Leah O'Connell


My 2024 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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Now that I’ve shared what actually got read in 2023, I’m diving into what’s on my 2024 book list. One of my major goals is to read more fiction. Doesn’t seem hard, but man do I get pulled in by a good biography or teachable, highly recommended non-fiction book. They call me! But also, they drain me!

So this year, more fiction please.

It’s funny – I’ve actually found that fiction has this awesome ability to bring lessons and stories and insights to the forefront of my mind just as well as non-fiction, but in a secret way. It helps my relax and get lost for a little while, but at the same time, connect with new or lost truths about the world.

lifestyle photography of mother and son by charlottesville photographer

Another goal is to checkout more books from the library. Our home book collection is getting a bit out of hand, and even though I often order from Thriftbooks, I’m starting to rack up more pages than I have places to keep them. The idea is to first check out what I can from the library and if I love it, neeeeed to underline it, or want to read it again, I’ll order a copy.

Just like last year, I’m only adding 12 books – 1 per month – to my 2024 book list.

This list is where I always go first when it’s time to decide what to read next, knowing full well that some will get bumped if inspiration strikes otherwise. Some years have been packed with reading (like this one), and others have been more sparse.

I’m setting some realistic goals this year while we’re still in baby-world, but looking forward to each and every one.

My 2024 Book List


The School for Good Mothers – Jessamine Chan

Beach Read – Emily Henry

Winter Garden – Kristin Hannah

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow –Gabrielle Zevin

Somewhere beyond the sea (Cerulean chronicles book 2) – TJ Klune


Joyful : The surprising power of ordinary things to create extraordinary happiness – Ingrid Fetell Lee

You could make this place beautiful : a memoir – Maggie Smith

Talking to strangers : what we should know about the people we don’t know – Malcolm Gladwell

No cure for being human (and other truths I need to hear) – Kate Bowler

Practicing Presence: a mother’s guide to savoring life through the photos you’re already taking – Joy Prouty

Baby on the fire escape – Julie Phillips

Bonus if time: Traveling Mercies – Anne Lamont

Shoot. Still more non-fiction than fiction. I am who I am.

What’s on your 2024 book list!? I’d love to know! Be book buddies? Start a book club?! Let’s talk.

Find me on instagram and check out my highlight called ‘books’ there for more of my favorite recommendations for fellow readers.

You may also like:

Favorite books of 2023

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

How I photograph families in any home

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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.