I’m a self-confessed bookworm and love nothing more than losing myself in a good book. Never trust those who don’t enjoy a book.
Not only does reading help me switch the tech off and unwind but it enables me to travel over time, geography and space, to immerse myself into someone else’s thought process and journey, allowing me to live vicariously through others leading to new ways of seeing my own self with sometimes life-changing results.
Although I enjoy fiction, my heart truly lies in non-fiction, most probably due to my background as a documentary filmmaker first, a drama director second. Even my fictional work was deeply rooted in real life though it must be said.
As I embark on writing my very own debut book (eek, excited!) I’ve started reading even more with usually 5 books on the go simultaneously. After the interest and success of my last book post HERE, I wanted to share more AMAZING reads with you I’m simply loving and felt you should add to your Christmas list.
These books belwo have informed, moved, uplifted, normalised and in many ways, improved my work, and life. So much so, I could write about their brilliance for days! In fact, I’d quite like to write a book about these books. OK enough. This right here is a blog so I shall keep things short, punchy and to the point but I will tell you this, add these books to your Christmas list and you shall start 2017 with great clarity and intention at best, and delicious dinners for your kids at worst.
What is not to love? Absolutely zilch, that’s what.
Inside Vogue. A Diary of My 100 Years at Vogue by Alexandra Shulman
Possibly one of my favourite books…EVER! Inside Vogue is every fashionista’s dream read but don’t be fooled into thinking there’s anything remotely frivolous about this book.
Frank, tell it how it is Alexandra Shulman charts her iconic year at Vogue with refreshing honesty and style, making this compulsive reading. So much so, I was startled to discover it was 1 am when I finally emerged from the bath, book in hand the other night.
Shulman is honest about everyone; she’s not a people-pleaser (nor does she need to be) so expect her truth and witty asides on well known stars and leaving with a greater understanding and more profound respect for fashion and how to run a magazine like Vogue. Shulman’s attention to detail and so often, witty observations and on-point political notes reaffirms exactly why she’s at the helm of Vogue, leading an endlessly relevant magazine at a time where digital is everything.
Reading Alexandra’s book was so impactful, it made me re-read my collector’s edition of the actual 100th issue of Vogue with fresh eyes.
A must-read book which not only normalises the fashion world but is so economically and beautifully written, will prove to be a classic in itself.
Buy it here.
Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
Written in a informal, engaging and punch the air with your fist kind of way by one of the world’s smartest, most successful screenwriters and producers Shonda Rhimes, you cannot help but feel empowered and inspired with every page.
Shonda Rhimes is a glass ceiling breaker in the US TV industry who owns Thursday nights on telly there. Here, she shares how changing her attitude in life simply by saying ‘yes’ rather than her fall back ‘no’ to everything, led her to understand herself more, gave her renewed confidence and greater contentment. I not only related to her words as a former screenwriter and director and now blogger, myself but also as a mother.
Funny, smart and so incredibly relateable, please buy this book this instant. It has endlessly encouraged me to live boldly and follow the author’s positive ‘year of yes’ mission for myself. Shonda, I salute you.
Cool Kids Cook by Jenny Chandler
One for the whole family, Cool Kids Cook is the most fun and educational way to get your kids into the kitchen, igniting their passion for cooking!
Both my kids are foodies in the making and loved working through the tasty recipes of this book, picking up new skills and learning about the varied ingredients along the way. It’s a great way to teach kids the importance of fresh food and home-cooked dinners in a proactive way.
Ideal for kids aged 7 upwards (my 4 year old loved it too), all of the recipes are easy to make without being too ‘child-like’. Think dishes such as Vietnamese Pork Meatballs (which I share on the blog here) and Fish en Papillote. This book has led to hours of family fun in the kitchen with even my youngest Xander getting involved on spud washing duties and beyond. Any book that can create delicious food and touching family memories is a winner in my eyes!
How to Get to the Top of Google by Tim Kitchen
As a pro-blogger, I think about SEO pretty much on a daily basis. I regularly read up on the subject, keeping track of the fast-paced industry and regular changes to the Google Algorithms.
Tim Kitchen, founder of Exposure Ninja has written one of the best books on this topic I’ve come across. It’s little wonder How to Get to the Top of Google is Europe’s Bestselling SEO book in history.
An official Google partner, what this book doesn’t cover isn’t worth knowing, frankly! It will equip you with all the knowledge and practical guidance you need to not only get your website ranking highly, but how to refine your know-how on the mechanics of a successful blog.
This book is a must read for every blogger, small business owner and entrepreneur. Add it onto your Christmas wishlist…pronto! Reading this book led me to work with Exposure Ninja and learn more than I could have imagined possible.
Playing Big: A Practical Guide For Women Like You by Tara Mohr
Ladies, trust me when I say this book will change your life. Author Tara Mohr is an internationally-acclaimed expert on women’s leadership and wellbeing (you can read my Wonderful Women Interview with her here) and in this book, she shares her step-by-step programme to help women ‘play big’ and feel more kick-ass.
‘Playing Big’ means women recognising their own brilliance, no longer ‘playing small’ and being held back by fear and self-doubt. It inspires you to take bold action to pursue what you see as your callings in life and will help you to take your career and happiness to the next level. You can buy the book HERE.
With these books, you’ll be ready to take 2017 by the horns, I promise you!