Life…isn’t easy right now.
Within the last few months, you’ve experienced so much. The current COVID-19 pandemic, no clear answers for what’s going to happen, job changes, fear, anxiety, major shifts…it’s all a lot to handle.
As I was processing everything that’s been happening during my recent coincidental time off from my business, the one thing I know within me that’s true is that I want to help you through this.
Need Netflix recommendations? Let’s do this.
Need someone to vent to because everything can be a little too much? I’m here.
With that being said, if you’re in quarantine and looking for new book recommendations, you’re in luck: I have 19 incredible books that you can choose from below! Most of them are more self-discovery and personal development focused, but there are a few autobiographies and fiction books that I highly recommend as well!
If you aren’t quite sure which book to choose first, message me! I’ll be more than happy to help you decide what’s next on your reading list.
Also, before I dive into all of my recommendations, please don’t be afraid to reach out and let me know if there is something in particular that you need help with during this time. Whether it’s related to self-care, something as simple as new hobbies to try during quarantine, meditation recommendations…anything! I’m your girl. I’m here for you.
Now, in no particular order, here are 19 of my most recommended books to read during quarantine (and beyond!!)
Self-Discovery / Personal Growth Books
You Are A Badass
This is the holy grail of personal development books, in my opinion. In fact, the most popular post on this website is all about some of the most important lessons that you can learn from this book. (View the blog post here!)
Jen Sincero speaks to you in a no-nonsense, kick your ass in gear style, opening your eyes to the realities of how you’ve been holding yourself back. She’ll give you the tools you need in order to finally take steps towards creating a life you love, listening to what you want, and not letting fear get in the way.
As a note: This book also does deal with a spiritual approach. Not necessary God or traditional religion (although you can interpret her teachings with this kind of approach), but more with the Law of Attraction and the Universe. If this isn’t your cup of tea, then I’d recommend exploring some of the other recommendations below.
The Sweet Spot
How do you balance a thriving career, fulfilling personal life, healthy boundaries, self-care, eating healthy, chores, errands…and everything else that comes with being an adult? Author Christine Carter will show exactly how you can achieve all of these things, by doing less. This book will help you finally unlock the “sweet spot” that frees you from overwhelm while balancing all of the insane schedules and unending tasks that come with being an adult in today’s day and age, all while keeping your sanity and putting yourself first.
I’m Awesome. Here’s Why…
Now is the perfect time to dive into a guided journal, especially if you’re experiencing some issues with feeling good about yourself. If you’ve had some uncertainties when it comes to believing in yourself and your overall self-confidence, I highly recommend my own book: I’m Awesome. Here’s Why…
Because no matter how confident you are, doubt always finds a way to creep in sometimes. Small insecurities quickly become big uncertainties, but there are simple ways that can help you break that cycle. Throughout my book, I’ll give you a crash course to finding confidence within yourself, helping you discover over 101 guided activities that will help you realize, build, and nurture your self-confidence.
This is truly one of my all-time favorite personal development books, and I don’t understand why it isn’t talked about more often among the self-help community!
One of the biggest topics that author Tara Mohr tackles throughout Playing Big is the concept of your inner critic. Not only does she teach you the best ways to handle that tough inner voice, but also how to tap into your inner mentor, when to know when you’re acting from a place of fear versus alignment, and how to recognize and unlearn engrained subconscious habits that are holding you back.
Each chapter includes journal prompts, summaries, and key points you can review after reading, so you can easily refer back to each lesson and do your necessary inner work outside of the book.
The Enneagram and You
If you’re a personality test junkie like me, you need to pick up a copy of this book. I’ve always personally been a fan of Myers-Briggs when it came to personality tests, but I really fell in love with the Enneagram after devouring this book.
Whether you’ve heard about the Enneagram before, consider yourself an expert, or have no idea what I’m talking about, this book is a fantastic way to get to know what makes you the way you are. What I love about this book is that the author acknowledges that there is a little bit of every number in you, and you aren’t simply defined by one versus another. Sometimes it’s easy to relate to a personality test result (or horoscope) because it’s vague or meant for everyone to understand, but this book nails it on the head. It dives deep into each personality type, how they respond to stress, how they are in their career, relationships with other types, and more.
What Next? Your Five-Year Plan for Life After College
Graduating from college is a terrifying time. Especially right now with all of the uncertainties arising during this pandemic.
What’s Next? breaks down all of the main pillars for what it’s like to create a life as an adult after college: career, finances, wellness, and relationships. Each section has important questions, prompts, and steps to walk you through exactly how to build a foundation for your life after you graduate.
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
This was my first personal development book I ever read when I was first diving into the self-help world, and I will always, always recommend it.
Elizabeth Gilbert breaks down her own experience with creativity, and helps readers understand what it’s like to be a creative. The creative process is unique for everyone, and Gilbert helps you embrace this part of you, tackle what you most love, follow your curiosity, and face your fears. Even if you’re not necessarily a “creative” person, I still highly recommend you read this to explore more about who you are and how to lean into what you love.
The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter – and How to Make the Most of Them
I discovered this book when I was browsing the self-help section at The Last Bookstore in LA, and I’m so glad I did!
Meg Jay debunks the “30 is the new 20” myth society is telling us, and truly teaches you how your twenties are your defining years, setting a foundation for your life as an adult. The author shares stories from her 10 years of research and experience with hundreds of twentysomethings clients and students, to help you understand real, applicable situations that you can relate to in your own life.
The War of Art
If you’re a creative in any way, PLEASE read this book. It’s short, easy to read, but will give you a kick in the pants. Steven Pressfield’s advice is definitely tough love, but it’s exactly what you need in order to break down the mindset blocks and excuses you’ve created for yourself that are holding you back.
All artists experience resistance, whether you’re experiencing writer’s block, internal criticism, fear of getting started…anything. Pressfield will help you push past these barriers and finally achieve greatness in your work and life.
The Husband’s Secret
This was the first book from Liane Moriarty I read (even before watching or reading Big Little Lies), and I absolutely fell in love with her work. The Husband’s Secret is gripping, and will keep you wanting more page after page.
This book follows three women, all who are connected in a way that you won’t understand until a huge twist halfway through. The main character, Cecilia, will discover a letter from her husband that was meant to be read after his death, but the secret she discovers will change the lives of these three women forever.
The Diviners (Series)
Libba Bray was one of my favorite writers when I was in high school. Her previous series A Great and Terrible Beauty is another one of my recommendations, and her newest series The Diviners is just as good. This four-part series follows four teenagers with unique abilities in New York City during the Roaring 20s, but something dark and evil has awakened from beyond. These main characters must work together to solve the mystery behind the evil emerging in the city before it’s too late.
Luckiest Girl Alive
If you’re a fan of suspenseful mysteries, I highly recommend Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll. The official summary on Amazon describes it best:
“As a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School, Ani FaNelli endured a shocking, public humiliation that left her desperate to reinvent herself. Now, with a glamorous job, expensive wardrobe, and handsome blue blood fiancé, she’s this close to living the perfect life she’s worked so hard to achieve. But Ani has a secret.
There’s something else buried in her past that still haunts her, something private and painful that threatens to bubble to the surface and destroy everything. With a singular voice and twists you won’t see coming, Luckiest Girl Alive explores the unbearable pressure that so many women feel to “have it all” and introduces a heroine whose sharp edges and cutthroat ambition have been protecting a scandalous truth, and a heart that’s bigger than it first appears.“
Emily Giffin is my favorite romantic comedy author and a bit of a guilty pleasure. I saw the film Something Borrowed in high school first, and discovered my mom actually had the book version already. The best way I can explain this plot is with the summary from Amazon:
“Rachel White is…a hard-working attorney at a large Manhattan law firm and a diligent maid of honor to her charmed best friend Darcy, Rachel has always played by all the rules. Since grade school, she has watched Darcy shine, quietly accepting the sidekick role in their lopsided friendship. But that suddenly changes the night of her thirtieth birthday when Rachel finally confesses her feelings to Darcy’s fiance, and is both horrified and thrilled to discover that he feels the same way. As the wedding date draws near, events spiral out of control, and Rachel knows she must make a choice between her heart and conscience. In so doing, she discovers that the lines between right and wrong can be blurry, endings aren’t always neat, and sometimes you have to risk everything to be true to yourself.“
An absolute classic that I read back in high school and ended up falling in love with. Ray Bradbury’s writing is incredible. A dystopian future where society is banned from reading books, Fahrenheit 451 follows the story of a fireman, who’s never questioned his job of burning books. He meets a younger woman who introduces him to life before books were deemed as “evil,” and helps him discover the truth of his current world.
Non-Fiction / Autobiographies
Idiot: Life Stories from the Creator of Help Helen Smash
I may not have been following Laura Clery on Youtube, but I follow her on Instagram and LOVE her. She’s hilarious, has no fear, and her son is adorable. Her autobiography dives into her early life, her journey as an actor, how she got involved in the YouTube world, and her battle with addiction. This book is a very real, raw, and open story, and even if you don’t follow her online, I highly recommend it.
Scrappy Little Nobody
Anna Kendrick is one of my favorite people, and her autobiography is a wonderful read. You learn about her childhood, early acting experience, kicking off her Hollywood life with Twilight, Pitch Perfect, and more.
If you’re a fan of Anna Kendrick, I highly recommend reading this one!
Amy Poehler fan? Read this! I listened to the audiobook and it was an absolute delight. It was fascinating to learn about what her experience was like during her improv days, how she got involved with SNL, her experience on SNL, and beyond.
The audiobook version even has a couple of guests that come and help read her book!
Sara Earns Her Ears
Did you know that I actually wrote a book before I’m Awesome. Here’s Why…? Surprise! When I was in college, I started a blog to account for my time working in Disney World during the Disney College Program called The Disney Den. After writing about my experience and giving advice to other hopeful applicants, a small publisher reached out to me and asked if I’d like to contribute to a book series. The series involved other previous DCP participants, and my memoir became the third in the entire series.
If you’ve ever been interested in what it’s like to work at Disney World, the Disney College Program, or you simply would like to learn a little more about me, this is a great way to do so!
Talking as Fast as I Can
Gilmore Girls fans, you NEED to read this! Lauren Graham is a gem of a human, and her book is a perfect representation of her personality. It was really interesting to learn about her life on Gilmore Girls, Parenthood, the Gilmore Girls revival they debuted on Netflix, and the rest of her life.
Have you read any of these books? Which ones do you want to read? Let me know in the comments, or share with me on Instagram!