Favorite Books

I hope you don’t mind how much I post about books. To be honest, books have really been the best kind of “therapy” for me in terms of what relieves stress and reduces anxiety. I get most of my inspiration from books, my motivation from books, my entertainment from books. I find friends within the pages and find myself so deep in the stories that, sometimes, I get completely lost within the book. (Those are the best kinds, right?)
Because I love sharing my favorite books and getting book recommendations from friends, I decided to do a sort of round up. I emailed a bunch of my friends and asked them to share their favorite book or a book that they found to be influential to their life in some way! Receiving the responses was quite exciting. The books are all totally different, but they each sound amazing in their own way. (I’ve read a few of them and they top my favorite lists as well… So I can’t wait to read the others!)
“This was a memoir I could not put down! It recaps the story of a woman who lived through a rather tumultuous upbringing and the way she turned her difficult childhood into her adulthood success. It’s inspirational, thought provoking, and truly an unforgettable story. I highly recommend reading Jeannette Walls other books – they were equally as good.”
“This book has been in my personal library since I first discovered it in my middle school’s library at 12 years old. The collection of poems speak to love, happiness, friendship, even sorrow and have gone with me through so many stages of my life— revisiting its worn, dog-eared pages is always such a comfort!”
“Mindy Kaling is one of my favorite female actresses/comedians. She is just so real and tells it like it is. Her book made me laugh out loud and I agreed with so many of her points about guys, life and shaping your career.”
“After completing my internship at the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America), I was asked to stay on and assist with the production of their 50th anniversary coffee table book. IMPACT serves as an American fashion bible, capturing and celebrating 300+ designers who have influenced the way the world dresses. From Ralph Lauren to Lilly Pullitzer and everyone in between, this is a must-read for fashion lovers. Did I mention it’s hot pink?”

“If you are obsessed with social media and all things digital, this is a great read. At first it may seem a little fantastical and extreme, but then you think about it and think about it some more and it really makes you think about your online persona. How much privacy do you have and do you even care? What if you had to share everything and it was a full transparent society… what would that really mean?”
“This is a fantastic read if you’re thinking about starting a small business. Poppy tells the story of her unlikely start building a cosmetics brand and asks a lot of great questions to inspire your thinking for your own new venture!”
“The sweetest, funniest story of coming of age and falling in love and how your heart may surprise you in the end. The last sentence is ‘I love you I love you I love you’…. need I say more?”
“I simply couldn’t stop reading this book about a boy chosen to save the world. The stories and lessons about friendship and teamwork are extraordinary, and have dramatically shaped my view of how to be an excellent leader.”
“Very few books have shifted the way I see the world like this one. It pushed me to love deeper, to live more open, to push farther into joy and above all, to live my life as fully, vulnerably me.”
“An incredible story about a British South African boy growing up in South Africa in the 1940s- I’m no boxing fan (the protagonist Peekay’s goal is to become welterweight champion of the world), but this book is one of those page-turners where you really learn to love all the characters.  Much of this book’s richness and beauty is deeply rooted to South Africa’s cultural and political tensions.”
“The children’s book conveys in the simplest of ways the complexity of human relationships. I discover some facet of truth every time I revisit it.”
“Because the world can be a tough place. We could all use a gentle etiquette nudge every so often. ‘Manners are like primary colors, there are certain rules and once you have these you merely mix, i.e., adapt, them to meet changing situations.'”
Please also share your own in a comment– would love to hear from you!

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I recently read I Capture The Castle and completely fell in love with it – it was such a heart warming story! The last book I read was Ketchup Clouds and that ended up being a really influential book for me – it was so different from anything I've ever read – I'd highly recommend it! I can't wait to check out some of the other books on this list!

Belle //


I love The Glass Castle. I could not put it down. The story is extremely powerful and so well written. I look forward to reading the others, thank you for posting a list!

Jackie {York Avenue}

Great post! I've been wanting to read I Capture the Castle – my Mom has an old copy and I was always curious about it. And I really might need that Impact book, it sounds amazing plus as Amy mentioned: hot pink. So fun to get recommendations, it's the best way to know that a book will probably be great. I love your book posts, keep 'em comin!


Love these! Great recommendations.
I love that Inslee Haynes is featured. My mentor just recently showed me her website and suggested that I contact her to draw some dress designs I've been working on.
Great post Carly!
xo Jenna


I like the way you did this by bringing people together to share their favorites. I've only read Mindy Kaling's book out of all of these and loved it. Funny, I just did a list of 14 books to read in 2014 yesterday.

ann ladson

The last book I read in 2013 was another Brene Brown book The power of vulnerability… good! I just read the circle…also great, Bossy pants by Tina fey (hysterical) and this weekend finished Gone Girl….total mind bender…will check out these others!!

Summer Clark

Mindy's book is great, I suggest it to everyone!

Another awesome book is "Girls in White Dresses." It is truly a must read!