Kick Ass Books Kim's Blogs

11 Books You Should Read (just because I said so)

“I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” – Jane Austen


1. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou: If you want to read a book by Angelou, let it be this one. She writes about her difficult childhood, working with Martin Luther King Jr, the multifaceted relationship with her mother, and her unorthodox friendship with Billy Holiday. Oh, so scandalous! After reading Caged Bird, I guarantee you’ll be addicted forever to Angelou’s voice.

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2. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov: Written in 1955, this classic novel is about a middle aged man obsessed with his 12 year old step daughter. Humpert Humbert is a pedophile-pig, a devil incarnate— but Nabrokov makes us care about him, feel sorry for him, even sort of like him. This book cannot be rated because of it brilliancy. Gorgeous, Stunning language. At the VERY top of my list.

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3. The 15 Second Rule by Mel Robbins: “You need to hear this loud and clear; no one is coming. It is up to you.” This is a quote from Mel Robbins book, The 15 Second Rule. This book pushes you from your comfort zone & off your ass into the true ’meaning of your life.’ Highly recommended for every procrastinator pondering her/his purpose.

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4. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood: A popular novel, which explores an extensive range of issues relating to power, gender, sex, and religious politics. Atwood originally wrote this as a science fiction piece, but if one observes the state of the world today, it’s becoming clear that these things are happening already. I cannot begin to tell you how much I loved this book.

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5. The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath by Sylvia Plath: “I love people. Everybody. I love them, I think, as a stamp collector loves his collection. Every story, every incident, every bit of conversation is raw material for me.” Plath’s words are dark, beautiful, suicidal, powerful, wretched, humorous, uncontrolled, and soak into one’s bones like something unforgettable. She is the reason I became a writer.

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6. Pull of the Moon by Elizabeth Berg: I’ve devoured every book by Berg, but Pull of The Moon is my all-time favorite. A 40ish woman decides to run away from home. During her travels, she writes letters to her husband: “I don’t mean this to be against you. I don’t mean any of it to be against you. Or even about you. I have felt for so long like I am drowning.” A beautiful, moving novel about being lost and found again. Berg rarely disappoints.

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7. The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie: I’ve read this book two times and listened to the audio once. Alexie writes about 14 year old Junior, whom lives on the Spokane Indian Reservation. He writes about how alcoholism killed most of his family, how he needed to leave the Rez to become who he wanted to be, and he writes about how books transformed his entire existence. Alexie has been applauded by many for this Newberry winner, but others have condemned him for it. A controversial piece of art.

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8. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert: Just when you assume Gilbert cannot possibly surpass Eat, Pray, Love, she writes Big Magic! Gilbert asks–“So this, I believe, is the central question upon which all creative living hinges: Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?” I’d LOVE to sit w/ Gilbert over a glass of wine and talk about deep shit, about words, about Bali!

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9. Scared Selfless: A Journey from Abuse & Madness to Surviving and Thriving by Michelle Stevens: Recommended by Dr. Phil: Stevens walked thru Hell on earth & unimaginable sexual abuse, but comes out the other side to become who she was meant to be. People Magazine calls Scared Selfless a “testament to hope.” It’s a tough read, but highly recommend for all social workers, psychologists, sociologist, teachers, and everybody in the mental health field. It’s about “RISING.” It’s about finding the flickers of light after living in darkness.

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10. Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson: #1 New York Times bestselling author Jenny Lawson explores her lifelong battle with mental illness, but if you assume this is a book about sadness and feeling sorry for yourself, you’ll be quite displeased. I walked while Lawson read to me. What luxury! What fabulousness! I laughed my ass off for ten miles strait; I think my neighbors thought I was nuts! Image result for furiously happy book


11. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman: OMG! I added this novel at the last moment because I simply had to tell you about it, about Eleanor. She has secrets, several dark secrets & they unfold slowly, sadly, beautifully throughout each chapter. She is peculiar; I would go as far to say that she may have Asperger’s Syndrome, OR at the very least was scarred horribly by her Mummy, whom she talks lovingly about thru the entire narrative. I looooooved this book, the characters, the story-line, and especially, Eleanor. Moreover, I appreciated the physiological aspect unraveling as the reader finds out why EleImage result for eleanor oliphant is completely fineanor is the way she is. One of my favorite books of the year!


LOLITA: Listen to Iron’s Gorgeous Voice. What a treat.


—And some of your faves are?

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  • Reply
    March 17, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    I hate to say this Kim but I haven’t read any of those books. But I do like Jeremy Irons.
    Love You

  • Reply
    lisa thomson
    March 17, 2019 at 5:34 pm

    Kim, I’m loving your list!! I’ve only read 1,2,4 & 6. More than your Dad, LOL. Loved each one of those. I would like to definitely read the Eleanor Oliphant one and Big Magic as well. I’ve heard amazing things and now that you’ve recommended it, I’m in. I would add Elizabeth Berg’s Range of Motion. It was the first one I read of hers and forever hooked me.

    Thanks for sharing, Kim. I must thank the late Sylvia Plath for the fact that you write. Always LOVE your writing, Kim. When you publish your book it will be in my top 5. Sending love xxoo
    lisa thomson recently posted..College Entrance Scams & Bad ParentingMy Profile

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      March 18, 2019 at 2:33 pm

      can anybody possibly be more complimentary and kind?
      You are a gem. Thank you for reading my posts.
      Also, you will LOVE Eleanor!
      Check out Plath and see what you think. xxxx

  • Reply
    Green Global Trek
    March 17, 2019 at 9:30 pm

    What a wonderful collection of recommendations Kim!

    I have read some of them…1,4,5,8 but not the others, so thanks for the recommendations.. and the great descriptions.
    Just to mention Elizabeth Gilbert also wrote a book about love and the history and concept of marriage which I devoured cover to cover. I enjoyed it almost as much as Eat Pray Love. I really enjoyed the one you mention too with regards to our creative selves.

    One of the issues I have living here in Sri Lanka is that it is hard to get books, although one CAN find them in a few select bookstores. I am not one for reading books online via kindle, I like to hold the book in my hand and feel and turn the pages.

    Glad that Sylvia Path has provided you so much inspiration and was the impetus for your wonderful writing. Keep at it!! When are you publishing your memoir??

    Lots of love and hugs
    from Sri Lanka

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      March 18, 2019 at 2:36 pm

      you read Plath’s journals? I don’t know many people who have. COOL! We’d have
      lots in common.
      I’ve not read the Marriage Book by Gilbert yet, but since you liked it so much, I’ll order it from the Library!
      Is there a particular book you want? I can send you one.
      xxxx HUGS and appreciation for “YOU.” xx
      My Inner Chick recently posted..11 Books You Should Read (just because I said so)My Profile

  • Reply
    March 17, 2019 at 11:18 pm

    I’ve wanted to ask you for the longest time, when you read, do you do it the old fashioned way with a book or do you download them onto a kindle?
    I’m an old fashioned girl and always want a book in hand when reading.
    Love and hugs to you form a beautifully sunny and warm Nairobi.
    🙂 Mandy xoxo

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      March 18, 2019 at 2:38 pm

      Hey, Mandy,
      I usually have an audio going on the treadmill and a separate book in my car.
      I read a “REAL” book in the house.
      I have a Kindle, but I’ve not been using it.
      HUGS. Love. Kisses from MN. xxxooo
      —How are the monkeys & kitties?

  • Reply
    March 18, 2019 at 1:59 am

    Going to get ALL of them into my ebook! Thanks, Kim, for the recommendation!
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    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      March 18, 2019 at 2:39 pm

      let me know your thoughts on any of them that you read!! xxx

  • Reply
    Marie Kléber
    March 18, 2019 at 8:33 am

    Sylvia Path! Every time I read you I know that I definitely should start with Sylvia Path. And I forget. So this time I won’t.
    Only read Big Magic. Great one!
    The Handmaid’s Tale is in my wish list and I guess Elizabeth Berg, Maya Angelou and Mel Robbins will soon join it.
    Always a pleasure to know your favorite Kim.
    Love and Peace from sunny Paris
    Marie Kléber recently posted..Eyes and HeartMy Profile

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      March 18, 2019 at 2:41 pm

      I’ve always been a bit obsessed w/ Plath. I’m not sure why. Probably because she made me feel like I wasn’t weird!
      The Handmaid’s Tale!!! OOOMMMGGG, you will love it. Please let me know what you think.
      You are such a sweetheart!!! xxx from Melting MN

  • Reply
    March 18, 2019 at 8:39 am

    What an interesting list, Kim. I haven’t read the majority of them, though, so I’d better get cracking! Love to you from sunny (today, at least!) Central Illinois! xx

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      March 18, 2019 at 2:42 pm

      Hey, Debbie!
      Minnesota is beginning to melt. YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! xxx

  • Reply
    Marcia @ Menopausal Mother
    March 22, 2019 at 7:28 am

    Soooo many good books and I have read several of them. I really love Jenny Lawson’s book. Met her on two occasions and she is the sweetest person!

  • Reply
    Christine Carter
    April 6, 2019 at 7:51 am

    This list is GOLD. And I am finding it in perfect time because I am almost done with “The Glass Castle”- fascinating read, by the way, and need another book to listen to while driving my kids all over town.

    I have read some on this list, but I can’t wait to read the others. I absolutely LOVE your taste, dear Kim. XOXO

  • Reply
    Best in Sauna
    August 16, 2019 at 8:20 pm

    I loved Big Magic. Also Margaret Atwood is amazing and a close neighbor of mine.

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