Friends With Books

Friends With Books

A Curated Collection of Meaningful Books

As I was watching the Black Friday and Cyber Monday emails land in my inbox, the big budget book launches of notable authors, and creating wishlists from the end of year best book round-ups… I had an idea…

I have friends, colleagues, and clients who have written amazing books that more people need to know about. I looked around my office and I was literally surrounded by books that have all had an impact on my life, as did the authors. I decided that I would create a different kind of book round-up and call it “Friends With Books: A Curated Collection of Meaningful Books.”

Over the years, working with authors and being part of the process of book birthing has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my work. I want to acknowledge the hard work, brilliance, courage, and pure love that is poured into writing, publishing, and marketing a book and the very special people that do the hard work and make these contributions to the world.

Enjoy this eclectic mix, buy them, read, them, share them, give them as gifts over the holidays, connect with the authors who are all incredible humans and let me know what you think…

Content Planning for Authors

Join in on Tuesday, December 4th at 1pm ET on Facebook for Social PR Live. This is my weekly live show where I share social PR strategies.  To keep the book/author love going the topic is creating a content plan for authors. A few things I will cover are:

  • Upcycling book content
  • Audience building
  • Leveraging media
  • and more…

Picture Your Prosperity

Smart Money Moves to Turn Your Vision into Reality
by Ellen Rogin & Lisa Kueng

Ellen Rogin has made her life’s work educating, counseling, and guiding people to grow their prosperity and to use it as a force for good in their lives and in the world.

After many years of practical experience and first-hand knowledge, Ellen understands that being truly great with money means having a prosperous mind-set and confident approach to money rather than an amount of money in the bank or specific investments in a portfolio.

And the best part? Her unique system of blending classic money moves with creative strategies works whether you are running a business, planning for your personal finances, or teaching your children about money management.

Ellen’s work has been labeled in the New York Times, “relentlessly upbeat,” a description she, well, cheerfully accepts because she knows financial success is a result of relentlessly positive beliefs and proactive behaviors.

In New York Times bestseller Picture Your Prosperity: Smart Money Moves to Turn Your Vision into Reality, Ellen Rogin and Lisa Kueng help you figure out exactly what you need and want. Only then will they show you how to make the smart money decisions that can help turn your vision into reality. Get ready to feel more excited than ever about your money, and about all the good things it can bring.

Goodbye Anxiety, Hello Freedom

How to Build Resilience and Overcome Anxiety By Stephanie Dalfonzo


  • What would it feel like to walk into a crowded room without feeling like “Am I going to say the wrong thing?”
  • What might it feel like to sleep easily on a Sunday night, instead of worrying about the work week ahead?
  • How wonderful it would feel to be in control instead of powerless? To trust in yourself and feel more confident?
  • To truly break free of anxiety and live life on your terms – a life filled with joy and freedom.

In this little book, Stephanie shares 35 different techniques because “one size” doesn’t fit all. We all experience anxiety in our own unique way and will find our own mix of techniques that work best.

Don’t let the simplicity of these techniques fool you. Consistent simple shifts create lasting changes.

Step into Your Moxie

Amplify Your Voice, Visibility, and Influence in the World
by Alexia Vernon

Wise, witty, and with just the right amount of woo, Step into Your Moxie is a book women want by their side as they have that daring conversation, give an important presentation, run for office, or tell the people closest to them to step back from those boundaries they’ve just trespassed. Whether they are at the start of their careers, messily shuffling between work and motherhood, or established leaders looking to mentor other women, Step into Your Moxie is a refreshingly playful self-help book that has the power to make women laugh, quite possibly make them cry, and above all, help them speak with unshakeable presence and undeniable impact so they can create the legacy they were born to make.

“This wacky, wonderful world we live in — it needs your voice. It needs your wisdom. And your wit,” writes Alexia. “So while I get that you will likely need to navigate some external, real-world limitations, and some self-imposed ones, to stepping into your moxie, let’s get to making moxie a lifelong habit.”

Ferrante Fever

A Tour of Naples Inspired by Elena Ferrante’s
Neapolitan Novels by Danielle Oteri

Danielle Oteri hosts food history tours on Arthur Avenue, the real Little Italy in the Bronx, NY as well as tours in Italy.

Ferrante Fever follows the footsteps of Lila and Lenù through Naples, Italy. This photo-illustrated travel guide includes all the sites, monuments, and treasures of this 3,000-year-old city described in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Quartet books and the HBO series My Brilliant Friend.

Organized as a 5-day itinerary, this guidebook allows you to experience the full breadth of Naples from the Rione Luzzatti where the girls were raised, to the elegant neighborhoods of Piazza dei Martiri and Vomero. An art tour of the city that includes Museo Di Capodimonte, Italy’s largest art museum, the “Secret Cabinet” in the National Archaeological Museum, the famous “Veiled Christ”, the alleyways of the Spanish Quarter and a walk down Spaccanapoli.

To ensure that you savor the best pizza, pasta, and pastry the city has to offer, the book takes out the guesswork and pairs restaurant recommendations throughout the chapters. Sections with useful travel tips and advice for women travelers. Plus excursions to nearby Pompeii, the Amalfi Coast, and ancient Paestum as well as the breathtaking island of Ischia, including the very best geo-thermal park.

“Ferrante Fever” provides the most complete view of Naples that is possible in 5-days at a pleasant pace, designed for you to fully experience Naples rather than just see it as a tourist.

The Interior Design Productivity Toolbox

Checklists and Best Practices to Manage Your Workflow
by Phyllis Harbinger 

Get organized and streamline your workflow with this A-Z accountability system.

Design is only part of an interior designer’s job—you’re also responsible for scheduling client meetings, conducting design surveys, creating drawings and specs, and overseeing installation. Multiply by the number of projects on your plate, and you have a recipe for overwhelming disorganization. The Interior Design Productivity Toolbox helps you juggle multiple projects with ease, with a comprehensive self-management system tailored to the needs of interior designers and decorators.

  • Detailed checklists that highlight weak spots and warn against common pitfalls
  • Covers residential design, contract design, specifications, and renovations
  • Best practices for meetings, design surveys, drawings, specifications, and renovations
  • Customizable online checklists for tracking every phase of your project
  • Exclusive online budgeting tool for tracking costs and expenses


The Entrepreneur’s Trap

How to Stop Working Too Much, Take Back Your Time
and Enjoy Life by Tina Forsyth

Is Your Business Taking Over Your Life? It started with the dream of making great money, doing what you love and having lots of time to enjoy it all. But in reality you are buried in a pile of too much work, too little time, not enough help and no light at the end of the tunnel. This is NOT what you signed up for when you decided to become an entrepreneur. It is time to run your business so it does not run you! In this practical and enlightening book, by online business authority Tina Forsyth, you will discover how to:

  • Build the right type of business for you and your goals
  • Eliminate the headaches and hassles of hiring and managing a team
  • Use the 10 key systems happy and successful entrepreneurs rely on
  • Structure your day so that you can get everything done and still have plenty of time off (including weekends!)

Leverage Livestreaming to Build Your Brand

Start, Master, and Monetize Live Video by Jennifer Quinn

Jennifer Quinn (AKA “JennyQ”) is the leading consultant, speaker, host, and author in internet livestreaming. She has conducted over 450 live interviews on internationally known livestreaming shows. Over the years, she has helped professionals experience how livestreaming helps increase their authority, credibility, and top-of-mind awareness with their prospects and clientele.

In this fresh and instructional guide, Jennifer “JennyQ” Quinn leads you on the exciting journey of internet video livestreaming, and teaches you how to leverage the new technology of live video for your business. Jennifer explains in this book how to avoid classic beginner’s mistakes, and leverage livestreaming like a pro.

In short, Jennifer explains everything you need to know to start livestreaming today with credibility and confidence. 


Cultivate Excellence While Making a Difference
by Scott Perry 

THIS ISN’T A SELF-HELP BOOK. IT’S A HELP OTHERS BOOK. You enhance your life most when you make a difference in the lives of others. That work is at the intersection of your values, talents, and tribe.

DRAW YOUR OWN MAP. It’s time to embark on a voyage of discovery. Who are you? What are you good at? Where do you belong? Endeavor is a compass to help you draw your own map and a process to encourage you to step into your “what’s next” with integrity and intention.

THE WHAT, WHO, AND PROMISE OF THE ENDEAVOR BOOK. What’s It For? Endeavor is a book about discovering your life’s work. Finding fulfillment, prosperity, and meaning through making a difference.

Who’s It For? You’re not defined by your role or job, but by your values and vocation. Cultivate excellence through work that matters.

It’s time to fly higher in an endeavor that makes a difference. Are you ready?

Eat to Feel Full

And Nourish Yourself for Good by Jeanette Bronée

Nourishment Expert, Speaker and Author Jeanette Bronée has more than ten years of experience helping people overcome their daily confusion and struggles with eating while avoiding the restrictive nature of dieting. Her core belief is that when we focus on feeling healthy, vibrant, and nourished, weight loss is just a welcome side effect.

This handbook offers a condensed guide to the first step in her path to self-nourishment. With a focus on basic food knowledge — including a lucid explanation of hunger and digestion and an in-depth guide to the foods and eating habits that will help you stay satisfied longer after a meal — Eat to Feel Full aims to help its readers feel better about eating, feel better after eating, and gain mastery of their appetites through an increased sense of well-being.

Her TEDx talk is an example of how we can take charge of our health by changing our relationship with food.


Next Act Give Back

Discover Your Personal Path to Go From Being Charitable to
Being a Changemaker
 by Kirsten Bunch

Kirsten wrote this book for the person who wants to get serious about playing her part in creating better, more sustainable and more just communities.

If you have been thinking about how you can devote the next phase of your life to making a difference, whether through a new career or a total reinvention of yourself, this book will transform your life.

Whether you already have an idea for the change you want to create in the world or you simply are feeling the pull to become more connected to your life, work and community, this book will give you the tools, motivation and information you need to take your idea out of your “someday” file and put action behind it to become the changemaker you already know you can be.

Be sure to visit Kirsten’s website after purchasing to get the book bonuses.

R.E.S.E.T. Your Mindset

Silence Your Inner Mean Girl by Natalie Eckdahl 

Natalie Eckdahl, CEO of BizChix and the very popular Bizchix Podcast. She is a Business Strategist and High Performance Coach who helps high-achieving women entrepreneurs across industries and time zones build, grow and scale their business.

R.E.S.E.T. Your Mindset walks you through Natalie’s proven, step-by-step framework that she refined over 1000s of hours of coaching women entrepreneurs through mindset issues, including: Imposter Syndrome, Fear of Failure, Fear of Success, Fear of Judgment, Limiting Beliefs and Money Mindset Issues, and more.


I hope you enjoyed this Curated Collection of Meaningful Books, what caught your eye? What are your favorite books? Please share in the comments below.

Donna Cravotta

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  1. Sabrina Cadini

    What a great idea, Donna! I love when brilliant minds collaborate and share the awesomeness of other people.
    I made a note of these fabulous books and I’ll read some of them in the following weeks.
    I know a few of the authors (Jenny Q is my live streaming heroine and Natalie Eckdahl rocks). Thanks for the recommendations!
    I’ll try and join your live broadcast next Tuesday 🙂

    • Donna

      Great Sabrina, thanks for the feedback. I am so glad you like the idea. Please be sure to comment on the other authors too! Would love to see your face on Tuesday!

  2. Stephanie Dalfonzo

    Thank you for including me on this list! There are a LOT of great books here and many would make a great holiday gift!

  3. Martha Tassinari

    Thank you Donna for this great list of books! You always have such great resources 😊

    • Donna

      I’m so glad you found them helpful Martha. Have you read any yet?


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