Here is Jessica in the Kitchen’s 2018 Reading List! It features a range of self help books, memoirs, and adventure books. It also features some of Jessica in the Kitchen’s favourite podcasts.

A collection of books on a white background.

I know it’s April. But I asked you guys last month if you still wanted to see my reading list in this Instagram post and it was a rounding yes! It’s been a slow reading year for me so far. It got a bit hard to read while travelling, but since being back home I’ve been able to read more/listen to more audiobooks. Here’s my 2018 Reading List! I’ll also be sharing my favourite books from 2017!

I realised that I love Kindle books and audiobooks, but I also love a physical book. Turning pages, and not looking at a screen has its own amazing benefits. So this post will be a mix of the two. I’ll also include some podcasts I’ll be getting into since they kind of go hand in hand. I absolutely love podcasts!!


  1. GRIT: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth – this book has been on my reading list for like two years, so I am finally putting it to the forefront. For me, GRIT is what really makes a business and a principal I live by, so I can’t wait to read more about it.
  2. Year of Yes:How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes – after listening to her episode on Super Soul Sundays, I have been hooked on Shonda’s concept of “eating only what I crave”. It sounds simple, but it highlights that suffering for suffering sake isn’t worth it. This morning I was craving tofu scramble, so I had tofu scramble. As a result, I didn’t spend my entire day thinking about tofu scramble and feeling unsatisfied. That concept alone makes me want to read this entire book. Also, Shondaland.
  3. Originals: How None Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant – I heard about this book on Casey Neistat’s vlog, and the concept completely grabbed me. I spent a lot of my life trying to fit in, and 2018 hit with my word dare I’ve realised that I have been purposefully stepping out as much as possible. Embracing my skin colour. Embracing my Jamaican culture. My accent. All the things that make me different. I’m hoping this book will be a further reminder to not conforming, but instead breaking the mold in the ways I know how to.
  4. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed – I’ve been looking forward to this since listening to Cheryl’s podcast episode on Super Soul Sundays! It seems like a beautiful memoir that will be filled with lots of lessons.

  5. A Simplified Life by Emily Ley – this book is such a nice and straight forward read. It’s more like a guide, to get your life together. If you’re currently spring cleaning – definitely grab this! I’ve been using the Simplified Planner for about 4 years now, and it’s completely changed my approach to using a planner. As soon as this big came out I bought it!
  6. You are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero – yes Jen! I’ve been listening to this audiobook and I love it already!! I mean the title is straight forward, but this is all about shifting your perspective towards money. This happened for me last year, and this book helps to reiterate it, especially when I inevitably get scared or worried. ABUNDANCE mindset, straight ahead!
  7. 200 Women: Who Will Change The Way You See The World by Geoff Blackwell, Ruth Hobday, Sharon Gelman, Marianne Lassandro, and Kieran Scott – I’ve been reading this book since January on and off. It’s that kind of book. The one you go to to pluck any story for inspiration, to show you just how amazing these women (and all women) are. Whether you’re a man or a woman, the stories in this book are absolutely incredible. I love how the photos taken of these women capture their ever essence, too.
  8. A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James – the Mr. and I saw this book last year at a book sale outside Whole Foods. I had to pick it up. Marlon James won so many awards for this, so I’m interested to dig deep into this novel written by a fellow Jamaican.
  9. Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown – this book was recommended to me by my amazing developer Brandi from Alchemy and Aim. I don’t know much about this book except the title, but everything Brene Brown does amazes me!
  10. Spark Joy – An Illustrated Master Class On The Art of Organizing and Tidying Up by Marie Kondo – PSA I totally photographed the wrong Marie Kondo book for that photo above! I loved her last book, and really wanted to read this follow up. Also, I love how organised even down to my thoughts felt after her first book, so I’m looking forward to that feeling again.
  11. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou – I got this book about three Christmases ago. I asked for this book. I’ve been afraid to read this book. Now that the great Maya Angelou has passed (RIP to such an amazing soul), it seems like a shame not to read it. I listened to a podcast that she did with Oprah in February while I was in California and the book immediately made it onto my reading list after hearing some more of her incredibly wise words. I’m preparing to cry throughout this book, and to be incredibly moved at the same time.
  12. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell I started to read this book almost 10 years ago when I was like 17. It’s my mom’s book, and when I moved out when I got married, I took it with me. Oops, sorry mom hehe. It’s slowly been finding it’s way onto my bookshelf and into my viewing site and I really want to finish it.
  13. Hunger by Roxane Gay – While I don’t know much about this book yet, it was recommended over and over. Any memoir about a journey with food and our body should be required reading by any woman, especially if it hasn’t been a great journey. I’m excited, scared and interested to see how this book helps me th
    is year.

  14. Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. Oh, Brene. Heart winner. This book lines up exactly with my 2018 word of DARE. I’m almost finished with this book and one of the founding philosophies that I love in it is that of the man of the arena. I highly recommend this book – you feel like an immediate badass and filled with more courage after just a few chapters!
  15. The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz – this book was recommended by a new friend and after looking into it, I can’t wait to give it a read. The four agreements are said to be truly freeing, and I’m looking forward to that feeling. Working online means you can get really wrapped in others’ opinions sometimes, so I know I need this book.
  16. Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life by Byron Katie – the principal behind these four questions saved me dozens of arguments and sad times last year. After that I wanted to learn so much more about Byron Katie’s work in more detail. These four questions will completely change every negative/challenging reaction you have, leaving way more time for love and understanding in your life.
  17. Playing Big by Tara Sophia Mohr – I started this book last year and I can’t wait to finish it this year. What an inspiring book to encourage women to STRIVE for what they want, and to not hold back. Playing big is all about that – playing big and really going after what you want in the biggest way, despite that inner critic, and in union with your inner mentor. Although I feel it’s geared towards women, men could easily listen to this book too. This has to make my reading list.
  18. Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed – I’m actually finished with this book, but I will be reading this book throughout the year. It’s filled with quotes that are so helpful and direct, that you wonder if it was written specifically for you. Turn to any page in this book, and you’ll get inspiration, white hot truths, and the courage to go on.
  19. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath & Dan Heath – my brother suggested this book to me, and the reviews look amazing. I have a few projects coming up that I would love to apply some more detail to, and I know this will help with that!

Jessica reading a book in a bookstore.


1. Super Soul Sundays by Oprah Winfrey – I mean. I’ve always been an Oprah fan. I started to listen to Cardi B’s latest album because Oprah recommended it. This podcast is next level ‘perfection’ for me!! You will learn a multitude of lessons with each episode, so grab a pen and paper if you need it!!

2. Being Boss by Kathleen Shannon and Emily Thompson – I love these girls! Filled so much #girlboss love and lessons, I love their approach to work life and getting the most out of your day for your business.

3. The Marie Forleo Podcast by Marie Forleo – I have always loved this podcast!

4. Philosophize This by Stephen West – this is my husband’s favourite podcast, and interestingly enough I’ve gotten into it when he listens to it. It’s great for challenging your point of view and learning so much about history.

My Favourite Books from 2017

This list wouldn’t be complete without sharing my favourite books from last year. In no particular order:

  1. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert – hmm, okay well this is actually my favourite book from last year. If you’re a creative, or just a breathing human being, this book is for you. TO reach into your soul, bring out that fear, and tell it kindly that you don’t need it to go after your wildest dreams. This book truly transformed my entire year. I couldn’t recommend it enough.
  2. You are a Badass by Jen Sincero – this BOOK! If you need a good positive kick, this book will get you there. Filled with harsh truths that we all need to hear (at least I did), I truly felt like a badass with the turning of every single chapter.
  3. Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur – Well. I bawled my eyes out reading these poems. When I was a child, I used to write poetry a lot. I have books filled with poems, and I’ve done some spoken word poetry when I was younger. So this was like a trip down memory lane. I connected with so much of Rupi’s immigrant stories. I know I want to revisit it this year again.
  4. The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur – this book uplifted my soul. Whereas I felt all my feelings coming to the surface with her previous book, I felt like a beautiful and empowered woman with this book. Especially if you’re a woman of colour, there will be stories that hit home hard (see page 227). I really felt like a beautiful flower reaching for the light of the sun whilst reading this book.
  5. The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein – I mean HONESTLY, Gabby. The five principles from this book are now on my wall in front of me as I type, to remind me daily. “When you think you’ve surrendered, surrender more.” hit me like a brick. This is such a powerful book and one I refer to every single month since reading it.
  6. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho – wow! When people tell you to read the Alchemist, read it, trust me. Although this is a fictional book, it relates so much to the adventures of life, big or small. I loved that I got a hard copy of this book because I took it everywhere with me!! I laughed, and cried and reflected throughout this book.
  7. How to Be a Bawse by Lilly Singh – this was the first audiobook I ever listened to! It made me fall in love with audiobooks, and I loved the lessons that I learned here. PERFECT for a total #girlboss mood!!
  8. Chasing Slow by Erin Loecher – I started this book and then stopped it, in truth it didn’t connect with me at first. Then I picked it up again, and BOY did I pummel through it. I picked it back up when I truly needed it, and it connected 100% with me. For someone with anxiety like me that can really destroy you, it was a solid reminder that as much as I love work, I need days off. I need time with family. I NEED social media breaks. Also, I love that it’s written from a blogger too, so she really gets it!
  9. The Technium: 1,000 True Fans by Kevin Kelly – not a book, but too important to not include. I need to read this again. Everyone needs to read this once a year. Whether you’re a business person or something who just wants to better the company they work with, trust me, read this article!
That’s it friends! What’s on your reading list?! Last year you all gave me recommendations and I TOOK them and read them, so please leave me more!!