by jenellewitty@gmail.com

Why reading is giving me so much back and of course, what I am reading.

At the end of 2017, I was feeling pretty burnt out. I’d taken on too many projects and would find myself up at night when I should be sleeping thinking over and over what I needed to do. It wasn’t healthy and I’d often find my waking hours were less productive and even needed at times to sleep in the middle of the day to keep up. In taking time out to read, leave my phone in another room, I have definitely felt far more at peace. Rather than only order self-help and lifestyle books, I decided to get some novels, biographies and lose myself in them. Instead of reading about how I can improve my lifestyle with this or that set of tips, I just enjoyed the stories.

Even Mario made the comment when I was checking it was okay for me to be ordering another ten books a month later, “Well, it does seem to make you a lot more chilled out, so I am all for it”.


It was only in the past few years, I realised, that I had not been avidly reading. As I fell into the world of blogging and reading stories from people online, I didn’t make my way through many books. Prior to this, I’d always have a book with me and often several on the go. Books have taken me through so many journeys, helped me cope with some emotional situations in my life, driven my dreams further, or just simply made me laugh. What is not to love? While bookstores are more a dime a dozen these days, I can not help but want to read more.

Escaping into a book is one of the best things you can do! Below, are the books I have read since January or am part way through.

MEIK WIKING – The Little Book of Hygge // The Little Book of Lykke

By now, most people have read either or both of these books. They have clocked up in the best sellers lists for the past year, so I am going to go ahead and assume, for the most part, that a majority of you guys will know what Hygge is and may be familiar with Lykke too.

Both are interesting reads, Wiking is charming and it stirs up your own questions about what makes you happy. These have both given me plenty of things to consider and I can attribute them to some of the small alterations I have made in my routine.

MINDY KALING- Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) // Why Not Me?

As Mindy points out, these aren’t books that should take you more than a day or two to read. Which is why I finished these almost as soon as they had arrived. Fresh from binge-watching The Mindy Project over the Christmas break (yes, I was a little behind), I am currently entirely all things Mindy obsessed.

She is so refreshingly funny. The books chronicle Mindy’s life growing up, becoming a successful writer, actor, on to creating her own series. She’s charming, smart and funny as hell. I’m ready for the next book when Mindy is, and keen to hear about her new Mum life!


VANESSA GRALL – Don’t Be A Tourist In Paris

I am slowly making my way through this book from Grall, better known by me as Messy Nessy Chic. The British expat has been living in Paris for a while now, slowly making her way through the gems and hidden treasures of the complex city I love so much. Her blog is one of my favourite reads, she is always sharing something wildly crazy and old world that I lap up.

The book, Don’t Be A Tourist In Paris, is a culmination of off the beaten path places, experiences and stories as Grall attempts to answer some of the email questions for tips she’s received over the years. It will have you noting down the coolest and craziest places in Paris to check out.


I have just finished this one, after of course, loving the film but realising (thanks largely to the Gilmore Girls Revival parody) that I had to read the book. What can I say about Wild? Gosh, even thinking back over the rollercoaster of emotions I felt reading this one is a little intense. I cried, heavily, throughout this book. Even down to the final page, I completely lost it.

Strayed’s journey is so moving. Though I will likely never relate to some of her experiences, or have any desire to throw myself into anything similar, her heartache and breakthroughs will stay with me for a long time. If you have seen the movie, but not read the book, please do yourself the favour and read it.

RUPI KAUR – Milk And Honey

This book was on my list to order for longer than a year and I finally have- of course, now Kaur has released her follow up, which is on my next order list. One at a time though.


PHILLIP PULLMAN – The Book Of Dust – La Belle Sauvage

I was so excited for the release of the first in the new trilogy, The Book Of Dust. It actually took me a little while to get into La Belle Sauvage, despite the His Dark Materials series being my favourite book series. Maybe, thanks to this, my expectations were bound to be high. Having said that, I very quickly began turning the pages once halfway through.

If you are any of the few who never discovered the incredible writing of Pullman, do yourself the favour of searching for the novels from His Dark Materials or even the Sally Lockhart mysteries.La Belle Sauvage is an adventure and one that I did not want to end. Set a decade before the events of His Dark Materials, when Lyra is just a baby, it delves back into the world we have been waiting to get back too.

I am already craving the next book and I hope it will come out soon!!PERNILLE TEISKBAEK – Dress Scandinavian

I think over the years I have saved or pinned more street style pictures of Pernille than anyone else. Perhaps with the exception of Caroline De Maigret Fiercely cool, Pernille is one person who I always find myself thinking about when I am investing in my wardrobe. Dress Scandinavian explains the fascination the world has with Scandinavian fashion and interiors and her styling rules of thumb. Not a lengthy read, it contains style inspiration and to the point. It will make you want to equally take risks and invest in classics when it comes to your outfits.


What are you all reading? My second book order of this year is making its way to me bit by bit at the moment. I am so ready to get stuck into some more novels. I’d love to hear any of your recommendations, it is so hard sometimes to navigate what to buy. Ultimately, if I keep up reading as much as I have been, I will need to join a library again. If you have any recommendations, please leave them for me in the comments below!



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