Holy balls…it’s been a hell of a long time since I did a book club post! A YEAR. What in the hell? I think since pregnancy was taking all of my energy to simply get through, I didn’t even have the energy to listen to a book, let alone read one. Ok, let’s be serious, I never read books…unless it’s a cookbook with lots of pictures. Well now that I’m no longer pregnant and have to bandwidth to take in information again, I’m back to listening to books and loving every second of it. My last book club post was all about books around pregnancy and kids, but this time around it’s mostly about people’s life stories, stories about food, about cookbooks! I’m feeling more inspired than ever in the kitchen and creating beautiful meals at home, and these books are a huge part of that inspiration! I’m also including some of Brian’s favorites since his interests are far different than mine when it comes to reading. He could care less about food, but he definitely cares about inspirational stories of self improvement! Hopefully some of these books inspire you in your own life!

My Latest Favorite Books:

The Office BFFs – If you love The Office, like REALLY love The Office so much so that you find yourself listening to The Office BFFs podcast over and over even after you’ve already heard the episode…then you’ll absolutely love this book. Pam & Angela (Jenna Fischer & Angela Kinsley) share their experience of being on the show, becoming best friends, the struggles they both went to, and give you a ton of behind the scenes insight into being on The Office. It’s just a feel good listen.

Challenge Accepted! – If you don’t already follow Celeste Barber on instagram, you must. She will make you truly laugh out loud, not just LOL, whenever you see one of her newest posts. I love following her on ig, but I wanted to learn more about her, her life, her rise to fame, and anything else she was willing to share. If you love sleuthing around in other people’s lives and hearing their stories, you’ll love this one. And it’s definitely worth listening to since she has a lovely Australian accent. What American doesn’t love that?

Miracle in the Andes – For a hot minute, I got super obsessed with survival stories. The human spirit and its drive to survive at all odds is something that’s hard for us to fathom, unless we’ve been there. Well the story of the rugby team that survived their plane crash in the Andes is truly the most intense survival story I’ve ever heard. And this book is written by one of the survivors who lost both friends and family in the crash. It is truly the most intense story and leaves you feeling like anything is possible. I loved it!

French Kids Eat Everything – Since Avery is on to a new chapter in her life that includes solid foods, I’m feeling more inspired than ever in the kitchen. This book was recommended by an instagram friend and I’m SO glad I read it. We live life very different here in the US, especially when it comes to how we feed our children. My hope is to raise Avery on many different types of foods prepared in many different ways, and to continue that even when she becomes more picky as she ages. This book was major inspiration to get more creative in the kitchen for our entire family!

Bringing up Bébé – After reading about food that is given to French children, I moved on to this book which is all about raising children in general. I haven’t read many parenting books because it all feels so overwhelming and then it becomes analysis paralysis, but I really enjoyed hearing about how French parents raise their children, even if there are things I don’t agree with personally. It’s super intriguing and I took away a ton from this book!

A Homemade Life – Do you see a theme here? More French cooking and way of life. This book was recommended to me on instagram and I LOVED IT. This author is a really incredible writer and hearing her stories about her blog and her love of food had me wanting to pick up and go to France for the summer. If you love food and love talking to people about food, but they don’t share your exact obsession, this book feels like you’re talking to a friend who just gets you.

Salt Fat Acid Heat – OMG this book is fantastic. If you want to learn the basics about food and how to turn ordinary meals into extraordinary ones, this book is for you. The book is easy to digest (no pun intended) for anyone who is interested in cooking but may feel a bit intimidated with where to start. The only thing I would recommend is actually getting the paperback version because I listened to it on Audible, but it didn’t include her recipes in it, only a handful of illustrations, which is a major bummer. This could also be user error…and most likely is.

Cookbooks that have been inspiring me lately:

Dinner in French – Since I’m obviously obsessed with French food lately, this book has been inspiring me in our kitchen! Only downside is that it doesn’t include a photo for every recipe. Hate that.

Week Light – If you’re looking for new ways to cook up veggies, this book is a huge help. It is filled with with so many different veggie-filled recipes and all the photos are BEAUTIFUL.

Ottolenghi Simple – Yotam Ottolenghi is so talented and he proves in this book that fantastic tasting food that feels elevated, doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s a huge book and there is a photo for EVERY recipe. Real winner in my book.

Brian’s Latest Favorite Books:

Outliers – Brian has really loved reading Malcolm Gladwell books and he’s read a ton, but this one stood out to him because it shows how circumstance, chance and your upbringing effect so many different people’s career and success. If you like stories about people’s lives, you might really enjoy this book!

American Icon – Brian said this book is just a great detailed story about one of the greatest leaders of our time and how he saved one of the biggest American brands.

So Help Me Golf – Brian is huge into golf…like most men in their 40s. He really enjoyed this book because it’s a super easy read about golf stories. He talks about a lot of different courses and old golf stories, told in a funny way. If you like golf, this book might work for you! I’m gonna have to pass on this one, personally.

Shoe Dog – This is another story about a brand, Nike, and about how passionate Phil Knight is about shoes. It talks about his struggles in the business and how he used those struggles to turn Nike into one of the most successful brands in the world!

Can’t Hurt Me and Never Finished – Brian liked both of these books because it reminded him that you can disagree with the way someone else lives their life and still appreciate their story. If you’ve never heard of David Goggins, he was a Navy Seal and a Ranger, and believes you can accomplish and overcome anything with the power of the mind. Brian was able to take different things away from this book and apply it into his own life – like when Brian went out to a park in a blizzard so he could walk to help work on some back issues…but then a huge branch fell on his car. So maybe he took that book a bit too literal.

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