I like big books and I cannot lie….just kidding. I’ll take a 150-page novella over a brick of a book any day. (Trust me: I’ve read Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables cover to cover, and you’re not missing out on anything but endless descriptions of the Parisian sewer system. And I do mean endless.)
But in all seriousness, there’s nothing like curling up on the couch with a good book – even in the heat of summer, it’s chicken soup for the soul. Or, in this case, maybe a freezer pop.
These books made my summer reading list this year for a myriad of reasons; some I’ve already gotten to, some I haven’t and a few I’m smack dab in the middle of. Regardless, however, each of them has something unique to offer.
Whether the topic du jour is mental health, body positivity or simply thriving in the face of adversity, all of these books are must-reads in the self-help genre – and here’s exactly why.
Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
Admittedly, I knew nothing about Rachel Hollis or her brand, The Chic Site, before I read this book. However, once I picked this up – upon the recommendation of literally every blogger ever – I swiftly became a fan. Rachel’s no B.S., tell-it-like-it-is tone suits my personal style. If there’s anything I’ve learned from reading this book, it’s that life’s too short to be any other way.
Highlight: When Rachel opens a chapter by admitting how bad she and her husband used to be at sex, only to go on and explain (hilariously) exactly how they became good at it. Yas, queen!
Fully Functioning Human (Almost) by Melanie Murphy
I’ve made no secret of how much I love Melanie Murphy in the past – and today’s post is no exception. What reading list of mine would be complete without mentioning this book? Melanie reeled me into her book the same way she reeled me into her YouTube fandom: by being funny, honest and vulnerable about some of the most difficult challenges a human being can face, such as depression, binge eating, orthorexia and recovery.
Highlight: When Melanie writes candidly about how her recovery from binge eating led her down the shameful spiral of orthorexia – and how, exactly, she came to see the light again after this dark moment in her life.
Body Positive Power by Megan Jayne Crabbe
This book belongs on everyone’s reading list from now until the end of time, period. I’ve literally only read the introduction thus far, and I can confidently recommend this book to all of you. If you don’t follow Megan Jayne Crabbe (@bodyposipanda), then you’re seriously missing out. Megan’s signature style serves fierce, sexy sass with a side of cheekiness, all while rocking her fabulously fat bod without shame. And yes, I just used the word fat – because “plus-size” is far worse, don’t you think? Megan sure does.
Highlight: When Megan opens the book by immediately calling out society’s obsession with the size zeros of the world, and the desperate lengths some companies will go to Photoshop the bejeezus out of models’ already-thin frames. (Kelly Clarkson, I don’t even listen to your music, but I’m still sorry that happened to you!)
The Financial Diet by Chelsea Fagan
Sure, I learned how to calculate compound interest in middle school math class – but that doesn’t mean I understood what that meant for me, or my future student loans, as a 13-year-old quivering behind my desk. (For the record, yes: Ms. Murphy, my middle school math teacher, does still terrify me to this day.) I was already a fan of Chelsea Fagan’s YouTube channel of the same name when I decided to order this book, but The Financial Diet in paperback truly sealed the deal. This book taught me practical, concrete ways to save money and manage my finances like a grown-ass woman – without overwhelming readers with technical jargon.
Highlight: When Chelsea seeks advice from a plethora of experts – but most importantly, from her own mother on how to save money in the kitchen (and which foodie-worthy investments are most worth making).
Doing It by Hannah Witton
Sex: let’s talk about it. We all do it, or most of us do anyways – and I think we can all agree that the world would probably be a better place if we shed the stigma and instead started sexing up a storm. Hannah Witton has been one of my favorite YouTubers for years now, both for her candid advice about sex and her public journey through the gut health rabbit hole. And as a true fan, I can guarantee you that her book is just as good, if not better, than any Hormone Diaries video I’ve ever watched.
Highlight: When Hannah wrote a book featuring the word “MASTURBATION” on the cover in big, bold letters. (Admittedly, I haven’t finished the book yet, so stay tuned for my fully-formed opinion!)