Books

This is a cute story about female friendship. It’s certainly not my favorite but I’m including How Could She because it’s definitely an entertaining read. The story follows three 30-something friends, who are navigating very different parts of their lives: marriage, career and motherhood. While I couldn’t really relate to any of the characters fully, I enjoyed seeing how their lives intertwined. It also made me text my best friends after I was finished with the book to make sure we do a better job at staying in touch!

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I was thrilled when Lucy Skykes messaged me on Instagram asking if I wanted to read her newest book. I recommended The Knockoff to just about everyone I know so I couldn’t wait to dive in.  Fitness Junkie is a hilarious parody on our current fitness craze culture. A woman is essentially told she has to lose weight or she loses her job. She tries everything from strange diets to insane exercise classes and ultimately, a wellness retreat. I could not stop laughing as I turned the pages.

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I’ve never been so moved by a book before. I generally stick to light reads or thrillers as an escape. And I’ll admit that after seeing that The Light We Lost was described as “an emotional roller coaster,” I was nervous reading this two weeks into a breakup. But I’m so glad I did. The story follows the life of a young woman who’s future is changed by a man she meets on September 11. It’s a sentimental tale of love and heartbreak as she goes from a recent graduate to a mother torn between two loves. I finished the last chapter in tears as I reflected on my own experiences of love and loss.

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They say don’t judge a book by its cover but this one is just as adorable as the lips illustration you first see when you pick it up. The Regulars reminds me of a mix between the movies 13 Going on 30 and Love Potion No.9 all told from a Lena Durham Girls perspective. Three “regular” girls suddenly become drop-dead gorgeous. But beauty isn’t all that its cracked up to be.

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I know it’s strange to describe a suspense book as “cute” but that’s exactly what came to mind after reading The Rumor. Set in a small coastal town, the novel follows a young mom who has a life-altering realization after a rumor begins that a notorious female murderer now reside in her neighborhood. The woman killed a child when she herself was just a kid. Now an older lady, everyone feels differently about her living in their surroundings. Slightly predictable but still containing a few twists, this a great suspense pick if you want a light read.

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After reading quotes from my Everyday Mindfulnesbook for a year, I was thrilled to receive the update version from one of my #ssInstaFam babes. Everyday Happiness, 365 Days to a Joyful Life ($13.51) is a book filled with motivational quotes and exercises to help guide you on a path to joy. I now swap between the two when posting quotes of inspiration to my Insta Stories every morning.

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I didn’t get to read The Handmaid’s Tale before starting the series. But you don’t need to read the first book to enjoy The Testaments if you’re hooked to the Hulu show. The sequel is about two women who have grown up in Gilead as well as Aunt Lydia. Yes, she’s still around! But things are different now. The regime is in trouble. While I miss June and her voice, the three women in this narrative are equally powerful and admirable in their own ways.

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I’m not usually drawn to medical books but with mental health awareness month coming up, I wanted to give this one a try. I’m thrilled I did! Brain on Fire is true story about a young woman becomes mad as she enters adult life. While there is medical jargon, you’re really left with her tale of despair, love and hope. If you’re dealing with anxiety or depression, it’s a really helpful book to remember you’re not alone.

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If you loved Big Little Lies, I highly recommend reading Whisper Network. Written by an attorney, the novel follows the lives of four lawyers. It’s partly an exploration of the struggles women face in the workplace, from pay to sexual harassment. But it’s also a mystery of a death, which we wonder is a death or suicide until the final chapters. It’s extremely relatable whether you work in a corporate environment or not. And I was left pondering many important themes while reading, and after I finished the book.

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I’ve been recommending Three Women to every woman in my life. It’s a real-life account of three women across the country. All three women are completely different. But each one shares a relatable story of sex drive, desire, infatuation and heartbreak. Journalist Lisa Taddeo spent almost a decade of reporting before writing this book. And her incredible journalism skills are apparent through each and every touching page.

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I discovered The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo from my friend Grace. It follows a reporter who scores an exclusive interview with a Hollywood icon. The movie star has never opened up about her life and her life rivals the stories of Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe. It’s part glamour, part mystery and part a reminder that women can do anything they put their mind to.

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I read The Happiness Equation after getting the recommendation from my friend Kiara. It’s very straight forward with easy exercises you can incorporate into your daily routine to encourage happiness. It’s also filled with a ton of inspiration quotes, which I’ve been jotting down in my journal. Some people called it life-changing. I certainly wouldn’t go that far. But I did find it thought provoking and helpful.

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I read Behind Closed Doors in two days. I literally could not sleep until I found out the ending! It starts with what looks like a perfect marriage. But as you continue reading, you’re mortified in what really goes on with this seemingly happy newlywed couple. Even though it was beyond disturbing, I kept finding myself wanting more. I hope they make a movie out of this thriller.

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This book was beyond creepy! An Anonymous Girl is a two person narrative told by a struggling makeup artist who sneaks into a well paid case study and the psychologist who hires her for an ethics and morality experiment. Almost everything that ensues is immoral and unethical. Unlike most thrillers, this one is a little slow, which was actually a nice change since I could read a few chapters a night. But despite the pace, the insight into the lengths a person would go for love was fascinating.

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This book haunted me for weeks! Lock Every Door follows a broke young girl who receives an offer to apartment sit that seems to good to be true. Obviously, it is too good to be true and when you find out why your stomach will twist into knots. The only thing I didn’t like about this book is I’m scared that what happens in this affluent, creepy apartment building might be happening somewhere in the world.

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I wish I read Big Little Lies before watching the television series with Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman. So I made sure not to make the same mistake with What Alice Forgot. It’s currently in talks to be a movie starring Jennifer Aniston. I think she would make a great lead as Alice, a 39 year-old woman who suffers temporary amnesia and thinks she’s 29 again. Let’s just say a lot has changed in her life in ten years and it’s hilarious to watch her go through the process of realizing her current reality.

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After pages and pages of non stop laughter, I’ve been recommending The Knockoff book to anyone and everyone. It’s about an editor of a top glossy magazine who finds herself essentially replaced by her former assistant in the magazine’s efforts to go digital. It’s such a relatable book whether you roll your eyes at people who don’t understand social media or can sympathize with a generation struggling to tweet for the first time. And if you’re at all related to the fashion, tech or beauty industry, you’ll find it even that much more entertaining.

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Quick Sand is a great mystery novel written by a Swedish author. In showcasing a teen’s murder trial, you learn about the division of classes from the wealthy to the underprivileged. Unlike other mystery books I read in a day, I took my time with this one, absorbing the main character’s narrative. It really left me to stop and think about society, rather than just be intrigued by thrilling twists. It has since been turned into a series on Netflix. I can’t wait to watch!

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I found Such a Fun Age through Reese Witherspoon’s book club. It’s a story of a 20-something girl who has a life-altering night when she’s accused of kidnapping the baby she’s babysitting. The story of race, love and deception is told through her account and the woman who hired her.

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If you loved Gone Girl and Girl on the Train, make Watching Edie next on your list. The book is so suspenseful that I finished it in one day. The story is based on a 33 year-old pregnant woman living alone in London. She is reconnected with her creepy old childhood friend. It weaves in and out of the present time and from when they were teenagers, leaving you wondering about the friend’s motives for returning. The ending is shocking!

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Lauren Weisberger is the brilliant author behind Devil Wears Prada. Her book The Singles Game is centered around a young tennis star, who rebrands her image for her career. She whisked away to celebrity events around the world while still giving her all to her tennis game. And it starts to take a toll on her. It’s such an entertaining, light read that I actually finished it in one day when I was by the pool in Palm Springs! I hear they’re going to make a movie around it and I can’t wait to see the cute tennis outfits!

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I received this Everyday Mindfulness book as a gift from one of my #ssInstaFam babes. It has 365 days of quotes that help kick off your morning in gratitude. I keep it on my vanity table and read the quotes ever morning. I often share them on my Insta Stories because I find them so inspiring.

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If you like The Handmaid’s Tale, I highly recommend Red Clocks. Even though it’s set in the future, it feels as if it could happen next month. The book touches on a world where abortion is illegal, and single women are losing the rights. The five female characters range in ages and backgrounds but all connect in this beautifully written tale that leaves you wondering what will happen with our freedom.

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I literally only have one complaint about American Royals: that the sequel doesn’t come out until 2020! Seriously, I could not put this one down. Author Katherine McGee dreamt up a world in which instead of George Washington become president, he became the king of America. The book is set in present day, following the lives of the current royal family: a princess destined to be the first ruling Queen of America, and her younger prince and princess twin siblings, who are breaking traditions left and right. I have no doubt this will become a movie. So I highly suggest reading it before it does!

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I first read Ruth Ware’s The Lying Game but didn’t love it. While it was entertaining enough, I found it a little slow. But The Woman in Cabin 10 was anything but slow! The mystery follows a travel writer who is covering a story about a high-end cruise ship. The writing is so vivid that I almost felt like I was back on my Mediterranean cruise I took last year. Luckily, my cruise didn’t have the nightmare of a woman thrown overboard! There are so many twists in this book that I couldn’t put it down.

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After sharing my Bill Cunningham memory on Insta Stories, my friend sent me his memoir. Bill Cunningham was extremely influential in the fashion world, but I never knew how he got started. This memoir of his beginning is not only fascinating but also extremely inspirational. I learned that he was a man who was able to put an optimistic spin on everything in life, a lesson I think we can all take whether we’re associated with fashion or not.

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I don’t usually read YA novels but my friend Nadine wrote All American Muslim Girl and she’s such a talented writer. So I decided to give it a go. And I’m so glad I did! The story follows a teenager stuck between two worlds. She looks like the All-American Christian girls in her Southern high school but her family is Muslim. I was so impressed by the way Nadine combined politics and religion in such an entertaining read. I kept finding myself Googling various phrases, learning so much as I continued reading the book. It’s such a wonderful novel if you’re a young girl or woman struggling to find where you belong. Or, if you’re like me, it’s a fascinating way to learn more about other cultures.

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I was talking about Valley of the Dolls with a friend and she insisted on me reading The Love Machine. Even though it’s set in the 1960s, I found the novel to still be completely relevant. It’s about the rise and fall of a television executive and his three major love affairs with a model, journalist and aging wife. He is beyond narcissistic, sometimes so much that it makes you cringe. But I found the relationship aspect very compelling and relatable.

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