Books to Add to Your Shelves in February

reading material

Being in this writing space means I’m pals with people whose names appear in Barnes & Noble. I like to stroll through and text them photos of their books in the wild.

“Look! Your book is next to this Beyonce biography!”

“My book is about technology. You put that there.”

“GTG love you bye.”

That said, I have three friends releasing books next month, and each one is on my to-read list. They were kind enough to send me proofs, but I still pre-ordered on Amazon to be supportive and to pass them off to others.


+ Skin Cleanse by Adina Grigore: She’s the founder of S.W. Basics and I’m a long-time fan of Adina and her brand (we met at Expo East years ago and she slipped me some vegan lip balm, what a girl). She’s smart and chill and responds to my texts at 11pm when I tell her my face feels itchy (I was having some weird reaction, and she cured me via text. God bless iMessage, man). If you like to keep things simple (every one of her products has five ingredients or fewer), pick up a copy and you won’t be disappointed. In fact, pre-order now, send them a receipt, and you’ll get $5 off a S.W. Basics order.


+ Fringe Hours by Jessica Turner: Her husband Matthew (we went to Guatemala together) has several books under his belt, and now it’s Jessica’s turn(er), lol, sorry. Matthew and I were sitting next to the driver on the front bench of a van going up and down hills in a rural village. He was telling me that Jessica was working on this book about time management. I immediately perked up because I devour any article and book on productivity and time management. He shook his head. “She’s incredible. She uses her time really wisely.” The mom of 3 with a full-time job, a killer website, crafty hobbies, and a brand new book is incredible at using her time? Yea, babe, I believe it.


+ Naptime with Theo and Beau by Jessica Shyba: I am incredibly excited for this long-awaited book. The duo #theoandbeau is beloved by many and has appeared on most major news networks — right up there with Chris Pratt and Putin. I kept teasing Jess that I feel weird describing our relationship because – you know how it is – your close friend gets super famous and you’re afraid that people think you’re a hanger-on, you know? “No one thinks that. Say we’ve traveled together. We’ve barfed together.”

Okay, my point – this book is so very special to me because it’s been amazing to see it transform and it’s been wonderful to walk alongside as her as she’s put her heart on paper. She’s always been a talented photographer; I’m happy that so many people get to see that now, too. The book is beautiful. Her photography is incredible; the love is practically tangible. I think it makes the perfect gift for kids for Valentine’s Day, and a cuddlier book will never grace your coffee table. If you pre-order now and upload a copy of your receipt to this site, you’ll get a signed bookplate with a special message from Theo + Beau. Crazy cute.


+ Besides all the above, I’m currently reading The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande (we’re not friends, but not everyone can love me, I guess). The point above about devouring anything re: time management, productivity, business, etc? That’s why I’m reading this. Gawande’s got a storytelling style, and since I haven’t finished, I can’t give you a solid review, but I keep seeing it highlighted as a must-read in publications I respect, so if you’re into this sort of thing, you probably won’t be disappointed. (Unless everything after Chapter 3 is horrible; will update.)

What’s on your messy bookshelf / nightstand?

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  • Reply Lindsay Durrenberger January 28, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    My horrible acne-laden pregnancy skin is crying out for that Skin Cleanse book, and probably all of her products. Hnnnngggghhhh.

    • Reply Roo January 28, 2015 at 5:59 pm

      She’s a genius, truly.

  • Reply hope January 28, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    crazy rich asians (via audio) – Kevin Kwan
    the wholehearted wife – Erin Smalley and Gary Smalley
    For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World’s Favorite Drink and Changed History – Sarah Rose
    Seeking Him: Experiencing the Joy of Personal Revival (book for a women’s small group. but it’s been ‘meh)
    and lastly, my good ole B-i-b-l-e … version, esv!

    • Reply Roo January 28, 2015 at 7:39 pm

      Interesting titles, Hope! Which is your favorite?

  • Reply Tiffany January 28, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    Ooooh. These all look like I need them (esp the first two). I just finished reading Henry Ehrlich’s book on food allergies and traditional Chinese medicine. It’s fascinating, way over my head and I need to read it again. If be curious your take on it, Roo.

    • Reply Roo January 28, 2015 at 8:13 pm

      Oh wow, that is super over my head. I’ll have to check it out. Am I going to sign up my girls for acupuncture after I’m done reading it, Tiffany?

      • Reply Tiffany January 29, 2015 at 9:36 pm

        Acupuncture is a definite possibility. But, meeting up with us in Manhattan could be a fun side effect :-).

  • Reply Courtney January 28, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    Home Is Where My People Are by Sophie Hudson. Read her first book, A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet, and it had me literally laughing out loud!

    • Reply Roo January 28, 2015 at 8:14 pm

      So funny, Courtney. I’ve been seeing the first title make its way around the internet, and I’ve heard rave reviews on her first book, too. I’ll have to look into both! Thanks for the recs!

  • Reply Marie January 28, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    I think I’m going to give the Maze Runner trilogy a shot. Some good brainless reading. :) Now I’m going to have to hit Amazon to pre-order these though!

    • Reply Roo January 29, 2015 at 7:53 am

      I do love some post-apocalyptic stories, Marie. I’ll have to check those out, too!

  • Reply Natasha January 28, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    I’m going to have to check out that SW Basics book-I love her Instagram feed. And Theo & Beau of course.
    Things are busy, and if I start a book I have to finish it asap, so not too much reading over here. Sewing blogs mostly. And Semiproper, of course ;)

    • Reply Roo January 29, 2015 at 7:53 am

      Well I can’t hate that. ;)

  • Reply Lauren @ Faith and Macaroni January 28, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    Too many books at once! But loving them all.
    the smartest kids in the world (and how they got that way)
    I am Malala
    Hands Free Mama
    And a few books to flip through- cook books, art books, sewing books.

    • Reply Roo January 29, 2015 at 7:54 am

      All of those books are on my to-read list, Lauren! (I can’t hear Malala speak without burning through a stack of tissues).

      • Reply Lauren @ Faith and Macaroni January 29, 2015 at 2:11 pm

        I am REALLY loving “The Smartest Kids in the World” – it’s been such an interesting read. I need to get someone else to read it so I can discuss it with them. :)
        And Malala’s book is like a crash course in Pakistani politics and culture which is super interesting to me. She also has a very distinct writing voice- wise and yet young. I’m about 3/4 done and it’s been a good read.

        • Reply Roo February 1, 2015 at 8:21 am

          Oh wow, can’t wait to read.

  • Reply MC January 29, 2015 at 9:42 am

    Oops, I think the Internet ate my comment :( I asked if you thought if Skin Cleanse (and her product line) would be good for adult eczema. I’ve never seen a book written on natural skincare, just lots and lots of articles/op-eds/blogs. A more in-depth read could be rull interesting.

    • Reply Roo January 29, 2015 at 12:26 pm

      I do! As an aside, I always recommend food allergy testing, as eczema is often a symptom of allergies / sensitivities.

      • Reply MC January 30, 2015 at 11:06 am

        True – I did about 5 different pricks on one visit, came up empty, then found out like a whole year later that having irritants in your system already can throw the whole test off. Now I’m on the struggle bus towards a 1-month-gluten-freefest, so when I DO go back, my system will be clean enough. This stuff is nuts (OH there goes a pun. There it goes.)

        • Reply Roo February 1, 2015 at 8:22 am

          Good luck! (Woop, there it is.)

  • Reply Heather Laura Clarke January 29, 2015 at 10:23 am

    Ooh, I’m definitely going to order The Fringe Hours. I think Jessica Turner is my spirit animal.

    • Reply Roo January 29, 2015 at 12:27 pm

      Hahaha probably! I bet you’d love her site, too. :)

  • Reply Megan January 29, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    Yes! Thank you for turning me on to Jessica Turner. I don’t read enough blogs by women who work full-time out of the house. My hobbies/interests are crafty and most blogs on those topics are written by stay-at-home moms or work-at-home moms or moms whose jobs are the blogs. And that can get discouraging at times because in my world, I race to daycare after a 9 hour day, get home, feed all my beasts, do dishes, play a bit, baths, bedtime, walk dogs and then I just want to pass out on the couch because it’s 10PM and I have to get up at 5:45 to do it all over again. But what I really want to do is paint and write and sew. So, I’m looking forward to reading more by Jessica to help me figure this stuff out!

    • Reply Roo February 1, 2015 at 8:23 am

      So wild how our days can all be so different. I feel like staying at home, working from home, and working out of the home are three completely different beasts. I bet Jessica will help! She’s got a ton of great ideas.

  • Reply Anonyvox January 29, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    I just ordered The Skin Cleanse based on your post. I am desperate for help with adult cystic acne!

    • Reply Roo February 1, 2015 at 8:23 am

      You’ll love it! (And good luck!)

  • Reply Elizabeth February 2, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    I heart Atul Gawande! I enjoy all his books, really. I’m supposed to be in the Fringe Hours group to read/review before release and am finding myself rather impatient since I never received it. But I’m holding out hope and can’t wait to work on efficiency.
    Currently, I’m reading Wild and can only get about 3 pages in a day, thanks to a toddler who boycots bedtime until close to 10p each night. (Errrrr…does that make me a bad parent?) So, since I’m about halfway through at this point, i’m looking at finishing it sometime next year. I’ll let you know how that goes.

  • Reply Jen February 3, 2015 at 9:37 am

    I just finished Amy Poehler’s Yes Please— love her and all of her humor and positivity—and am moving on to my virtual book club pick for this month: The Girl on the Train. So far it’s goooooood.

    Also, I need all three of these books. Cuteness + clearing of skin issues + improved time management skills = how could anyone say no?

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