Karena’s New Fave Inspiring Books

Hi loves! You probably know from my Instagram how much I love to read. I always have a book with me and I try to start each day with a few minutes of reading. For me, it’s a form of meditation that allows me to find new inspiration, feel enlightened, and spark my creativity and spirituality.

I shared some of my favorites in my first TIU Book Club post HERE! Since then, I’ve read a bunch more amazing books and I wanted to share some of my current fave motivational and inspirational ones with you! With a lot of us are traveling and some time off work for the holidays, it’s the best time to curl up with a glass of wine or hot chocolate and a good book! Books are also an amazing gift if you’re looking for last-minute Christmas presents for friends and fam! I gave Kat a cool travel book (check out more gift inspo HERE!).

I hope you love these books as much as I do! And share all your recommendations with me in the comments. I need a new book for the holidays!



A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson

This is a must read! I started it while I was out of town with Bobby for a friend’s wedding and I couldn’t put it down all weekend. Marianne Williamson explores all the ways we can exude love in our lives, which is something I strive for every day. It’s incredibly powerful and inspiring. One of my favorite passages ~ “‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure…”

Year of Miracles: Daily Devotions and Reflections by Marianne Williamson

I like to start each day reading a daily devotion from this book, whether I’m in my meditation room, my living room, or by the pool in Palm Springs. It helps me feel centered and set my intention for the day ahead. These are a few of my favorites reflections that I find myself returning to ~

Loyalty to Your Soul by H. Ronald Hulnick

A friend and mentor of mine suggested this book to me. (Sometimes I love to read while Bobby plays golf :)). I love how this book explores both psychology and spirituality. It’s fascinating!

A Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

This memoir is so intensely personal and moving. Joan Didion is such an iconic writer. If you haven’t read this one, I definitely recommend it!

Judgment Detox by Gabby Bernstein

I love all of Gabby Bernstein’s books and this one will be amazing to read for the New Year, especially right now when we’re all starting the 5 Day Detox Plan together January 1st!! The Detox is all about refreshing and letting go of anything doesn’t serve you in your life to make room for feeling like the beautiful, brilliant, and confident girl that you are! This book has genius advice for releasing judgments and fears that you don’t need!

The Power Within You By Louise Hay

Any books by Louise Hay are amazing! This one talks all about different philosophies of loving yourself through expressing creativity, accepting change, and trusting your inner voice. It’s a beautiful reminder of the importance of showing yourself love! Other great ones by her are Heal Your Body and You Can Heal Your Life!

Aaand if you or your girls haven’t read 28 Days to Fit, Fierce, and Fabulous yet, it makes a great stocking stuffer 😉

You know we’re always looking for more book recommendations! What should we read next?! Tell us in the comments! And we want to see your book club! Share a pic on the ‘gram with the hashtag #TIUbookclub.

tone it up karena dawn morning routine


  1. Thank you Karena! Love this post and so thankful you shared your list – can’t wait to read a few of these! You may also enjoy Robin Sharma’s “The Monk who sold his Ferrari”

  2. I LOVE The Book of Joy by the Dalai Lama & Archbishop Desmond Tutu. My husband and I like to read this at different points in our lives and see what new passages apply. I buy this book for everyone! I’ve got two wrapped under my tree right now. AND also The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy. It’s a funny and powerful memoir about love and loss. I was not the same (in a good way) after reading this book. The Goddess Revolution by Mel Wells is also wonderful. :)

  3. All of these are great books, can’t wait to check them out!
    Karena- If you are looking for another amazing inspirational read, go get a copy of ‘Inward” by Yung Pueblo. My favorite quote from the book is “letting go doesn’t mean forgetting, it means we stop carrying the energy of the past into the present”. I have already given this book to so many of my friends who are going through tough time or just need a little mental clarity and daily inspo. My yoga teacher gave it to me at the beginning of the month and I have read it and reread it so many times! I keep it in my purse at all times. It’s a must read!

  4. Zero to One by Peter Thiel and The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz are two of my favorites!! Always re-visiting/rereading them for inspiration!!

  5. Karena, this is an amazing post! More of this please! Love this so much. I just obtained a copy of You Can Heal Your Life and I love it. I loved the devotions you shared above and am looking forward to exploring all the recommendations. I pre-ordered the Judgement Detox and am very excited for its arrival in January! Also, thanks so much for putting together the 5-Day Detox. Just what I was looking for to star the New Year. So excited!!

  6. I LOVE that y’all do a TIU book club! :)
    The books above seem so inspiring. I’m going to look into all above mentioned suggestions so thanks everyone for sharing!!
    I’m going to pre-order Judgment Detox and I’m really looking forward to reading it!
    Right now I am reading The Universe Has Your Back by Gabby Bernstein and so far it is great. Really eye-opening…
    “It’s our resistance to love that keeps us in the dark. This resistance is the reason we stay stuck in patterns that keep us from thriving.”
    “If we see our difficulties with lack, judgment, and fear, then we’ll respond with lack, judgment, and fear, in effect blocking all guidance from the Universe. But when we choose to see the same issues with love, we create space for miracles.”
    “We’re ALWAYS manifesting either love or fear. It’s up to us to decide how we want to create our reality.”

  7. Karena, these books are amazing! Thank you! I love Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert…should be one of your 2018 books for sure!

  8. I love you both and i am in awe of the love, encouragement, and hope you give people through Tone It Up. I cant help but think what a great platform God has blessed you with to share His love with people! What greater hope, Love, and encouragement could you give than the hope, Love, and encouragement he gives us in his word!! Just try reading some of these verses and see how they speak to you! I challenge you! I pray you read these verses (there are so many more) and that this gets to you. I pray for you nightly that the Lord will use you both! I love you!!!! (Read NIV version for a better understanding)
    Ephesians 2:8-10
    John 3:17
    Jeremiah 29:11
    2 Peter 3:9
    1John 1:9
    Zephaniah 3:17
    Isaiah 41:10
    Joshua 1:9
    Lamentations 3:24
    Proverbs 3:5-6
    1 Samuel 12:22
    Matthew 22:37
    Romans 5:8

    1. I really admire you for submitting this comment! I love the book of Joshua.. one of my favorite stories in the Bible.

  9. Karena, I feel like you would love the magazine Flow. My friend discovered it by accident in an airport and shared it, and I’m now a subscriber. It’s a magazine about slowing down, mindfulness, positive psychology, and the beauty of imperfection. It is always beautifully illustrated and contains interviews with all sorts of fascinating people, more often women. And they also have mindfulness workbooks that I really enjoy.

  10. The Obesity Code by Dr Jason fung. Fascinating and changes perspective on food and nutrition with citing studies and what works for weight loss and why.

  11. I love these recommendations. Thank you! Have you read “rise sister rise ” by Rebecca Campbell? Such an inspiring book.

  12. Ooo thanks Karena!! I also love Gabby’s The Universe Has Your Back and Danielle Laporte’s White Hot Truth – with some anecdotal stories from the author and some self love life lessons. Full of kindness and nurturing for the reader.

  13. Thanks for sharing! I just picked up Grace not Perfection by Emily Let, can’t wait to read it!

  14. Thank u so much for the recommendations K, I loved that Katrina also shares the books that she’s like the most. I try to find them in audiobooks now so I can listen to them while driving since I have a ver long commute to work 😁

  15. Great books!! Looks like my book shelf! Right now I am reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron..I think you would love.

  16. AHH! So happy to see all of these books on your list!! Thank you Karena for continuing to share your spiritual guide books with us. Self love is very VERY powerful thing!

  17. Self Compassion: the proven power of being kind to yourself by Kristin Neff

    So great!

  18. My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers is an amazing daily reading book. Such amazing insight for each day to bring intention to your life.

  19. Thank you Karena! I love this post and all the positive readings you’re finding and sharing with us! I love the ones regarding God’s will and that He has a plan for us. He definitely keeps me centered and filled with joy no matter what is happening. He gives me a sense of purpose. Thank you so much for sharing girl :)

  20. Thank you so much for sharing these! I absolutely love to read, especially inspirational/books that challenge your mindset – we have very similar tastes in books! I can’t wait to read these you have listed here, thank you so much! Here are a few that I think you would love if you haven’t read them already!

    Daring Greatly by Dr. Brene Brown – I LOVE watching/listening to TED Talks and I had listened to Dr. Brown’s talk a few years ago. Her name came up again in another Podcast I was listening to in early 2017 and they were discussing her books. Ironically my roomie had a copy of this one that she loaned me.

    The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield – So this is a book I had heard of over the years but had never put much thought into until it kept popping up in my life. It was actually accidentally purchased for me when and that was when I knew I needed to read it. It really challenged my thoughts on certain topics and even though it isn’t really a “true” story, I think so much of it can be taken as a lesson and applied in our daily lives.

    The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer – I actually haven’t finished this book yet, but I’ve loved it so far. I actually put it down for a while because I knew I needed to get my mindset right before I continued to read it. I’ve had a really challenging past four months and I knew I needed to revisit this book when I was ready. So far it’s really made me think and put a new idea on the “racing thoughts” of our minds and how we have a hard time just “being.” Really great read for the new year.

    Thank you again to both you and Kat for being a bright beam of light and positive energy. Even now when I’ve been feeling low, I know I can come back to this community and feel a sense of place. Much love to you and your TIU HQ for all that you guys do ~ XOXO Madalyn

  21. The Four Agreements is amazing. I recently started reading Candice Kumai’s “Kintsugi Wellness” and she references the 4 agreements a lot in her book + she has some great Japanese recipes in there. Highly suggest.

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