Reading List For 2019

*This one is for my fellow book lovers! ❤ *

A new year, a new list of books to try reading before the end of this year.

Last year I had made it a goal of mine to try and read 30 books before the end of 2018, unfortunately with everything that was going on in my life, I wasn’t able to complete/achieve that goal and I had sort of put any sort of reading in the back burner.

I LOVE reading and getting to buy new books, but I suppose that just goes to show how much crap I was going through at the time that distracted me from actually doing the reading.

HOWEVER, I would really like to try and get back to it because I have a TON of books backed up since last year that I really need to get to and am excited to read.

With that being said, I am making it a goal of mine (again), that by the end of 2019, I will have read (and documented that I did so) 30 books or more.  We’re still in January, and I’ve got plenty of time, so I really think I can accomplish this goal if I start ASAP.

So, because of this goal, I wanted to share with you guys a few of the books that were on my reading list at the moment, which is the main purpose of this post today.

Let’s make a challenge out of it, if you’re interested, do what I’m trying to do, and by the end of the year or even throughout the year, tag me in all of the books you end up reading. I’d LOVE to hear from you guys about it, and who knows, we’ll probably even end up recommending a few to to each other along the way to make the list grow longer/faster! 🙂

Scroll down to see the list of all the books I plan on reading throughout the year thus far….

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In no particular order:

  1. Through The Looking Glass And What Alice Found There, by: Lewis Carroll
  2. Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, by: J.K. Rowling
  3. Unrivaled, by: Alyson Noel
  4. Stay With Me, by: Mile Gray
  5. Every Breath, by: Nicholas Sparks
  6. You Are A Badass Everyday, by: Jen Sincero
  7. The Little Book of Writer’s Wisdom, by: Steven D. Price
  8. Inspiration And Motivation For Writers, by: Chloe Henderson
  9. A Christmas Carol, by: Charles Dickens
  10. Hocus Pocus & The All-New Sequel, by: A.W. Jantha
  11. Written In The Stars: Constellations, Facts and Folklore, by: Alison Davies
  12. Spirit Healing: How To Make Your Life Work, by: Mary Dean Atwood
  13. Be Your Own Astrologer: Unlock The Secrets Of The Signs & Planets, by: Joanna Watters
  14. The Summer List, by: Amy Mason Doan
  15. The Girl You Thought I Was, by: Rebecca Phillips
  16. The Super-villian And Me, by: Danielle Banas
  17. The Dutch Wife, by: Ellen Keith
  18. Sadie, by: Courtney Summers
  19. The Dream Sourcebook,: A Guide To The Theory And Interpretation Of Dreams by: Phyllis Koch-Sheras, PH.D. & Amy Lemley
  20. The Kiss Quotient, by: Helen Hoang
  21. Mindfulness: A Practical Guide, by: Tessa Watt
  22. Blog Inc., by: Joy Deangdeelert Cho
  23. The Little Book oF Answers, by: Doug Lennox
  24. The Four Agreements, by: Don Miguel Ruiz

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Well guys, at the moment, those are all of the books that I have lined up to read throughout this year, and I’m sure that at some point or another, I’m going to attempt to add a ton more to it (I CANNOT be trusted in Barnes & Noble alone haha).

I hope you guys enjoyed this post and that you end up accepting my little challenge and keeping me updated throughout the next few months of where you’re at with your reading. I’d love to hear from you guys about this! 😀

Please like, share, follow and comment and I’ll see you guys in my next post!

-Xoxo, LeoGirl ❤

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Meeting My Favorite Author For The First Time!!

If you happen to follow me on social media (which if you don’t, you totally should…all my info for that is always left at the end of my posts), you would have seen that this past Tuesday, October 16th, was SUCH an exciting day for me.

I got to meet my favorite author and pretty much the person who is responsible for inspiring me to want to write as more than just a hobby.

The author I’m referring to is Nicholas Sparks, who I’m sure a lot of you are familiar with his work. He is the author who wrote best-sellers like The Notebook, A Walk To Remember, Dear John, The Last Song and SO many others…many of which were later turned into films.

Since it’s still so fresh, and I’m still really excited about it, I thought it would be fun (like most other things that I try to do) and share my entire experience of it with you guys!

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The Waiting Process

I had literally been planning for that day for about 2-3 months in advance since I first heard about the event happening.

It was a big deal, I was SO excited.

I had actually taken off from work to be able to go to it, because I didn’t want to risk missing anything from the event.

So, I made sure to wake up extra early (at about 5-6 am I believe), get ready as fast as I could (doing my hair, makeup in about half hour which I’m PRETTY sure is record breaking time) and rushing out the door. I managed to get to the 14th Street (Union Square) Barnes & Noble store by 8 o’clock. The doors didn’t open until 9 though, so I had (along with many others) to wait outside for an hour.

Personally, although it was REALLY cold that morning, it didn’t feel like all that long of a wait (thank god for social media and YouTube).

Once the doors opened at 9 you were directed to the main cashiers to be able to purchase the book and receive your wristband for the event. After getting both, you had the option of either coming back later when the event started at 12:30 OR just hanging out in the store until it was time.

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I was still freezing from being outside AND starving, so once I got my book and wristband, I quickly made my way upstairs to the Starbucks to get my coffee and something to eat. After getting those, I thought I was being “smart” by running upstairs to get to the floor that the event was going to be at so that I could secure my good seat…I quickly realized once I got up there that a TON of other people had the same idea as me 😂. It was all good though because I still managed to be pretty close up, in like the 3rd row.

By the time I actually got myself settled with my seat and other things, it was only about 10am, so I still had about 2 and a half hours to kill before the event started. Again, the waiting really wasn’t so bad for me honestly. In that time I was able to watch YouTube videos, read the synopsis of the book and author’s note, and even walked around the entire store and managed to come out with 4 extra books then what was originally intended. Needless to say I was very entertained lol.

While I was clearly having the best time EVER wandering around my favorite store and finding more and more books for me to buy by the second, before I knew it it was 12:30 and the event was about to start.

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The Event

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The event itself was pretty cool and fun. The events coordinator for the store introduced Nicholas Sparks a little bit, then had him come up on stage to say a few words before the meet and greet/book signing actually started.

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When he finally came up, he spoke a little bit about his previous books and what led him to write this one specifically (the name of his book is Every Breath if I didn’t already mention that). He spoke about a few key points in this specific book like the characters, their backgrounds, what inspired certain details in the book and a ton of other things that I don’t want to get TOO detailed about because I don’t want to spoil anything. He also took a few questions from the audience which I thought was really nice because a lot of people don’t do that.

I even got to ask and have him answer a question!

I’m one of those people that gets SO nervous about things like that and second guesses whether or not I actually want to and/or should, even if I really DO want to. Anxiety freakin’ sucks man. BUT, I literally had to tell myself to get over myself and just ask my question because how often am I ever going to get an opportunity like this again, ESPECIALLY with my favorite author?

So that’s what I did, I got up the courage to raise my hand to ask a question, and sure enough…he picked me! 😄 My question was, “What advice would you give to aspiring writers like myself who can only hope to be half as successful of an author that you are one day?”

He answered by saying “Speaking for myself, I love to read, so you of course have to read a lot. But you know what else I think helps me? TV and movies, and you know why? Because they’re stories. And if you’re talking about TV, every 8 minutes they kind of have to end on a cliff hanger when a commercial is coming because they have to keep you tuned in. Well that’s very handy in writing as well whenever you end another chapter, because you have to end in a way to make them, your readers, want to turn that next page. So there’s lessons to be learned from any form of good story. So you have to read, learn to value stories, and to see how stories tick and wind, and practice honing reasons why one book is better than another.”

I paraphrased a lot of what he said obviously, otherwise I could’ve gone on forever with his response, but that was pretty much the gist of it.

After he answered my question was when the meet and greets and book signing actually started.

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Meeting Nicholas Sparks Officially

As if simply asking him a question from afar wasn’t nerve-wrecking enough, I was about to finally meet him officially too!!

The whole process went relatively quick, I mean obviously right? There were over a hundred + people there waiting to meet him and get their book signed so of course he had to keep the line moving.

But regardless of the fact that they (his people?) were trying to keep the line moving smoothly and relatively quick, I thought it was really cool and interesting to see the interaction he had with each of his fans. He was really friendly and managed to go out of his way to speak to his fans individually as much as he could, and was even willing to sign as many copies of his book as you bought.

At one point I even saw that there was this girl who had brought every single book she had of his in hopes of getting them all signed by him, and he actually did it. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but I just think little things like that says a lot about a person/celebrity (in a good way), because he could’ve easily said no since there were so many people waiting, but he still made the time to do it in between signing his recent book for others.

Anyway, once my time came up, I was SO nervous. I didn’t actually know what to say to him, I wanted to make sure the picture(s) came out nice and a million other things were going through my mind too.

Ultimately, I actually got a couple of good shots of our interaction (see some of them below) and as for what I said to him, although it came out all jumbled up and I’m sure he didn’t understand half of it, I told him that he was my absolute favorite author and one of the main reasons that I decided to take my writing more seriously and hopefully become a successful author one day like he is. He said thank you so much, encouraged me to always keep trying and writing, gave me my signed book and I was on my way.

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Overall, although it wasn’t the ‘longest encounter’ ever, generally, it was a really great,  and very much worth it experience.

I don’t typically tend to do things like go to events like this, ESPECIALLY by myself because of my anxiety, so that alone was a BIG deal for me. Being able to step out of my comfort-zone to meet my favorite author, get to ask him a REALLY important question (to me anyway), get my book signed by him AND get a few pictures with him…what better?! He was also really nice about it all which made it even better.

I can’t even tell you guys how inspired and motivated I felt leaving the event that day, like I had so many different ideas for the blog going through my mind, so many things I wanted to start working on with my writing, etc. It made me really excited for not only my future, but my WRITING in the future. I’ve got some really exciting things coming soon for you guys and I can’t wait for you to see them.

I really hope you guys enjoyed this post. Thanks so much for reading, please like, share and follow if you aren’t already, and I’ll see you guys in the next one! 😊

-Xoxo, Leo Girl ❤

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Top 5 Favorite Motivational Books

Hi Guys!

If you didn’t know, I’m a HUGE reader. 9 times out of 10, if I have any free time and I’m either not at work, the gym or working on my blog, I probably have a book in my hand. And lately, I’ve been REALLY into books that are like the motivational/inspirational kind you know? So I figure I write a little post detailing the ones in my collection recently that I’ve absolutely been loving.

So, in no particular order, let’s get started!

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  1. You Are A Badass; How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness And Start Living An Awesome Life. By: Jen Sincero

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This is actually SUCH a great book. I just recently finished it, and I honestly did not want to put it down. It’s not complex at all, it’s actually really light-hearted and funny, but the main points being made throughout it are super clear. Ultimately, it’s one entire book filled with stories, advice, and exercises to try on your own in order to help you understand why you are the way that you are, change the things in your life you don’t like or aren’t happy with and create a life for yourself that you completely love. 100% recommend to anyone that may be feeling like they’re at a bit of a stand-still with their life.

Click here to purchase it on Amazon or here on the Barnes & Noble website.

2. The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck; A Counterintuitive Approach to Living A Good Life. By: Mark Manson 

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Now this book….this book right here is a fucking gem. It’s a pretty popular book at the moment, and has been for a while. This is another one of those books that’s super light-hearted, but at the same time it’s amazingly raw and inspirational. It’s pretty much taking everything that most inspirational books will tell you like the whole ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade’ motto, and saying fuck that. Mark Manson goes into detail without at all sugar-coating anything, that sometimes shit happens and you just kind of have to learn from it and move on. He talks about learning to accept each and every one of your flaws and learning to make something out of them all. It’s so raw, vulgar, and overall an amazing MUST read lol.

Click here to get the hard cover or paperback version on Amazon, or here to get it at Barnes & Noble.

3. The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom. By: Don Miguel Ruiz

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This is a great book for inspiration and helping to put things into perspective in your life. This little book is almost completely based off of Toltec wisdom, and it teaches about these 4 agreements that help to ensure you’re living your life to be able to experience love, freedom and true happiness. If you’re not much of a HUGE book reader, but are still looking for some reading inspiration, this book might be perfect for you because it’s tiny and gets right to the point of things.

Click here to purchase it at Barnes & Noble or here on Amazon.

4. Mindfulness: A Practical Guide. By: Tessa Watt.

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If you’re anything like me, then every so often you need to read books like this, because they pretty much remind me to slow down and really enjoy/live in the moment, which I tend not to do very much, as much as I may want to. This book is all about being mindful. It gives tips and exercises for you the reader to try on your own and bring in to play in your day to day routines. There’s breathing tips, meditating tips if you’re into that, etc., and it just overall tries to help you be more open and mindful of the things in your life and around you that you might not typically be aware of. Another short, but very helpful and inspirational book I would say and recommend.

Click here to purchase the book at Barnes & Noble.

5. 50 Things That Really Matter. By: Hallmark, Rodale Inc.

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This is a REALLY good and cute little book, because it really puts everything into perspective, for me anyway. You have so many people around the world that always tend to fixate on the dumbest little things, but does any of that REALLY matter? This book really breaks it down and not only names, but describes in detail, 50 realistic things in life that may seem minor, but SHOULD really matter to a person. As they say, it’s the little things in life, you know?

Unfortunately, I don’t remember where or how I bought this book, and have been looking all over the place online for a legit site to be able to link for you guys to be able to purchase this from, and all that’s coming up is Ebay. So if anyone else happens to look it up and finds it, please let me know and I’ll link it, unless you guys trust Ebay, then that’s totally fine too.

What are some of your guys’ favorite books to read when you’re looking for some extra motivation? I’d love to hear it in the comments below and get some book recommendations from you guys! 🙂

-Xoxo, LeoGirl ❤


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