Leah O'Connell

for photographers, personal

What I read in 2022 (and my 2023 book list)

I'm Leah!

I’m obsessed with stories of family, creativity, and simple joys.  A nostalgia nerd, educator, wife, and mom of 3, I believe life’s most fun when you’re dreaming big and having kitchen dance parties. 

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Another year, another list of amazing reads I got my hands on and the ones I can’t wait to grab! Here, I’ll share the books that shaped me last year, and the 2023 book list I have on tap ahead.

Even if it’s just a page a day, somehow picking up a good book is always a perfect reset button, a spark of energy, or an open door to a new idea.

This past year, I put a good dent into the 2022 book list, while slipping in new recommended titles on the fly as well. The books that I didn’t get to this year will shift onto next year or backups because… hey, sometimes you gotta just go with what’s inspiring in the moment!

You can check out the full 2022 book list here.

There’s some great ‘one day’ books on there, but here’s the lineup of what actually got into my hands.

(* for my favorites!)

2023 book list on creativity, motherhood, business



Non Fiction

2023 book list, favorite fiction recommendations



Countless board and children’s books 🙂 Some of my little man’s favorites are:


2023 book list, favorite non fiction recommendations

The 2023 Book List

I know this year will be different, and I’m giving myself grace before it’s even required.

With a baby due in April, a toddler and a 1st grader, I’m bracing for the fact that my personal time will be even more difficult to come by and I’m trying to set reasonable expectations.

At the same time, in the hours of nursing my son in 2020, I discovered that reading was much more life-giving way to pass the time vs scrolling or watching TV (though my start to finish binge of Gilmore Girls during my daughters first year of nursing was pretty epic).

I’m hopeful that I can at least commit to one book a month, and want to put a little more focus into business-driven and biography books for my 2023 book list.

Even though I only technically read 1 “business book” in 2022, I gained so many valuable and applicable business takeaways from other genres, so we’ll see what stays and goes depending on how I’m feeling.

Sometimes, a good fiction book is the best medicine.

2023 book list recommendations for creativity, motherhood, business,


Non Fiction



I’m already looking forward to diving into all these thought-provoking creations this year. Be sure to follow me on Instagram to connect as fellow book lovers – I always enjoy sharing takeaways when I finish a good book and hearing about yours, too!

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Hi, I'm Leah.
Family photographer, writer, educator.

I’m  one of the first to meet your newborn baby, the one who won't judge your clothes baskets and unmade beds, and the one who can capture the way your husband looks at you with a twinkle in his eye after 12 years of marriage. I believe in honoring people and telling stories.

I believe art has the power to light up the world in dark places, starting at home.