Sometimes all it takes is a good book to put things into perspective. Reading can help us realise there’s something greater than our daily dramas. It can nurture a deeper understanding of why things are the way they are, and it can help us develop coping mechanisms when things aren’t all that rosy.
The reality is, over centuries of human existence, there are going to be people who have faced similar challenges to you. People who have endured, survived and written down what they’ve learnt. It is these lessons that can bring some guidance and solace to our own lives. These refreshing reads will hopefully do just that for you.
Notes on a Nervous Planet – Matt Haig
Matt Haig is a man who has been through the wringer. And he’s not afraid to talk about it. Here’s one of our favourite quotes: “Two decades ago I nearly took my own life and knew I was going to give up. One decade ago, I got dropped by my publisher and was told to give up. This month I sat in a screening room watching a rough cut of a movie based on one of my books. (Don’t give up.)” Haig’s internationally bestselling memoir, Notes on a Nervous Planet, sheds light on how the clicks and beeps of a relentlessly modern world can cause anxiety, whilst giving us pockets of wisdom on how to live a better life, despite this. Haig’s honest, humble words may well provide some sweet relief – give them a go.
How Proust Can Change Your Life – Alain de Botton
Alain de Botton is probably one of the most soothing, enlightened presences there is in the modern age. The British philosopher is almost single-handedly responsible (aside from maybe Eckhart Tolle) for bringing philosophy back into the mainstream and showing its relevance to our everyday lives. How Proust Can Change Your Life showcases everything that eclectic French novelist, Marcel Proust, had to say about friendship, looking carefully, taking your time, and being alive. It is written with the aid of de Botton’s typically witty, wry humour – ensuring you have a giggle along the way. Who could say no to that?
Letter to My Daughter – Maya Angelou
Image: The Book Castle
Letter to My Daughter by the legend that is Maya Angelou is one of the more thoughtful, heartfelt pieces of writing you will read this year. Though Angelou had no daughters herself, her insightful writings positioned her as a mother figure to many. Addressed directly to “her daughter”, Letter to My Daughter shares events and lessons Angelou found useful throughout her life. It is acutely self-aware, at one point, Angelou states: “I have made many mistakes and no doubt will make more before I die. When I have seen pain, when I have found that my ineptness has caused displeasure, I have learned to accept my responsibility and to forgive myself first.” This book will gift you with some light stories to make you laugh, and some to make you meditate. We’d recommend listening on Audible – to hear Angelou’s earnest, loving words first-hand.
Happy – Derren Brown
Image: The Beauty Type
Happy by Derren Brown comes with the reassuring by-line, ‘Why more or less everything is absolutely fine.’ Isn’t that something we could all do with hearing right now? It will take you on a journey through the history of happiness from classical times, to today – drawing on the wisdom of philosophers, psychologists, historians and more. It recognises that happiness itself is imaginary and deceiving in many ways – yet still provides us with reasons to be cheerful in life. While best known for his mastery of hair-raising illusions, Brown has also proven himself as a discerning and beautifully eloquent author. If you’ve ever wondered if there could be more to life, this book may be the one for you.
Which book will you be snuggling up with over the weekend? Let us know in the comments below. If you like our blog, you’ll love our Instagram.