As a therapist, I encourage clients to practice self-care in any way that suits them. For some, that looks like carving out time to see friends, getting outside, spending an evening watching movies, or spending time doing hobbies we love. But it can look like anything. No matter what your self-care looks like, it is valid and good. In this blog post, I will share with you one of my favorite forms of self-care.

As many of my clients know, I love to read. Reading has always been a part of my life, but it became a form of self-care in 2020. I was living alone with my family in different states, and I needed an outlet that wasn’t just baking cookies and watching The Princess Diaries for the millionth time. So, I found a bookish community online, picked up my first book in a long time, and never stopped.

I am a romance reader, but I am trying to branch out and read different genres this year. What has helped the most is being a part of a monthly book club and exploring the never-ending recommendation lists of friends, co-workers, and tiktokers. While I will never entirely stray from my beloved romance novels, it has been so much fun to explore and find books I would have never picked up but loved so much. So far this year, I have read 37 books, and in this blog, I will share my top 5 reads with you.

1. Charm by Tracy Wolff
Charm is the fifth installment of the Crave Series by Tracy Wolff. This series is so much fun! It is a Young Adult Fantasy series that starts with the book Crave. The series has magic, fantastical characters, and Twilight jokes that will keep you laughing throughout the entire series. I picked up the first book of this series in 2020 and have been following along ever since. Charm is in this line-up because we get to watch two of my favorite Characters go from hating each other to choosing each other in the most unexpected ways.

2. Final Offer by Lauren Asher
Final Offer is the third book in the Dreamland Billionaires Series. This series is around three brothers who have the opportunity to earn their inheritance if they fulfill the requirements of their grandfather’s final wishes. Final Offer is about the middle child of the Kane boys, Cal or Callahan, as he hates to be called. I love this story because we get a glimpse of what living with anxiety and alcoholism looks like, and it is told in such a beautiful way. This story is a second chance romance with so much heart and will cause all the happy tears as we watch Cal fight his mental health issues and find his way.

3. The Sex Lives of African Women: Self-Discovery, Freedom, and Healing By Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah
You can tell from the title. This book is about the sex lives of African women. I loved every second of this book and the important stories we heard. Nana interviews hundreds of women worldwide to tell their stories and discuss the importance of female sexuality. Nana shares in the book the importance of this narrative because of how whitewashed and male-focused the conversation of sex can be. This is a powerful read that I recommend.

4. The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert By John Gottman and Nan Silver
This book was less for pleasure and more of a read for work, but it still deserves to be up here because it provided great insight and new ways to look at marriage. As a Marriage and Family Therapist, part of the work is staying current with the research and exploring many different therapy models. As an EFT and CBT based therapist, I found that Gottman’s interventions were helpful and valuable for my work. However, this book is not just for therapists; I highly recommend this for any couple wanting a deeper connection with their partner.

5. By a Thread by Lucy Score
Lucy Score is an author that I have quickly fallen in love with. I have only read two of her books, but I would love to read her backlog sometime soon. Her book, By a Thread, is about a girl who gets fired from her job because some jerk complained, just for her to land a job at that same jerk’s office! This wonderful grumpy and sunshine office romance kept me giggling and swooning the entire book.

Thank you if you have managed to get this far into this blog. Self-care is crucial for us to be our whole selves, and I apricate you reading about one of mine. If you choose to pick up any of these books, I hope you find as much laughter, insight, knowledge, and joy as I found in the pages of these books. Happy reading.