Happy Monday – Summer Reading List Part 2

Give me some love!

Hello Monday!

I know, I know. It’s Monday, again. Already. I hope your weekend was as productive as mine. If not, no worries! Monday is a fresh start. Monday evenings are also one of my favorite times to curl up on the couch with a good book and a cup of tea. Reading really helps me escape the ennui of the daily grind. So, without further ado, here is the second part of my summer reading list, as promised!


Without a doubt, non-fiction is my favorite category. Is that weird? Probably. Though I do love a good story, more than anything I love reading for knowledge and personal growth. I could’ve picked 21 non-fiction books to be honest. Maybe I’ll do that for my next reading list. Hah.

Better than Before – by Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen is the only author to land two spots on my summer reading list. I loved The Happiness Project so much that I wanted to read Better Than Before ASAP. It’s all about tailoring habit formation strategies to your personality. According to Gretchen, everyone falls into one of four personality categories. I’m an upholder. You can read Gretchen book’s to find out your own personality tendency and use that to help you build lasting good habits. I’m pretty obsessed. I want to be Gretchen Rubin when I grow up. 🙂 If you want tons of information about Gretchen and her brand, you can go to Gretchen’s website by clicking HERE.


The Total Money Makeover – by Dave Ramsey

Like most everyone else, I have heard of Dave Ramsey and his baby steps. I have not, however, read any of his books. I have a friend who is great with her money and she swears by Dave Ramsey’s teachings, so I decided why not give this popular title a read… He preaches living below your means and a debt free lifestyle, something I am really getting serious about these days. Considering I work in finance and have a business degree, this kind of thing appeals to me. I am really hoping that this one lives up to the hype.


The Art of Happiness – by The Dalai Lama

No one seems happier than the Dalai Lama, so I decided this book must be required happiness reading. When the book arrived, it was so simple and pictured the Dalai Lama himself on the cover, a serene smile across his face. I’m hoping this book will lend me just a fraction of the peace that emanates from the Dalai Lama.


I like novellas because they provide you with some instant gratification. Few things please me more than being able to sit down with a book and finish it in one sitting. Plus, this category provided me with the opportunity to throw in more classics. Ha! Gotcha! You thought the classics were behind us, didn’t you?

Heart of Darkness – by Joseph Conrad

Heart of Darkness is more required reading that I’ve never read. The story is set in the Congo and draws parallels between it and London. The book makes a statement about racism and questions preconceived ideas of what it means to be civilized. Voted one of the best novels of the twentieth century, this title sounds really promising to me.

The Time Machine – by H. G. Wells

I’m trying to get more into sci-fi and I hoped perhaps this classic short read might help. Plus, my reading habit is getting a bit expensive and this title is free in the public domain. 🙂 That was all the motivation I needed to dive right in.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s – by Truman Capote

THIS is one of my all time favorites in any genre. It’s delightful and sullen all at the same time. The original story of playgirl Holly Golightly has an ending that is anything but Hollywood. The book is just so much better than the movie. I cannot beseech you enough to sit down and give this a read.
Outstanding Audio Books

Oh, how I love audio books! At work, on the days when I have mindless data processing to do, nothing provides me with as much enjoyment as a well narrated audio book. I could listen to the radio or podcasts, but nothing whisks me away from my mundane reality as well as a good story! It was difficult to pare this category down to three, because there are just so many good ones out there. If you’ve never tried Audible, I cannot recommend it highly enough. Discovering Audible has been a MAJOR happiness booster in my life.


Ready Player One – by Ernest Cline – Narrated by Wil Wheaton

Are you looking for a fun, fast-paced read? Here it is. Not to mention it’s narrated by Wil Wheaton! I grew up LOVING Star Trek: TNG (honestly, how did I even have friends?) so I love nerding-out to the familiar voice. Ready Player One is the action-packed story of a dystopian future and one high-stakes video game. It’s winner take all in this exciting, marvelously narrated audio version of Ernest Cline’s popular novel.

Heartburn – by Nora Ephron – Narrated by the one and only MERYL STREEP

Speaking of marvelous narration…. did someone say, Meryl Streep?! I love her so much that it doesn’t even really matter what this book is about. Hah. But, no, really… this is the story of pregnant Rachel, suffering from incurable heartburn, who finds out her husband has been cheating. Having recently been pregnant myself, I found this one incredibly endearing. FYI, Meryl Streep also played Rachel in the film adaption of this book, which I can’t wait to watch!

The Art of Asking – written and narrated by Amanda Palmer

I love me some Amanda Palmer. Everything she does is gold if you ask me. I loved the Dresden Dolls. I love her solo work. I love her YouTube channel. I love her eyebrows. I love that she is married to Neil Gaiman (another of my favorite authors.) I loved her Ted Talk. I don’t see any reason why I won’t love this audio book, especially considering she narrated it herself! If you want to know the truth, I don’t even care what this book is about. Just listening to Amanda read it to me is enough.

Eccentric Picks

All In – by Simona Ahrnstedt

While this book is not something I would usually read, for some reason it appealed to me. I’m just not into romance novels but the setting of this book in the  high-stakes financial world appealed to me. I heard this one advertised in one of my favorite podcasts and when a book appeals to me, I go ahead and add it to my Amazon cart. Written by a Swedish author, I included this novel in my summer reading list hoping to branch out a bit. All In has been touted as smart, sexy and fast-paced. I hope that turns out to be true.

The One in a Million Boy – by Monica Wood

The story of an unlikely friendship between a young boy and an old woman. I included this one in the eccentric picks because again, it is not something I would typically read. However, after having been recommended by several people I regard highly AND finding it for $2.99 on the Kindle daily deals site, I decided to give this book a try. My impression so far is that I’m going to need more Kleenex.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of De-cluttering and Organizing – by Marie Kondo

This book is so me. I am truly OBSESSED with de-cluttering. I have heard a lot about the “Kondo Method” and when I saw this cute, little edition at Sam’s Club, it spoke to me. It was so precious. I just wanted to take it home and put it on my shelf. So I did. You can guess, as I did, what the book is about based on the title. I’m excited, and a little nervous to dive into this book. As you can also guess, she advocates getting rid of most of your stuff.


SO THERE YOU HAVE IT! The Three Little Birds Summer Reading List is in the books! (ha)


Please let me know which book you decided to read first, which ones you liked best or which titles you would’ve included on your own book list. Thanks for reading!


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