I’ve always been an avid reader.
When I was little, you could find me reading in my room while my friends were playing hide-and-seek outside. Now my Kindle is always in my bag. It keeps me company on the tube, in the doctor’s waiting room and on sunny days at the park.
A book is a friend. It entertains you. It teaches you valuable lessons so you won’t have to learn them the hard way. It takes you where you want to go, be that on a trip to 18th century England, an oasis in the middle of the desert or the suburbs of a small US town.
A book expands your horizons. Moves you. Helps you grow and makes you a better person. If my house were on fire, my Kindle would be the first thing I’d save.
I’d read thousands of books over the years but some have stuck with me more than others. Today, I’d thought I’d share my all time faves (at least, so far!) with you. These are all books that taught me something or moved me deeply. I hope they’ll do the same for you:
Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
This is possibly my fave book of all time. I bet you all know the plot and may even be in love with Mr Darcy (I so am). But Pride & Prejudice is more than the love story of Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet.
It’s a warning of what happens when we jump to conclusions. When we believe first impressions and “harmless” gossip instead than taking the time to get to know someone. A reminder to never judge a book by its cover and to always question the source of your information. If you don’t, you may miss out on the love of your life (or a job opportunity, a beautiful friendship and all the other things that make life worth living.)
What makes the book the masterpiece that it is is Jane Austen’s wit and her satirical portrait of Regency society with its obsession with class and status and the absurdity of it all. I never get tired of reading it.
Mistress Of The Revolution by Catherine Delors
Historical fiction is my guilty pleasure but it’s rare that a book becomes a favourite or that I read more than once.The book starts a few years before the French Revolution. Gabrielle de Montserrat, an impoverished noblewoman, falls in love with the commoner Pierre-Andre’ Coffinhal but her family forces her to marry the rich but evil Baron de Peyre.
The two lovers meet again in Paris years later. Gabrielle is now an impoverished widow who relies on the generosity of her rich lover to support herself and her daughter. Pierre-Andre’ a member of the Jacobin government who wants all aristocrats dead.
If you think this is your cheesy historical romance, think again. This is the story of a woman trying to survive in a man’s world during one of history’s most terrifying times. Of the end of an old world’s era and the bloody beginning of a new one. Of betrayal and revenge, love and passion, of politics and ambitions, of death and survival.
You’ll also get a sense of what it was like to live during the French Revolution. Delors perfectly captures the excitement of the early days when liberal men and women dreamed of a more democratic society and the sheer fear they felt under the Terror, when a mere whisper was enough to condemn an innocent man or woman to the guillotine.
Just a warning: this isn’t a cheesy romance. Don’t expect all your fave characters to reach the end with their heads still on their shoulders.
Mastering Your Inner Mean Girl by Melissa Ambrosini
I’ve read a 100 self-help books about silencing your inner critic, learning to love yourself and becoming healthier and wealthier. Melissa’s content is nothing you won’t find in those books but the delivery is unique: for the first time, I felt like I was really getting it.
Rather than being told what to do by an “expert”, I felt like I had a friend giving me a much needed pep talk, lots of encouragement and practical tips to master my Inner Mean Girl, get out of my comfort zone and live the life I’ve always wanted.
If you’ve given up on self-help books because none of them has ever resonated with you, you need this in your life. And if you still need some convincing, check out my full review here.
The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte
Have you ever asked yourself why you want what you want? Danielle believes we’re not really chasing goals, exciting jobs or expensive things. We’re chasing the way we will feel when we finally have them. Problem is, when we get those things, we usually don’t feel the way we thought we would! Instead than happy, we feel… empty.
And so, why not start from the begging and get clear on how you want to feel before deciding what job/lifestyle/things to chase? The Desire Map is a practical guide to create goals with soul. Goals that are aligned with your values. Goals that make you feel exactly how you thought you would when you reach them… and on the way there.
The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
Did you ever feel unloved and unappreciated by your partner/parents/friends even though they swear they love you and that they’re constantly proving it to you so what the heck are you complaining about?
The thesis of this book is simple: we all speak different love languages. If I show you love using my own love language, you won’t get it. If you want your love ones to feel how much you truly love them, you must learn to speak their love languages.
So what are these love languages? Words of affirmations, gifts, quality time, acts of service and psychical touch (think more like hugs or high-fives than sex). I explain them all in more detail in my full review of the book here.
Warning: this book may change your relationships forever.