Wednesday, May 23, 2018

recent reads and book reviews.

My jaw dropped when she said it. "I don't like to read." Recently, a friend of mine explained that while she loved the idea of curling up with a good book, in practice, she simply wasn't interested. To me, that mentality is completely and totally baffling. But it made me realize how lucky I am. Growing up, no matter what happened, I always had my literary companions. That escape allowed me to experience many different ways of life and grow as a human being. My love of reading has done more than fill my bookshelves, though. It inspired me to become a writer. I simply cannot fathom a world without words.

Since reading is such a huge part of my life, I wanted to create a blog post dedicated to some of my most recent reads. In the stack (pictured above) there are some biographies, fiction books, and even a couple of self-help books. Typically, I like to alternate between different genres. I'll read a biography and then switch to fiction or a mystery novel and then to something related to personal development. Focusing on different genres keeps me on my toes and makes sure I never fall into a literary rut! So, without further ado, these are the books that I have been working through lately.

Kind Is The New Classy by Candace Cameron Bure

One of the best books that I've finished recently is "Kind Is The New Classy" by one of my favourite actresses, Candace Cameron Bure. I had anxiously been awaiting the release of this book - and did not put it down after getting my hands on a copy. This book is about finding ways to be positive, strong, and reacting with kindness, even in a world full of anger, resentment, and negativity. Honestly, this is a book that I really needed. Every time I read about what is happening in our society, I get discouraged. Afraid. Nervous. Distrustful. This book was a welcome reminder that even very small acts of kindness and grace can spark a change in this world...and tip the scales towards a joyful existence. If you are looking for a healthy dose of inspiration, check out any of Candace's books. They mix personal stories with words of wisdom to create a relatable yet meaningful reading experience.

Editing Note: Despite the fact that Full House is a long-time love of mine, I no longer support Candace Cameron Bure on a personal level, due to her exclusionary beliefs. 

The Natty Professor by Tim Gunn

Another book I have enjoyed lately comes from the wonderful Tim Gunn. Now, let me just say, I absolutely adore Tim. I've read all of his other books and really appreciate his direct nature and honest approach to life. In fact, that is what makes him such a great mentor on Project Runway! This book in particular, "The Natty Professor," is about being a teacher. What it takes, effective strategies, and staying motivated. Though I am not a teacher myself, I think there is something for everyone to learn from his personal experiences, stories, advice. Whether you are helping someone learn a new skill at work or are advising a friend about a personal problem, this book is the perfect balance of compelling information and practical application. 

Simon VS the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

It is rare that I see a movie before reading the book, but that is exactly what happened when I went to see Love, Simon with a friend. I thought the movie was charming and heartwarming and immediately wanted to see what the book was like. So, when I stumbled upon it at a bookstore for a great price (there is a special kind of thrill when you find a great discount book), I simply had to have it. Though there were some differences between the film and the book, as there always are, the heart was the same. It was wonderful to go a little more in depth with the relationship between Simon and Blue and really understand the importance of their relationship. The writing style is really accessible and the story is wonderful, so I highly recommend this wonderful young adult novel.

The Boy Is Back by Meg Cabot 

Though lately, I have been reading a lot of biographies and personal development type books, I always make room for fiction. My heart will always lie in the stories of characters who somehow, someway, become real to me. The latest fiction book that I have read comes from my all-time favourite author, Meg Cabot. I love her books. In fact, my bookshelf is jam-packed with every single book she has ever released. Me? A fan? Oh yeah. Though she used to put out books far more frequently, there seems to be a longer and longer wait between each title. As annoying as that is as a fan, it makes the new releases even more exciting. One of her latest is "The Boy Is Back" and it is about returning to a small town - and all the drama that comes along with addressing the past. 

Success Affirmations by Jack Canfield

I believe that we are all here on this earth to learn, grow, and improve our lives. Though sometimes, we get too caught up in what we believe limits us. That is why I am so into the self-help kind of genre, because I think there is always room for improvement! The book, "Success Affirmations" in particular is something I have really been enjoying over the last few months. Essentially, it is broken down into a short reading/series of affirmations/areas for reflection on a particular topic and you read one each week. The book (and the success affirmations inside) is intended to be used for a full year to help you become more confident and purposeful in everything you do. So far, so good! 

I have a book in every room, in every purse, on my phone, and even have a ton of audiobooks on my iPod. Why? You can always find opportunities to read, whether you are at home or on the go. Do what you can to incorporate reading into your everyday life. It is not just entertaining but a worthwhile pursuit.

Do you enjoy reading? What books have you been loving lately?


  1. Very interesting choices!! I love to read and it's hard to believe those people who doesn't (even though i know a few and some are really close to me). I have to admit that lately i am not reading as much as i used to do, but i need to start reading again! I hope you have a nice day :)

    1. Absolutely! It is so strange to think that there are people who genuinely don't like to read. I think it's great that you enjoy it and I hope you are able to find time for it soon!

  2. Great post - all of those books look so good! :) I have been reading a ton of "Go Green" books after No Impact Man, but I might check these out next time I am at the library!
    -Jenna <3
    Follow me back? The Chic Cupcake

    1. Ooh, I will have to look into No Impact Man. Thanks for the suggestion!

  3. Great list, carina. It's been a while since I read a Meg Cabot book, will try that maybe next week!

    The Flower Duet

    1. Definitely pick it up, if you can! Meg Cabot is SUCH a great author!

  4. I also don't understand people who don't enjoy reading. Thank you for these recommendations. Would definitely read.

    Jenny’s Bicycle-Indian Fashion Blog!!

    1. It's baffling, for sure! So glad you enjoyed the book recommendations :)

  5. I started to love reading book and those books you mentioned seem so wonderful! Wish I could read one soon! :)


    1. Reading is such a wonderful experience! I hope you are able to pick one of these up...and that you enjoy it :)