Books You’ll Love: 28 More Riveting Reads (Part 2)

I hope you enjoyed the first part of my ‘riveting reads’ series. Today, the second and final installment, is a mash-up of rock ‘n’ roll, drugs, health and sport (strange putting those two up against each other, right?) and my top picks when it comes to coffee table books.

Load up the comments with your suggestions too – I’m sure you have plenty of goodies to share!



1 // Scar Tissue by Anthony Keidis (click to buy)
I’d hazard a guess that many of you would have this one sitting on your shelves at home, but if not, dash to your local book store and grab a copy today. This book is a fascinating – and often disturbing and mind-blowing – insight into the hedonism and destruction of rock stardom. I remember after I read it I went through a major Chili Peppers “phase” where I pretty much listened to Blood Sugar Sex Magik (in my opinion, their finest offering) non-stop. Winner. (PS: Anthony Kiedis and HBO are releasing a TV series based on this book, produced by Entourage’s producers. Waiting with bated breath for that one!)

2 // Heavier than Heaven: The Biography of Kurt Cobain by Charles Cross (click to buy)
Brilliant. Disturbing. Thoroughly researched. Revelatory. An all-access pass to the mind and secrets of Kurt Cobain. As a massive Nirvana fan, I ate this up with glee.

3 // Life by Keith Richards (click to buy)
I’m going to admit that it took me a little while to get into this one – I found the start really slow and given the book is a biggie, I almost gave up.  Littered with WTF? stories and plenty of ups and downs with Jagger, you’ll see Keith Richards in a whole new light after tackling this beast of a bio.

4 // Eric Clapton: The Autobiography by Eric Clapton (click to buy)
I read this straight after reading Pattie Boyd’s book (see below) which was the best way to read it. My Dad is a massive Clapton fan, which is where my love of his music originates, and in reading this bio I learnt plenty of things I never knew about this music maestro. He’s a complex character, to say the least, and has had his fair share of hardship along the way.

5 // Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton and Me by Pattie Boyd (click to buy)
Even remotely interested in 60’s culture and the music of that decade, and those that followed? This book should be on your list. Pattie takes you along on an unweildy journey – a first-hand account of her modelling career, her troubled relationships with The Beatles’ George Harrison and Eric Clapton, and plenty of other memorable moments. She’ll frustrate you at times with her passive nature but by the end you’ll love her for coming out on top.

6 // You are Not Alone: Michael, Through a Brother’s Eyes by Jermaine Jackson (click to buy)
I’m a huuuuuuge MJ fan and this book taught me so much about the man, the music and media that tore him to shreds. Brilliant. Can’t recommend it enough.

7 // Bono on Bono: Conversations with Michka Assayas (click to buy)
I read this shortly after seeing U2 in concert years ago and I remember it being a candid chat between friends about everything from childhood issues, faith, charity and fame.

8 // Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain by Portia De Rossi (click to buy)
Though painful prose, Portia talks openly about her anorexia and her struggles with the shame that came as a result of ‘hiding away’ her sexuality. I never knew much about Portia (other than she was Ellen’s wife) and didn’t watch Ally McBeal before reading this memoir, but I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s emotional and unsettling… but the happy ending will leave you smiling.



1 // Tweak: Growing Up On Methamphetamines by Nic Sheff (click to buy)
I read this one on the plane coming home from the U.S last year. The whole gritty, messy, confounding book was devoured in a flash and it kind of blew my mind. Just… wow. Gripping.

2 // A Million Little Pieces by James Frey (click to buy)
Despite all the uproar A Million Little Pieces one caused, I was totally drawn into this harrowing story and thought it was written freaking marvellously. Intense and profound; the ultimate “don’t do drugs, kids” handbook.

3 // In My Skin: A Memoir by Kate Holden (click to buy)
A homegrown story about a regular, smart girl that finds herself unravelling in a destructive world of heroin addiction and prostitution. Raw.

4 // Junky by William S. Burroughs (click to buy)
Unfliching and unforgiving. A definitive account of heroin addiction by legendary literary drug fiend, William Burroughs.



1 // Sweet Poison: Why Sugar is Making Us Fat by David Gillespie (click to buy)
One of the most eye-opening books on health I’ve ever read. A must. It’ll change everything.

2 // Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr (click to buy)
Kris Carr is divine and her Crazy Sexy Diet is all about eating green, alkalising, nurturing your body and just being awesome in general (!) – presented in her signature, sassy-lady style.

3 // In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan (click to buy)
Eat real food. Simple food. This is part of Pollan’s credo and this book will open you up to new ways of thinking about what you put in your mouth. Deliciously informative. 

4 // Born to Run: The Hidden Tribe, the Ultra-runners and the Greatest Race the World Has Ever Seen by Christopher McDougall (click to buy)
An awe-inspiring book on a mysterious tribe of Mexican Indians, the  Tarahumara, reported to be the best long-distance runners in the world.

5 // Ultramarathon Man by Dean Karnazes (click to buy)
I read this book and the book below when I was training for a half marathon a few years back for “motivation” and man, did it deliver. This guy is a freak of nature, in the most ridiculously inspiring way. Read it.

6 // 50 Secrets I Learned Running 50 Marathons in 50 Days by Dean Karnazes (click to buy)
50 marathons, 50 states, 50 days. Again, the man is a freakish talent.

7// Open by Andre Agassi (click to buy)
I love reading bio’s about famous people that I know a little bit about but not much, like I did with Andre Agassi. I knew he was a star tennis player, he was married to Brooke Shields and then Steffi Graf, but that’s about it. The title is apt for this book – this is an extremely open account of a childhood where Andre was pushed to succeed at all costs by his tyrant father, his struggles with his tennis career and all the highs and lows of being in the spotlight. A great gift for the man in your life… that you might just sneak a read of first.

8 // It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life by Lance Armstrong (click to buy)
The Tour de France kind of amazes me and being the huge voyeur that I am (what I mean is, people fascinate me) I love finding out how people at the top of their game do what they do, what makes them tick, what struggles have cropped up along the way and everything in between. From a sporting prowess perspective, this book is incredible. What’s even more incredible is Lance’s cancer story and his comeback to one of the most gruelling events in the world. No nonsense inspiration.



1 // Journals by Kurt Cobain (click to buy)
Can you tell Kurt Cobain fascinates me? This book is a total trip-out but a treasure to behold.

2 // My Heart Wanders by Pia Jane Bijkerk (click to buy)
A beautiful, reflective memoir that will speak to the wandering heart inside. Stunning.

3 // Design Sponge: A Guide to Inspiring Homes and the Tools You Need to Create Your Own by Grace Bonney (click to buy)
You probably know the site – now here’s the book. And packed-to-the-brim-with-deliciousness it is. Interior styling lovers and craft goddesses, you need this.

4 // Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Greatest Trips by National Geographic (click to buy)
All the travel inspiration one could ever need! The trips are broken up by category (rail, road, water, by foot and so on) and there are definitely more than a few that I’d like to tackle on this lifetime.

5 // The Travel Book (click to buy)
Does any NOT have this book? I couldn’t leave it out of my list because whenever wanderlust kicks in, it’s the first thing I pour over. A must for all travel-lovers.

6 // Food, Fashion, Friends by Fleur Wood (click to buy)
A gloriously indulgent celebration of food, style and entertaining.

7 // Influence by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen (click to buy)
A journey of interviews, inspiration and insight, wrapped up beautifully. Loved this in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at MK & A’s creative and business lives.

8 // Nomad: Bringing Your Travels Home by Sibella Court (click to buy)
A deluxe style guide of eclectic inspiration from around the world. Gorgeous interiors, breathtaking photos, imaginative ideas. Adore.

Once again, I’d love you to add to this list in the comments with your favourites. Share away!

Books You’ll Love: 30 Riveting Reads (Part 1)

I’m feeling a bit ‘Oprah’s Book Club’ today with this bumper post full of all my favourite reads!

I’ve had a few requests for book recommendations of late, and as you’ll see below, I love nothing more than reading – and talking about – great books. I’ve broken my recommended reading list into two parts because it was getting a bit ridiculous, so today’s bulging post is Part 1, covering the areas of self empowerment, memoir, entrepreneurship and creativity, and Part 2 will be all about music/ celebrity, drugs, health + sport and coffee table books.

I’ve left literature and classics off (Nabokov, Tolstoy, Harper Lee, Kerouac and Thompson are my picks to stretch the edges of your brain every which way) and as you’ll soon discover, the majority of the books I read reside in the non-fiction category.

That said, though, the aim is that these posts will become a fantastic resource to refer back to time and time again let’s load up the comments with YOUR suggestions (fiction is definitely encouraged, I need to spread my wings!) so we can all circle back here next time we’re in need of a good read.




1 // ‘You Can Heal Your Life’ by Louise L. Hay (click to buy)
From the grandmama of self-empowerment herself, the starting point for a journey into healing and transformation. Every bookshelf deserves a dog-earred copy of this timeless tome. 

2 // ‘You Can Create an Exceptional Life’ by Cheryl Richardson and Louise L. Hay (click to buy)
Loaded with gentle wisdom, this book plays out like a series of conversations between two of the preeminent thought leaders in the self-growth sphere.  

3 // ‘Spirit Junkie: A Radical Road to Self-Love & Miracles’ by Gabrielle Bernstein (click to buy)
A radically honest walk through the life and lessons learned by spirituality’s coolest new-gen teacher Gabby Bernstein. Plenty o’ goodness on manifesting + magic + miracles + fine-tuning your intuition. 

4 // ‘The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be & Embrace Who You Are’ by Brene Brown (click to buy)
Watch this first, then read Brene Brown’s book on courage, compassion, connection – and the often swept-under-the-rug emotion, shame. A brilliant combo of scientific research, storytelling and real life examples. 

5 // ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle (click to buy)
Powerful teachings on presence and recognising ourselves as the creators of our own pain and joy.

6 // ‘Dying to be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing’ by Anita Moorjani (click to buy)
The incredible back-from-the-dead story of a cancer patient riddled with disease – and the epiphanies her near-death experience brought about. Eye-opening. 

7 // ‘Creative Visualization‘ by Shakti Gawain (click to buy)
Affirmations and meditations to help you actively direct the course of your life. 

8 // ‘The Magic of Thinking Big’ by David J. Schwartz (click to buy)
Regarded as one of the best classic books on motivation, this book uncovers the ‘secrets’ to success, happiness and relationships. 

9 // ‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coehlo (click to buy)
A dazzling and simple story with shiny-diamond wisdom woven through its pages. Lush, evocative. One for the ages.  

10 // ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change’ by Stephen R. Covey (click to buy)
A principle-centred approach to problem-solving and bettering your life.




1 // ‘Eat Pray Love’ by Elizabeth Gilbert (click to buy)
Doesn’t really need an introduction but in case you’ve been meditating in a cave in Nepal for the past six years, Eat Pray Love is the at once criticised and widely celebrated story of a woman on a journey – via Italy, India and Indonesia – back to herself. 

2 // ‘Tiny, Beautiful Things: Advice on Life & Love from Dear Sugar’ by Cheryl Strayed (click to buy)
A compilation of the best (left-of-centre) advice columns from Sugar, the once-anonymous online columnist at The Rumpus, who has now been revealed to be bestselling author Cheryl Strayed. Dynamite stuff. 

3 // ‘This I Know: Notes on Unraveling the Heart’ by Susannah Conway (click to buy)
A tender and moving book about grief and self-discovery by online writer and photographer Susannah Conwayand her subsequent unfurling through connection and creativity. 

4 // ‘The Bride Stripped Bare’ by Nikki Gemmell (click to buy)
This book was doing the sex + titillation thing way before Fifty Shades of Grey (and the writing is approximately 500, 000 times better). Intoxicating. 

5 // ‘Gone Girl’ by Gillian Flynn (click to buy)
A can’t-put-it-down, super dark thriller that will suck you in and leave you thinking. The current popularity of this one is off the charts… for good reason.

6 // ‘Mama Mia: A Memoir of Mistakes, Motherhood & Magazines’ by Mia Freedman (click to buy)
Mia Freedman was my career idol when she was editor of Cosmo magazine (back when I had no clue just how huge a score that was at age 24). Pretty sure I tore through this open and honest insight into her life in a day, if memory serves me correctly. 

7 // ‘Sold’ by Patricia McCormick (click to buy)
An evocative novel about child prostitution. It’ll get you. Right there. 

8 // ‘Wild: Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail’ by Cheryl Strayed (click to buy)
Blazingly honest, superbly written, awe-inspiring. A story about grief, healing and revelation, woven into an even bigger story about the author’s backbreaking solo hike from the Mojave Desert to Washington State in the U.S. A total page-turner.  



1// ‘The Firestarter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide to Creating Success on Your Own Terms’ by Danielle LaPorte (click to buy)
THE guide to making your purpose a reality. Juicy, deep, energetically-charged truth wrapped up in one delicious, white-hot package. 

2 // ‘The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles’ by Steven Pressfield (click to buy)
I read this fascinating book in an hour-forty five last night (it’s THAT good) and if you need a swift kick up the butt to get sh*t done, look no further. Punchy wisdom, straight to your grey matter. It’ll give you tingles. 

3 // ‘Career Renegade: How to Make a Great Living Doing What You Love’ by Jonathan Fields (click to buy)
Turn your passion into a goldmine, make the leap, take back your life. Jonathan Fields will tell you how to do just that in this practical, detailed and super inspirational book. 

4 // ‘The 4 Hour Work Week: Escape the 9 – 5, Live Anywhere & Join the New Rich’ by Timothy Ferriss (click to buy)
Cutting-edge and revolutionary ideas about escaping the rat race and claiming your life back. 

5 // ‘Escape from Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepeneur’ by Pamela Slim (click to buy)
How great is that title? Pleased to tell you the book is just as wonderful – extremely useful, no BS advice on transitioning from employee to entrepreneur with aplomb. 

6 // ‘Now, Discover Your Strengths: How to Develop Your Talents & Those of the People You Manage’ by Marcus Buckingham (click to buy)
Discover where you shine, what your natural gifts and strengths are and how that translates to your business/ career/ life as a whole.  

Side note: don’t you love how Danielle LaPorte has obviously done a spot of competitive analysis in her field and gone for ‘striking + totally different’ for her cover, in a sea of red, black and gold? Love that trailblazin’ woman!



1 // ‘Bird by Bird’ by Anne Lamott (click to buy)
If you’re a writer, or want to be, do yourself a favour and read this book. Immediately. 

2 // ‘Writing Down the Bones’ by Natalie Goldberg (click to buy)
Refer to the above. 

3 // ‘Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper: Gifting the World with Your Words & Stories and Creating the Time & Energy to Actually Do It’ by SARK (click to buy)
SARK is a moonbeam, a rainbow-hued explosion, a larger-than-life bundle o’ fun. She’s also whip-smart and chock full of creative wisdom and how-to’s. This book is a gift.  

4 // ‘On Writing’  by Stephen King (click to buy)
Part memoir, part instructional book on the craft of writing, totally awesome. 

5 // ‘The Creative Habit: Learn it and Use it For Life’ by Twyla Tharp (click to buy)
Tharp waxes lyrical on creativity being the product of preparation and effort – something available to us all, if we work at it. 

6 // ‘The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path’ by Julia Cameron (click to buy)
I haven’t actually read this one yet (it’s on the way to me in the mail) but by all accounts it’s a must-read. If you’ve ever heard a creative friend doing their ‘Morning Pages,’ this is where the idea was born. 


+ What are your favourite books? Have you read (and loved) any of the above? Share away in the comments below.

Everyone loves a good book rec, so I’d be mega-grateful if you could tweet or share this post on Facebook using the buttons below. Merci, my little book-lovahs!

{PS: this post is in no way sponsored, but I’m seriously beginning to think I need a good friend at The Book Depository. Or PayPal.}

Making Me Happy

{I was going to write a separate post for what I’m about to say but it feels right to weave it in here so I will. Note to self and universe and anyone else that has an open ear: do more of what feels right}.

If you’ve been hanging around here for a while, you’ve probably heard me say that I love to read.

I’ve always been a huge reader/ devourer-of-pages/ word nerd and for this I can thank my parents, who spent a tremendous amount of time reading to their first-born in the way that most parents read to kids – the same book, 50 times. In a row.

I quickly latched on to the whole reading biz and it became a sweet sanctuary for me – to the point where I used to tear through books so quickly as a young child that my parents stopped buying them for me after a while, instead taxiing me back and forth to the local library where I’d try and push the ’10 book limit’ and slide another copy of The Babysitter’s Club or whatever it was I was engrossed in through the beepers.

Fast forward to the weekend just gone… also known as, Remembering Why I Love to Read So Much.

I’m getting tired of the “It’s been a hectic week/ month/ year” story but it’s hard not to draw parallels in this instance because reading was the first thing to slide once my schedule really got out of hand earlier this year.

Sure, I’ve stuck my nose in some great books in the past 7 or so months, but it’s always felt like an after-thought. Something I knew I “should” do because I’m an insatiable knowledge-sponge and love to learn, but the thing is, it was always minus a certain vital component – doing it out sheer pleasure.

On the weekend, I got back to me. The computer was turned off, the task list was ignored, tracksuit pants were slipped on and I unfurled into the deliciousness of Cheryl Strayed’s story in her book ‘Wild.’

As I burned through almost all of that 311 page masterpiece on Saturday (it was promptly finished first thing Sunday morning), I realised that I read to think. Of course, I came to this conclusion this as I was reading, which exemplifies what I just said, but nonetheless, that aha! moment was a poignant one.

Reading gives me pause, which leads to me working stuff out in my head as I go. Inspiration emerges. Other people’s stories help me make sense of my own – or make me realise how different my own are (either way is A-OK).

Undoubtedly, this has to do with the fact that more creative stuff bubbles up when you make space for it and slow down, but also, I think when you hang out in your happy place, you connect back up to that beautiful power source that is YOU. It doesn’t matter whether it’s surfing, or riding a horse, or playing an instrument or painting – or anything else. All that matters is that you make time to “go there” (because the rewards are so, so worth it).

On the back of my little insight-filled endeavour, I have a question for you:

What have you stopped making time for? Is there anything you can let go of or let slide so that you can invite more of what really lights you up back into your life?

Let’s get a list going in the comments. I want to know what sets your soul on fire!

Dreamcasting in Le Magic Moleskine


A few years ago I christened one of my Moleskine diaries my “Magic Moleskine” after filling it to the brim with things I wanted to manifest by specific dates. The whole ‘magic’ thing was just a cute, throw-away line at first but after things started happening, even Ramai started saying  “Write it in the Magic Moleskine!”

I’ve been a vision-boarder/ goalsetter/ big dreamer fo-evah and a day so it didn’t surprise me too much that the majority of the things I’d written in my diary came to fruition, but I’ve always treasured that unassuming black diary with pictures stuck everywhere and big, black words graffitied on the pages. I guess that’s where my love for this particular brand of stationery really took hold.

As part of the mid-year review/ shake-up I’m undergoing at the moment, I bought a brand spankin’ new Moleskine last week – an 18 month one that starts this month and finishes in December 2013 (perfect!) – and I’ve started to do the same as before, filling the pages with affirmations, dreams, ‘things I love’ lists and short journal entries. As you can see above, I also enlisted the help of my friends Tiger’s Eye (great for focusing and insight) and Quartz (for amplifying wishes and visualisations) to max the good juju.

Thank you in advance Magic Moleskine 2.0. I have a feeling you’re going to be even more powerful than your predecessor.

Outrageous Organisation


I’m having fun getting all my ducks in a row at the moment and went a bit bananas in kikki.K buying a big monthly planner and two to-do list notepads (one is super cute – it even has a space that says “What I’m Thankful For”).

I’ve also finally made time to clean out two email inboxes that desperately needed some deleting action, renewed a professional membership, paid a bunch of bills, got my tax info off to our accountant, finalised some web copy for a friend and cleaned out my bookshelves this week. Organisation station. Feels gooooooooooood, my friends.

Men’s Tees


I’m loving men’s tees and my husband’s big, chunky knit jumpers this winter. Picked up this pretty (ha, sorry boys) pink Silent Theory number the other day at David Jones and I may have to go back for a few more colours I think. Comfort… and then some.



Does anyone out there use Vistaprint?

I seriously love ’em. Our Thank You cards arrived a few days ago and they look fab. This weekend’s job: writing them and posting them!

If you’re part of the crew over on the In Spaces Between Facebook page (and if you’re not, come join us – there’s lots of stuff over there that doesn’t appear on the blog), you’ll know I do something called One Word Wednesday, where I ask you to describe how you’re feeling in one word.

I’m going to follow that same line of thinking here today and ask you to think of One Thing you’re thankful for. Just one thing. Of course, if you’ve got a whole scroll to share with us, you know that is always encouraged, but I know you’re all busy little kittens so if you don’t have time for all the details, feel free to keep it simple.

What’s the best thing that’s happened to you over the past week?

*** As an ‘added extra,’ I’d love to hear about the passion you feel like you’ve stopped making time for and how you plan on “getting back there.”

Images: Jose Villa | 28 Media

A Few Books Worthy Of A Spot On Your Xmas List

‘You Are Not Alone: Michael, Through A Brother’s Eyes’ by Jermaine Jackson

I’m an unashamed fan of Michael Jackson’s music. Have been since Dad made me my own cassette copy of the Thriller album when I was six years old, and probably will be ‘til the day I die. The man changed music and the way people move (see if you can listen to ‘Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ without shaking a limb or tapping your feet) and I’ve always thought there was more going on beneath the surface than the sensationalist media reports let on – which is why I was so keen to read this book.

Aptly titled You Are Not Alone: Through A Brother’s Eyes, Jermaine Jackson’s account of his younger brother Michael shines a bright light on the Jackson family history and thoroughly covers everything from their childhood in Indiana, the success the brothers achieved as the Jackson 5, through to observations about Michael’s phenomenal solo career and the happiness and sadness that dotted the path of his life until his tragic death.

It’s raw, honest, sincere and seeped in brotherly love and provides an incredible ‘behind the scenes’ look into the life of the King of Pop. I found it fascinating cover-to-cover (definitely a Can’t-Put-Down kinda book) and love that Jermaine refused to shy away from the tough issues; instead covering them from all angles and often revealing a side story that the world was never privy to.

Jermaine sets the record straight on a number of stories – from an insider’s perspective – and it gave me a solid insight into the complexity of Michael’s character and the power the people around him had over him. On one hand he was the businessman – a perfectionist workaholic, who would rehearse all day for a tour and then come home and dance alone into the early hours of the morning to make sure every move was absolutely flawless. On the other, he was the naïve and gentle soul with the warped childhood who, as Jermaine evidences, became a ‘trial-by-media’ victim several times in his life.

I won’t ruin it for you but particularly interesting are the disturbing incidents going on around Michael before he died during preparations for the ‘This is It’ comeback tour.

If you’re an MJ fan in any capacity – whether you’ve busted a move to Billy Jean on the dance floor or know his full discography from start to finish – I definitely recommend you add this one to your Xmas list!

THE PERFECT XMAS GIFT FOR: The Music Lover in your life.  

‘Crazy, Sexy Diet’ by Kris Carr

Kris Carr is an amazing woman.

She literally radiates – beaming supersonic energy around the globe and back again, inspiring the millions that have heard her story (Kris was diagnosed with an extremely rare cancer at 31 and pledged to fight ‘her way’ with a total lifestyle overhaul).

If you’re not familiar with her (see that rock? Crawl out now please), I suggest you head to Kris’ insanely popular site CrazySexyLife  and once you’ve wrapped yourself up in her joie de vivre and her abundant knowledge on all things health and wellness, I guarantee you’ll be begging for someone to buy you this book which, as the inside cover says, will “put you on the fast track to vibrant health and happiness.”

I read this before I did my Life Reset and although I didn’t follow her 21 day cleanse, I did a variation of it and certainly incorporated a large chunk of her wisdom. Super useful resource.

THE PERFECT XMAS GIFT FOR: The Health Goddess (or Future Health Goddess) in your life.  

‘You Can Create an Exceptional Life’ by Louise Hay and Cheryl Richardson

Have you ever read Louise Hay’s bestseller ‘You Can Heal Your Life?’ 

I have (about ten times) and have always been fond of Louise’s philosophies on positive thinking and her advice on using powerful affirmations to manifest the life of our dreams. While I understand it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, the premise is that through our thoughts we create our reality, and that we can all improve the quality of our lives through focused thought and bringing our attention to what it is we truly desire.

In my opinion, this book acts as a follow on from You Can Heal Your Life. The collaboration between Louise and Cheryl Richardson is written in a conversational format, where Cheryl, through interview-style questioning, uncovers the way Louise lives her life, with a backstory that touches on the abuse she received as a child, her cancer (self-healed), her work with AIDS victims in the ’80’s and continues through to the daily rituals she follows today at ’84 years young.’ The way she starts her day was of particular interest to me, it sounds brilliant!

Louise is the teacher and Cheryl, although being a huge success herself in the realm of self empowerment, is the student in this delightful little book. I read it in two sittings (about 45 minutes each, but I’m a fast reader so don’t take that as gospel) and found it to be a heartfelt read that left me feeling super energised and inspired (I couldn’t have read it at a better time actually considering the whole wedding venue debacle).

There are also plenty of affirmations throughout if you’re looking for some powerful new words to recite, and these affirmations cover everything from income earning to self-love, relationships and accepting death and grief.

THE PERFECT XMAS GIFT FOR: The Positivity Queen – or someone who needs a bit o’ love – in your life. 


‘Treasure Yourself’ by Miranda Kerr

I got this book for my birthday last week from a friend at work and raced through it the next day. Thoroughly enjoyable!

Like You Can Create An Exceptional Life, supermodel Miranda Kerr’s book is filled with thoughts on living magically and the back section contains affirmations from Miranda herself, as well as the spiritual/ self -help teachers that have inspired her journey, including Louise Hay, Deepak Chopra, Stephen Covey and Wayne Dyer.

Treasure Yourself serves as a beautiful collection of thoughts, memories and lessons and is one of those gorgeous little books that you could grab and read a page or two of at any time for a pick-me-up if you were feeling low. Miranda is as down-to-earth as they come and the advice comes across as very genuine – particularly her advice on body image which could have very easily veered off into “Yeah what would you know, you’re a supermodel!” territory if it wasn’t presented properly.

THE PERFECT XMAS GIFT FOR: Your Bestie or Sister (suits a broad age range).

‘Opium Nation: Child Brides, Drug Lords and One Woman’s Journey Through Afghanistan’ by Fariba Nawa

Admittedly, I’ve just started reading this one but although I’m just a few chapters in, I’m already hooked.

Biographies and documentaries on drug culture fascinate me for some reason, and from what I can see, journalist and author Fariba Nawa deftly weaves her memories as a child that fled Afghanistan with her family during the Soviet invasion of the ’80’s with the story of a country debilitated by the global drug trade.

Every review I’ve read for this book has been glowing and I’m hanging for some spare time so I can devour the rest of it!

THE PERFECT XMAS GIFT FOR: The Worldly, Deep-Thinker in your life.

+ You probably know by now that I’m obsessed with books and I love a good recommendation so let’s talk about what you’re reading and loving at the moment. Load up those literary suggestions in the comments below and let’s get a bit of a discussion going!