Book list

The following are books that made my life a little better. You can find a link to each of these books on the side bar.

Life and Style

Entre Nous: A Woman’s guide to finding her inner French Girl, by Debra Ollivier

My cousin Jill put this book in my hand about 8 years ago, and I read it cover to cover in less than a week. Since then I’ve read it once a year. Ollivier gives us American superwomen something to ponder in her careful, insightful observations of the French. While the “let’s all pretend we’d be awesome if we were French” craze has its annoyances, we can benefit from Ollivier’s advice about slowing down, placing value on simplicity, and taking care of ourselves.

How to Get Dressed: A Costume Designer’s Secrets for Making Your Clothes Look, Fit, and Feel Amazing, by Alison Freer

This is my very favorite style book. As a costumer, Freer has an intimate understanding of all the drama of getting dressed. She dishes great advice, ranging from practical to whimsical. I particularly love the section of pinning down your own personal style. I also love her take on shapewear. A word of warning, the font and typesetting are a little weird, but Freer’s humor and creative advice more than make up for it.


Let Them Be Eaten By Bears: A Fearless Guide to Taking Our Kids Into the Great Outdoors, by Peter Brown Hoffmeister

This book is written by my friend Pete (Yes, I am actually friends with Peter Brown Hoffmeister. Eugene is a pretty small town.) While better known for his literary works like Graphic, The Valley, Let Them Be Eaten By Bears is a simple guide to enjoying the outdoors with children. It reads like a good conversation with a friend about the importance of getting kids outside, the ways in which we try to complicate outdoor adventures, and practical ways of making camping, hiking, and all manner of outside fun accessible for families.

Personal Finance

I Will Teach You To Be Rich, by Ramit Sethi

Confession-I am a personal finance nerd. Big time. I will (and have) read  any personal finance literature I can get my hands on. Mostly I just kick back and feel smart while mocking the silly author (I can be such a little snob when I feel like it) but sometimes I learn a new trick or two that’s really helpful. I Will Teach You To Be Rich is far and away the best book in the personal finance section. Sethi rolls human psychology, common-sense money management and big- picture investment plans into one, easy-to-read book. Plus he’s really funny, which a personal finance writer ought to be if at all possible.


The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principals of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work, by Shawn Achor

I stumbled across this book while trying to manage the stress of teaching high school. I wish that every single school administrator, business manager, human being that is in a position of leadership could read this book. Achor takes decades of research in the field of Positive Psychology and probes it for the best business and leadership practices. The result is a readable, enlightening guide to using positivity to achieve success. Unlike other Positive Psychology books, there are no weird, woo-woo exercises or crazy claims about altering the universe with our thought patterns. There is just solid, research based principles that anyone can enact in their work, family and personal lives.