14 Jan 2018

Reading Corner: What’s On Our List

Reading Corner on vickiarcher.com

You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me. ” C. S. Lewis

What’s better than a short list of books to read?

After the crazy commotion that was December isn’t it just right that we spend time in the cosiest of spots with our nose deep in a book.

Doesn’t that sound perfect?

If there was one genre that I had to choose to explore throughout the New Year it would be the realm of Mindfulness and Self Development.  What better way to beat the January Blues than by inspiring ourselves to lead a happier, fulfilling 2018?

I’ve been an advocate of books that impel me to improve my life for a while now and here’s a selection of those I want to share with you – some I have ticked off my reading list and others I’m looking forward to diving into over the weekend.

Self-Care for the Real World by Nadia Narain & Katia Narain Phillips

A new publication that I’m prepping to read is written by London sisters Nadia and Katia Narain and is set to teach us how looking out for number one holds the key. They believe that if we don’t look after us with love and care then we are unable to look after anybody else. The sisters teach self-care is not selfish but instead an essential gift in order to be able to give back.

“When we feel good about ourselves we do better, kinder things for ourselves and for others, and we naturally let the good things in our lives grow. When we feel bad, we become more selfish and self-absorbed and we don’t have the energy to give to other people or to the things or causes we care about.”

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

An oldie but a goodie for anyone wanting to add to their self-development collection. The Secret has become a worldwide bestseller and almost a holy grail book to many. The book focuses on the law of attraction and teaches that thought is the most powerful force in life.

The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking

The term ‘Hygge’ become a popular buzzword last year and is defined as ‘a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being’. This book gives you practical steps and tips to become more hygge, to focus on the small things that truly matter. And by ‘truly matter’ this means catching up with friends by candlelight. Couldn’t think of anything better.  

The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

Have you ever read a book that has really changed the way you live your life? I have and it’s this one. For anyone wanting to make the most of their mornings instead of hitting the snooze button this one is for you. The Miracle Morning is based on the assertion that how you start your morning largely determines the quality of your day and gives you all the tools you need for the ultimate morning ritual, all before the clocks strike 8 am.

The Wisdom of Sundays by Oprah Winfrey

The Wisdom of Sundays written by Oprah Winfrey looks like it will be the perfect coffee table book to dip in and out of for a little motivation and encouragement. The book is made up of ten sections, all of which offer in-depth, meaningful conversations between Oprah and some of today’s most-admired thought-leaders as they discuss topics from mindfulness, intention, love and connection.

That’s me for today.

Cue the unlimited cups of camomile tea and a large cashmere blanket to cocoon me. 

The Reading Corner

Self-Care for the Real World  ||  The Secret  ||  The Little Book of Hygge  ||  The Miracle Morning  ||  The Wisdom of Sundays

image, the english country home of amanda brooks in architectural digest


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In This Post:



Jane Dunning

Hi Vicki
Sounds like a great idea. You could perhaps also have a section for fiction/memoirs set in Provence. I know of some great stories if you need suggestions, including several that aren’t chicklit.
You very kindly mentioned Thirty-five Minutes from St Tropez some years ago and it caused a sales hike. I’ve just published the sequel called Stolen Summer, a family saga, the main characters being ‘young’ 60 year olds.
I’d be glad to help you with a list of authors should you be interested.
Best wishes


Right now I am re-reading Henry James’ PORTRAIT OF A LADY. It is perfect for a long, cold winter read. What impresses me is the amount of dialogue in this book. Of course there was no TV, smart phones, texting in those days and people actually conversed. It seems as if it is a good life lesson in slowing the pace, and actually exploring other people and their ideas.

Clare Scott

How extraordinary. I am at a spa in South Africa having a much needed break after ‘the season’ and have been introduced to Mindfulness. I am now investigating how to continue either on my own online or find someone near where I live which is in Wilderness South Africa.
I like the idea of a book club.


An online book club is an excellent idea. I love to read and am always open to recommendations. I’ve been avid reader but in 2017 my blogs, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. have filled my spare time. It was insidious, as I became addicted to these forums without even realizing the time being stolen from me. I’ve decided to disconnect from my electronics for the most part and get back to reading. I now have a handful of blogs that I follow.
I actually feel freed!


Queue?? Do you mean there is a queue of books or do you wish to cue the books you will introduce?

Shirley Maurer

Yes – Please DO start an online Book Club!!! I would be very interested! Recently moved to the country and there are no book clubs –


Only fiction, mysteries are my favorite at the moment … I want nothing that is heavy or depressing .. real life supplies enough of that :)

Mary-Jill in Canberra

Agree Candice. Turn on the News if you want heavy or depressing (I haven’t watched the News for years – there’s always someone who will tell you pronto if anything awful happens in the world). It’s quite liberating.

Diane Robertson

I look forward to following you on a reading journey through 2018 and beyond. I am drawn to your eye for beauty and your mind for exploring new and all avenues for our expansion. Look forward to you showing up in my email every morning…..I feel as if I may say….
Hugs to you,
Diane xoxoxox


I have read several of the books on your list and found them informative and inspiring. However, last year I became rather lax in the attempt to improve myself. I discovered Rosamunde Pilcher. My on my oh my. I have read four of these large and charming tomes and have transported my heart and soul to a more calm, simple and comfortable life. There are no lists or rules. They are novels based in her homeland (UK) and introduce us to the most endearing people. People who are kind and thoughtful, honest and hard working. I am hooked and book number 5 is on the way via Amazon. I have passed them on to dear friends who agree that reading is chicken soup for the soul.

Mary-Jill in Canberra

Oh Cheryll … some years ago, a friend and I had a ‘crush’ on Rosamunde Pilcher’s books – couldn’t wait until the next one came out each Christmas! We’d both say we couldn’t bear to finish one as we’d have to wait a whole year for another! I think two of them were made into films. Sadly, although she is still alive and in her ’90’s, she doesn’t write anymore. I agree, they would transport you to another gentle world. Good choice.


OMG!!!!! I still remember the “Summer that I discover Rosamunde Pilcher”.. I was married to an English man then and my lovely “mother in love” introduce me to her books… after almost 30 years.. (1990) .. I can still smell scones, sweetpeas, and trumpets if I close my eyes!!!! I have never discover any author like her…. I have the complete collection and reread some from time to time !!!!

Christine Harris

I’m happy to discover others who share a love for Rosamunde Pilcher. I read Winter Solstice every December dreaming of being transported from sunny LA to snowy Scotland. I agree with Cheryl that it’s refreshing to read about kind characters connected to endearing communities.
I’m all for the online book club and sharing good reads.
I highly recommend The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe. A heartfelt memoir about a book club shared between a mother and son during her treatments for pancreatic cancer. Her legacy is revealed through their memories around books.

Cindy Smith

I just finished Winter Solstice yesterday and absolutely loved it! I am now going to search for more books of hers. A book club sounds wonderful! Love your blog!

Lynne Savage

I am approaching 70 and my 50th wedding anniversary and I can attest that a state of hygge eclipses anything youth has to offer. Bliss. Yes please, an online bookclub.

Catherine Baudet

A book club is a fabulous idea and I would be an avid follower. Reading and learning are so important and the internet takes us away from the sustained power of good books.

Mary-Jill in Canberra

Agree wholeheartedly! 14 years ago, in my mid-fifties, at a time when I desperately needed it, I discovered Tony Robbins, Esther Hicks, Oprah and Rhonda Byrne, who – each in their own way – introduced me to the concept of ‘Mindfulness’ ( … when the student is willing, the teacher appears …). Now 68, I still take their books off the shelf or listen to their CDs when I need a bit of a motivational prod. But I also like reading, what I call ‘nice, gentle’ books by authors such as Rosamunde Pilcher, Fern Britten, Carole Matthews, Jane Green, Celia Imre, Wendy Harmer, Madeleine St John – who write about interesting issues we all can relate to at some time in everyday life … and I can understand how some people might call this ‘chick lit’, but I love it! And who cares? Read what you enjoy, what motivates and inspires you. I don’t believe there’s a need to stick to one genre. And then, of course, there are the Olive Farm books by Carol Drinkwater and the lovely Provence books by Peter Mayle. I’ve participated in a neighbourhood book club since the early ‘90s (the idea was born on a girls’ weekend away in the mountains with a group of neighbourhood mums). THIS is where I am introduced to different genres I’d never thought of reading – some good, some simply of no interest to me – but I try to get through each book each month to open my mind to something different, and often surprisingly enjoyable. Having said that, I refuse to read anything graphic about murder, children or animals being hurt and sometimes war stories, as they simply don’t uplift me … rather, the opposite … (much the same reason as I don’t watch the News … someone will always tell you if there’s something awful happening in the world). I’m looking forward to suggestions here.

Vannessa Vinos

Great books. I’ve read all of them apart from The Secret which I personally felt misled people into how the Law of Attraction works. It was all about visualising the “shiny toys” and I just didn’t enjoy it despite being a student of the LoA for about 15 years now. I am currently reading You Are The Placebo by Dr Joe Dispenza (which is linked to the Law of Attraction but from a more neuro-scientific perspective). Love the sound of the book club :-)


Vicki, this is another wonderful idea. I am sure this book club would spark great conversations.

Lynn Ann

Count me in…I can’t wait to join you! I love reading almost more than anything else. I look forward to the journey ahead!!


Hi Vicki… your energy is amazing, if you care enough to start a book club for all of us in 2018 with all that you have already planned, then it will be a privilege to read your suggestions. Count me in.


Hi Vicki
A book club sounds an absolutely wonderful idea. I can’t think of a better way to start 2018. Please count me in.


That’s a yes to the online book club 👍🏼🙌🏼🤓📚📔📘📗📕
I’m going to find the Danish Hygge book. Sounds just what I need and I have a wonderful Danish friend,
I’m sure I can make her laugh at my pronounciations.


Yes I love the book club idea! I agree with many who say that it’s not necessarily books on mindfulness that make you feel good but an escape and feeling of not wanting to put a book down because as well as enjoying the storyline, it also gives you the feeling of relaxation and a break away from the everyday life. Sometimes books that suggest you should be following a path of mindfulness make life more stressful if not
achieved whereas an escape into a good book can have the most positive and calming effect of all. Agree with the Olive Farm series of books – loved them all, in particular the photograph books of the farmhouse.


Good morning Vicki! Somehow, your post just barely got into my email, but here I am. It’s a holiday here in the states today, and there’s freshly fallen snow. It’s a perfect day for a good read, and Hygge!

You always have the best suggestions for beauty on the exterior as well as developing an unending internal beauty. HUGS to you!

Terri Ward

Vicki, This sounds like a wonderful idea! Reading is one of my favorite pasttimes as well, so I love the idea of a book club. Please count me in!


Hygge, I am all for it. I set a goal this year to make my home and my parents’ as comfortable as possible.
And they aren’t particularly self-improvement oriented, but speaking of page turners, I have certainly enjoyed Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. I discovered them a about three years ago and am on my second read through. Talk about a great escape! Just a suggestion.

Kaaren Eastwood

what a fabulous idea! I belong to a book club here in Australia. A group of friends meet up every 6 weeks at different places and we each take turns in choosing a book to read. Lots of laughs, fun ,wine and cheese etc…. or lunch at a coffee shop or new place. Count me in!

Terrel Drendel

Count me in for the book club. Love to read and so happy to discover some new books to read through everyone’s comments. There are so many great books so maybe there could be a page someplace where we could share our favorites.


Absolutely love the room you’ve pictured here. Such warmth and comfort – and all the fabulous books. It has personality and soul. It doesn’t look as though the books have been bought by the yard by a decorator – more as though the owner really loves and reads them.
I read voraciously and always have but don’t limit myself to any particular genres, though I do like biographies, autobiographies, travel tales, good literature, books set in France, etc. Like everyone else, enjoyed the Peter Mayles, the Olive Farm series and also Mary Moody on the Lot/Dordogne and Lady Fortescue on Provence. Also books about life in Italy, eg Frances Mayes. Of course, books by and about the Mitfords and their circles (including the hilarious/biting Evelyn Waugh) take up a lot of shelf spaces in our home. My husband has a personal library comprising books by every writer who won the Nobel Prize for Literature and he’s read at least one work by every one of them. I dip into some of them too – and have been stunned by how brilliant they were and how much I enjoyed them.

The best book club I ever belonged to was the one at the National Gallery of Oz where the fabulous convenor chose books I never would have known about or thought of – but I really enjoyed the challenge and interest of moving outside my normal comfort zone. I love to see people’s recommendations – the Mary Lovell book I’m currently finishing and have really enjoyed was recommended by a number of bloggers as well one of my special friends. You just know some people have excellent taste in books. In the past I sometimes used to meet up with a woman at work functions (she was the wife of the Head of a Government Department), who was a great reader so I always asked for her latest recommendations. Every book she recommended was superb and one I wouldn’t otherwise have been aware of. Best wishes, Pamela

sue graham

Hi Vicki,had a book for Christmas from a friend, going to start it tonight while enjoying a glass of wine- The probability of love by Hannah Rothschild looking forward to reading this.xx😁


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