March Tone It Up Book Club! K&K’s Favorite Reads

Take a page from us!

 Kat and I are always reading and recommending books to each other and our other friends. I’ve even been known to give my favorite books as birthday presents! My house is filled with spiritual, memoirs, and design books, while Kat loves her health science, yoga, leadership and business reads. And some months, we trade our faves with each other! For both of us, books are the perfect way to expand our minds, discover a new perspective, and feel inspired and enlightened. That’s why we started the Tone It Up Book Club! We’re sharing the books that teach, move, and inspire us. Each of these holds a special place in our hearts, and we hope you enjoy them just as much. Curl up with a glass of vino and try these on a lazy Sunday or start a book club with your local TIU girls! Happy reading, babe!

 I’ve always enjoyed reading as a way to continue to learn and broaden my perspective, get inspired, or just to relax on a Sunday afternoon. (Reading is actually proven to reduce stress!) I also recently got in to my audiobooks app. I spend a lot of time driving back and forth from Palm Springs, so audiobooks keep me company. I also listen to them when I go on walks with Skunk! Here are some of my fave reads:

Self Improvement/Spirituality: 

• The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho: A story about the journey of a young shepherd and his path to finding his personal legend. This book is great for exploring life’s purpose.

• Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills: This book teaches you the 4 practices that you live by daily to achieve true happiness. Trust me, this is a must read! I keep a copy by my couch to remind myself daily that I am living by these agreements with myself:

1. Be impeccable with your word

2. Don’t take anything personally

3. Don’t make assumptions

4. Always do your best


• A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle: This teaches us how to live without the ego and to not listen to that “voice in your head.” By the end of the book, you will be enlightened and in a state of knowing how to truly live in the present. I love this quote: “Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on.”

• Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom: This may be my all-time favorite book. I’ve been known for giving it as a gift for holidays and birthdays. It’s a story of a man who visits his old professor Morrie, who has ALS, every Tuesday. Each time they meet, Morrie talks about a different subject on “The Meaning of Life.’” One of my favorite quotes to live by is: “The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.”


• 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey: I read this book about 10 years ago, and I still have the beat-up copy on my book shelf in my meditation room aka ‘Zen Den’.   It’s another one of those books that I return to every once in a while for a refresher. This book is a perfect mix of self-improvement and business advice.  There are some great teachings on self-awareness, being proactive vs. reactive, and about synergy. All of these habits are useful to apply to your private and professional life!

• Fish by Stephen Lundin: It’s a fun book that discusses how you have the power and choice to create a fun, passionate work environment! That’s what it’s all about at the #TIUHQ! :)

• Getting There by Gillian Segal: This is a good coffee table book to pick up for a quick read. Thirty great leaders share their path to success and the hurdles they overcame to get there. I loved reading life ‘pearls’ from people like Warren Buffet, Frank Gehry, Rachel Zoe, and Sara Blakely.


Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton: In this powerful story, the author shares a raw look into her life as she becomes enlightened and learns how to truly love herself. It starts with her troubled teen years and continues through a difficult marriage that she decides to leave. It’s an inspiring story of true spiritual development.

In one of my favorite parts of the book, the author explains what “sexy” means to her and how she describes it to her kids. These words really resonated with me and I shared the full quote on Instagram HERE: “I think sexy is a grown up word to describe a person who’s confident that she is already exactly who she was made to be. A sexy woman knows herself and she likes the way she looks, thinks, and feels.” This is YOU!  ❤️


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.


  1. LOVING this post!!!! thank you!!! I am heading to the library for my booty call tomorrow to check out “the four agreements” :)

  2. Thanks for sharing your love, Karena! I highly recommend “Start Where You Are” by Pema Chodron. I also love “The Gifts of Imperfection” and “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown. Currently reading ‘Lab Girl” by Hope Jahren – this book makes me see nature in ways I never had before. “The Power of Now” by Eckart Tolle and “Love Warrior” by Glennon are the next two books on my list. xoxo

  3. Thank you! I suggest the 4 agreement to everyone. Must read book, its easy to read but I think must be read at least once a year to keep up with ourself and see and we grow up and expand.

  4. The couple next door is a fast read if you liked girl on a train I think you will like it.

  5. So many great books on this list! I’m mailing a copy of the book I published in December to your headquarters -look for it next week! :)

  6. A lot of good picks in here Karena! Loved the Alchemist, Four Agreements, A New Earth and Tuesdays with Morrie- OMG TEAR JERKER…cried through that whole book, but SO good. I just finished “The Universe Has Your Back” by Gabrielle Bernstein..I’ll have to check out the others that you recommend.

    1. Tuesdays with Morrie is great! All of Mitch Albom books are great – they really make you appreciate life, love and your family – the things that really matter. A few start off a little slow but once you keep reading – you get where the story is going and the meaning. :) – The 5 People You Meet in Heaven, For One More Day, Have a Little Faith, The Time Keeper, The First Phone Call from Heaven, The Magic Strings from Frankie Presto.

  7. I have been reading the China study by t. Colin campbell and Thomas Campbell. I have been loving the read about the science on why we should eat a green diet and how it affects our body all the way from cancer to obesity to heart disease.

    1. I found The China Study to be SUPER informative, especially with the family medical history that I have! It’s a dense book, but well worth the time spent reading.

  8. Love this idea for a book club!! Can’t wait to put this on my next purchases!

  9. I absolutely love “Better than Before” by Gretchen Rubin. It changed my perspective with my habits and the understanding that the way I build them is not necessarily the same way as others. For example, the dreaded candy bowl in the office!! I’m the type of person who can’t just have one piece. So, I abstain from ever eating it. This has also helped me keep these types of things out of my house or if i want it, to treat it like a “treat”. This has helped me with the TIU Nutrition Plan so much!! The audio book version is amazing because it’s read by her and I actually preferred it. I can’t wait for her next book “The Four Tendencies” to come out in the Fall. I also listen to her podcast on a weekly basis. It’s called “Happier by Gretchen Rubin”.

    1. Love Gretchen Rubin as well!! I listen to her “Happier ” podcasts and I’ve read her “Happiness Project” book!!

  10. 7 Habits is a staple at my job! We recommend all new employees to read it. It is the book we base our office values and structure on! We even have seminars and leadership trips regarding the 7 Habits.

  11. Thank you so much for following my request to post some of your favorite reads!
    Your interests are the same as mine Karena… so I was sure to get some good tips from you.

    It’s just amazing how you always respond to personal inputs of the tiu members. Even though you have millions of followers.
    That’s exactly why I’m still getting excited over and over about you guys, even after 5 years of following.
    Love your K&K Coffee, Wine not Wednesday and personal advices. This is what makes all of us so connected.
    Thank you so much!

    Can’t wait for the next book club post of Kat!
    Warm regards from Zurich

  12. Of course this thank you is for the whole tiu team which is doing just a fantastic job in answering all questions and requests and building the community. you guys rock!

  13. How did i miss this?? I love this and I hope you do it on a regular basis!! I’m going to go to the library right after I read this post! This gets me excited to read again! Love, Love.

  14. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. I re-read this book probably every two years or so and my copy has many bent corners. I tell everyone to read this regardless if your passion isn’t an “art”. :)

  15. Love this!!!!
    I just ordered “The Four Agreements” excited to give it a try!!

    I am currently reading “All The Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr
    It a BIG one, but is very captivating about two young children during WW2 & tugs at the heart strings..

    Love the idea of the book

  16. The three books I give and share when asked
    The art of hearing heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sender
    Signature of all things by Elizabeth Gilbert

    RUBY by Cynthia Bond

    Happy reading

  17. I LOVE all books by Erik Larson. They’re all non-fiction and so good!! Isaac’s Storm is my favorite!

  18. This is super! Eckhart Tolle had a definite impact on the way I think and has opened me up to meditation and learning to be consciously present. Will definitely be checking out some of the other suggested reading.

  19. Another fantastic “self improvement” book is “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. If you’re having difficulty communicating or feeling connected in any of your relationships, this is a great book for figuring out what your “love language” is and how you and your partner can communicate effectively.

    1. I was going to recommend this exact book! My husband and I try to read it again every year around our anniversary and it has helped our relationship blossom and reach new amazing levels! Great recommendation!

  20. Thanks Karena. I love this post! Gonna take a peek at all these one by one. First recommendation I grabbed was the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills. Finished the first agreement Be Impeccable With Your Word. I feel a whole new world about to open! Thanks for the inspiration. Sincerely. XOXO

  21. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, The Husbands Secret by Liane Moriarty, and The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand are some of my favorites!

  22. BEST POST EVER! <3 I read Tuesdays with Morrie after you recommended it in a video and it's now my favorite book and I recommend it to everyone. I don't have nothing to read at the moment so I'm going to buy The Four Agreements and I'm so excited to read it!! Thank you so much for posting this!!

  23. Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz is one of my favorite books!! I read a page from it every day just to keep myself balanced.

  24. I love this! Tuesdays with Morrie is also one of my all time favorite books. Its the perfect gift. Thank you for sharing!

  25. I wrote this in your morning routine post, but I want to thank you again for recommending The Four Agreements. I never heard of it before and I downloaded it when I read that last post. I just got around to reading it last weekend and I feel that it is a game changer! Im going to comb through your list and start reading some. I have read a number of the books listed, but not in years. Time to jump back in! Also it was already recommended above, but The Five Love Languages is a fantastic read to see what your priorities are and how to communicate them as well as finding the same info about your partner. It has helped my marriage more than I thought it would!

  26. I’m always looking for new book recommendations and love books that make you think. Excited to check out Four Agreements, and The Alchemist has been on my list for years! Thanks Karena! :)

  27. Thank you for the suggestions! I picked up a copy of Love Warrior before a trip to Arizona and LOVED IT! Hoping for more summertime reads soon

  28. Great recommendations on here. I also love Erik Larson like someone else suggested in a previous comment. Right now I am in a great series, Outlander. Also have been wanting to go from being a vegetarian for years to vegan and struggled until I read The Cheese Trap by Dr. Barnard, now I cannot stand the sight of cheese and going to a vegan, whole foods, plant-based diet has had a tremendous impact on my health.

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