Books that Changed My Life

In this post, I will share some of the non-fiction books that changed my life ๐Ÿ“š

Now and again, I come across books that shift my way of thinking entirely. In this post, I will share some of the non-fiction books that changed my life.

If you’re a curious soul like me, and you have a soft spot for philosophy, then you’ve probably already heard about, listened to, and read some of Alan Watts’ work, if not all of it. But, if you haven’t, I would highly recommend doing so.


His way of thinking is fascinating, and I found it to be eye-opening on so many subjects.
I, for one, struggle with the fear of not knowing what happens to us after we die, and Watts’ thoughts around this, in particular, helped calm me down a little. But all in all, Watts’s thoughts and writing helped me shift my perspective and look at things differently than I did beforehand.
I recommend listening to them as audiobooks or just searching him up on YouTube.

The Book by Alan Watts

Out of Your Mind by Alan Watts


I’ve written a post about this book and the diet culture that I didn’t know I was in a relationship with. You can read it here.

Megan’s book was a real eye-opener for me. I kind of knew that diet culture was all around, but I had no idea just how extreme it is or how much I’ve let it affect my life. This book made me realize just how hard I’ve been with myself and my body over the years.

This book made me look at food, advertisement, and exercise in a whole new way. It has given me a much more healthy relationship with food, a passion for body positivism, and I’m now the biggest @bodyposipanda fan!

Body Positive Power by Megan Jayne Crabbe


I never thought about just how powerful it is to ask people for help. I’m one of those people who tried for way too long to do everything on my own because I was afraid that I would lose control of my creativity if I asked anyone else for help. Silly, right? I still struggle with that at times.

Palmer writes about how far you can come by just asking for help. By letting yourself be open, and to not be ashamed to ask if there’s something you need or want. It taught me the power of connection, especially when living a creative life.

Amanda Palmer has such a presence, and I got lost listening to her voice and her story. A fascinating read/listen!

The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer


Yes! Yes! And more Yes!

I loved the message that Shonda Rhimes delivers in this book. I often find myself worried way too much about the “what if’s” of absolutely everything, and that can make me say no to opportunities, and then I end up regretting my decision to say no later on. Year of Yes made me realize just how powerful saying yes can be and how that can open unexpected doors that lead to places you couldn’t even imagine.

After reading this book, I’ve been more mindful about the responses I give to opportunities that present themselves to me. It was very inspiring and made me super motivated.

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes


I just finished this book and I loved it so much! It had lots of great ideas and tips for any creative wanting to make their passion into a career, which is exactly what I’m trying to do at the moment (more on that in another post soon). I flew through this (listened to it on Libby) but I ended up ordering myself a copy so that I can go back to it later on in this process.

Cathy Heller had so much to share from her own experiences and also from the many people she’s had on her podcast, and it motivated and inspired me so much!

I definitely think that this is a good read for anyone who’s thinking about taking the leap of quitting that day job and go in pursuit of that career that you really want!

I’m so grateful that I randomly stumbled across this audiobook, and I will be reading it more than once. I will also start to listen to her podcast from now on to keep that inspiration and motivation up.

Don’t Keep Your Day Job by Cathy Heller


Have you read any books that were life changing? I would love to hear about it!

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Sluts and Whores by C E Hoffman ๐Ÿ“š BOOK REVIEW

My review of Sluts and Whores by C E Hoffman ๐Ÿ“š

I read a digital edition of Sluts and Whores that I received for free from Reedsy Discovery in exchange for an honest review.

Genre: Urban fantasy, erotica

Publisher: Thurston Howl Publications

Originally published: January 27th, 2021

Pages: 208 (paperback)

Synopsis by the publisher:

A jealous girlfriend trips on acid; a traumatized mother attempts to masturbate; a spa worker is challenged to take control of her fate.
A haunted jeep parks in front of student housing; a sex worker grows wings; and a hitchhiker is picked up by someone sheโ€™d never expect.
SLUTS AND WHORES is a #OwnVoices short story collection. In C E Hoffmanโ€™s debut, one will find a pile of Pandoraโ€™s Boxes waiting to be opened.
Exploring the humanity of sex workers (โ€œwhoresโ€) and people who are proudly sexual (โ€œslutsโ€), this collection questions stereotypes that are long out of date, merging horror with heartache, and magic with the mundane.
Welcome to a world where anything can happen- and often does.

My thoughts:

I want to start with an important note; this short story collection is not for everyone. It’s filled with sex, drugs, heartache, love, loss, and darkness. The title should already give you somewhat of an idea of that already. It’s not for the fainthearted, but for the readers who enjoy the theme of sex and darkness, I would highly recommend diving into Sluts and Whores!

I love steamy reads, and especially the writers that dare to push some boundaries with their stories. Hoffman does exactly that! I don’t often come across stories about sexuality with this kind of depth, fantasy, and mystery. And not only that, it is written in such a raw and beautiful way that I couldn’t help but being sucked into these stories and poems. I highlighted so many parts of this book and even though I don’t usually reread books that often, I will be reading this again in the not-so-distant future.

Sluts and Whores is a solid short story collection that surprised me in more ways than one! It’s filled with good representation and diversity which made it an even more enjoyable reading experience. I think every reader will take something different with them from each story. It’s high on emotions and even though some of these stories are surreal and incredibly dark, I think most readers would find a lot to relate to throughout this collection. 

I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting when I picked this one up, but I was blown away by the strong voice and brilliant storytelling that Hoffman offers through these pages. 

I’m so happy that I picked this book up! It took me on an adventure that was dark and different. It stirred up a lot of feelings and it made me reflect and wonder. I can’t wait to read more of Hoffman’s writing!

I dare you to give it a try!

Click on the Reedsy Discovery logo below to get to know more, maybe get your own copy, and let me know what you think of it๐Ÿ’›

Vlogmas Day 15 ๐ŸŽ„ Favorite Christmas Books

Showing you some of my favorite Christmas reads ๐Ÿ“š๐ŸŽ„

Links to the books mentioned (Bookdepository with FREE worldwide shipping):

The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore (not the same edition)

My True Love Gave to Me (new edition)

One Day in December by Josie Silver

The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher

Secret Santa by Andrew Shaffer

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

Krampus the Yule Lord by Brom

My review of Krampus

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Lovecraft Country ๐Ÿ“š BOOK REVIEW

My review of Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff ๐Ÿ“š

I read a paperback edition of Lovecraft Country.

Genre:ย Horror, sci-fi, fantasy

Publisher:ย Pan MacMillan

Originally published:ย February 16th, 2016

Pages:ย 384 (paperback)

Audiobook length: 12 hrs and 13 mins

Synopsis by the publisher:

Chicago, 1954. When his father Montrose goes missing, twenty-two year-old Army veteran Atticus Turner embarks on a road trip to New England to find him, accompanied by his Uncle George – publisher of The Safe Negro Travel Guide – and his childhood friend Letitia. On their journey to the manor of Mr. Braithwhite – heir to the estate that owned one of Atticus’s ancestors – they encounter both mundane terrors of white America and malevolent spirits that seem straight out of the weird tales George devours.

At the manor, Atticus discovers his father in chains, held prisoner by a secret cabal named the Order of the Ancient Dawn – led by Samuel Braithwhite and his son Caleb – which has gathered to orchestrate a ritual that shockingly centers on Atticus. And his one hope of salvation may be the seed of his – and the whole Turner clan’s – destruction.

My thoughts:

The thing that drew me to this book was the trailer for the HBO series that I haven’t watched yet), and I decided that I needed to read the book before watching it.

I’ve read quite a bit of Lovecraft, and I love the stories (not the white supremacist author), so I was intrigued to find out how another writer would incorporate Lovecraft’s stories into their own.
I thought Matt Ruff did an excellent job of making the story his own and giving it that Lovecraft vibe. I also think that it’s so wonderful how Ruff took inspiration from a racist author and made this story with such an incredible cast of black characters and also portraiting racism as the real monster of the story at the same time. I always appreciate it when our author reveals that the real monsters to fear are often the ones that live inside the people we see every day.

Lovecraft country follows a cast of fascinating characters but does an excellent job of giving them each a unique voice so that as a reader, I never got confused. That being said, I wish we would’ve had more time to get to know them all. With so many lead characters, I felt like I missed a bit of the depth that would’ve made me more invested in them. We also got introduced to some places and creatures that I would’ve liked to know more about.
But the story was fast-paced and action-packed. It was filled with mystery and well-developed characters.
It all wrapped up quite quickly at the end, and I felt like it left me with quite a few questions unanswered.

Lovecraft Country was a fun, dark, and interesting ride. And I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Ruby will get her own book someday!

๐Ÿ’›If you buy via my affiliate links, I get a small commission ๐Ÿ’›

Vlogmas Day 8 ๐ŸŽ„ December TBR

Where I show you the overly ambitious pile of books that I would love to get to during the month of December๐Ÿ“š

Links to the books (Bookdepository with FREE worldwide shipping):

The Archer by Paulo Coelho

In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren

Secret Santa by Andrew Shaffer

Hark! The Herald Angels Scream

Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Night I Met Father Christmas by Ben Miller

Ghosts by Dolly Alderton

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

Phantom Lock: Mysteria by A. Charles Ross

๐Ÿ’›If you buy via my affiliate links, I get a small commission ๐Ÿ’›

Vlogmas Day 2 ๐ŸŽ„ Book Unboxing Haul

I bought some books for myself as a birthday present, and they finally got here!๐ŸŽ

Links to all of the books mentioned (Bookdepository with free worldwide shipping):

Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher

The Girl Who Saved Christmas by Matt Haig

Secret Santa by Andrew Shaffer

Survivor Song by Paul Tremblay

Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien

Hark! The Herald Angels Scream

A Clock of Stars: The Shadow Moth by Francesca Gibbons

๐Ÿ’›If you buy via my affiliate links, I get a small commission ๐Ÿ’›

A Forever Story by Cathleen Lynn Boyle ๐Ÿ“š BOOK REVIEW

My review of A Forever Story by Cathleen Lynn Boyle ๐Ÿ“š

I read a digital edition of A Forever Story that I received for free from Reedsy Discovery in exchange for an honest review.

Genre: Contemporary fiction

Publisher: BenSky Publishing, LLC

Originally published: April 4th, 2020

Pages: 400 (Kindle edition)

Synopsis by the publisher:

A Forever Story has been a story dying to be told. It is based on real events that were recorded in journals and memoirs. The actual names of the people involved have been changed to protect identities, and situations have been fictionalized.

Fifteen years ago on Easter Sunday, I learned from a strangerโ€™s voice at a hospital emergency room on the west coast where my daughter was attending college, she was dead-on-arrival from GHB poisoning. The men, a local hip-hop rapper, and his band, who brought my daughter to the hospital, admitted in sworn statements to the police she had been at their music studio forty to fifty minutes when she fell to the floor convulsing before entering a coma. The men, despite attempting CPR, quit the effort, and failed to call 911. They waited nine hours before seeking medical attention. To date, my daughterโ€™s case remains a San Francisco cold case of suspected homicide.

Cathleen Boyle lives in Colorado with her son, and can be found blogging on womenโ€™s issue at https://daterapeawareness.wordpress.com/about/

My thoughts:

A Forever Story starts with Sofia sharing her life, work, and love interests in San Fransisco. We get to know this young woman trying to make a name for herself in a big city while also trying to figure out what she wants in life. We dive into her life and get to know her before everything changes when Sofia and her friend Bella are drugged at a party, and Sofia never wakes up again.
The second part of the book tells the story of the people that Sofia left behind, mainly her mother and younger brother, as they search for truth and justice 15 years after it all happened.

It is an interesting and heartbreaking story and knowing that real events inspired it makes it even more impactful. And even though the party that Sofia was drugged at was set in 1999, it is still such a relevant subject to this day. It is a scary reminder of how quickly things can go wrong, how easily it can happen without one knowing, and how difficult it can be to seek justice.
A Forever Story gives an insight into the legal procedures of a case like this, and a lot of the story is set in the courtroom. For me, some of those parts felt a bit like I was reading a movie script because of all the back and forth dialogue in the courtroom. At times, this could feel slightly repetitive, although I do understand Boyleโ€™s desire to stay true to how the procedure would go down in real life.

A Forever Story is quite dark and sad, but with some rays of hope and sunshine finding its way through. And although I enjoyed this story, I donโ€™t think itโ€™s a book for everyone. There are quite a few elements throughout that I can picture being triggering for some readers, so thatโ€™s something to be aware of.
Other than that, I found this book to be entertaining, interesting, thought-provoking, and heartbreaking. A disturbing but enjoyable read!

Click on the Reedsy Discovery logo below to get to know more, maybe get your own copy, and let me know what you think of it๐Ÿ’›

Fall 2020 ๐Ÿ“š TBR

Where I show you the books I hope to read during the fall season of 2020๐Ÿ“š

Links to the books (Bookdepository with free worldwide shipping):

Disloyal by Michael Cohen

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid

My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff

The Binding by Bridget Collins

๐Ÿ’›If you buy via my affiliate links, I get a small commission ๐Ÿ’›

September 2020 ๐Ÿ“š Wrap Up

Where I talk about all of the books… Well… The three books I read in September๐Ÿ˜…

Links to the books (Bookdepository with free worldwide shipping):

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub

Basketful of Heads by Joe Hill, Leomacs, and Dave Stewart

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The Benevolent Lords of Sometimes Island by Scott Semegran ๐Ÿ“š BOOK REVIEW

My review of The Benevolent Lords of Sometimes Island by Scott Semegran ๐Ÿ“š

I read a Kindle edition of The Benevolent Lords of Sometimes Island that I received for free fromย Reedsy Discoveryย in exchange for an honest review.

Genre:ย Thriller, Suspense

Publisher:ย Mutt Press

Publication date: ย October 1st, 2020

Pages:ย 316 (Kindle edition)

Synopsis by the publisher:

The summer of 1986. Central Texas. William and his friends should be having a blast. Instead, they are hounded by the Thousand Oaks Gang and their merciless leader, Bloody Billy. William found Billyโ€™s backpack. And because of what it contains, Billy desperately wants it back, and heโ€™ll do anything to get it. William hatches a plan for his friends to sneak away and hide in an abandoned lake house, except they become stranded on the lakeโ€™s desolate island without food or water. Will their time on the island devolve into chaos? Will the friends survive and be rescued?

The Benevolent Lords of Sometimes Island is Lord of the Flies meets The Body by Stephen King, the inspiration for the classic movie Stand By Me.

A gripping suspense story with adventure and danger, tinged with humorous banter between the four friends, the middle schoolers face certain death without adults to protect them from the unrelenting natural elements, as well as the wild creatures that lurk in the wilderness around the lake. With a backpack filled with money and marijuana they stole from the merciless gang leader, itโ€™s only a matter of time before the high schoolers come looking for them, too.

My thoughts:

I think I went into this story thinking it would lean more towards the horror side because of the mention of Lord of the Flies and Stephen King, but this story focuses more on friendships, adventure, suspense, and characters.
I think if I had gone into this story with slightly different expectations I think I would have had a very different reading experience. I would’ve probably enjoyed the story even more instead of waiting for something that didn’t happen.
But that is not the author’s fault, that’s entirely on me for making assumptions and reading more into the synopsis than what was probably meant to be there.

That being said, The Benevolent Lords of Sometimes Island is a really well-written novel about an adventure gone wrong. I really enjoyed getting to know the four boys, their friendship, and to tag along on their adventure gone wrong.
The way these boys love and care for each other was what made this story interesting, and you could see how that strong bond and they as characters grew as they went through some tough times together.
It’s also sort of nostalgic to read about friendships during the time before smartphones and internet access everywhere was a thing. It definitely had its pros and cons which we got to witness throughout this story.

I liked Scott Semegran’s writing style. He writes about the boys’ adventures in a way that makes it very easy for the reader to picture it all playing out, without going overboard on the details. I would’ve loved to have gotten to know even more of what was going through the minds of the boys while they were on the island though. But never the less, the challenges and fears they go through there were very well executed and interesting to read about.

All in all, I really enjoyed The Benevolent Lords of Sometimes Island. It’s a story that I wish I had gone more blindly into, but it still ended up being a very entertaining and interesting read. I would love to pick up more of Semegran’s writing in the future.

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