on my nightstand | kickstarting 2013

bestseller book list

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year! I just returned from a two week vacation spending time with both my husband’s and my side of the family. We had no big agenda this year (aside from celebrating my in-laws 50th anniversary), so there was a lot of down time, and it was actually what I personally imagine a vacation should be — relaxing. I also had some time to read, which I really love to do whenever I get the chance. I never used to enjoy reading while growing up. While my siblings devoured books on weekends, I sat in front of the TV watching saturday morning cartoons for hours on end. Now I’m a voracious reader, but I don’t read any fiction whatsoever. I know, it’s awful, but for some reason, I love reading books about how to do something — how to cook, design, photograph, garden, eat healthily, decorate my house, save money, raise kids — anything where I can learn something new. So, in order to kickstart the new year, I just wanted to share some of the great books I’ve been enjoying lately!

01 | Happier at Home | gretchen rubin

I read Gretchen Rubin’s first book, The Happiness Project, about a year ago, so I was really looking forward to her new book.  I feel like I can always be more happy and grateful in life, and I love how she throws in little tidbits of research with her life stories.  As a result of reading this book and being inspired by William Morris’ quote, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful,” I have been on a bit of a decluttering craze.  For me, cleaning my house is like cleaning my brain — I finally feel like I can think clearly.     

02 | 10 Days to a Less Defiant Child | jeffrey bernstein

I’m not ashamed to admit that my children are nowhere near perfect and that raising children can sometimes be just plain hard.  I feel like at every stage of childhood, there is something new to deal with that I was in no way prepared for.  This is a great parenting book that helps readers identify why kids often behave the way they do, as well as how our positive and negative behaviour as parents affect them.  I’m only on day 7, but hoping for 2 little angels by the end — ha!

03 | Blog, Inc. | joy deangdeelert cho

I still feel very new to the blog world, so this book is a great resource.  I’ve been following Joy’s blog, Oh Joy!, for a while now and really enjoy her style and personality. I read Creative, Inc. and Mom, Inc. in the past, and in the same vein, this book is super user-friendly. I especially love all the interviews with many well-known bloggers and creatives.  

04 | The 4-Hour Chef | timothy ferriss

I actually haven’t started this one yet, but I’ve read bits and pieces of Timothy Ferriss’ other books, The 4-Hour Workweek and The 4-Hour Body, and once upon a time, I wanted to be a chef.  Plus, with the tagline, “the simple path to cooking like a pro, learning anything, and living the good life” — how bad could the book be? 

Anyone read anything good lately?  I’d love to hear about it — nonfiction only, of course.  Just kidding :)


  1. Glad to hear you had a relaxing visit with your families! Notice there’s no healthy eating books on your list this year. Hope of haven’t completely abandon your vegan aspirations! ;-)

    For the longest time, I only read non-fiction works but then wanted to switch gears and read some really good stories. Most recently finished “The Book of Negros” by Lawrence Hill set during the African slave trade. You know a book is good when it makes you want to read more about the history surrounding the story. Another one that had a similar effect was “Cry, the Beloved Country” by Alan Paton set in the South African apartheid time. Great reads. Try something new this year and you might find that you love a good story!

    • Ha Ha — still half-trying to be a vegan. Just thought I’d mix it up a little with some other books this time. Thanks for sharing these books — I do love a good story (usual movies, though) based on historical facts. Thanks for the encouragement to try something new!

  2. Pingback: On My Nightstand | Fall 2014 « Neely Wang | Photography + Design

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