Personal Power & Growth books on my TBR list

I’ve always been an avid reader. And I mean reading reading. Not just rom-coms or chic-lit – those of which I know book-tok made popular but I can only take so much of. I mean biographies, business books, classics and of course sci-fis. I like to change it up! But more so I like to give my mind good ideas to learn and innovate from.

Right behind reading sci-fi, I always gravitate to personal power books (some times negatively referred to as “self help books”). I feel like they allow me to interpret myself and my experiences in a positive way. Also they give me self-awareness so I can make more optimistic decisions or take better actions towards a goal.

Personal growth books help me expand. Make me realize that we are more alike then we think but also dares me to go to places I’ve never been before (both in life and in my thinking).

From reading personal growth books, I’ve come to realize that life isn’t just about external validation but rather reflection and of a introspective growth journey.

Today I’m sharing a few “self-help” books on my TBR. Things to help me expand my brain & nurture an opportunistic mindset.

What personal growth books do you have on your TBR?

Book Review: Book Lovers by Emily Henry

I’ll just have to start with, I really did not like this book. #UnpopularOpinion

So much so, I was tempted to abandon it. But I continued on…well because #2023ReadingChallenge.

And I’ll also say, the only reason I decided to read this book was because the internet made me do it. My preferred reading genre is scifi but I thought it Verity was good, maybe this would be do. I was wrong!

The characters were unrelatable and seemed too extra. The story line was so unnecessary. And the 2 leading men were so odd (eyebrows and adonis?! – like why?). The backstory about their mom was cute but the rest of the story was kind of a waste.

I’d give it a 2 out of 5 ⭐️s. And the 2 stars are because the quotes were so good that I annotated like crazy!

Quotes about being a woman, having a career, fashion, running, lifting up other women and owning your joy. It’s the quotes that kept me reading this book.

“One must always be careful of books, and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.”

Adding some of my favourite quotes from the book here. They inspired me and I’m sure they’ll inspire others.


One never really forgets the first time a colleague drove her to extreme unprofessionalism

That’s manageable, It’s fixable. List-able

Hidden there, under my rigidity manufactured sense of control and my checklists and my steel exterior, there is always fear.

I really do f—— love a checklist

C’est la vie

The ones [books] that speak to me are the ones whose final pages admit that there is no going back. That every good thing must end. That every thing does end. That everything does.

What is the right course of action when the planet’s been punted off its axis?

Maybe this is why people take trips, for that feeling of your real life liquefying around, like nothing you do will tug on any other strand of your carefully built world.

It’s just that, when hilariously bad things happen, I leave my body. I watch them happen from outside myself and think …Really? This is what the universe has chosen to do?

Most things, are a solvable puzzle

The more you tell a person about yourself, the more power you hand over.\

Is there anything better than an iced coffee and a bookstore on a sunny day?


I put the thought away and lost myself in the delicious burn of my muscles, the thudding of my feet against the pine-needles-dusted earth. The only two ways I’ve ever managed to get out of my head are through reading and rigorous exercise. With either, I can slip out of my mind and drift in this bodiless dark.


I used to think it was because people like me don’t get those endings. And asking for it, hoping for it, is a way to lose something you’ve never had.

There is still no happy ending for a woman who wants it all. the kind who lies awake aching with furious hunger, unspent ambition making her bones rattle in her body.

That’s the thing about being an adult…time collapses and instead of the version of you you’ve built from scratch, you’re all the hackneyed drafts that came before, all at once.

Sometimes, even when you start with the last page and you think you know everything, a book finds away to surprise you.

My mind has become one of those FBI cork boards with zigzagging red string between every pushpin it can find, trying to make things add up, to make all of it fit into one uninterrupted pattern, proof that this can work, that I can have this, that its not too good to be true.

I can see the scene playing out like it’s happening to someone else. Like I’m reading it, and in the back of my mind, I can’t stop thinking. This doesn’t happen.

It’s a strange reversal, seeing the things my baby sister has mastered that I never got around to. It makes me proud, but also sort of sad. Maybe this is how parents feel when their kids grow up, like some piece of them has become fundamentally unknowable.

I have an intense nighttime skincare routine. I don’t like to miss it and it doesn’t all fit into a handbag. My mom used to say you can’t stop the passage of time, but you can soften it’s blow

Not every decision a woman makes is some grand indictment on other women’s lives

She definitely notices that my heels keep puncturing the grass and spiking me into place

Mom’s theory was that youthful skin would make a woman more money, good underwear would make her more confident and good books would make her more happy.

New York

New York is a great place to have no money. There is so much free art and beauty, so much incredible, cheap food. But having money in New York – now that would be magical.|

Once in college, a group of my transplant friends had unanimously agreed that “they could never raise kids in the city”, and I was shocked. It isn’t just that I loved growing up in the city – it’s that every time I see kids sleepily shuffling along en masse at the Met, or setting their boom box down on the train to break dance for tips, or standing in awe in front of the world-class violinist playing beneath Rockefeller Center, I think – How amazing it is to be part of this, to get to share this place with all these people.

But you cant eat, drink or sleep on top of dreams. I landed the next best thing. Everyone has to give up on their dreams eventually

I once saw a bike courier get hit by a car, get up and scream I become God. He tested this limits of his own mortality and found they didn’t exist.

Stayed for the next eleven years (in Alphabet city), working my a– off. Sold some paintings, applied for shows constantly. Worked for three or four different artists and spent every night trying to network in galleries.

New York is like a bookstore, all these trillion of paths and possibilities drawing dreamers into the city’s beating heart, saying I make no promises but I offer many doors.

New York is exhausting, yes there is millions of people all swimming upstream but you’re also in it together

I want to carve out a piece of the city and its magic, just of us. But carving turns your into a knife: cold, hard, sharp at least on the outside.

Would love to hear your book recommendations! Or check out my book reviews here!

Book Review: The School of Good Mothers

I can’t recall if it was “tiktok that made me read it” or maybe one of the book influencers I follow on Social – but I recently read the book The School of Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan.

I want to start by saying that I had high expectations for this book.  The book had me hooked at the beginning as we begin to learn about Frida’s (the protagonist mom) very bad day.  Reading this part made me think of the countless times similar ideas pop into a mothers head – but daring to do it…is another question!

The novel continues by illustrating that the state has put into place a “school that will focus on re-programming bad mothers” with the help of robot dolls as the mother’s adopted children no less!  The story is written in away that you are transported to this prison-school where you feel you are sitting in the classroom with the robot dolls.  Majority of the lessons are harsh and challenging.  Mothers are taught to mother in a very mechanical way (read: if this else that).  Consequences are delivered out hourly.  The mothers also learn that there is a school for dads, where in contrast, the dad’s are treated with grace and respect.

The women are graded and medically analyzed to see if they are fit to return to the society as mothers to their children.  Most are not, which drives Frida to take a drastic decision.

This book was interesting right until the end.  I mean I could understand her mindset and her reasons for doing what she did – but I didn’t agree with it. And as always I wanted more science fiction in the story.  Would recommend 6.5/10