My Absolute Favorite Books From July (& Why Fiction Is Winning Me Over)

My fascination with fiction (and memoir!) continues.

I never thought I’d be swayed toward story-driven books when I’ve been a self help, non-fiction girl for most of my life.

But here I am hoarding heaps of novels and memoirs finding myself desperate, starved for nuanced, winding plots that twist and turn through the interesting, catastrophic, and mundane scenarios of everyday life.

We’re all in a constant state of introspection and processing. We burn with unfulfilled longing, anxious thoughts, perplexing questions, and tangled fears.

Here, fiction emerges, as a surprising therapeutic remedy, a solace in this human experience.

All I have to do is open the page and I’m led straight into the innermost thoughts and secrets of another person. Suddenly I become a participant in and proof of the healing power of authenticity.

Reading fiction is a more intimate act than I ever realized. It forces me to read with my heart, undistracted and focused, I can’t crank out any “productive” tasks.

Unless, of course, I allow myself in these moments where I’m swept up in another world to count for one of the most productive activities I could do in a day. Yes, I think I will declare – unashamedly gulping down stories with great happiness benefits every other area of my life.

No matter the settings or themes, the best stories direct us toward profound self reflecton and invite us into the transformative journey of our existence.

Fiction books often morph into wise counselors- the quiet and subtle type- the best kind in my opinion.


I tore through the pages of the following 6 books. (I’ll only ever recommend my ultimate favorites from each month!)

Most of these carry the unforgettable voices of strong and rebellious women as their main characters. I’m convinced you’ll be captivated from chapter one!

1. Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid:

“One of the great injustices of this rigged world we live in is that women are considered to be depleting with age and men are somehow deepening.”

Regardless if you’re a tennis fan or not, you’ll find yourself in Carrie. You’ll rise up in your power and strength and tenacity right alongside her!

2. Identity by Nora Jones: This was my first Nora Roberts book and my first romantic suspense novel…definitely won’t be my last! While reading it I felt infused with courage to forge new paths while staying connected and open to the grounding force of love.

3. The Husband’s Secret by Lianne Moriarty:

“None of us ever know all the possible courses our lives could have and maybe should have taken. It’s probably just as well. Some secrets are meant to stay secret forever. 

Kept me thinking to the very end…

4. Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover:

“I’ve wanted to quit living it so many times, but then moments like these remind me that happiness isn’t some permanent thing we’re all trying to achieve in life, it’s merely a thing that shows up every now and then, sometimes in tiny doses that are just substantial enough to keep us going.”

The sweetest, sweetest story…cried on my bike while finishing it.

5. Finding Me by Viola Davis

My biggest discovery was that you can literally re-create your life. You can redefine it. You don’t have to live in the past. I found that not only did I have fight in me, I had love.

I’ve never seen Viola Davis acting on screen, but keep in mind that I watch about 2 movies a year. With so many excellent reviews though, I had to see what all the fuss was about…so glad I did!

6. Everything All At Once by Stephanie Catudal

“I started to see that prayers weren’t self-righteous aspirations to be petitioned through a deified middleman but simply love offered up to the universe, words of intention released with hope, devoid of expectation.”

A gripping, heart-wrenching tale of Steph’s spiritual journey and her husband’s determination to stay alive…I couldn’t stop reading!

I’ll end with this perfect quote from one of my favorite newsletters:

I consider reading the greatest bargain in the world. A shelf of books is a shelf of many lives and ideas and imaginations which the reader can enjoy whenever he wishes and as often as he wishes.

Gene Roddenberry

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