Planet-based & in the raw content
Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Blender Muffins
Fibroid Surgery: Behind the Scenes
Healthy Vegan Potato Crust Pizza
My Plant-Based Journey

12 Things: Book Club Style! My Top Book Recs 📚

October 31, 2023

Hiii and welcome back to 12 things Tuesday! & happy HALLOWEEN!! What’s everyone doing/dressing up as?! Our fam is all superheroes. 🙂

As promised, today’s 12 things is a BOOK LIST! This is a combo of some favorite books I’ve read this year as well as some timeless faves. I am a reader at heart and always have been… sometimes I’ll read 3-5 books in a week because I am wild like that, lol.

This list is pretty much comprised of incredible fiction I have read this year, celeb memoirs because those are fun & light & always a fave of mine, and some spiritual + self-help books as well as a few business books! So I hope that whatever you’re into, you can find some good recs on this list.

Also, I have divided it into: books I’ve loved, honorable mentions, and books I’ve liked but not loved. Any books I have really disliked I left off the list because they’re not worth our time here today!

You can shop any/all of these books on my Amazon BOOK REC 2023 list, here!!!!

^ I made a list on my Amazon specifically for this post, because I felt it would be excessive to link out to every book. So any book you like on the list that you wanna read, you can find HERE!

Books I’ve Loved This Year & Beyond:

1. Bringers of the Dawn by Barbara Marciniak: This book is a forever favorite. So much so that I usually re-read it about once a year, and this year was no exception. I had a wild experience with it this year where I ended up opening it to re-read it on the DAY that aligns most with the Pleiadian constellation (28 degrees of Taurus) — you can’t make that shit up. If you are into star seeds, fifth dimensional consciousness, alien things, #NotFromHere life, then this read is a MUST.

2. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch: This was hands down one of the best fiction books I have read in a long time. If you are into multidimensional universes, parallel timelines, and some level of science fiction / post-apocalyptic realms… then you will love this. I am not a big sci-fi girl and I still loved it. But I AM a big parallel universe girl. It was wildly good but I will say th the end didn’t wow me, and there are parts of the characters I wish I could have gotten more attached to. But the story itself is so, so good & unique it almost doesn’t matter!

3. The Emotion Code by Dr. Bradley Nelson: This book changed the way that I think about illness and the body, as well as the mind-body connection bar none. SO good. If you like the work of Dr. Joe Dispenza and the power of healing the mind, this book is for you. I will say it’s not the most FUN read because it’s very much in the healing self-help genre (those can be fun but you know what I mean) so I’d recommend pairing it with a fiction book on the side if you are looking for something light to zone out to at night.

4. The Woman in Me by Britney Spears: I am 95% through Britney’s new book, and I am in the camp of people who absolutely loved it. There is nothing earth shattering in there, meaning there is not any major new information that we didn’t already know. But it is the very first time we have gotten to hear Britney’s story told from HER lens, in her voice, and after so much mystery and concern around her life for so many years, I very much appreciate that. I have heard mixed reviews about the audiobook version read by Michelle Williams, but I am only reading and not listening so I can’t say one way or the other about that. I am coming away from the book with a HUGE admiration for Britney & what she has been through. The atrocities she experienced from her family (horrible), the media (AWFUL), Justin & Kevin (ugh), the paparazzi (unspeakable), and basically the world… just unreal. I hope she finds happiness in this season of her life and is able to reclaim her career, family, and world in all of the ways that she deserves. <3 As far as a book it’s a QUICK read & like I said nothing revolutionary, but if you’re interested in Brit then you’ll love it.

5. The Daddy Diaries by Andy Cohen: As far as celeb memoirs go, 11/10!!! I LOVED this and I love Andy’s voice. As a true Bravo super fan, I loved getting to read some of the BTS moments from Andy’s POV — as well as more about his personal relationships with many of the housewives. He hands down has the most social life of anyone I have ever read about… Andy Warhol style, truly. And this book was inspired by Andy Warhol’s diaries! I just adored it and found myself wanting more. He kept a real life diary for 365 days of a very fascinating year, and I particularly loved getting to hear more about his kids and him as a dad. Loved!

6. The Circle by Dave Eggers: Realllly good read about a tech company that ends up monopolizing the entire technology industry and then ultimately… the world. In some ways it was depressing because we are *not* that far off from this becoming a potential reality. I didn’t love the main character at all, she bugged me. But her job was fascinating and the book itself had me on the edge of my set for almost all of it. I was going to read the sequel but then I decided it was a bit too out of my main zone of interest to keep reading about the same type of storyline. If you like this kind of stuff though, it was really good and very well written! Has won a lot of awards.

7. The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield: This book is a classic in the higher consciousness world. It is fiction but I have my thoughts and feelings that it is most definitely speaking to concepts that are very real… and sometimes fiction is the best way to tell those stories ;). This book is ONE of a kind & contains the 9 key insights into life itself. It draws on ancient wisdom and is a book that will undoubtedly change your life. It can get slow at times, but I found that I just skimmed over the parts that bored me to keep getting to the juicy stuff. For my spiritual crew, you’ll love!

8. Bunny by Mona Awad: I WILL NEVER GET OVER THIS BOOK. I have written about it a few times on the blog, and I selfishly just want all of you guys to read it so we can have a massive discussion about it. I swear I would host a live Zoom meeting just to discuss the DETAILS on this book. It is so odd, so dark, so twisted in so many ways… and leaves you wondering what on earth even happened. I have so many theories about it, particularly about the end of the book. It is one of those books that really makes you think, and there is sooooo much more to it than meets the eye. If you read it at face value you will probably think something totally different than what I think because I am analyzing all the details. I spent HOURS on Reddit (I never do that) after finishing it just to see if other people had the same questions that I did. In essence, it’s a “mean girls” kind of book set at a creative writing MFA program (particularly interesting to me since I did the same program) but it goes soooo off the rails lol. Cannot wait to hear your thoughts. You must tell me if you read!

9. I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jeannette McCurdy: This memoir gripped me from beginning to end. It was one of those books I had heard about hundreds of times before I finally read it, and I am so glad that I finally gave it a whirl. Jeannette was one of the main characters on iCarly, and I never watched that show / it was a little after my time, so I didn’t know if I would really get into the book the same way a true fan would. But I definitely did. What she experienced with her mom is out of this world. Her mom was a true narcissist/sociopath and basically lived through her daughter, but also did completely unacceptable things all the way through. This book will leave you feeling so much compassion for Jeannette – and she is an amazing storyteller! I have heard the audiobook (read by her, I believe) is also amazing.

10. The Power is Within You by Louise Hay: A forever fave. Just life changing. Read it, read it, read it. The inspo for the book I am writing now. Also can be revisited many times, and there will always be new gems to discover inside.

11. Tomorrow & Tomorrow & Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin: I LOVED THIS BOOK! This book got me back into fiction this year, after a long dry spell of reading truly mediocre, poorly written books (Colleen Hoover… I’m sorry… but it’s true). This book spans 30 years of a friendship between Sam & Sadie, and is largely about the gaming company they create together. But it’s so much more than that — it’s about relationships, love, creative ambitions, disability, the intricacies of friendship/stubbornness, identity, redemption, success and failure…  just literally everything. If you are not into gaming, don’t worry: neither am I! At all! But this story is brilliantly written & just unbelievably good, in my opinion. Was so sad when it was over.

12. LSD & The Mind of the Universe by Christopher M. Bache: If you are interested in psychedelics… OMMMGG. This book will make you THINK!!! I read this earlier this year (recommended by my bestie Jenna Zoe) and as such a sensitive, Reflector, porously empathic human… I felt like I was on LSD reading his stories. This author was at the forefront of psychedelic research and was wayyyyy before his time. He also was incredibly brave to dive into the depths of the human psyche the way he did. This book might be a little much for people who are squeamish or anxious about psychedelics. This one takes you DEEP. I particularly loved it as I was integrating my ketamine/mushroom experiences from last year, all the way through this year. It helped me sort out a lot of my own thoughts, feelings, visions, traumas, etc. Very, very good! I will definitely be revisiting, too. Another good book to read alongside another book because this one can get dark at times.

13. Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker: This book was insanely good, but it’s definitely not for everyone. It is a #1 NYT bestseller, and tells the heartrending story of a midcentury American family with twelve children, six of them diagnosed with schizophrenia (!!!). The Galvin family became science’s great hope in the quest to understand the disease. If you are interested in mental health / mental illness, you will LOVE. I read it cover to cover and would read a million more words about the Galvins if I could. I am so interested in the human psyche and also how mental illness translates throughout families and generations. Talk about generational trauma. Could be too much / too depressing for some people though!! 

14. Other honorable mentions across all genres (loved all of these too): The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, The Artist’s Journey, Atomic Habits, Outwitting the Devil, Paris the Memoir, Angels in My Hair, The Creative Act by Rick Rubin, Tell Me Everything by Minka Kelly, Lessons from the Light, Stolen Focus, all things Taylor Jenkins Reid (finished all her best books a few years ago), Johnny Carson Biography by Henry Bushkin!!

Books I *liked* but didn’t *love* (but still worth reading if you just want a light beach read kind of vibe):

1. Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus: I may be the only person who didn’t love this book. But I will say about 60% into the book I started to like it a lot more, and by the end I did love it. However, that’s a long time to get into a book and so much of it was just “eh” to me!! I will watch the show though and see how that compares!!

2. Happy Place by Emily Henry

3. Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

4. Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score

5. The Housemaid by Freida McFadden

6. People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

7. Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano

8. Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino

9. All things Colleen Hoover – I like her plots and her characters, but the writing always falls super flat for me.

Okay my loves, there we have it!! What am I missing?! Do tell meeee!! I need all of my book lovers to tell me what’s good! Soon I *WILL* start a book club, just gotta figure out the best medium to do it on!! & be sure to shop all of these books HERE & tell me what you’re reading!!!!