I have been an avid reader since I was about four years old. My grandfather instilled in me the magic of a book from an early age. He used to take me on special trips to the bookstore where we would browse the endless shelves together. I can still recall the feel of my hand in his, the smell of the books, and the excitement of being enveloped in the pages of a new purchase.
He bought me books on history, art, nature, science, science fiction, fairy tales, classic literature, religion—you name it, he bought it. We read endlessly. Books were everywhere, in our hands, on our shelves, on the table, in the car! Reading to me was as essential as breathing! I credit my love of reading to my grandparents who ended every single day with reading together.
My favorite genres are historical fiction, historical non fiction, and suspense thrillers. I do love a good self help book, a good poetry book, and the occasional light hearted romance.
That said, for February I suggest picking up a new read with themes on things like self-love, relationships, or just feel good story lines. Here are some great ones for adults, teens and kids.
You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life
By Jen Sincero
This book is all about making you believe in YOU! Inside every one of us is endless potential to live the life we deserve. Oftentimes, the only thing holding us back . . . is us! This easy to read and sharp-witted book will help you dispel self-sabotaging beliefs and encourage you to create the kind of life you want to live. Encouraging advice offered in a funny yet no-nonsense way will teach you to love yourself, flaws and all—what to accept, what to change, and what really matters! It’s kind of like having your own little cheer squad cheering you on from the pages of a book!
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill
By Abbi Waxman
This is not an in-depth read. It takes little focus to flow gently through this cute little story of a bookish heroine who finds her life unexpectedly interrupted (is this a good thing or a bad thing?) by a brood of family members she never knew existed, and the interest of a cute trivia nemesis who had never before given her the time of day. Usually an introvert, and more apt to converse with the character of her favorite novels that real life human beings, Nina has to pull herself out of her shell and enter the real world to truly discover who she is and what life has to offer. This is an easy, yet enjoyable read for adults or teens, especially those who can relate to a more introverted existence.
By Brene Brown
If you have yet to read or listen to anything by Brene Brown, you need to put a pause on everything and grab one of her books, listen to one of her Ted Talks, or tune in to her incredible podcast. She is a modern-day miracle worker and master of words and message. She is most well known for her discussions on shame and vulnerability. Rising Strong takes insight from her research and conversations with a wide array of people to help discover what it takes to be strong and rise up in the face of adversity. Recognizing the power of emotion is crucial to our resiliency. With sound advice, relatable anecdotes, and purposeful exercises, this is an empowering piece of literature.
Young Adult Reads
Romeo and Juliet the Graphic Novel
By Gareth Hinds
Honestly, I’m not sure I have EVER been this excited about a book in my entire life, and that is saying a lot. While this classic Shakespearean tale does end in tragedy, the relationship between young Romeo and Juliet is as captivating as they come. Now in a graphic novel, this story has been brought to life like never before. Prose and picture transport readers through this stunning work of art.
Teen Love, On Relationships: A Book For Teenagers (Chicken Soup Series)
By Kimberly Kirberger
Many of us grew up reading and loving the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. The stories were always quick and relatable and felt like a hug in story form. Reading those books always made me feel less alone and like there were people out there who understood exactly what I was going through. They always gave me sound advice and a good perspective. This book is no different. Featuring stories of love, heartache, resiliency, dating, and self worth, this is a great read for the teens in your life!
Five Feet Apart
By Rachael Lippincott
This is a heart wrenching story of two teenagers with cystic fibrosis. They understand the risks of a relationship between two CF patients, but their hearts cannot fathom being apart. When the only way to stay alive is to stay apart, is there really anything to live for? This is a beautiful story of young love, strength, and determination.
Chapter books for kids
By Barbara O’Connor
This is a book that parents will enjoy just as much as their children, a heartwarming tale of friendship, the meaning of family, and of course . . . a dog! Sometimes wishes really do come true, just not always in the way we think.
By R.L. Ullman (series)
Middle school can be tough for anyone, but even more so for an average boy from a superhero family. Can an average boy make a difference? Do you need to have super powers to be a hero? Hilarious and wholesome!
Listening with my Heart
By Gabi Garcia
A sweet story about a little girl named Esperanza who finds a simple reminder of self love and uses it as an opportunity to practice kindness and empathy not only towards others, but to ourselves as well.
You Belong Here
By M.H. Clark
This story is a beautiful reminder that just as much as the stars belong in the sky, so too do we belong in the lives of those who love us. The soothing illustrations and gentle rhythm of the words will have this book become a bedtime favorite.
Jillian Amodio is a mother of two, mental health advocate and creator of Moms For Mental Health, and social work student at Salisbury School of Social Work. She is passionate about family, health and wellness, and spreading joy like glitter! She lives in Cape Saint Claire with her husband, children, and crazy dog.