple but hit right where they need to. This book is a hug, a friend and a call to trust God in an honest, meaningful way. I've read it twice, and I will likely read it again and again.
For a quick classic...
"Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck
So, I've been toting this little book from home to home since high school. I bought it for a class assignment but never read it (thank goodness for SparkNotes). I was reading two pretty heavy non-fiction books when I just wanted a quick, good story. I plucked this one off the shelf and finished it in a couple of days. It's a must-read and if you were a more diligent student than I was, you've likely already read it. If you have not, I think it's worth it. It'll give you a little bit of hope and break your heart all within a few pages. There's a reason it's on everyone's high school/college reading list. Better late than never, right?
For a suspenseful page-turner...
"The Woman in Cabin 10" by Ruth Ware
This book took me almost no time to finish. I would cuddle up with it in bed after working my evening reporting shifts and read it until I just couldn't keep my eyes open anymore. It's so good, and you will definitely have a hard time putting it down. It's written well. It's suspenseful. It's the kind of story that just makes you scratch your head. If you're in the market for some good fiction with a bit of murder mystery suspense, this is it.
If you pick any of these babies up, let me know what you think. Happy reading!
With Love & Glitter,