Each of these nonfiction books really made an impact in my life. Some more than others. A few are about being chic. A few are about being yourself (or like Audrey). Some are about being Parisian, or single, or healthy.
Anyways, I’m here to share them with you. There’s nothing like a good book to read on a boring old flight. Well, besides an in-flight movie. But, a book is likely to be better than a movie, in my not-so-humble-opinion. And don’t forget, some of us fly with the budget airlines.
20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris
I think this book started it all. One day I was a strictly fiction girl, and then next, I’m devouring posh prose in the form of nonfiction books. And, it’s all thanks to this book. Well, and also because I was wandering around a bookstore one day, and accidentally stumbled into the nonfiction section. That’s when a pretty little book caught my eye, and said “bonjour!” Okay, so it didn’t speak for real, but it did speak to me. I mean, who can’t resist a book cover with a watercolor sketch of a tall, cool Parisian woman that simply exudes class and sophistication?
What The New York Times‘ says: “A guide for women who yearn to channel Audrey Tautou. . . . Personable, anecdote-filled, and studded with lifestyle tips . . . its vivacity and sincerity have struck a chord among women who would like a French role model of their own, but don’t have a year to spend apprenticing with one in Paris.”
#2 – The Single Woman
Love, Life, and a Dash of Sass
This is a “must have” book for all single women. Mandy Hale is such a gifted writer, and expresses many wonderful ideas throughout the book. She encourages women to become exactly who they want to be. And how a woman with an active and vibrant life is so much more attractive than a woman who waits around for Prince Charming to validate her existence.
My two favorite quotes from the book:
“Not everyone has to ride off into the sunset with a man. Some of us just want a tan.”
“There is no model, no actress, no Miss America contender that can outshine a happy, confident, secure woman.”
Summary: “Mandy Hale, also known by her many blog readers and Twitter fans as The Single WomanTM, shares her stories, advice, and enthusiasm for living life as an empowered, confident, God-centered woman who doesn’t just resign herself to being single—she enjoys it! Being single has had its stigmas, but Mandy proves it has its advantages too, and she uses wisdom and wit to inspire her fellow single ladies to celebrate and live fully in the life God has given them.”
The Art of Living with Style, Class, and Grace
I found this book to be refreshing, and a delight to read. It might be more suited to girls in their late teens, but still, it was definitely a classy book. It’s full of smart quotes, entertaining quizzes, and advice on fashion, friends, and life.
Summary: “In a society driven by celebutante news and myspace profiles, women of class, style and charm are hard to come by. The Audrey and Katharines of the world continue to lose their luster as thongs, rehab and outrageous behavior burn up the daily headlines. But, despite appearances, guys still want a girl they can take home to their mom, employers still like to see a tailored suit and peers still respect classy conduct. So is it possible to maintain old fashioned virtues in a modern world without looking like a starchy Amish grandma? Christy shows women how in this guide to glamorous style, professional success and true love…the classy way.”
Mishaps and Miracles on the Road to Happily Ever After
This was one of those books that you read in a period of a few days, put it down, and acknowledge to yourself, “This book has changed me.” While reading it, I found myself laughing, and crying, and laughing some more. Mandy Hale tells her story in such an entertaining way, every page will have you hooked.
Summary: “Wrong turns, humiliating flops, painful heartbreaks–and happiness? Yes, believe it or not, they can go hand in hand. Blogger and author Mandy Hale, affectionately known as “The Single Woman” to her half-million social-media followers, is living an adventurous life that proves even our lowest lows and messiest mess-ups can point us toward our joy-filled destiny as single women. Mandy delivers heart-to-heart, often hilarious stories from a life filled with love and loss, glamour and goose bumps, faith and friendship, big dreams and battle scars.”
#5 – Eat Pretty
Nutrition for Beauty, Inside and Out
Here are two reasons why you should read this book: One, the cover is so gosh darn pretty. Two, the content is so gosh darn pretty. But seriously, this book has a lot of good information, and is written in a way that makes it fun to read.
I grew up in a health conscious family, and I’ve been a party to plenty of different diets. This book gives insights on what specific foods help with maintaining & improving your health. Eat Pretty also features four chapters for the four seasons in a year, so you can eat according to what’s in season.
Summary: “Nutrition is the fastest-rising beauty trend around the world.Eat Pretty simplifies the latest science and presents a userfriendly program for gorgeous looks, at any age, that last a lifetime. Buzzwords like antioxidants, biotin, and omega-3sare explained alongside more than 85 everyday foods, each paired with their specific beauty-boosting benefit: walnuts for supple skin, radishes for strong nails. But healthful ingredients are just one aspect of beauty nutrition.
Eat Pretty offers a full lifestyle makeover, exploring stress management, hormonal balance, and mindful living. Charts and lists, plus nearly 20 recipes, make for a delicious and infinitely useful package—in the kitchen, at the grocer, and on the go.”
Love, Style, and Bad Habits
This may be my most favorite out of this list of nonfiction books. At the very least, this book is the most entertaining. Paris is like a dream to a lot of Americans. We use dozens of Parisian words and phrases – à la carte, avant-garde, fiancé, touché, debutante – without a second thought. We know that Paris is always a good idea (Thank you, Sabrina). We envy the Parisians’ magical diet that keeps them trim (as Jennifer Scott says, “Snacking is so not chic”). We know that Parisians have je ne sais quoi, and that it’s something to strive for. But, how do they do it? What makes a Parisian a real Parisian? Besides being born in Paris, that is. This book covers it all, and sheds light on a lot of things.
On the Back of the Book: “Very, very funny. While reading, I actually felt chicer, wittier, and très Parisienne. I was laughing out loud by the end.” – Plum Sykes
Summary: “In short, frisky sections, these Parisian women give you their very original views on style, beauty, culture, attitude and men…
Talented bohemian iconoclasts with careers in the worlds of music, film, fashion and publishing, they are untypically frank and outspoken as they debunk the myths about what it means to be a French woman today. Letting you in on their secrets and flaws, they also make fun of their complicated, often contradictory feelings and behavior. They admit to being snobs, a bit self-centered, unpredictable but not unreliable. Bossy and opinionated, they are also tender and romantic. “
I hope you enjoyed this list! Have you read any of these books before? Which one is your favorite? What classy nonfiction books do you recommend?
Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. But, as usual, I never promote anything that I don’t love myself!