5 Non-Fiction Books to Read on the Plane

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Each of these five books has a place on my bookshelf.

I think the types of books one reads can say a lot about a person.

But the ones on their bookshelf? Those books define a person.

So I suppose these are the books that define me.

Each of these 5 books strongly contributed to my idea of success, my appreciation for creating your own path, and my understanding of not the world around me – but the world I could create around me.

If there are just five non-fiction books to read on the plane that will warrant time well spent, these would be it.

books 2014


#1 – It’s Not How Good You Are…

…it’s how good you want to be. This book is written by an advertising guru and will have you believing you can make it, break it, shake it… literally, you will come out the other end of this book with full belief that you now possess super human powers that will lead to your life success. It is full of great advice like “if you want to be interesting, be interested” and the likes.

#2 – How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are

This book gives me the power to believe a) I was right about French women all along, b) I was wrong about French women all along. It glorifies French women and celebrates their unparalleled life outloook, however it also manages to bring them back down to earth. A great read and bookshelf keepsake.

#3 Always be Yourself, Unless You Can Be a Unicorn…

…then always be a unicorn. An insightful look into generation internet that uncovers and explains how the internet social media world works. Very interesting for anyone looking to ‘get’ social media, no matter how much you think you already do (‘cos you don’t, til you’ve read this book).

#4 – Steal Like an Artist

Honestly – go. read. this. book. Austin Kleon (the author of this book and two other titles) is sure to become a household name before long. His writing is compelling but straight to the point. This particularl book explains a concept some might not be familiar with or try to argue is not complete, but when you think about it, it really is. Basically: no idea is original. All ideas are an extension of other ideas the came before them. As soon as you accept this, you can learn to steal like an artist. Fascinating read.

#5 The Gospel According to Coco Chanel 

If there’s one woman I would say fascinates me more than all others, it would be the one and only Coco Chanel. This book is just as it reads: the Gospel according to Coco Chanel. I’d highly recommend having this book close by for reference (plus its really pretty and I like pretty).

Coco chanel book

Over to you – what are your favourite non-fiction books that have a place on your bookshelf? Feel free to contribute yours in the comments below and chat with the WOW community! 

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    Shelby Townshipvehicle locksmith
    February 3, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    great sound quality!

    March 28, 2015 at 10:36 am

    Just went on a plane today! Wish I had seen this first.
    Though, I don’t think I could’ve fit a single other object into my arms – especially since my dog traveled with me. 😉

    xx Sabrina

    Madam ZoZo
    March 27, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    I am putting these on my very long Amazon wish list!

    March 24, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    My iPad has renewed my love for reading. I cant wait to explore some of these titles.

    Maggie A

    March 23, 2015 at 11:56 pm

    Definitely have to add to that list Vagabonding by Rolf Potts….. believe and understand how you can live the travel lifestyle

    • Brooke Saward
      March 24, 2015 at 9:55 am

      Great suggestion thanks Ashleigh!

    March 21, 2015 at 2:50 am

    Always wanted to read Steal Like an Artist – I’ve heard so much about it!

    March 21, 2015 at 12:58 am

    I have the book about how to be Parisian.. it is such a fun read!

  • SMOKY LINKS – Shelby From the Twp
    March 21, 2015 at 12:42 am

    […] at World of Wanderlust made a list of 5 Nonfiction Books to Read on a […]

    Melinda DiOrio
    March 20, 2015 at 5:37 am

    #1 is already on my to-read list. #3 is about to get added right now!

    March 20, 2015 at 3:34 am

    Great list! Steal like an Artist sounds really interesting, definitely need go to the book store to find this one!

    March 20, 2015 at 12:55 am

    These all sound wonderful! I’m going to have to add them to my collection! My favorite non-fiction on my bookshelf would have to be “How to be a Hepburn in a Hilton World” by Jordan Christy. I feel like it really sheds some light on silly things girls tend to do this day in age. And if it doesn’t teach you something it just reinforces what you already know, which sometimes is really nice!

    March 19, 2015 at 10:57 pm

    Very nice recommendations, thank you!

    March 19, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Great list! Just got the ones I haven’t read and a bunch more from the comments. I just finished reading Screw it Let’s do it by Richard Branson – it wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read but I thought it was really interesting and insightful in some ways! x

    March 19, 2015 at 7:59 am

    I’ve been looking for some helpful and inspiring books thanks!

    Jennifer @ This Off Script Life
    March 19, 2015 at 7:08 am

    Two of my favorite non-fiction books are Hemingway’s memoir, ‘A Moveable Feast’ and ‘Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong.’ And I just picked up William Alexander’s ‘Flirting with French’ from a really great travel book shop in London called Daunt Books. I wonder what this says about me — all three are about France!

    karsyn benedict
    March 19, 2015 at 4:57 am

    All of these sound interesting! I’ll start with steal like an artist! I’ve always liked the quote “There’s no such thing as originality, just authenticity” I feel like that goes along with this!

    Ellie Quinn
    March 19, 2015 at 3:15 am

    I have just finished reading ‘The Wanderess’ by Roman Payne and it was an amazing read! Perfect for us wandering and travelling girls!

    Marie @ Marie Away
    March 19, 2015 at 2:59 am

    Three of the five I own as well (numbers 2, 4, and 5)! Seems like we have similar tastes, I’ll have to check out the others! Cheers!

    March 19, 2015 at 2:51 am

    List is great 🙂 I have only one – How to be a Parisian Wherever You Are and planning to purchase at least 2 recommended and for sure Girlboss (Thanks for WOW community – Today I heard about it for a first time) . I have The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy – the one, which inspired me to create this blog 🙂

    • Brooke Saward
      March 19, 2015 at 3:43 am

      I also loved Girlboss – I’m sure you will love it too! The author is super funny and light hearted, another great read 🙂

    March 19, 2015 at 12:27 am

    I loved this post so much i screen shotted it. I love any good book recommendations and this one was amazing

    Jasiminne | Posh, Broke, & Bored
    March 18, 2015 at 11:50 pm

    I have ‘It’s Not How Good You Are’ (well, had, someone borrowed it from me and I’ve never got it back) and ‘Steal Like An Artist’ is next on my list – I might even grab it today for my flight tomorrow! x

    Jasiminne | Posh, Broke, & Bored

    • Brooke Saward
      March 19, 2015 at 3:45 am

      I read Steal Like an Artist in the airport in Bali before I even got to the plane! It was so good I couldn’t put it down!! Hope you enjoy it too 🙂

    Anup Roy
    March 18, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    Hi, this is fantastic tips for us. Thank you very much for sharing…

    Growing Positive
    March 18, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    Steal like an Artist sounds really good! Might check it out when I have a chance. One book I really like is ‘Wherever you go… There you are’. The book teaches you to embrace the present moment, as it is all that matters and teaches techniques of mindfulness and awareness. Really enjoyed it and gives you a fresh approach to enjoying the simplest things.

    Growing Positive

    Luna | Flowers and Pearls
    March 18, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    I would love to read some of these books! I rarely read non-fiction books, but I really should read them more often.

    Beth Sophie
    March 18, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    Love these suggestions! I just ordered ‘It’s Not How Good You Are’ and ‘How to Be Parisian’ from this list and #GIRLBOSS from the comments! I am still trying to get back into reading after burning myself out during the last semester of my English Literature degree so hopefully these will help.

    March 18, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    Interesting post, it’s always good to know a few books you can read on a boring flight!

    Jabeen Waheed
    March 18, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    Def going to check these books out!
    Jabeen x

    March 18, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    I want to read the Parisian book so badly!! I live in Paris, and as an expat I think it would manage to give me so much insight 🙂

    March 18, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    “The art of thinking clearly” is another great book! I’ve heard about #girlboss too, surely gotta get it soon. 🙂

    Keep travelling!

    Chelsea F. B. Carter
    March 18, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    I’ve been meaning to read Steal Like An Artist since I finished Just Kids by Patti Smith, it’s so inspiring to get a deeper insight into how an artist really creates, I think that sometimes we accept too easily that artists are geniuses (which of course some are to an extent) without taking into account the work that has gone in behind the scenes.

    Kiara King
    March 18, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    I recently read the entirety of #GIRLBOSS from Perth to Tokyo and back again actually. It was ah-mazing and I don’t think I’ve ever gone from holiday mode to work mode quicker!

    March 18, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    This list is great! I’m currently reading #Girlboss, so am looking for something when I’m finished!

    Trudy Black
    March 18, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Well it sounds like I have some more to add to my collection of travel books!! Some of my favorites are SoloTraveler- Tales and Tips for great trips by Lea Lane
    Vagabonding–An uncommon guide to the act of long term world travel
    Eat Pray Love Elizabeth Gilbert
    and I find this one kinda rude off color but hysterical The dork whore by Iris Bahr

    Adelaide Haynes
    March 18, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    *runs to book store
    Thanks for the suggestions!

    March 18, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    Great suggestions! I actually haven’t read any of these. Lately I’ve been reading lots of lifestyle books, like the 4 Hour Workweek and travel books. My favorite is Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard.

    March 18, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    I’m definitely going to be checking these out! I’m currently reading “Everybody Writes” by Ann Handley and I’m loving it. It’s a great book for anyone in the business of content creation and writing in general whether it be for a social media audience, marketing or any other type of writing. I think you’d definitely appreciate it. Much love xx

    March 18, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    Oo I’m going to have to check out How to be a Parisian Wherever You Are. I’ve always been fascinated with France and its culture and people. Oddly enough, I’ve been reading The Most Beautiful Walk in the World by John Baxter, which is about Paris. He gives literary walks in Paris and wrote a book about his walks and the 1920s legends who used to live there. I can honestly say it’s been hard to put down. I love it!

    Leesa & Kate
    March 18, 2015 at 11:36 am

    We love #Girlboss!

    xx Leesa & Kate

    Travel inspo?

    Kit Rose
    March 18, 2015 at 10:51 am

    I’ve recently run out of book recs with a bunch of flights occurring soon so this list was perfect. Especially because I’ve never read any of these and they all sound fascinating! Thanks!

    Michael Gallagher
    March 18, 2015 at 10:35 am

    I have the first one and love it! My mother gave it to me as a gift when I left for university back in 2008.