may 16, 2020 edition

I have a confession.

I always claim to be a reader.

And it’s not untrue. I do read. I always have a nonfiction book in-progress on my Kindle, and I never say no to a new Regency romance novel, especially if written by Lisa Kleypas, Julia Quinn, or Vivienne Lorret (←affiliate links).

But it pains me to admit I don’t read as much, or as often, as I used to. That girl who had to be told to put the book down at the dinner table hasn’t been around for a long time.

As I write this, we’re still under “stay at home” quarantine orders here in NYC, and while I obviously wish this whole COVID-19 thing had never happened, I have found a small silver lining in my personal life:

I’m a reader again.

I’ve read more in the past three months than I think I’ve read in the past year, and it’s been glorious. I feel energized, focused, happy …

And I can’t get enough of books.

In case I’m not the only one who’s been devouring the written word during these strange times, here are a few books from my recent and current reading list. All links are affiliate.

The Courage to Be Disliked: The Japanese Phenomenon That Shows You How to Change Your Life and Achieve Real Happiness

by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga

This is one of those books that Amazon kept insisting I’d enjoy based on my past reading experiences, so I finally gave it a shot. I’m glad I did. The book is written in the form of a conversation between a Youth and a Philosopher, and the dialog covers the theories of Alfred Adler. The first half feels a little familiar, and not in a bad way. I always love a good reminder that I’m responsible for my own happiness, and get to choose how I respond to the things that happen around me. But it’s the second half of the book where I really sat up straight and began to highlight every single page. I’ve been taking a sharp look at my own thoughts and emotions, and I’ve felt calmer and more peaceful since reading this book.


by Glennon Doyle

My friend Jessica Lemmon got me this book as a birthday present, and I didn’t know much about it other than “everyone” seemed to be talking about it. I picked it up with zero expectations, but within the very first few pages, it spoke straight to my soul, and that doesn’t happen very often. I’ve read plenty of female empowerment books, and this certainly falls into that category, but there’s also a raw human element to it that’s indescribable. Highly recommend.

A Duke by Any Other Name

by Grace Burrowes

I mentioned my love of Regency, and Grace Burrowes is quickly earning a place on my autobuy list. Her writing is consistently good (there’s an old-fashioned elegance to her prose that I love), but what really made this one standout was the characters. They felt and acted like real people who were forced into a difficult situation, but treated themselves, each other, and everyone around them, with respect and kindness. It’s fourth in a series, but I hadn’t read the others, and didn’t feel the least bit confused/lost.

Company of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business

by Paul Jarvis

I bought this book some time ago, because I’m a fan of Paul Jarvis. Alas, it got sort of got buried on my Kindle (remember what I said about wanting to be a reader more than actually being a reader). After signing up for Fathom Analytics (can’t recommend highly enough), and learning that Paul Jarvis was the founder, I was reminded that I’d never gotten around to this book. I definitely recommend it. Even though Paul and I run our “company of one” very differently, and not every suggestion of his gelled with my own life/business philosophies, I love the way he reframes the idea of business growth. This book gave me a lot to think about in terms of what I want Lauren Layne the business to look like.

This barely scratches the surface on the books I’ve devoured these past couple months. I’ll try to be back soon with more recommendations. If you want to see my top books of all time, check out this page.

Books I’m Reading