LIFESTYLE / HERE'S WHAT YOU SHOULD BE READING THIS AUGUST

I go through stages of being an avid reader. I spent most of my childhood and teenage years with my nose in the latest Jacqueline Wilson bestseller or spending afternoons scouring the shelves in our local library for a new book to get lost in. As I got older, my taste developed and I found myself writing and reading a lot more classical work which prompted me to pursue a degree in English Literature.

I loved most aspects of university life but in retrospect, I can definitely notice that it dampened my love for reading.  Typically, as the stubborn being I am, being told what to read and how quickly took all enjoyment out of it for me. It's taken me a few years to get back into the swing of reading again but I’m at a stage now where I predominantly use it as my ‘downtime’, whether that is whilst relaxing on holiday or as a bit of a wind down before bed. 

I permanently have a few books on my bedside table that I reach for and also bought a few more to take on my recent trip to Tuscany so I wanted to take this opportunity to talk you through some of my current favourites. 

I’ve never been one to discriminate between books and love fiction and non-fiction equally as much and think that every genre has its strengths. However, I’m definitely going through a non-fiction kind of phase, as you’ll see below…

Bloom: Navigating Life & Style - Estee Lalonde

I'm a massive fan of Estee Lalonde and have been for a very long time. I've followed her blogging and Youtube journey for years now and so when she announced that she was bringing out a book, I couldn't have been more eager to read it. The most exceptional thing about Estee compared to other bloggers is that she is truly herself and just seems like the loveliest, normal girl.

I’m used to her style of writing from her blog posts so already know prior to reading that I’d enjoy the book;  it's quite 'chatty' which makes all of the topics seem even more relatable. In regards to the topics, she does cover quite a lot... fashion, beauty, food, travel are just a few to mention but the one aspect that I really enjoyed is that she doesn't shy away from her own personal experiences and incorporates parts of her life and journey into the book. 

Every chapter is well thought through, executed well, informative enough but with hints of humour, sarcasm and realness.  I especially loved learning more about her relationship with long term boyfriend Aslan because well, I’m soppy as hell.

This Modern Love - Will Darbyshire

Anyone that knows me in real life will know that I'm a true romantic at heart, I love all the ‘icky’ stuff so when my brother gifted me this book for my birthday, I couldn't wait to get stuck in. It's basically a collection of 'love stories' from people of a wide range of ages that live all over the world in the form of letters, poems, photographs and emails.

It’s collated very well and in sections which make it very easy and enjoyable to read. I love books that are ‘real’ and that don’t shy away from taboo or topics that might make people sad because well, life is sometimes about hardship and I love that this book incorporated both the good and bad aspects of falling in love. Every story is very different and it’s one of the books that you put down and think “thank goodness I’m not the only one” haha.

Read This If You Want To Be Instagram Famous - Henry Carroll

This may sound like a silly one by the title but it genuinely is such a good book. I bought it on a bit of a whim about 2 months ago and it’s been on my bedside table ever since and I tend to reach for it regularly whenever I’m having a momentary lapse of inspiration or any writers block.  

I am constantly eager to learn more, especially about the world of blogging, and so when I spotted this book filled with advice and tips from successful bloggers and Instagram users, I just had to keep on reading.

The book is beautifully illustrated with peoples Instagram shots and is really insightful with tips on photography, marketing and loads of other factors that make a successful Instagram account! 

The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k - Sarah Knight

I saw this kind of 'self-help' book floating around for ages and it almost turned into a bit of a ‘cult’ book which is something that often puts me off. However, I clearly put that to one side and am SO glad I did because hence the name, it seriously is life changing and oh so liberating. 

I'm pretty typically English so I often find myself saying yes to far too much, over-committing and stretching my capabilities in order to please people. And well, this book has taught me to just stop giving a f**k about what people think or what other people want. It really has given me a new mantra to live by and the knowledge that without giving a f**k, not doing things I don't want to do, not being places I don't want to be, not seeing people I really don't ever want to see that it opens up sooooooo many more opportunities. I now have the time to do things that I actually want to do. I mean, what more could you ask for?!

Get Your S**t Together - Sarah Knight

If you couldn't guess from the above, I bloody loved her first book so of course I was going to invest in her second. And ya know what? It's even bloody better!!!! I'm not sure if it just came at the most perfect time because I've just quit my job (to pursue blogging and writing full time), am in a bit of a limbo relationship situation and general 'ahhhhhh wtf is my life' ... but, even so, it's genius. Who would've thought that a book pretty much giving you step by step guides on how to get your s**t together would actually not be a load of mumbo jumbo? 

Have any of you had a really mean personal trainer before? You know the type I mean, the bald, tall, insanely muscular guy with the permanent look of disappointment on his face... well, this is basically him but in book form. AND YOU NEED IT. It's the kick up my ass I've needed for years and I couldn't recommend it enough!

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If anyones interested, some other go-to fiction favourites for me are Atonement, Never Let Me GoThe Shadow of the Wind

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What are YOUR favourite books? I'd love you to let me know in the comments because I'm always keen to expand on my collection!

xo