Top 4 Inspirational Books: A Collab With Carrie Doran

I love how blogging is always full of surprises and one tweet can unexpectedly lead to a blog collab. Last week, I was contacted by Carrie from Life Grind, Right Mind who found me after I tweeted about getting some blog opportunities after nothing for ages and how we shouldn’t ever give up. Well, this sparked a conversation and Carrie suggested we collab together on our favourite books which have inspired us. Collaborations with other bloggers are one of my favourite things to do so I agreed straight away!

Carrie is from Las Vegas, USA and blogs about mental health and lifestyle. I love discovering new bloggers and it’s clear Carrie has a real passion for helping others feel less lonely in the world if they’re battling mental illness. Her blog reads: let’s end the stigma, let’s start a conversation, let’s talk to each other about the tough stuff until it’s not so tough anymore.  Let’s start learning and understanding. Life Grind, Right Mind is featured as one of the Top 60 Mental Health Blogs” and Carrie is continuously working hard to advocate changes that need to be made in the Mental Health community. Well done Carrie!

So here are the top 4 books which have inspired me over the years. Make sure you head over to Carrie’s blog to read her favourites too. You can also follow Carrie on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram. 

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Eat Pray Love was a book I read in my early twenties which only further encouraged my love for all things travel. Liz finds herself stuck in a life she doesn’t want anymore so decides to leave behind everything familiar and comforting and embark on a quest of self-discovery. She travels to Italy (and eats all the pizza and gelato), spends some time in an Ashram in India before finally heading off to Bali, the paradise island in Indonesia. I love everything about this book. It encourages us to leave our comfort zones, travel, explore and discover who we really are. I also really, really want to go to Bali. Click here to buy Eat Pray Love.

“If you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher and if you are prepared, most of all, to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself, then the truth will not be withheld from you.”

Wonder by R.J Palacio 

Wonder was a book which took me on a roller coaster of all the emotions. It was my holiday reading and I pretty much finished it as soon as I got off the plane. Wonder follows the story of Auggie Pullman, a normal ten year old in every way other than the fact he was born with a disorder which makes him stand out and look different. Auggie just wants a normal life and to fit in with the other kids at school but unfortunately not everyone is that accepting. The book is packed full of many lessons on kindness and how we should not judge people on appearance. If you want both the happy and sad tears, click here to buy Wonder.

“If every person in this room made it a rule that wherever you are, whenever you can, you will try to act a little kinder than is necessary – the world really would be a better place.”

Wild by Cheryl Strayed 

I used to work as a receptionist at The Travelodge, and I read the whole of Wild on one very quiet shift over Christmas. I was searching for books similar to Eat Pray Love and Wild was the answer. Cheryl, 26, was struggling in the wake of her mothers death and failing marriage so like Liz, went on an epic journey of self-discovery. Cheryl believed she had nothing left to lose and one day packed her rucksack and set off on an eleven hundred mile trek following the Pacific Crest Trail in America. With little backpacking experience, Cheryl finds herself in difficult situations which will test her both mentally and physically. A very inspirational read which proves we can do anything if we put our mind to it. Click here to buy Wild. 

“Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave.”

Blogs Change Lives by Aby Moore

Last but by no means least, my most recent favourite read is Blogs Change Lives. Every single page is jammed packed full of positivity, motivation and the inspirational story of how Aby transformed her blog You Baby Me Mummy (which started as online baby book for her daughter Ava) into an awesome blogging career. The thing I love about this book the most is that Aby’s hard work and determination shines through. She believes anyone with the passion can let blogging change their life. You can read my full review here and buy yourself a copy here. 

“Success doesn’t happen overnight, it takes consistency to start making an impact on the world”

Thank you to Carrie for the spontaneous collaboration idea. I hope you have enjoyed finding out more about my favourite inspirational books. What books would be in your top 4? Make sure you head over to Carrie’s blog to read her favourites too.

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  1. July 23, 2018 / 7:44 am

    I haven’t heard of most of these, always looking for a good book to read and love books that always send out positivity! Such a well written review of the books. I will definitely check these out 😘 thank you for sharing lovely! Beautiful pictures xxx

    • July 24, 2018 / 12:50 pm

      Thank you so much Lauren 💖. I’m glad you are going to check them out, hope you enjoy lovely! 😘 xx

  2. July 23, 2018 / 9:33 am

    Love these book choices! I remember feeling so inspired when I read Wild a few years ago. I haven’t heard of the blogging one before though, it looks interesting! xx

    • July 24, 2018 / 12:51 pm

      Thanks so much Alys! 💖 Wild is so inspirational isn’t it! I would definitely recommend the blogging book, it’s a great read 😘 xx

  3. Anjhaneè
    July 23, 2018 / 10:44 am

    Love the list! Eat, Pray, Love is a fantastic read! Wonder I’ve been wanting wo check out for awhile, I’ll have to get my hands on it. Same with, Wild. Blogs Change Lives I’d never heard of until now, but it seems awesome. I’ll defintely be checking these out. Great post! 🤗

    • July 24, 2018 / 1:00 pm

      Thank you so much lovely! 💖 Eat Pray Love is amazing isn’t it, glad you loved it too! Yay! Hope you enjoy the books 😘 xx

  4. July 23, 2018 / 11:38 am

    I keep hearing about Eat, Pray, Love and also about Wild but somehow have never got around to reading them. Wonder, however, is already in my Amazon basket because I’ve heard amazing things about this one. How funny that Julia Roberts starred in two of these books too. And I remember your fab review of Aby’s book a while back. Great book choices, Bexa, really inspirational, thank you for sharing xx

    Lisa |

    • July 24, 2018 / 1:06 pm

      Thanks so much Lisa! 💖 Yay! That’s awesome that Wonder is already in your basket, it’s such a great book. Oh yes! I’ve seen both Eat Pray Love & Wonder on DVD and just realised that too! 😄 Glad you enjoyed the post lovely 😘 xx

  5. CiCi
    July 23, 2018 / 12:33 pm

    I love this blog post! Inspirational books are my new favorites to get my hands on! I have only heard of Wonder and a bit of Eat, Pray, Love but not the other two! I will have to put them on my TBR list!

    A inspirational book I highly recommend is Chicken Soup for the Soul: Step Outside Your Comfort Zone because it really teaches you to face your fears, try new things, and to reallh experience life! Give that a try, it changed my life. (:

    Keep up the good work! I will go check out Carrie’s post as well.

    Cici | Navigation To Happiness

    • July 24, 2018 / 1:11 pm

      Thank you so much CiCi 💖. That’s awesome you are going to add these to your TBR list, I hope you enjoy! Thank you for the book recommendation too, it sounds like a very inspirational read, I’ve just ordered myself a copy 😘 xx

  6. July 23, 2018 / 4:06 pm

    Love this post! I have been trying to find a book that I can get stuck into during the summer, I have heard of so many good things about eat, pray, love and it sounds like such a great book to give a go. Wonder also sounds like such a great book! Lovely selection x

    • July 24, 2018 / 1:26 pm

      Thank you so much Aaliyah! 💖Glad you enjoyed the post and hope you find some nice books to read over the summer! 😘 xx

  7. July 23, 2018 / 4:06 pm

    This is such a lovely list of books! The only I’ve read is Eat, Pray, Love and it was so super inspirational. I’m going to add rest of these on my to read list for sure 🙂

    lots of love, Jasmin

    • July 24, 2018 / 1:27 pm

      Thanks so much Jasmin! 💖 Glad you enjoyed Eat Pray Love, it’s such a brilliant book! Hope you enjoy the others too 😘 xx

  8. July 23, 2018 / 4:14 pm

    I was so disappointed with Eat Pray Love 🙁 I never even finished the book which sucks! But the other 3 books sound amazing! I need to get my hands on Blogs Change Lives ASAP haha! Great post and amazing pictures!! xx

    • July 24, 2018 / 1:32 pm

      Thanks Shar! 💖 Aww shame you didn’t enjoy Eat Pray Love! I would definitely recommend the others, Blogs Change Lives is really inspirational 😘 xx

  9. July 23, 2018 / 4:17 pm

    I haven’t heard of any of these, other than Eat, Pray, Love (and even that is due to Julia Roberts). I love the sound of Blogs Change Lives! I tend to read autobiographies for inspirational reads. Nothing motivates you more than a real life success story x


    • July 24, 2018 / 1:34 pm

      Thanks Sophie! 💖 Blogs Change Lives is really inspirational! I need to check out some autobiographies, I haven’t read one in ages! Which ones would you recommend? 😘 xx

  10. July 23, 2018 / 4:18 pm

    I haven’t heard of any of these before, but I’m always looking for new books to read! I would recommend Faceless by Alyssa Sheinmel as an inspirational book xx

    Ashleigh |

    • July 24, 2018 / 1:34 pm

      Thanks Ashleigh and thank you so much for the recommendation! I’ll definitely check it out 😘 xx

    • July 24, 2018 / 1:44 pm

      Thanks Jen! 💖 Glad you enjoyed the post 😘 xx

  11. July 23, 2018 / 4:32 pm

    I read Wonder back in year 11 and it’s been one of my favourite books since then! Haven’t heard of the others other than Eat Pray Love, and that has amazing reviews. I gotta make sure I read it at some point!
    Ellie x

    • July 24, 2018 / 1:49 pm

      Thank you so much Ellie! 💖 Glad you enjoyed the post, would definitely recommend Eat Pray Love, it’s such a great book! 😘 xx

  12. July 23, 2018 / 4:46 pm

    I love being able to get lost in a book for hours on end. Will definitely have to give some of these a try!

    Love Tish,

    • July 24, 2018 / 1:56 pm

      Thanks Tish! 💖 Hope you find some that you enjoy 😘 xx

  13. Lupe
    July 23, 2018 / 4:47 pm

    I’ve heard of most of these except the last one about blogging. I’ve never thought about buying books on the topic of self reflection, but that might help me get more motivated with both my blog and my education. Thanks for the post bexa

    • July 24, 2018 / 1:57 pm

      Thanks Lupe! 💖 Glad you enjoyed the post, self-reflection books are my favourite kinda stories 😘 xx

  14. July 23, 2018 / 4:56 pm

    I love to read I haven’t come across some of these books. I will Deffo Check them out. Thanks Bexa xx 💚

    • July 24, 2018 / 2:15 pm

      Thanks Kerry! 💖 Hope you find some you enjoy! 😘 xx

  15. July 23, 2018 / 5:02 pm

    I think the wonder book sounds right up my street. Great recommendations I will have to look out for the blogging one!

    • July 24, 2018 / 2:16 pm

      Thanks so much! 💖 Wonder is such a great read and would definitely recommend Blogs Change Lives 😘 xx

  16. July 23, 2018 / 5:52 pm

    Bexa you have an inspiring collection of books. I seen Eat Pray Love the film and it was so good! I heard about Wonder, the kid is extremely strong teaching us about inner beauty and confidence supercedes physical appearance, which is something I advocate to its fullest. Never heard of Wild but if it’s like Eat Pray Love then I will need to check it out. I remember your review about Blogs Change Lives, still need to snag me a copy hehehe!

    Natonya |

    • July 24, 2018 / 2:24 pm

      Thanks so much Natonya! 💖 Aw yes, Eat Pray Love is such a good story and that’s so true about Wonder, would definitely recommend. Glad you enjoyed the post lovely 😘 xx

    • July 24, 2018 / 2:24 pm

      Thank you so much! 💖 Glad you enjoyed the post and hope you like the books too! 😘 xx

  17. July 23, 2018 / 6:50 pm

    I haven’t read any of these, but Wonder has been on my list for forever, especially since the movie came out! Loving your list 🙂

    Cecile @ Cissy’s Art Café |

    • July 24, 2018 / 2:25 pm

      Thank you so much Cecile 💖. Aw yes Wonder is such a brilliant book and film, would definitely recommend 😘 xx

  18. July 23, 2018 / 6:51 pm

    Your posts never fail to make me smile! ☺️ Thank you so much sharing! I’m always looking for a new book! Xo

    • July 24, 2018 / 2:36 pm

      Aww thanks so much Lozza! 😍That’s such a lovely thing to say 💖 xx

  19. July 23, 2018 / 6:55 pm

    I’ve been looking for some new books to read and some of these look great!! Definitely going to add Blogs change lives to my list! Great post!

    • July 24, 2018 / 2:45 pm

      Thank you so much Fi! 💖 I hope you enjoy Blogs Change Lives, it’s a brilliant book! 😘 xx

  20. Shaun
    July 23, 2018 / 7:31 pm

    You have chosen 4 excellent books 😄. I like eat, pray, love as I find it very inspirational 👍. Wonder is another story I particularly enjoyed as it promotes kindness and consideration for others ☺️. A brilliant post Bexa 😄😍💖😘 xxxx

    • July 24, 2018 / 2:50 pm

      Thanks so much Shaun! 💖 Glad you enjoyed those books too, they are such inspirational reads! ☺️😍😘 xxxx

  21. July 23, 2018 / 7:36 pm

    I’ve been looking for some new books! I’m definitely going to check out wonder! Loved this post!

    • July 24, 2018 / 2:51 pm

      Thanks so much Issie! 💖 Glad you enjoyed the post, Wonder is such a great book! 😘 xx

  22. July 24, 2018 / 8:26 am

    Love this post. I haven’t read any of these, but Blogs Change Lives is on my list since your post about it, and I really want to read Wonder (and see the film!) Will need to treat myself soon, I think. Thanks for sharing, Bexa!

    • July 24, 2018 / 2:58 pm

      Thanks so much Ruth! 💖 Aww yes, Wonder is such an amazing story, I loved both the book and film. You definitely should treat yourself soon 😍 xx

  23. July 24, 2018 / 10:10 am

    I recently watched Wonder and was a complete sobbing mess at the end – it’s SUCH a beautiful film and storyline. I haven’t read the book yet but I DEFINITELY will. Wild is one of my absolute favourites – again, I thought the film was absolutely wonderful and Reese played Cheryl so bloody well. It’s definitely a real, raw and emotional story but so uplifting. Great choices! Again, we NEED to collab on something! 🙂 xxx

    • July 24, 2018 / 3:01 pm

      Thanks Jenny! 💖 Aww yes! Wonder really got me too, it’s such a lovely story! The book is just as good, if not better, as you learn more about each character 😍. Wild is amazing, I need to watch the film again soon, it’s so good. And yes please! Would definitely love to collab with you! 😘 xx

  24. July 24, 2018 / 10:33 am

    Love this post as it’s really given me the motivation to make time for reading. I’m going to start by making a list of a few books I’ve been dying to read (Eat, Pray, Love being the top) and start tackling them. Great idea by you and Carrie to collab on.
    Kate x x

    • July 24, 2018 / 3:23 pm

      Thanks so much Kate! 💖 Yay! I’m so glad Eat Pray Love is top of your list, it’s such a brilliant book. So glad you enjoyed the post 😘 xx

  25. July 24, 2018 / 10:39 am

    I loved your review of Blogs Change Lives and definitely need to pick it up! I also loved the movie Eat, Pray, Love but haven’t ever read the book, which is unlike me because I usually like to read books before watching the movies. Wonder and Wild both sound amazing too!
    Soph – x

    • July 24, 2018 / 3:30 pm

      Thanks so much Soph! 💖 Glad you enjoyed the post! Eat Pray Love is such a brilliant film, I have watched it quite a few times now 😄 I’d definitely recommend the book for a more detailed read too 😘 xx

  26. July 24, 2018 / 11:53 am

    Love this! Now I really want to check out all these books!

    • July 24, 2018 / 3:31 pm

      Thank you! 💖 Hope you find some you love 😘 xx

  27. July 24, 2018 / 2:06 pm

    Ahhh this post has come at such a good time as I’m going on holiday soon and I’ve been looking for some good books to take with me! I’ve always wanted to watch Eat Pray Love but I think I may as well read the book first! Thanks for the recommendations!

    • July 24, 2018 / 3:38 pm

      Thanks so much Eva! 💖 Aww yay, that’s so exciting! Eat Pray Love would make fantastic holiday reading. Hope you have an amazing time! 😘 xx

  28. July 24, 2018 / 7:17 pm

    Interestingly, I’ve watched the movies adaptations of the first two books. No prizes for guessing that Julia Roberts is one of my favorite actresses ! Wonder is really close to my heart. But I haven’t yet read the book. Planning to devour it soon.

    Great post Bexa!


    • July 24, 2018 / 8:12 pm

      Thanks Anjali! 💖 Julia Roberts is a brilliant actress isn’t she and so glad she starred in my favourite film adaptations too 😍. Yay! Hope you enjoy Wonder, glad you liked the post lovely 😘 xx

  29. July 24, 2018 / 7:24 pm

    Great book choices! I haven’t read most of them, but they are on my to-read list. Thanks for sharing!

    • July 24, 2018 / 8:12 pm

      Thanks so much Manon! 💖 Hope you enjoy them! 😘 xx

  30. Alice
    July 24, 2018 / 7:24 pm

    Wonder is one of the books on my TBR list!! I haven’t heard of a couple of others in this list, so I will have to check them out.

    Alice //

    • July 24, 2018 / 8:13 pm

      Thanks Alice! 💖 I would definitely recommend Wonder, it’s brilliant 😘 xx

  31. July 25, 2018 / 12:18 pm

    oooo! I need to get my hands on that “Blogs Change Lives” book.

    I get so sick of people saying how easy blogging is… news flash, it isn’t easy – but if you love what you’re blogging about, it makes all the sweat and tears, worthwhile. So a book full of inspiration and positivity is something I need in my life right now 🙂

    Thanks for sharing, Bexa!
    Stef |

    • July 27, 2018 / 12:45 pm

      Thanks so much Stef! 💖 I totally agree, blogging takes up so much time and energy! It’s definitely worth while though. I hope you enjoy reading the book lovely! 😘 xx

  32. July 27, 2018 / 3:29 am

    My brother and my dad read Wonder last year and they loved it! It’s definitely on my list of books to read this summer. Thanks for sharing! I love the pictures you included btw 🙂

    • July 28, 2018 / 5:12 pm

      Thanks so much Melissa! 💖 Wonder is such a brilliant book, I’d definitely recommend it! Glad you enjoyed the post 😘 xx

  33. Asti
    July 27, 2018 / 12:31 pm

    The only book I’ve read of these is Wonder and yes, yes, yes, that book gave me all the feels! I think it’s such a great book for people of all ages to read. I just loved how it made me reflect on my thoughts and behaviours after reading it. It has really stuck with me for a long time.

    I’m curious about Elizabeth Gilbert’s books. I feel like I’ve heard so much about them that I really should take a dive into one to see what it’s like. I think I’m leaning more towards Big Magic though. Have you read that one? As a creative I feel like it could do me some good.

    Anyways, I just stumbled on your blog through your comment at Cissy’s Art Cafe and wanted to say hi! I love finding new blogs 🙂

    • July 28, 2018 / 5:52 pm

      Thanks so much Asti! 💖 I’m so glad you loved Wonder as much as I did, it’s a fantastic book which really makes you reflect. I have read Big Magic and thought it was really inspirational for helping with creativity and trying new things. I would definitely recommend both books but I think Eat Pray Love will always be my fave 😍 Thank you for stopping by, off to check out your blog now! 💕 xx

  34. July 27, 2018 / 5:06 pm

    Oh my if only I had my stock sooner it might’ve been number 5! Ha-ha nice read and some very cool books mentioned. Keep it up!

    • July 28, 2018 / 6:08 pm

      Thanks Jay! 💖 Ha ha yes! Maybe it can have its own blog post if it’s good enough 😜 Glad you liked the choices! xx

  35. July 28, 2018 / 10:20 pm

    I just love these types of posts where I can to find some amazing new reads! I can not believe I still have not gotten around to reading eat pray love! Also, blog changes lives seems like a great book as I can definitely use some inspiration! Added both those books to my reading list! xx

    • July 29, 2018 / 5:38 pm

      Thanks so much Huda! 💖 Glad you enjoyed the post and hope you like the books! 😍 xx

  36. July 29, 2018 / 6:23 pm

    Read “Eat, pray, love” and “Wonder” love both of them. They have a place on my fav. Books shelf. Thanks fot the other two will check them out

    • July 31, 2018 / 7:16 am

      That’s so awesome, glad you love them as much as I do 💖. Definitely would recommend the others. Thank you for checking out the post Marta 😘 xx

  37. July 29, 2018 / 9:04 pm

    Thank you for sharing these, Bexa! I’m adding them all to my list, I wanted to see the film of Wild (I haven’t got around to it yet) and I didn’t know that was a book so I’ll be checking that one out first I think!

    Em ~

    • July 31, 2018 / 7:33 am

      Thanks so much Em! Wild is such a great film, really inspirational, would definitely recommend both the book & film 😘💕 xx

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