12 Books From My Quarantine Reading List


With so much time at home and only so much ability to stare into a TV screen for hours on end, I’ve been doing quite a bit of reading over the last couple of months. My tastes tend to range widely, but lately have been largely centered on personal finance, self-help & development, fascinating historical biographies and things that just make you feel good. 

Here’s what I’m reading and what I have loved over the past two months, and what I’m reading next.

Note: some of these books are Amazon links. If you click them and end up buying, a very small percentage will go towards buying me coffee. Hey, thanks!

Books for Self-Help/ Personal Development

Joy Seeker by Shannon Kaiser

I’m a huge fan of Shannon Kaiser and absolutely love her latest book, Joy Seeker. This little gem of a book will inspire you to move towards a life of more joy and happiness. Shannon is such a talented writer (which is why she’s my book coach!) and literally all of her books are quick little boosts to your self-esteem and overall well-being.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

If you haven’t read this yet, please put it on your list! Big Magic talks often about the creation of ideas. I love the way Gilbert describes the formation of ideas as “beings” that you, the creator, are being called to bring into the world. If you ignore the call, the idea simply goes to someone else to try to be “born” into the world. How many times have you had an idea that you sat on, only to see someone else make it real two years down the road? I loved this book and I bet you will too.

Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis

Unpopular opinion here: I struggle with Rachel Hollis. I’ve tried, REALLY I’ve tried, to get into her books, but I just can’t dig on her tone. Sometimes she comes across as a preachy, 1%, Christian, which just isn’t my preferred reading. I first read Girl Wash Your Face, which I wanted to throw in the actual garbage and then light the can on fire. Girl, Stop Apologizing, I think is a better book overall. I do like the “lies” she sets up and then refutes, I like how she talks about fitting in everything into her busy schedule, and overall, it does get your blood moving and your brain firing. If you’ve never read a Rachel Hollis book I’d say start with this one — personally I’m just much more of a Jen Sincero fan in this category. 

Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

If you’re a Cheryl Strayed fan, then you’ll love Tiny Beautiful Things, a collection of stories and letters that were written to her during her period of being an advice columnist during her “Dear Sugar” days. They’re touching and sentimental, heart-wrenching and beautiful. I treasured reading all of them and I bet you will too.

Ok enough of the sappy stuff, let’s move onto our next category.

Books for Financial planning and Business Development

Profit First by Mike Michalowicz

My business coach had been bugging me for weeks to pick this book up, so I finally did. What a gold mine. The concept isn’t revolutionary, it just flips normal accounting on its head. Traditional entrepreneurs use this formula: sales – profit = expenses. Profit first subs that, so that your formula looks like sales – expenses = profit. The program suggests you set up 5 bank accounts (I know, it sounds like such a pain!) but then moves you towards always establishing profit, something many entrepreneurs (myself included) struggle with. I don’t know about your entrepreneurial journey, but when money is tight I am the last to get paid. This system really changes that and I’m excited to start exploring with it more.

The Barefoot Investor: The Only Money Guide You’ll Ever Need by Scott Pape

Financial planning is something I’ve really been thinking more about lately — and something I’m kicking myself for not doing sooner! This book has been widely celebrated in several of the “smart money” groups I’m in, but really is geared towards Australians. A lot of the techniques in the book just won’t apply to Americans. Still, it’s a good read to think about setting yourself up down the road, and the author has a lot of insights as to what are good investments vs. poor investments.

The Latte Factor: Why You Don’t Have to Be Rich to Live Rich by David Bach

My sister loves this book and I do also like the way that David Bach approaches finance. The book is centered around a young woman who learns some simple “secrets” that help her to live more financially free. Some good takeaways and a pretty quick read if you’re interested more in financial planning.

The Essential Guide to Getting your Book Published by Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry

If you’re trying to publish a book like I am, there are two books that you need to get/ read. This is one of them. I loved this book because it really gives practical advice on the do’s and don’ts of the publishing world, from how to query agents and how to negotiate deals. 

The second book you’ll need is the Writer’s Market. And ok, you should probably pick up the Making of a Story too.

One Million Followers by Brendan Kane

I waited for a couple of weeks at my e-library to pick up a copy of this book, but overall, wasn’t floored. Let me save you 400 pages by breaking down his summary in one short sentence. Stick to Facebook advertising, test a million different types of posts (audio with photo, video with subtitles, words only, image only), and see what performs the best. There. You’re welcome.

Fascinating Biographies

Becoming by Michelle Obama

I don’t know what took me so long to actually dig into this book — it was gifted to me at Christmas in 2018! I’m so glad I finally got into it though, if only to remember what a real president and his gorgeous, intelligent wife sounded like and the things that mattered to them. I miss the Obamas something fierce, and absolutely loved reading more about Michelle’s fascinating and impressive history. She is such a #ladyboss. 

In Praise of Difficult Women by Karen Karbo

It’s probably not a surprise that I loved this book by Karen Karbo. I love anything feminist and historically accurate, and this book discusses the little-known stories of well-known women from Amelia Earhart to Elizabeth Taylor. I enjoyed learning more about these power ladies, and being led down the trail of history by the punchy, witty Karen Karbo. 

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore 

Holy moly, this book rocked me. I literally could not put it down. I was up several nights in a row reading until 2 or 3 in the morning because it’s Just. So. Good. Radium Girls talks about radium, and how when it was introduced to the market in the early 1900s it was hailed as a miracle drug. Back then, watch companies would hire women to paint the faces of their clocks with Radium so that the watches would glow in the dark for soldiers to use at war. Trouble is, we didn’t realize Radium was deadly or radioactive until these girls started dying terrible deaths: their jaws would completely deteriorate and fall off their faces. Even then, it took some 25 years before these girls received any help and most went bankrupt with medical bills and never received justice. The book is written brilliantly, using transcripts and letters from the early 1900s to recreate the story as if it’s happening currently. It might not make you feel good, but I guarantee it’s a part of history you never heard anything about. Fascinating. Rumor has it this book will become a movie soon.

What sort of books have you been reading? Let me know so I can add them to my list!


About Author

Kelly Lewis is the founder of Go! Girl Guides, the Women's Travel Fest and Damesly. She's an optimist, an adventurer, an author and works to help women travel the world.


  1. I am so glad I stumbled on this post. I am thinking of writing about a topic like this on my blog and this has been immensely helpful. My current list includes; Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
    Atomic Habits by James Clear
    Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert..

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