Sharing the books I read in October and if I think they’re worth it!
Another month, another 3 books in the yearly tally. To be totally honest, this month’s reading didn’t feel as robust as previous ones: one was a repeat book and one is a cookbook. It was the Pilot’s birthday, P’s birthday, Halloween, and what feels like a thousand other things, so even though it was a busy month, I’m glad this goal encouraged me to stick with it. I’m excited to read more in November!
Here’s what I enjoyed in October and if I’d recommend these.
1. The Silent Patient
I was nervous to read this one, because I typically stay away from gory, scary, and violent books/movies. They give me bad dreams, and with the Pilot’s travel schedule, I just knew it wasn’t a smart move for me. I completely cut them out years ago and haven’t looked back. When I was browsing my Book of the Month options (still loving it!), this one caught my eye and had excellent reviews.
I asked on Instagram if you thought it was too much, and the majority said to go for it. It was INTENSE and super good. I love that it was a thriller without being violent/gory. It was mostly just suspenseful. No spoiler, but I knew there would be some type of twist at the end, and this one completely took me by surprise.
Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.
Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.
Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him….
I’ve heard that a lot of people hate the ending, but I thought it was amazing and so unexpected. That’s all I’m going to say! I’m giving it a 9/10.
2. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
I read this book many years ago, in my lululemon days, and really enjoyed it. I decided to revisit some previous gold star personal development books, so I listened to this one on Audible. It was a much-needed refresher, especially when it comes to working with teams. Most of my work is done here in the blog and on Fit Team workout programming/deliverables, but I’m constantly looking for ways to create community for Fit Team, here on the blog, and with my Beautycounter team (50+ people).
The 7 Habits have become famous and are integrated into everyday thinking by millions and millions of people. Why? Because they work!
With Sean Covey’s added takeaways on how the habits can be used in our modern age, the wisdom of the 7 Habits will be refreshed for a new generation of leaders.
Habit 1: Be Proactive
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
Habit 3: Put First Things First
Habit 4: Think Win/Win
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
Habit 6: SynergizeHabit
7: Sharpen the Saw
This beloved classic presents a principle-centered approach for solving both personal and professional problems. With penetrating insights and practical anecdotes, Stephen R. Covey reveals a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity—principles that give us the security to adapt to change and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates.
These are helpful foundations that you can use in personal or your professional life. Highly recommend this one! 10/10
3. Dreena’s Kind Kitchen: 100 Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes to Enjoy Every Day
(Don’t mind our Halloween yoga skeleton named Ezra Moonbeam that is going to remain on our table)
As a non-vegan who adores vegan food, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this cookbook. I’ve mentioned this one in Friday Faves, but figured it needed a spot in my books recap because we’ve been enjoying this one so much! I’ve been a fan of Dreena Burton since the early days of the blog, and so many of her recipes are go-tos in our house. Our copy of Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan is covered with stains and splatters from all of the love it’s gotten over the years.
This is her best work yet and I especially appreciate that she uses whole foods in her recipes. One of my biggest gripes with a lot of vegan recipes is the dependence on chemical-laden ingredients and meat substitutes. She uses whole foods and lets their inherent flavors shine. I highly recommend this one! The crackle brownies, waffles, cookies, and beet burgers have all been fantastic. 10/10.
Dreena Burton has been creating plant-based, whole-food recipes for more than 20 years. Home cooks know they can trust her recipes to turn out great—and to be delicious! Now, she has created this one-stop resource for making kinder, more compassionate food choices, for other beings, for the planet, and for yourself. Whether you need weekly staple meals for your family or want a dish to wow your friends for a special occasion, Dreena’s Kind Kitchen has you covered with these reliable, flavorful, and healthy recipes.
You’ll find a variety of breakfasts, salads and dressings, small bites, soups, entrées, and sweets, including:
• Lemon-Poppyseed Muffins
• Wow ’Em Waffles
• Potato-Cauliflower Scramble
• Chipotle Chickpea Fries
• White Bean and Corn Chowder
• Pressure Cooker Quicken Noodle Soup
• Truffle-Salted Nut Cheese
• Beyond Beet Burgers
• Fiesta Taco Filling
• Italian Ratatouille
• Holiday Dinner Torte
• Crackle Blender Brownies
• Mango Carrot Cake
• Heavenly Baklava
Dreena also shares a cooking troubleshooting section so you can boost your kitchen skills. With helpful guidance on techniques, time-saving tips, and suggestions for repurposing leftovers into delicious new dishes, this dependable resource will boost your cooking confidence and help you find success in your own plant-powered kitchen.
So, tell me friends: what’s the best book you’ve read this year? Anything I should add to the list for November?