Love, Style, Life, by Garance Dore
You may remember my glowing reviews on How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are, and this is right up that alley. This book is written from a more "creative lifestyle" perspective, since Dore is also a blogger, but it's still written with all the witty French-ness you're hoping for. Add to the list Dore's stunning photography and illustrations, and you have the ultimate coffee table book. It's beautiful to look at it, cover to cover, but, more importantly, a great read.
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, by Elizabeth Gilbert
I know this is a very unpopular opinion, but I did not like Eat, Pray, Love. Not even for a second. My Amazon kept recommending Gilbert's newest book to me, and I kept wondering why on earth it kept happening when I so loathed her previous best-seller. After having a conversation with another blogger friend, where we were discussing my writer's block at that moment, she recommended this book to me. I gave her my whole spiel on hating Eat, Pray, Love, and she informed me that this book was absolutely unrelated, and helped her when she was completely overhauling her website. Intrigued, I purchased the book, but with low expectations. I was pleasantly surprised that Gilbert and I share a lot of the same ideas about how the universe works. Most importantly, Gilbert addresses a lot of the shame, hesitation, and fear of rejection that holds us back from living our most creative lives. Regardless of which creative field you're working in, this is an important book about getting over some of our personal hurdles that hold us back.
This book is specifically about writing, by my favorite author. Stephen King is still killing it with his writing game. I've already pre-ordered the 3rd book in the Bill Hodges Trilogy, which comes out this June. Needless to say, I'm a big King fan. I frequently find myself going back to excerpts from On Writing. You learn about King's relatively normal childhood (is anyone's childhood all that normal anyways?) and realize that you don't need to be messed up in the head to write great stories. Gilbert makes these points in her book as well, but you don't need to be a martyr in order to be a great artist. You just need some motivation to get started, and King's book is the perfect motivation. Really he can do no wrong in my eyes, but I'd say this is the greatest book about the art of writing that has been written.
Ok, this book... THIS BOOK. Every woman should read this book, whether they're in a creative field or not. This is the woman behind Grey's Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder, and Scandal, so you know it's hilarious and tear-jerking. What was the most amazing thing to me, though, was that Rhimes is just like the rest of us weirdos on this planet. She may be a creative writing genius, but she has faults. She has anxiety about stuff. She has fears. This book is about overcoming those fears, but not in a holier-than-thou way. It's SO relatable. You finish this book feeling like you could be friends with Rhimes. More importantly, you feel like you, too, can overcome your fears and be your best self. You can be great. Shonda believes in you!