Reading is still my favourite way to truly unwind during the grey Wellington weeks - especially before bed. I find nothing beats curling up with a good book!
My most-thumbed favourite types of books to read are ones that will inspire me or teach me something new, or give me a boost of ‘Girl Power’ feminism. Recently I’ve had a big stack next to my bed of books I’ve been enjoying, and I think that you will too. They vary from how-to books on blogging and Instagram (don't forget to watch the video down below on MY tips with CARMEN HUTER in part 2 to our chat here) to dramatic novels to corporate memoir. Now how to make time to fit in more...
This is a nice easy, breezy book written by one of the UK’s best-known YouTubers. It is all about her journey from moving from Canada to the UK and the things she does to make the most of life. If you already know Estee LaLonde, you’ll probably already own this book. If you are vaguely aware of who she is, you might want to consider getting it as a lovely, lifestyle book you can burn through in a weekend, like a guilty piece of cake. She is, however, a bad-ass feminist at heart, and very independent, which makes this a motivating read. It is equal parts sweet and gooey, thrilling and worth getting just for the fabulous photo inspiration alone!
Autumn: Knausgaard (Penguin Random House)
Autumn is a poetic and haunting book from a father to his unborn child, written in contemplation of her birth. The book first of a series of four books called the ‘Seasons’. (Its Scandinavian author had a very popular series called ‘My Struggle’ and then suddenly announced he would give up writing. Obviously, this book marks that he’s back). Autumn is a sensitively written set of essays, each utilizing great detail which I personally loved. It reads more like tiny unique self-contained stories, each revealing something more about the speaker.
These mini essays on disconnected topics cover Churches to Van Gough to piss - what connects them is how they make life worth living. It goes to show small anecdotes shed light on ordinary things and will leave you seeing the world with new eyes. I loved being able to pick up this book and to read an essay each night, slowly walking with the author through his observations of the world. NB: this is a preview version so not the final cover!
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness: Arundhati Roy (Penguin Random House)
A wonderful, colourful book, one to take on holiday or for the voracious reader who enjoys delving deep into a rich novel. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness requires dedication (and sometimes I struggled to stay on track) but is completely worth it. It’s author’s storytelling ability is truly inspiring and one you can loose yourself in, launching into another world! The story starts in India, where the protagonist Anjum lives in a cemetery, is rolling out her carpet to sleep. Throughout the story, we are taken on a journey that is as complex as India’s geography, where the story is set, traveling through time and space, and the intertwined lives of those in Roy’s cast. The payoff is emotionally satisfying, heartfelt, and human with a compelling female lead.
A Woman's Place: Joan Withers (Penguin Random House)
Joan Withers is a boss. Literally. She is on the board of some of New Zealand's biggest companies and has risen in the corporate world (New Zealand still has a poor male/female ratio on boards and in C-suite positions). Yet she was a high school drop out, who could have ended up drifting with life. Nevertheless, she’s gone on to do marvellous things for Kiwi businesses and is now pushing for the gender balance to be corrected in NZ.
For those of you who enjoyed ‘Lean In’ by Sheryl Sandberg, Joan Withers offers a more relevant ‘corporate-goals’ manual for women, that is written for an antipodean context. You’ll feel inspired, awed and ready to climb to the top! (#feminism!!)
I got onto Blogosphere Magazine after a favourite YouTuber, Lily Pebbles, was on the cover. I ended up writing to them and got a story published, which was pretty cool. I decided to subscribe and honestly, there is no other authoritative source of information about blogging that I trust more. They cover everything from tips and tricks to interviews with some of the worlds biggest online talent, many of whom share exclusive and inspiring back-stories, and explaining how they turned a hobby into a business. Blogosphere is a must have if you are interested in the world of blogs, YouTube and Instagram, whether you read them or write your own!
Capture Your Style: Aimee Song (Abrams Image)
Amiee Song is an Instagram Queen, and while this book probably won’t tell you too much more than you already know about Instagram if you are a seasoned user, it is an enjoyable romp that will make you want to re-visit your insta-inspiration. Amiee Song truly does have an incredible instinct about what makes a good picture, but many of the tips in here are fairly obvious. Nevertheless, it is a must have for any aspiring blogger or Instagram enthusiast. It is a fun read that will is perfect to dip in and out of.
(ps. for more Instagram tips, have a watch of this little video of Carmen Huter and me talking our tipss!)