KiraGrace Book Club: Our Favorite Reads
Our office is always reading and recommending books to each other and our friends. Each member of the team has a different taste, and we love trading books and sharing new finds. Not only do books expand and enlighten our minds, they help us continue to get to know each other better.
We’ve each voiced how difficult is it lately to make time to read, so we want to make reading more of a priority than ever. That’s why we've created a book list recommendation here from each member of our team to share with each other and with you! These reads are near and dear to our hearts, and we hope that you enjoy them just as much as we do. Curl up with a glass of vino and try one of these out on your next lazy Sunday or start a book club with your own girlfriends.
Kira Karmazin, founder & CEO
Reading is one of my primary sources of inspiration, and I’m always on the hunt for a good book. I’m a night owl, so I love crawling into bed with a good read while the rest of the house sleeps. Here are the books currently on my night stand that I'm loving:
1. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Kondo
As an entrepreneur and single mom, keeping a tidy house sounds like one of those things that's really great in theory but next to impossible. But once I started reading this book, it really sucked me in! It gave me some really great and easily doable ideas that have radically changed the way I feel in my own home. Maybe tidying up really is the road to bliss?
2. Simplify: A Guide to Caring for the Soul by Rasmus
Well, obviously I'm on a "being tidy" kick - ha! Rasmus also emphasizes the importance of decluttering, but she takes you internally, deep into the depths of yourself. In a world where so many of us feel exhausted, overwhelmed, and stressed out, this book hits the nail on the hammer and has helped me slow down in my daily life.
3. The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu
From educational to entertaining, this beautiful collection of short stories enlivened my creativity and imagination. Some are deep and meaningful, others are just fun - I love reading one short story before bed.
4. Unstoppable Women by Cynthia Kersey
A collection of 45 inspirational stories of people who transformed their own pain and heartache into something purposeful and powerful. Cynthia Kersey's collection is so beautiful and empowering!
Stephanie Garbuio, Designer
1. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
I feel this is one of those books you’re supposed to hate in high school, but I had an incredible lit teacher who did a phenomenal job of explaining the underlying messages throughout the novel. The characters are loveable and the ironic twist in the end that displays the ultimate sacrifice for love is so wonderful. It’s also relatable since the political turmoil that sets the scene doesn’t feel too distant as it seems we are living in both the best of times and the worst of times.
2. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
I love this inspiring story by an author local to me. Her physical and emotional journey hiking alone on the Pacific Crest Trail was amazing and raw and brought me to tears. It was part of what launched my goal to hike more myself. Since reading the novel three years ago, I’ve gone on over 75 hikes. I’ve made it part of my lifestyle and I feel more alive today because of it.
3. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
I love exploring our nation’s history through stories and this epic tale is set in a pretty dramatic era. Add to that the drama of the love story and the fact that I had a certain love-hate connection to the main characters and that frustration somehow drew me into the lengthy novel.
I’ve always been a voracious reader, but lately I find I’ll go an entire week or two without reading. It’s terrible. I can feel the effects that the lack of reading has on my grammar, vocabulary, creativity, and stress levels. There are two qualities I need in a book that guarantee me to fall in love: an intriguing story I can’t predict the outcome of and surprising, beautiful and creative diction.
1. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
This is my all-time favorite book. It’s the kind of book that reminds me who I am every time I read it and inspires me to speak a little more gently and live a little more lovingly.
2. Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
The greatest trilogy of all-time. I love epic fantasy tales and this one takes the cake for me. The writing isn’t necessarily soul-piercing, it’s the story that is so beautiful. I learn something new every time I read it. I am a Catholic, and this story never fails to renew my spirit and strengthen my faith.
3. Book of Hours by Rainer Maria Rilke
I adore a good book of poetry and this is one I find myself going to time and time again. It's like a book of prayers - Rilke's relationship with God is intimate, convicting, broken, beautiful, and so relatable.
Dana Manahan, Customer Service & Wholesale Manager
1. The Mark of the Lion Series by Francine Rivers
This is one of those series that makes you lose sleep because it sucks all of you in and you just can't stand to put it down. Set in ancient Rome, this story is a thrilling tale of romance, politics, faith, and dreams.
2. Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
C.S. Lewis has the most brilliant mind and he communicates the drama and beauty of the spiritual in a way that's both relateable and enrapturing.
3. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein
I agree with Shelby, this trilogy is truly amazing. I grew up in a small town in Ohio out in the woods, and my whole family loved this story. This fantasy story enticed my imagination to life and came to life around me. Also - fun fact - my family had 9 dogs and we named them all after the members of the fellowship!
Though I don't have a favorite book in particular, I'm obsessed with self-help and self-care books. I love reading others' perspectives on how to better the self, as it is something I think we all are constantly striving for. They leave me feeling inspired, motivated, and all around more confident. Currently, I'm reading a book Kira gifted to all of us at KiraGrace, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. It's so inspiring!
Carissa Gray, Marketing & Merchandising Intern
1. Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
I'm a bit of a psychological thriller junkie- books and movies! I love when you put down a book or leave a theater and your mind has just been blown!)
2. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
Because someday I want to go on a 'soul-searching', 'be one with nature' adventure of my own!
3. Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin or the Divergent series
My guilty pleasures!
My top 3 favorite books are -
1. To Kill a Mockingbird: This is one of the most memorable books I have ever read and it has themes that are still very relevant today. This novel came to life when I read it and I feel like I grew very fond of of certain characters like Atticus Finch, Gem and Boo Radley.
2. The Glass Castle: I loved this book because it recounts the story of a dysfunctional family and the unconventional and poverty stricken upbringing that Jeannette and her siblings experience.
3. The Great Gatsby: The Great Gatsby is one of my all time favorite books because I could not put it down. This is the kind of book that you can read multiple times and it would never get old.
We are always looking for more book recommendations! What should we read next? Let us know in the comments below.