My (ever-growing) Book Recommendations List

Nov 28, 2022

I have always been a reader, ever since I was young. I’ve read, sold, donated, downloaded, bookmarked books for as long as I can remember. As a broke college student, I used to go to the local dollar book store. 10 dollars would grant me a year’s supply of new reads. I always suggest buying books second-hand, they’re almost always in great condition and it’s nice knowing the book has been traveling around. After university when I myself embarked on the art of heavy traveling and mostly lived off of my backpack or the two large cases I’d trudge along with me as I relocated from country to country, I faced the reality that I can no longer keep purchasing books. So my brother bought me a kindle in 2017 for Christmas, and then I lost it in China on a shared bike basket in 2019. After a short ceremony with my flatmates mourning my recent loss, I quickly bought a new one with the help of my partner Luis who split the cost with me as a gift. Since then, now as an older, more “grounded” adult, I’ve begun to buy the books I absolutely can’t live without, but most are still located in my Kindle. 

Kindle is one great way of acquiring books because you can either buy them online and get them immediately sent to your kindle orrrrrr you can sneakily download them online for free. A perk that I shouldn’t be proud of but reading can be expensive. 

Last year, with quarantine providing ample time and enrolling in the best Master’s program a Natalie could ever find, I’ve definitely done some reading. Some may say it’s quite a lot. However, my pending need-to-read list is much longer. 



Without You, There Is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea’s Elite by Suki Kim

Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion by Jia Tolentino

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China by Leslie T. Chang


Crossing Boundaries: A Travelers Guide to World Peace by Aziz Abu Sarah

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert – believe it or not, it inspires your to move, take action over your life and dive deep into the unknown. Pretend to be brave – at the moment it doesn’t matter that you’re just pretending because it’s gonna get you to where you need to be. 

Beyond Guilt Trips by Anu Taranath


Race x Gender

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof

Caste: The Origin of our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson

Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do by Jennifer L. Eberhardt  

-OR- a quicker alternative –

Armchair Expert podcast with Dax Shephard featuring Jennifer L. Eberhardt

Privilege, Power, and Difference by Allan G Johnson


Emigration & Immigration 

No Refuge: Ethics and the Global Refugee Crisis by Serena Parekh 

Where Will Everyone Go? ( (article)



Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed To Reverse Global Warming edited by Paul Hawkin

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by William Mcdonough and Michael Braungart

The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace Wells



Animal Liberation: The Definitive Classic of the Animal Movement by Peter Singer

Beasts of Burden: Animal and Disability Liberation by Sunaura Taylor

Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, And Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism by Melanie Joy

Mama’s Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us About Ourselves by Frans De Waal


World Education

Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World – And Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling

The World Becomes What We Teach: Educating a Generation of Solutionaries by Zoe Weil



Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore

Normal People by Sally Rooney

Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer

A Million Little Pieces by James Frey

My Friend Leonard by James Frey

A Bright Shiny Morning by James Frey

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

Living to Tell the Tale by Gabriel García Márquez

Love In The Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez

Perks of Being a Wallflower by Steven Chbosky 

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury

Kafka On The Shore by Haruki Murakami

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Stationary Shop by Marjan Kamali

Love the One You’re With by Emily Griffin


Confidence x Success

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All by Tom and David Kelley

Influencer: The Power to Change Anything by Joseph Grenny

Most Good Least Harm: A Simple Principle for a Better World and Meaningful Life by Zoe Weil

No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions at Work by Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy

Essential Essays by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus (The Minimalists)

The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter–And How to Make the Most of Them Now by Meg Jay



the sun and her flowers by Rupi Kaur

milk and honey by Rupi Kaur 

home body by Rupi Kaur 

I Used to Have a Plan: But Life Had Other Ideas by Alessandra Olanow

How Far You Have Come by Morgan Harper Nichols

Resistance Across Generations by Living Hyphen 

Broken Flowers by Robert M. Drake 

A Brilliant Madness by Robert M. Drake 

How Far You Have Gone: Musings on Beauty and Courage by Morgan Harper Nichols



Do It Yourself: A Motivational Journal by Kara Cutruzzula

301 Writing Ideas

The 5-Minute Journal  by Intelligent Change

The Daily Stoic Journal: 366 Days Of Writing And Reflections On The Art Of Living by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman

The Set Boundaries Workbook: Practical Exercises for Understanding Your Needs and Setting Healthy Limits by Nedra Glover Tawwab




Natalie Amezcua

Natalie (she/her/hers) is a humane educator and solutionary writer living in Los Angeles.



  1. Brewing New Plans for Sonatsays Blog - sonatsays - […] too like to read, and I vow to continue to read and share my readings, although I promise most…

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Natalie is the author of sonatsays – blog. She is a solutionary thinker, dog mom, writer, and advocate for animal protection, environmental conservation, and human rights. Natalie has recently moved to her hometown of Los Angeles after living in Asia for several years to welcome a new chapter.



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