My Favorite Books: Books for the College Girl

When I post about what I’m reading on Instagram, I’m frequently asked about my favorite books or for book recommendations! But it’s a struggle because it’s so difficult for me to pick ‘favorite books’! Of course, I’ve wanted to write this post for y’all, and I always love hearing what you’d like to see on my blog. But picking favorite books is about as difficult as picking a favorite flavor of ice cream… I just love them all! It’s just too hard to pick favorites when there are so many books I love and enjoy for different reasons.

In this post, I’m going to try my best to sum up a few of my favorite books from the last year or so. I’ve also got a stack of new books to be read and an even longer list of ones to be bought. If there’s a certain category of books (like self-help, Christian, fiction, etc.) you’d like my recommendations on, I’d be happy to help! You can also see the list of all the books I’ve read this year right here. I’d recommend any of them I’ve read recently and many were recommended by my lovely readers like you! Also, I’m always on the hunt for the best book prices, and I usually buy from Amazon or Thriftbooks! Click any of the book titles below to shop them.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission from purchases through them, at no additional cost to you. See Disclaimer for further detail. Cover photo courtesy of IvoryMix.
The Best Books I've Read this Year
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My Current Favorite Books

  • Emily Ley – Grace Not Perfection (and A Simplified Life)

    • If I had to pick just one favorite, Grace Not Perfection is it. (And not just because I love it so much my momma got me a signed copy!) I love this book because even just the title is a mantra I couldn’t have said better myself. I love this book because I see so much of myself (and who I’d like love to be in the future) in Emily Ley. She is so inspiring to me and I recommend both of her books for any woman at any age. When I first read this book when I was 18, I knew it’d be one that I’d keep around and re-read as I grow. And I’ve already read it twice, which I hardly ever do! I’m going to stop talking about how much I enjoy this book so I actually recommend some others in this post :).
  • J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter series

    • This is easily my favorite series ever! These books were a family favorite and we’re proud owners of all 8 DVDs (still, ha!). I’m definitely team Book-Before-Movie, but I also think the movies are some of the best books-turned-movies I’ve seen. If you haven’t read these, I highly recommend. I read them all first in fourth or fifth grade! Also, I’m a Hufflepuff, just in case you were wondering.
  • Jodi Picoult – Nineteen Minutes

    • I’ve made it a personal goal to read all of Jodi Picoult’s many many I’ve listed this one in particular because it sticks out the most from her books I’ve read. Nineteen Minutes is a tad graphic and much more gruesome, tragic, and dark than books I usually enjoy. I will include this as a trigger warning because it contains extremely harsh topics and the story of a school shooting. I’m including this book on this list more to recommend Jodi as an author, but also because I simply could not put this book down! I talked about it so much while reading it that my best friend purchased the e-version and read along. I want to emphasize that the topic of this books is in no way my favorite, but in today’s age especially, it’s an incredibly compelling and wonderfully written story.
  • Chip & Joanna Gaines – the Magnolia Story

    • Like Grace Not Perfection and a Simplified Life, this book by the famous Gaines duo was so moving and inspirational to me, as a faith-based-aspiring-entrepreneur. In this book, Chip and Jo tell “their story” of how they met and grew their business and brand. Their story inspires me to keep chasing my passions, regardless of what everyone else is doing. I nearly read this in a single sitting, and I recommend it if you love following their story like I do! I’m so inspired by people like the Gaines’s or Emily Ley that are successfully doing what I want to do. If you love to read, I’d recommend checking out some books like these from people who inspire you!
    • READ MORE: My Trip to Magnolia Market
  • Jessica Park – 180 Seconds

    • I’m including this one because it also stands out among the many great books I’ve read recently! My mom recommended this one to me and I’m so glad she did. This story is different than what I was expecting and is part-cheesy-love-story, but it’s got some unexpected twists that make it a stand-out in my mind. This is a sweet story and will give you that much-needed perspective shift to appreciate life and love a little more!

Books on my wish-list: Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis, Love Does by Bob Goff, Go Bravely by Emily Wilson; more from Jodi Picoult

Books Every College Girl Should Read

It was way too difficult to narrow it down to just a few ‘favorites’, but I hope this helps! Like I said, you can also check out the full list of all the books I’ve read in 2018 if you want to see more. I’m always open to your favorite book recommendations  (Girl Wash Your Face has been recommended to me so many times, it’ll definitely be the next one I buy). Thanks for reading!



I'm Kristen, a small business owner living in the sunny state of Florida. I blog about running my Etsy shop (Lemon and Lily Co.), small business tips, & lifestyle content. I'm all about community over competition & finding the joy in every day.


  1. Briana
    September 12, 2018

    I love reading, I’ll put a few of these on my list!


    1. kristenshane_
      September 16, 2018

      Hope you love them! I love hearing from fellow book-lovers!

  2. Hayden
    September 13, 2018

    Going to have to add these to my list!

    Hayden //

    1. kristenshane_
      September 16, 2018

      I hope you like them!! 🙂


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