Ten Books to inspire you

Today I’m sharing with you a handful of books that I’ve found really inspiring.

Spring has just about sprung and we are all coming out of what feels like a long winter hibernation. I often turn to books to keep myself mentally energised indoors, when its just too cold and damp to be out and about.

books for inspiring creativity

These are all non-fiction, some fall into the self help genre, some are autobiographical, some perfect for creatives. All are inspiring.

Lets take a look;

ten inspiring books

From Left to Right

  • Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon
  • How to Style Your Brand by Fiona Humberstone
  • #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso
  • The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees
  • The Million Dollar Blog by  Natasha Courtenay-Smith
  • Domino- The Book of Decorating by the editors of Domino.com
  • Do Improvise: Less Push, More Pause by Robert Poynton
  • Nautical Chic by Amber Jane Butchart
  • Life’s Too F***ing Short by Janet Street-Porter
  • Wisdom & Wonder by Kylie Johnson

Dipping in and out of books is how I consume them at the moment. I tend to have around three on the go at any one time.

Steal Like An Artist

I kept hearing about this book, and the sequel. It is a, “manifesto for creativity in the digital age”. Reading this made me feel like I was back at art school, so many of his words ring true for me. His little mantra’s and lists simplify the creative process, that I often am guilty of overthinking. A great book to restart your creative life.

How to Style Your Brand

Another book I bought on the back of it, and the authors reputation. This really helped with my recent rebrand here on the blog. Fiona’s understanding of colour and what it communicates is really interesting. This book is great if you have your own business and/or blog and need to really create a brand that will speak volume to your clients or readers. (scroll down for the chance to win this book)

inspiring books


There’s been a lot of discussion about the recent filing for bankruptcy of Nasty Gal- Sophia Amoruso’s company. But that doesn’t take anything away for me, from her inspiring story of how she began. Going through life, and from job to job feeling uninspired, to finding she had a great artistic eye and a flair for vintage. She started her empire on eBay and it snowballed from there. Really worth a read for every woman today I think.

The Curated Closet

I’m working through this book at the moment. Its a guide on developing your own style and capsule wardrobe building. There are lots of exercises in it and it takes you though each one step by step. I don’t wear most of the clothes I own and I feel I need to refocus and buy things with intention rather than on a whim or to make me feel good or reward myself. Being more thoughtful about fast fashion and where I’m buying from is becoming a bigger deal for me than ever before.

stacked books

The Million Dollar Blog

This book isn’t just for beginners (but it does cover stuff for newbies). I’ve been blogging since 2010 and I’m still learning every single day. I found the interviews in this book especially interesting and inspiring. This book is is really helpful if you (are a blogger obvs) are feeling a little lost or like you need a break from blogging. I read this over Christmas when I took two, much needed, weeks off. I was raring to go after those to weeks partly down to this book.

Domino- The Book of Decorating

An oldie but a goodie. I use this as a reference book mainly, if I’ve seen something online and I’m trying to find similar, this book is great for finding out the proper names of furniture, and the usual dimensions. Great for using as search terms when hunting for bargains on eBay. Did I mention its full of beautiful imagery too? Well despite being first published in 2008, the homes inside haven’t dated- a true testament to timeless style.

books for girl bloggers

Do Improvise

I’m a huge fan of improv comedy and love shows like Whose Line is it Anyway. So when I saw this book it really intrigued me. This book shows you how to apply improvisation to your life, to get better results than perhaps an automated response or a typical response would. Its about dealing with the unplanned and making it work for you.

Nautical Chic

I’m sure I was some kind of seafarer in a past life as I’m just drawn to anything nautical and not just a Breton top. I love a good pirate, fisher(man) and old naval uniforms too. This book covers it all, through history and fashion. Amber is a true expert in her field and her enthusiasm just leaps off the page. A great book for your coffee table as this has loads of beautiful imagery too.

Life’s Too F***ing Short

To be taken with a pinch of salt. You either love or hate JSP, I love her and 90% of this book is great. It funny, inspiring and honest. Some of it is autobiographical, with some ace photos of JSP through the years. Her life experience has obviously formed some of her opinions, not all of which I agree with, but a book to read for keepin’ it real.

books with beautiful binding

Wisdom & Wonder

Whenever I open this book it puts a smile on my face. Filled with meaningful and truthful quotes it is really uplifting. I spotted in on my friend Natasha, aka CandyPop’s, calm and inspiring blog a while ago and I’m so glad I treated myself to it. It’d make a great gift for someone or just for yourself.

As a special treat I’m giving away a copy of How to Style Your Brand over on my Instagram right now- just find the photo below on my feed and follow the instructions.


book giveaway flatlay branding blog

Prize Draw T’s & C’s

  • Entrants in UK only and must be over 18
  • Open until midnight on 25th March 2017
  • Instagram accounts must not be set to private
  • This prize draw is not associated with Instagram in any way
  • Entrants must complete steps in the caption under the photo
  • A winner will be drawn at random and contacted by DM on Instagram
Sign up for my Creative Notes Letters, a personal letter to my readers. I want to keep in touch without depending on social media as I'm trying to use it less, and I know many of you are too CLICK HERE


  1. March 17, 2017 / 8:57 am

    I’m embarrassed to admit I haven’t read any of these books!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. March 17, 2017 / 9:09 am

    I was so excited to see this post pop up! I’ve read three – thanks for the further recommendations! x

    • Susie
      March 20, 2017 / 7:32 pm

      Most welcome lovely!

  3. March 17, 2017 / 9:47 am

    Ah wonderful, thanks for sharing your thoughts on these Sus as many have been on my wishlist for a while! I’ve found it difficult to carve out time to sit down with an ‘improvement’ book – usually I opt for the escapism of fiction – but I think I could learn so much and be inspired so much more with one of these. xx

    • Susie
      March 20, 2017 / 7:34 pm

      Ah I’m the opposite!

  4. March 17, 2017 / 10:11 am

    I’ve not read any of these books and have only heard of the Girl Boss one. I’m not a huge fan of the term ‘girl boss’ but I quite want to read it. Wisdom & Wonder sounds fab 🙂

    • Susie
      March 20, 2017 / 7:36 pm

      Yeah I get what you mean- its a really good read though!

  5. March 17, 2017 / 1:06 pm

    Haha I love JSP but haven’t read it yet (adding it to my list) I am presently reading the milion dollar blog book and loving it ! cool choices thank you! xx

    • Susie
      March 20, 2017 / 7:35 pm

      Knew you’d be a fan of JSP!

  6. March 17, 2017 / 4:12 pm

    Girlboss is the one! every time I flag, I pick it up and read again. It’s about trying. At least she went for it. Really great picks.

    • Susie
      March 20, 2017 / 7:31 pm

      Totally agree!! Thanks darling

  7. March 17, 2017 / 5:13 pm

    Great suggestions. I still need to read Girl Boss and I’d love to win Fiona’s book so have entered the IG comp. Thanks xx

    • Susie
      March 20, 2017 / 7:19 pm

      You’d read Girl Boss so quickly!

  8. katya willems
    March 17, 2017 / 5:14 pm

    Thanks for this Susie. Just the post I needed to read as I need a bit of inspiration today. I’ve gone straight on Amazon and bought 3 of the books you recommended! x

    • Susie
      March 20, 2017 / 7:18 pm

      Aw- happy to help! Which ones, let me know what you think x

  9. March 17, 2017 / 10:47 pm

    Ooh, good choices! I haven’t read any of these, but fancy all of them. I tend to read fiction more, but I think these sorts of books can really inspire and unlock things and ideas within us that we may not have even realised we had in there.

    • Susie
      March 20, 2017 / 7:17 pm

      So true Antonia, let me know if you get any of them

  10. March 19, 2017 / 7:35 am

    I don’t have any of these books! Adding to my amazon wish list now!

    • Susie
      March 20, 2017 / 7:16 pm

      Hey Fritha- I think you’d enjoy these!

  11. March 21, 2017 / 9:29 am

    What a lovely selection of books! More ideas to be added to my ever-growing wishlist….

  12. March 21, 2017 / 9:17 pm

    Some of these books sound great, the blogging ones sound like I could do with them!

  13. March 22, 2017 / 10:48 am

    There are some amazing books on here! I have my eye on Girl Boss and The Million Dollar Blog! x