10 Books that Actually Changed my Life

The 10 Books that Actually Changed my Life | Thyme is Honey

I’m a book nerd. Our house is full of books. I love sharing my book lists here on my blog. I love a good fiction novel but over the past 5 years I’ve noticed my preference shift toward non-fiction. This morning I was dusting off our gigantic book shelf and started wondering if I could pull out 10 books that I thought influenced me the most. It wasn’t easy, but I did it, and I thought it’d be fun to share (the photo above also includes the 2 books I am reading now). See below for a breakdown of the 10 Books that have Actually Changed my Life:


Hungry For Change by James Colquhoun, Laurentine Ten Bosch and Mark Hyman ($12.47 on Amazon ) –  If you’re struggling to make healthy habits stick, I think this book will do the trick. I read this book after losing over 25 pounds, and I feel like it’s a big reason why I have never been tempted to go back to my previous eating habits. It’s a super fast read — since at least half of it is recipes. SYNOPSIS: Hungry for Change is based on the indisputable premise that “Food Matters,” as it exposes the truth about the diet industries and the dangers of food addictions, and enables you to take charge of your health and strengthen your mind and bod (read more)…

The Dorito Effect by Mark Schatzker ($10.87 on Amazon) – A couple years ago my dad and I started doing a “book club” and this was our first read. It gives you incredible insight into the history of food, artificial flavor and the effect that ALL of those things have had on our diets, health and the way we think about food. I can’t recommend this one enough. SYNOPSIS: We are in the grip of a food crisis. Obesity has become a leading cause of preventable death, after only smoking. For nearly half a century we’ve been trying to pin the blame somewhere—fat, carbs, sugar, wheat, high-fructose corn syrup. But that search has been in vain, because the food problem that’s killing us is not a nutrient problem. It’s a behavioral problem, and it’s caused by the changing flavor of the food we eat (read more).

5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman ($9.59 on Amazon ) – I’m not really one for books of the “self help” type, but this one might have changed my mind. A friend of mine casually mentioned this book, and how it helped her communicate love to both her husband, and all 4 of her children. She said her husband had also just read it and that they’d be blown away by the information. How could I not read it after that? I was totally skeptical and parts of the book got a little religious for me, but I finished the book feeling totally enlightened. I think it can help you in any relationship: not just with your spouse or S.O., but anyone important in your life. SYNOPSIS: Falling in love is easy. Staying in love—that’s the challenge! How can you keep your relationship fresh and growing amid the demands, conflicts, and just plain boredom of everyday life? (read more)

Being Mortal by Atul Gawande ($16.30 on Amazon) – This is a book that can be emotionally hard to read, but it really opens your eyes to so many different topics and struggles. After I read this book I bought a copy for all of our parents, who haven’t stopped loaning it out to their friends. SYNOPSIS: Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Nursing homes, preoccupied with safety, pin patients into railed beds and wheelchairs. Hospitals isolate the dying, checking for vital signs long after the goals of cure have become moot. Doctors, committed to extending life, continue to carry out devastating procedures that in the end extend suffering (read more).


Books to Read: Fall 2016


Books to Read Fall 2016 - 15 books to put onto your reading list.

You know what’s just around the corner? Crunching leaves. Big mugs of cider. Plaid blankets. And plenty of time to curl up with a good book! The only thing I love more than 20 minutes of sunshine on the deck with a book, is a Fall afternoon on the couch with the windows open. With plenty of those days ahead and a long vacation on the horizon, I’ve been doing plenty of book research. Below you’ll find a few of my recent reads, the book I’m currently enjoying, a few recommendations from my friends, and the books I’ve selected for my Fall reading list. Happy reading, ya nerds!

The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman – (Amazon, $9.59)  READ THIS BOOK. You don’t need to be married for this book to have a profound impact on how you give and receive the love around you. This will honestly go down as one of the most impactful books I have ever read. It was recommended by my friend Claire (thanks bunches) and my mister is currently reading it. Falling in love is easy. Staying in love—that’s the challenge! How can you keep your relationship fresh and growing amid the demands, conflicts, and just plain boredom of everyday life?….Read More

The Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly – (Amazon $16.87) Recommended to me by my friend Melissa, who is my go-to book nerd. New York socialite Caroline Ferriday has her hands full with her post at the French consulate and a new love on the horizon. But Caroline’s world is forever changed when Hitler’s army invades Poland in September 1939—and then sets its sights on France. ..ead More

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware – (Amazon, $11.44) I’ve seen this all over the ‘gram, and I figured since a friend recommended the author, it must be as good as everyone says it is. In this tightly wound, enthralling story reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s works, Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins…Read More

Dark Matter by Black Crouch – (Amazon, $14.99) “Are you happy with your life?” Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious….Read More

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware – (Amazon, $10,49)  Recommended to me by my friend Laura. It’s next on my list. When reclusive writer Leonora is invited to the English countryside for a weekend away, she reluctantly agrees to make the trip. But as the first night falls, revelations unfold among friends old and new, an unnerving memory shatters Leonora’s reserve….Read More

The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell – (Amazon, $9.52)  Meet the picture-perfect Bird family: pragmatic Meg, dreamy Beth, and towheaded twins Rory and Rhys, one an adventurous troublemaker, the other his slighter, more sensitive counterpart….Read More

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien – (Amazon, $9.19) A classic work of American literature that has not stopped changing minds and lives since it burst onto the literary scene, The Things They Carried is a ground-breaking meditation on war, memory, imagination, and the redemptive power of storytelling…Read More

The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer (Amazon, $16.86) I’ll be honest, this is probably one I’ll listen to on audiobook during an upcoming trip. The Emmy Award-winning comedian and actress of the acclaimed film Trainwreck has taken the entertainment world by storm with her winning blend of smart, satirical humor. Now, Amy Schumer has written a refreshingly candid and uproariously funny collection of (extremely) personal and observational essays…Read More

Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist – (Amazon, $13.79) A few years ago, I found myself exhausted and isolated, my soul and body sick. I was tired of being tired, burned out on busy. And, it seemed almost everyone I talked with was in the same boat: longing for connection, meaning, depth, but settling for busy….Read More

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman – (Amazon, $9.04) The synopsis reads like Grand Torino or St. Vincent. Totally my jam. Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse…Read More

Rework by Jason Fried – (Amazon, $17.20) This is the book I am currently reading and so far I love it. It’s short, sweet, and to the point. I think it says it was 57,000 words long and they cut it to 27,000. Most business books give you the same old advice: Write a business plan, study the competition, seek investors, yadda yadda. If you’re looking for a book like that, put this one back on the shelf…Read More


Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari – (Amazon, $10.20) Listened to this last year on podcast and quickly recommended it to everyone I knew, especially my single friends. At some point, every one of us embarks on a journey to find love. We meet people, date, get into and out of relationships, all with the hope of finding someone with whom we share a deep connection. This seems standard now, but it’s wildly different from what people did even just decades ago….Read More

All The Missing Girls by Megan Miranda – (Amazon, $15.04) I’ve been told that if you like Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train this book has to be on your reading list.  Megan Miranda’s novel is a nail-biting, breathtaking story about the disappearances of two young women—a decade apart—told in reverse...Read More

Under the Harrow by Flynn Berry – (Amazon, $13.04) Another one that I heard has a similar vibe to The Girl on the Train. So, naturally, I’m interested. When Nora takes the train from London to visit her sister in the countryside, she expects to find her waiting at the station, or at home cooking dinner. But when she walks into Rachel’s familiar house, what she finds is entirely different: her sister has been the victim of a brutal murder. …Read More

All the Time in The World by Caroline Angell – (Amazon, $9.44) Charlotte, a gifted and superbly trained young musician, has been blindsided by a shocking betrayal in her promising career when she takes a babysitting job with the McLeans, a glamorous Upper East Side Manhattan family…Read More

Love the book suggestions? You can find all of my past lists of Books to Read by looking through this list.

Books to Read Fall 2015

Time to cozy up with a book! 15 great books to read Fall 2015.

By now I’ve done many book round-ups, but I’m not sure I’ve ever been this excited for one. This season’s list has some really incredible reads, and I hope you’re ready to dive in! You can find my past selections here.

1. Leave Your Mark ($16.60) by Aliza Licht – I loved this book and recommend it to everyone I know working in social media. Also a great gift for high school or college students. “Aliza Licht-global fashion communications executive, AKA fashion’s favorite ‘PR girl’ and former Twitter phenomenon-is here to tell her story, complete with The Devil Wears Prada-like moments and insider secrets. Drawing invaluable lessons from her experience, Licht shares advice, inspiration, and a healthy dose of real talk in LEAVE YOUR MARK.”  (read more)

2. The Dorito Effect ($19.20) by Mark Schatzker – My Dad and I have been doing a Father/Daughter book club and this was our latest read. It has a lot of “science jargon” but an fun read about a serious topic. You’ll never look at your food the same way again! “In The Dorito Effect, Mark Schatzker shows us how our approach to the nation’s number one public health crisis has gotten it wrong. The epidemics of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes are not tied to the overabundance of fat or carbs or any other specific nutrient. Instead, we have been led astray by the growing divide between flavor—the tastes we crave—and the underlying nutrition.”  (read more)

3. Shotgun Lovesongs (12.50) by Nickolas Butler – I read this one during our trip to Europe and could hardly wait for our next flight or train ride so I could dive back into the story. LOVED it, and it’s based in Wisconsin, how cool is that? “The hearty Midwest, which thrums and beats through tiny Little Wing, Wisconsin—an Anytown, USA, if there ever was one—assumes the whole soul of Butler’s fetching debut, if only to end up proving how unassuming it is.” (read more)

4. Tiny Beautiful Things ($19.28) by Cheryl Strayed – “In this brave and deeply personal memoir, one of America’s most beloved journalists, mother, and New York Times best-selling author speaks candidly about her battle against breast cancer, her quest to learn about it and teach others, and the transformative effect it’s had on her life.” (read more)

5. The Dog Stars (8.52) by Peter Heller – “Hig somehow survived the flu pandemic that killed everyone he knows. Now his wife is gone, his friends are dead, and he lives in the hangar of a small abandoned airport with his dog, Jasper, and a mercurial, gun-toting misanthrope named Bangley. But when a random transmission beams through the radio of his 1956 Cessna, the voice ignites a hope deep inside him that a better life exists outside their tightly controlled perimeter.” (read more)

6. Kitchens of the Great Midwest ($15.00) by J. Ryan Stradal – “When Lars Thorvald’s wife, Cynthia, falls in love with wine–and a dashing sommelier–he’s left to raise their baby, Eva, on his own. He’s determined to pass on his love of food to his daughter–starting with puréed pork shoulder.” (read more)

7. Creativity, Inc ($15.82) by Ed Catmull – “From Ed Catmull, co-founder (with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter) of Pixar Animation Studios, the Academy Award–winning studio behind Inside Out and Toy Story, comes an incisive book about creativity in business.” (read more)

8. The Magicians ($10.04) by Lev Grossman – Another magic trilogy! I’m excited to try out this first book and if I’m hooked I’ll enjoy the other two over the cold, long winter! “Like everyone else, precocious high school senior Quentin Coldwater assumes that magic isn’t real, until he finds himself admitted to a very secretive and exclusive college of magic in upstate New York. There he indulges in joys of college-friendship, love, sex, and booze- and receives a rigorous education in modern sorcery.” (read more)

9. The Good Girl ($11.21) by Mary Kubica – “One night, Mia Dennett enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn’t show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. At first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia’s life.” (read more)

10. The Glass Castle ($10.80) by Jeanette Walls – “Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains.” (read more)

11. The Girl on the Train ($13.47) by Paula Hawkins – “Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.” (read more)

12. The Vacationers ($11.40) by Emma Straub – “For the Posts, a two-week trip to the Balearic island of Mallorca with their extended family and friends is a celebration: Franny and Jim are observing their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary, and their daughter, Sylvia, has graduated from high school. The sunlit island, its mountains and beaches, its tapas and tennis courts, also promise an escape from the tensions simmering at home in Manhattan. But all does not go according to plan.” (read more)

13. Everything I Never Told You ($9.60) by Celeste Ng – “Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet. So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, and her parents are determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue.” (read more)

14. Thug Kitchen (13.74) by Thug Kitchen – I always try to put a cookbook on my birthday wishlist, and this year it’s “Thug Kitchen, Cook LIke you give a f*ck”. Yup. “Thug Kitchen started their wildly popular website to inspire people to eat some goddamn vegetables and adopt a healthier lifestyle. Beloved by Gwyneth Paltrow (‘This might be my favorite thing ever’) and with half a million Facebook fans and counting, Thug Kitchen wants to show everyone how to take charge of their plates and cook up some real f*cking food.” (read more)

15. I Feel Bad About My Neck ($12.34)) by Nora Ephron  – “With her disarming, intimate, completely accessible voice, and dry sense of humor, Nora Ephron shares with us her ups and downs in I Feel Bad About My Neck, a candid, hilarious look at women who are getting older and dealing with the tribulations of maintenance, menopause, empty nests, and life itself.” (read more)

Want more suggestions? Check these posts.

Books to Read: Spring 2015

A list of great books to read! Spring 2015 edition.
I probably should have published this post in March, but better late than never, right? Here’s what’s on my reading list for spring. My personal comments on books I have read so far are in italics below. Have a suggestion for my upcoming Books to Read this Summer round-up? Drop me a tweet.

1. The Year of Magical Thinking ($9.49) by Joan Didion – From one of America’s iconic writers, a stunning book of electric honesty and passion. Joan Didion explores an intensely personal yet universal experience: a portrait of a marriage–and a life, in good times and bad–that will speak to anyone who has ever loved a husband or wife or child. (read more)

2. So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed ($17.04) by Jon Ronson – I was literally on the waiting list for this book. I think it’s a valuable read for any of us who are working (and existing) in the digital world. For the past three years, Jon Ronson has traveled the world meeting recipients of high-profile public shamings. The shamed are people like us – people who, say, made a joke on social media that came out badly, or made a mistake at work. (read more)

3. The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow your Passion ($12.71)  by Elle Luna – Who hasn’t asked the question “How can I find and follow my true calling?” Elle Luna frames this moment as “standing at the crossroads of Should and Must.” “Should” is what we feel we ought to be doing, or what is expected of us. “Must” is the thing we dream of doing, our heart’s desire. (read more)

4. The Invention of Wings ($16.71) by Sue Monk Kidd – If you loved The Help I think you’ll enjoy this quick read. Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women. (read more)

5. Thinner Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Female Body ($14.39) by Michael Matthews – If you’re a woman you need to read this book. If you’ve ever felt self-conscious about your weight or shape you need to read this book. If you’ve ever tortured yourself with a diet you need to read this book. I just got it and am only 100 pages into it and can already tell that it will change my life. Getting into awesome shape isn’t nearly as complicated as the fitness industry wants you to believe. (read more)

6. The Golem and the Jinni ($13.41) by Helene Wecker – In The Golem and the Jinni, a chance meeting between mythical beings takes readers on a dazzling journey through cultures in turn-of-the-century New York. (read more)

7. The Shock of the Fall ($12.48) by Nathan Filer – While on vacation with their parents, Matthew Homes and his older brother sneak out in the middle of the night. Only Matthew comes home safely. Ten years later, Matthew tells us, he has found a way to bring his brother back. (read more)

8. Station Eleven (14.97) by Emily St. John Mandel – An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity. (read more)

9. Necessary Lies ($12.80) by Diane Chamberlain – It is 1960 in North Carolina and the lives of Ivy Hart and Jane Forrester couldn’t be more different. Fifteen-year-old Ivy lives with her family as tenants on a small tobacco farm, but when her parents die, Ivy is left to care for her grandmother, older sister, and nephew. (read more)

10. The Kitchen House ($10.82) by Kathleen Grissom – Orphaned during her passage from Ireland, young, white Lavinia arrives on the steps of the kitchen house and is placed, as an indentured servant, under the care of Belle, the master’s illegitimate slave daughter. (read more)

11. What She Left Behind ($9.00) by Ellen Marie Wiseman – Ten years ago, Izzy Stone’s mother fatally shot her father while he slept. Devastated by her mother’s apparent insanity, Izzy, now seventeen, refuses to visit her in prison. But her new foster parents, employees at the local museum, have enlisted Izzy’s help in cataloging items at a long-shuttered state asylum. There, amid piles of abandoned belongings, Izzy discovers a stack of unopened letters, a decades-old journal, and a window into her own past. (read more)

12. The Silent Wife ($9.52) by A.S.A. Harrison – Jodi and Todd are at a bad place in their marriage. Much is at stake, including the affluent life they lead in their beautiful waterfront condo in Chicago, as she, the killer, and he, the victim, rush haplessly toward the main event. (read more)

13. Drowning Ruth ($10.22) by Christina Schwarz – A gripping psychological thriller . . . In the winter of 1919, a young mother named Mathilda Neumann drowns beneath the ice of a rural Wisconsin lake. The shock of her death dramatically changes the lives of her daughter, troubled sister, and husband. (read more)

14. Crazy Rich Asians ($9.49) by Kevin Kwan – When New Yorker Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home and quality time with the man she hopes to marry. But Nick has failed to give his girlfriend a few key details. One, that his childhood home looks like a palace; two, that he grew up riding in more private planes than cars; and three, that he just happens to be the country’s most eligible bachelor. (read more)

15. Calling me Home ($14.39) by Julie Kibler – Eighty-nine-year-old Isabelle McAllister has a favor to ask her hairdresser Dorrie Curtis. It’s a big one. Isabelle wants Dorrie, a black single mom in her thirties, to drop everything to drive Isabelle from her home in Arlington, Texas, to a funeral in Cincinnati. With no clear explanation why. (read more)

Ten Best Newsletters

Ten Best Newsletters

A new year is often about cleaning up. Cleaning up our bad habits. Cleaning up our diet, our exercise regime, our hygiene. Cleaning up the amount of time we’re spending doing useless things. Cleaning up our attitude. Can I quietly suggest that you also consider cleaning up your inbox? Add a little inspiration to your inbox and make it less of a chore, more of a joy. Newsletters are a tough thing. A lot of times they are just a re-cap of content you’ve already read or constant coupons and sales or worse, they just don’t stop. But I’ve put together a few of my favorite newsletters that are a little different from the norm, that don’t follow the rules, that might actually make you happy that you clicked “subscribe.” Check out my nine best newsletters below…

Yes & Yes: Not only does Sarah’s newsletter come with the perk of free e-books, but it’s also a dose of fresh air with a conversational and authoritative style. Yes & Yes truly captures what women want: a little bit of everything. Subscribe here.

Alexandra Franzen: One of the most concise and inspiring writers, Alexandra’s newsletters are like receiving a sweet handwritten letter straight to your inbox… her updates are personal and warm and full of useful information.

Beauty Bets: A quick and concise mix of everything awesome. Elizabeth’s newsletter drops the latest beauty trends, celebrity news, line launches, tutorials and more directly in your lap.

Braid Creative: Braid Creative is a branding company for creative entrepreneurs and they certainly know how to create a brand.. The newsletter is a mix of personal and business updates, with refreshing and honest stories and links to helpful business resources.

The Skimm: Well, if you haven’t heard of the Skimm, you might be living under a rock. But in case you are, the Skimm is a daily morning newsletter with the day’s top headlines, making it easy to stay up-to-date on something other than cat memes.

Indie Tactics by Emily Thompson: This newsletter gives you the tips, tricks and best practices for building a better business.

The Kitchn: If you need some meal inspiration, look no further than The Kitchn, a top resource for all your cooking and kitchen needs.

Lara Casey Media: Lara Casey is all about making things happen and living on purpose… a couple of things we could all use more of. Don’t miss this inspiring and uplifting newsletter.

Food52: A can’t-live-without resource in the kitchen, Food52 sends helpful newsletters and even includes tips for specific events like holidays.

The Daily Muse: Looking for career advice? Need to learn to write a better cover letter? The Muse provides that and so much more.