New Book Raves & Review: Tarte, Wiest, and More

posted by

Anastasiya Tkachenko

follow @chenko_tk

Copywriter and Blogger behind The Journal. This is where I like to ask & answer questions, document travels, and share my world with you. I'm so happy you're here. 

Travel Guides
Books & Film
Ask & Answer
more categories

Hi, I'm Anastasiya

The Beauty of Books

I haven’t always been an avid or enthusiastic reader, but I have always loved books. 

The nostalgic smell, the texture of the pages, the excitement of walking through a bookstore…

Or what about the enchantment of finding small bookshops, missing the characters after finishing the story, the comfort of keeping a stack on my nightstand, and collecting special editions?

The list goes on & on.

I transitioned from just collecting books to loving reading when I found The Paris Wife by Paula McLain.

It was fate.

Technically, I found The Paris Wife, but I think most books find us.

They just know we need them.

For years, my favorite time of day to read was on my train ride to University.

I looked forward to it every single day.

And that’s what makes a great book. 

Holding a story in our hands that we crave to read…

Adding a new book to my collection is like finding a new friend, and just like a friend, books have the ability to bring us joy, soothe us, and inspire our imagination.

But if anything, it’s a ride of adventure.

I hope the books in my list below bring you lots of joy like they did for me.



The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt 

Beautiful, Incredibly Written, One-Of-A-Kind

I don’t think I’ll ever find the right words to describe how incredible this book is.

It’s long (nearly 771 pages) with fairly small print, but every single word has a purpose.

Every sentence is perfectly articulated.

You’re immediately drawn in by the plot, and you feel so deeply for the characters as soon as you meet them. So much so that I would wake up in the morning and think “I wonder how Theo’s doing?”

It’s a read that’ll keep you longing for more, and I refused to finish it.

Seriously, I started the book in 2019 and purposely stopped myself from finishing it nearly 10 times.

Taking month-long breaks (a 6-month break at one point) at a time because I was too nervous to live without this book. 

Please, go to the bookstore and pick up this book today. You won’t regret it.

The Big Leap, by Gay Hendricks 

Satisfying, Encouraging, Helpful 

The Big Leap is an easy-to-understand, best-selling book all about how to go beyond the internal limits that you’ve set for yourself, essentially learning how to break through your Upper Limits.

His writing is so easy and enjoyable to read through, but it’s the true stories and experiences of his clients that really draw you in.

He spotlights the upper-limit problem his clients have experienced (and his own), and how that has affected their relationship with themselves, their personal and professional lives, and overall physical and mental health.

This is a fantastic book for anyone who feels like they’re standing in the way of satisfying their own happiness and fulfillment in their life.

Within the first 10 pages, you’ll be saying “wow” by the relevancy of his findings, and quickly recognizing your own upper-limit problems.

A must-read if you’re interested in breaking through self-imposed barriers and shooting for the stars.

The Mountain Is You, by Brianna Wiest  

Courageous, Comforting, Revealing

If you’re looking to face yourself, read The Mountain Is You.

This one-of-a-kind masterpiece on self-sabotage will gently force you to take a good look at yourself and examine your habits of self-sabotage…

Specifically identifying “why we do it, when we do it, and how to stop doing it – for good.”

Brianna Wiest writes so poetically that you’ll read through the book like a long prose poem while illuminating your inner self all at the same time.

It’s a ride, but 100% worth it.

It’s a book to have near you when times get tough, or for a burst of inspiration. 

In my own experience, I had to take a break halfway through because Brianna’s points were just so raw and revealing that I wasn’t ready to unlock the rawness within me.

But after some time, I came back to the book and finished it.

And I’m so happy I did so.

Get the book, take a deep breath, and start reading.

It’ll change your life, I promise.

The Secret Language of the Universe, by Laura Lynne Jackson

Enchanting, Shocking, Hopeful 

All I can say is wow.

Whether you’re a believer in life after death or not, this is an excellent book to read to see how truly connected we all are, in our physical bodies and beyond.

Laura Lynne Jackson does a great job of composing easy-to-read and enjoyable stories of her clients who have experienced the secret language of the universe, specifically from loved ones who have passed on.

Laura Lynne Jackson is a “…psychic medium that can communicate with loved ones that have passed, convey messages of love and healing, and impart a greater understanding of our interconnectedness.”

Through her collection of stories of her clients, she describes their stories and the signs they’ve received from loved ones who have passed on.

She shows us how even when our loved ones have crossed and are no longer physically here, they continue to communicate with us and send us signs of their love.

Whether it’s random sightings of pandas, peaches, or even red balloons, Laura Lynne Jackson does an incredible job showing us how interconnected we all are.

You will be in awe.  

Audible Books

Finding Me, by Viola Davis 

Life-changing, Shocking, Inspiring 

What a seriously beautiful book and fascinating read.

Viola Davis, an Academy Award-winning artist and beloved actor, exposes herself and her life to the world in this unbelievably revealing and honest memoir about her life, her voice, and her truth.

I purposely downloaded the audible version because I wanted to hear her story through her voice.

Viola’s voice is so passionate, strong, and powerful that I knew listening to her read her memoir would be an experience I knew I needed to have.

And boy was I right!

As soon as I listened to her opening, I was in tears.

Her story is anything but easy, it’s devastating to hear about her upbringing.

But I am so thankful she shared her story with the world to inspire all of our creative expression and self-discovery. 

It’s so good that I’ve re-played her book three times.

If you listen to only one audible, choose Finding Me.

Why Not Me? and Nothing Like I Imagined, by Mindy Kaling

Hilarious, Joyful, Heart-Warming  

Mindy Kalling makes me smile just listening to her narrate her books, and I wish I had a 10-hour version to listen to all day.

Both of these books are so funny and interesting, and I genuinely felt excited to continue listening to her stories about her life, relationships, career, and everything in between.

If you want to feel like you’re driving around town with a friend who keeps talking about all the surprising, random, vulnerable, and shocking moments that are going on in their life, then download any of Mindy Kaling’s books.

You will thoroughly enjoy listening to her hilarious collection of essays where you’ll feel like you’re sitting at brunch, with your good friend, just hearing all about her exciting and complicated life navigating Hollywood.  

Big Money Energy, by Ryan Serhant 

Motivating, Kick-Ass, Effective

If you need a healthy dose of motivation, then pick up a copy of Big Money Energy by billion-dollar Broker, Ryan Serhant ASAP.

Reading BME will motivate you plenty through Ryan’s lively and shocking stories of success from Million Dollar Listing NY, to wild clients, to opening his own brokerage.

But if you really want a kick of motivation and inspiration, download his audible to feel a true sense of urgency to succeed.

Not only will his career from broke agent to billion-dollar broker truly amaze you, but through his stories and doses of encouragement, he will make you feel like anything is possible.

He’ll reassure you that you are 100% capable of achieving any of your biggest, and wildest dreams…

No matter if you’re a real estate agent or barista.

This book isn’t just for hungry real estate agents, it’s for anyone that’s hungry to succeed, ready to take on their biggest goals head one, and take the necessary steps to go from zero to hero. 

You’re gonna LOVE IT.

Think Like A Monk, by Jay Shetty 

Loving, Healing, Practical 

If there’s no other reason you download Think Like A Monk, other than to listen to Jay Shetty’s soothing voice, then I still encourage you to do so.

He does have a very lovely, soothing voice, but his wise words, thoughts, and teachings will fill you up.

Other than Jay’s lovely voice, the lessons you will take away from his mastermind of a book will leave you feeling refreshed, and like you just sat through a healing meditation.

Even if you think you’ve never heard of Jay Shetty, you most likely have seen his videos across social media.

“In 2018, he had the #1 video on Facebook with over 360 million views. His social media following totals over 38 million, he has produced over 400 viral videos which have amassed more than 8 billion views, and his podcast, On Purpose, is consistently ranked the world’s #1 Health and Wellness podcast.”

You’ll be pleasantly surprised by what he teaches you.

Look at you, you made it to the end of my list! I’m proud of you.



P.S. Have you been to Aspen lately?

Great, here’s my guide for spending 48 Hours in Aspenwhat to do, where to eat, and how to enjoy.

Comments +

  1. ufabet911 says:

    Very well presented. Every quote was awesome and thanks for sharing the content. Keep sharing and keep motivating others.

  2. I just like the helpful information you provide in your articles

  3. This was beautiful Admin. Thank you for your reflections.

  4. You’re so awesome! I don’t believe I have read a single thing like that before. So great to find someone with some original thoughts on this topic. Really.. thank you for starting this up. This website is something that is needed on the internet, someone with a little originality!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

A Beginner's Guide To Beauty 

A Simple, Beginner's Guide To Building Your Own Sephora Makeup Collection That You'll Love.



Skip the brewery (this time) and head out on the town to spend some quality time with your lover. Here's 12 ideas for your next date night in Denver. 



stay a while & devour

THE journal

a little lovin' in your


Weekly emails filled with my favorite things, travel guides, resources, exclusive updates, oh and secrets...from me, just for you. Join The Newsletter. 

look inside my mind