August Reads


AUGUST READSGood morning, happy Friday!

At the end of every month, I share all the books I read that month. I try to read about one book per week, and sometimes I’ll throw in a few audiobooks, too. 🙂 If you’re looking for reading suggestions, click here to see all the books I’ve read thus far 2018, (* indicates the books I particularly loved!!) in 2017, and in 2016.

Also see: 10 self-development books you should read in your twenties

I’ve Been Thinking by Maria Shriver

I recently read Arnold Schwarzenegger’s memoir, Total Recall. It’s full of a lot of ego, but there are some good points in there, too…. 😉 I decided I wanted to read some of Maria Shriver’s books, too, so I started with I’ve Been Thinking.

This is a series of short essays, quotes, and prayers. It worked really nicely with my morning alignment time (learn more about my morning alignment time in this day in the life post). This is such a sweet, short, meaningful book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and journaling about it, and I think it would make an excellent birthday or graduation present for someone in your life!

Click here to see on Amazon.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

I should probably call these posts “Kelsey and Kylee’s Book Recommendations” because my little sister gives me such good recs!! About 25% of the books I read are suggestions from her, including The Hate U Give. This book was one of my favorites I read this year!

This book is also about to be released as a movie (I think it’s being released in theaters in October…can’t wait to see it!), so if you’re more into movies than books, there’s an option for ya! I can’t believe it’s Angie Thomas’s first book. She’s an incredible writer.

The story is about Starr, a black high school student, who witnesses the death of one of her best friends who is shot by a white police officer. Her life is quickly torn as she has to decides which of the two paths she’ll take: stay quiet and avoid the discomfort of publicity and potential violence on her family, or boldly speak in truth about what she witnessed, which is that her friend was wrongfully murdered?

Side note: I saw Spike Lee’s film BlacKkKlansman last week at Alamo Drafthouse, and it is a powerful piece of art. I’m thankful that authors and filmmakers are being bold and taking a stand about racial issues that are somehow still happening in our country.

Click here to see on Amazon.

Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

This is being filed under the feel-good, inspiring, uplifting book category!

Rachel Hollis shares lies we tell ourselves, like “I Should Be Further Along By Now” or “I’ll Start Tomorrow” or “I Am Defined By My Weight”, dissects them into little pieces, and explains how to turn the lie around so you can see the steps you need to take to stop believing it and start working toward the truth. I loved this book!

If you haven’t heard of Rachel Hollis, she’s a Christian author who has run a popular lifestyle blog for many years. She’s a public speaker and a cheerleader of all females everywhere who are hustling, and her instagram account is a constant source of encouragement in my day.

Click here to see her book on Amazon!

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Dr. Carol Dweck

Love a good self-development book. I think you all know that by now. 😉

Dr. Carol Dweck says we all fall into two mindsets: you either have the fixed mindset or the growth mindset.

People with the fixed mindset are obsessed with perfection. They feel that success = easy, perfect, and no mistakes. They also believe more in “nature” than “nurture,” and you’re either born with an ability to do something well, or you can’t do it at all.

People with the growth mindset believe that success = progress, change, and mistakes. They believe that ability can be developed through proper training, hard work, and a desire to change. They value long-term growth and won’t jeopardize that for a quick solution that doesn’t contribute to future success.

Mindset was well-written and thoroughly researched, and I will be taking Dr. Dweck’s ideas and using them in my private violin teaching studio! My only complaint is that the book dragged on quite a bit. I feel that it could have been just as meaningful if it had been about 50% as long.

Click here to see on Amazon.

The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

I wish I could remember where I first heard about this book, but I’m blanking on it now! I listened to this as an audiobook, and it was fascinating! If you need a good audiobook suggestion and you enjoy learning about the psychology of the choices we make, try this book!

Two people with the same name are heading on completely different paths. One Wes Moore is a Rhodes Scholar, army officer, and and White House Fellow. The other Wes Moore is serving a lifetime prison sentence for killing a police officer.

When the author found out that another man, by his same name, who grew up in his same neighborhood, was being tried for killing a police officer, he was a little spooked and couldn’t shake the feeling that he needed to know more about this guy. So he wrote a letter to the prisoner Wes Moore, who responded kindly and was willing to speak in person.

The book shares the childhood stories of both of the Wes Moores, and the choices that we all make on a daily basis that can change the trajectory of our lives forever. Fascinating read.

Click here to see on Amazon.

Looking for more book recommendations?

Click here to see all the books I’ve read in:




Happy weekend, friends! Nate and I are flying to Utah today to visit my sister. I’ve never been to that state, but I’ve heard that it’s absolutely beautiful. Looking forward to a long, restful weekend! I won’t be blogging on Labor Day, so I’ll chat with you all on Wednesday!


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