A Book You Absolutely Need To Read, Right Now.

So how was your Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanzaa/whatever you celebrate? My clan are Christmas celebrators, and we had a good one.
It has been so nice to finally get a break and just stop. One of the things I love about the Christmas break is curling up on the couch with a good book.

I do believe the book I just finished (minutes ago!) is essential reading right now for all females living in the west. 

 the girl who escaped isis this is my story

The Girl Who Escaped ISIS: This Is My Story  by Farida Khalaf is an incredibly important book. 

On some level I think that we in the west, with our comfortable lives, our busy lives filled with work stress, our exhausting lives, our complicated lives, our simple lives, we don’t really connect to the absolute horror of what is happening to women in other parts of the world.
We see the reports of women being taken by ISIS and sold into slavery and sexual abuse and we find it awful and offensive, but the actual reality of the lives and communities that are destroyed, the devastating reality of what actually happens, doesn’t necessarily hit our stream of consciousness. 

I am so ashamed to admit that when I would hear about it on the news I would think “oh God how awful!!”, but then I would think about something else, and not necessarily connect to the full force of what was happening to these girls.
I’m not ashamed to admit that this book had me in tears, and now that I’ve finished reading it I am sitting here just shell shocked.

Farida Khalaf is a Yazidi girl from northern Iraq. She excelled at school, particularly in mathematics, and had been thrilled at the prospect of becoming a math teacher when she finished school.
She was close to her parents and siblings. She had friends and relatives and a strong community living all around her.
Farida and her family were living a lovely, normal life. 

And then in the late summer of 2014 ISIS attacked her village.
All the men and many of the boys were taken and killed in the school yard, and the girls were taken and sold into slavery.
The 9 and 10 year olds fetching the highest prices. (Let that sit with you for a minute.)

Farida was transported and held in a slave market in Syria, from where she was sold and resold to ISIS soldiers, over and over, brutalized to near death, then eventually sold to an ISIS camp in the middle of the desert.

Farida tells her story in devastating yet crucial detail. Somehow despite soul crushing abuse and torture she is able to maintain her resilience, find hope, and ultimately plan and execute an against all odds escape for both herself and 5 of the other girls held captive with her. 
Her bravery should inspire you. And devastate you.

Freedom has it’s burdens for Farida too. The girls who do make it to the relative safety of refugee camps are shamed for having lost their virtue. They have to deal with sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancies and the trauma of what has happened to them.

There are multiple reasons to read this book.
This memoir lets Farida make sure that what happened to her was not for nothing. It is a way for her to make you see what ISIS really is, and to let them know they didn’t break her spirit.
It is a way for you to see what is happening over there and to find a way to help.

You need to read this book.

“As gripping as it is appalling…a compelling testament to the suffering of ordinary people caught up in violence far beyond their control—and to the particularly terrible price it exacts from women.” —The Guardian

3 Fabulous, Chic, Fashion Books To Add To Your Gift List


Over the holidays I absolutely love to curl up with a great book.
My regular life is so hectic, sometimes working 7 days per week for weeks on end. (at the time of writing this post I have been working 48 days straight)
Just the idea of days off, a couch, and some great books borderline makes me giddy!

One of my favorite things is to spend time with fashion based coffee table books, getting inspired and just loving the art form.

To date my favorites have been The Little Black Jacket: Chanel’s Classic Revisted Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty (Metropolitan Museum of Art), and Carine Roitfeld:  Irreverent

carine roitfeld irreverent book

This year my gift list is being populated with gorgeous fashion and lifestyle books, written by some of the biggest bloggers and social media presences in the fashion arena.
These make sensational gifts for girls who love fashion, business gifts, and gifts for yourself! 
I’ve had trouble finding them in bookstores, so have linked each of them to Amazon for you.

garance dore book

Garance Dore is the epitome of chic, french-girl style. Her website Garance Dore.com is a must see compendium of beauty, fashion, and lifestyle. Her book  Love Style Life is all this and more.  It makes a super chic gift.

Image result for garance dore book

Image result for garance dore book

Image result for garance dore book


Girl boss and Nasty Gal blogger/fashionista/influencer Sophia Amoruso’s second book Nasty Galaxy is a gloriously illustrated visual collection of her style and the style of her brand Nasty Gal. Its actually a mixture of many things. Short essays, photos, inspo-journeys and her philosophies on relationships, work, friendships, balance – everything Sophia.



Instagram superstar, fashion blogger and interior designer Aimee Song (Songofstyle.com) has written a fabulous book! Capture Your Style: Transform Your Instagram Images, Showcase Your Life, and Build the Ultimate Platform is all about how to craft your voice and story on Instagram. If you have seen her insta feed you appreciate how beautiful, well thought out, and powerful it is. 
Instagram is an incredibly important business tool and platform, and Aimee has built an enormous brand following on it. Her book tackles everything from building your following, styling food, travel and fashion images, which filters to use – you name it.
And the photos are gorgeous!

aimee song of style capture your style book

aimee song of style capture your style book

 capture your style

3 Books That Will Positively Change Your Life

I’m back in Italy again, leading another Glam Italia Tour. 
Actually I’m leading 1.5 Glam Tours because at the end of the first tour I’m meeting a second group to do a few days in Rome.
Have you been following along on Instagram? Follow me @Corinnamakeup and get yourself a daily dose of fabulous Italy!

While I’m gone I’m still posting everyday. Today it’s a great post from Because I’m Addicted. Because I am – I get this blog in my inbox each day and I love it. I found this post when I was looking for books to buy for the plane ride. They also make fantastic gifts – don’t forget the countdown is on for Christmas!
Check them out and let me know what you think.

books that positively changed my life
image via because I’m Addicted

3 Books That Positively Changed My Life

via Because I’m Addicted

One of my favorite ways to unwind from a busy day is to read in silence. I try and turn off all technology and dive into a book 60 minutes before bed to decompress and have a little me time. I personally like real paper books vs. tablets to give my brain a break from electronics and fall asleep faster. Plus, the smell of books gets me every time!

I know I’m not alone when it comes to the love of reading, so I wanted to share 3 books that have honestly changed my life (for real, I’m not being dramatic!). I probably think about something in one of these books every single day, as they are full of life lessons. I’ve read each one multiple times and all are easy reads. Some of these might be “self-help,” but I’ve never been one to shy away from “self-improvement,” as I like to call it!

Here they are:

1. Zen Habits: Handbook For Life 

I actually found this author via his amazing blog when I was going through a confusing, unmotivated period. When he started publishing, I pre-ordered this book as quickly as I could. I’ve since gifted it to tons of people—all who reach out after to share the positive effects.

The author suggests a simplistic approach to living a “zen” life. He talks about habits, personal struggles, and gives action items for achieving a peaceful life—and everything is realistic; there’s no woo-woo here. I’d rec this book to anyone who loves lists, wants to incorporate minimalism, or needs obtainable ideas on how to live a happy, healthy life.

2.  The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book)

by Don Miguel Ruiz

A friend gave me this book, who actually got it from her therapist, and it’s such a nice read! I especially like the section about communication and how humans speak to each other. This is a short, compassionate book that makes you stop and think about how you’re living your life and treating others. It extra fitting if you’re feeling a little self-centered (because we all get selfish at times) and want to practice being humble.

3. The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck: How to Stop Spending Time You Don’t Have with People You Don’t Like Doing Things You Don’t Want to Do

by Sarah Knight
I’m sure most of you have heard of The Life Changing Habit of Tidying Up (which is also stellar), but I loved this version even more. I’ve been a lifelong people pleaser and in 2016 I made one of my resolutions to “care less.” That might sound harsh, but I needed that lesson to focus more on myself. This book was PERFECT for figuring out what was essential to me as an individual, and it gave me support to eliminate things—including people—that I didn’t need. Can’t recommend this more!

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