If you’ve read my Bio blurb you’ll know that reading is something I really enjoy, but it has been one of those things, for years, I have I convinced myself that I just don’t have the time to do. I would always be dumbfounded when someone would tell me they finished a book, let alone when they would start comparing it it to a similarone they finished the week before. How did they have the time to read? I used to convince myself that no normal life-juggling adult could possibly be able to sit still for longer than tenminutes to read a book. I always felt envious of these people, with a slight hint of guilt, because I knew deep down reading was so far down my list of priorities, it was one of those things I had just put in a box and stuck a big fat ‘one day, when I have the time’ label on it, knowing full well it would never happen.
Having fallen back in love with reading over the last few months, what I realise now is that noone has the time to read, no matter what your job or social life is like. You have to make the time. Since embracing this my reading wish list has grown and grown, after asking anyone and everyone for lists of fictional, non-fictional, autobiographic, self development (the list is endless) recommendations.
I soon went on an amazon splurge and spent hours reading review after review. I wound up buying four or five paperbacks and decided to look for the rest as audio books – I’ll talk more about this later on.
The Cows by Dawn O’Porter was the first book I read so it had a lot to live up to – I must say, it didn’t disappoint. It was easy to read, funny and all about the life of four very different women living in London (totally apt for the occasion!) The style of writing was tongue-in-cheek and honest, my favourite kind, and I could totally relate to the multiple storyline’s all the way through. My favourite thing about this book was the diversity and unapologetic nature of the characters. They were modern and addressed some very real conversations; Cam a lifestyle blogger is my favourite, she was the voice of many women out there today who are living their lives just as they wish, free, successful, happy and without child. Tara, also on my list of fictional #girlcrushes, is a no bullshit, no men, TV Presenter who about a third of a way through gets herself into a, let’s say, comprising situation on a tube. I won’t spoil the rest, but the book from there on out addresses some very real but hilarious, taboos. That said the book does explore serious topics, like death, but in an empathetic, fantastic, light-hearted way. If you haven’t already got your hands on a copy of this book, and you are looking for something witty, real and relatable then I would high recommend.
Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton is one, if you haven’t been hiding under a rock for the last month, you will have heard of throughout the bloggersphere. I haven’t yet read the book itself but I have listened, and occasionally censored so that I don’t spoil it for myself, to countless podcasts featuring the author Dolly and her experience with female friendship. In short and taken from the book itself; In her memoir, she vividly recounts falling in love, wrestling with self-sabotage, finding a job, getting drunk, getting dumped, realising that Ivan from the corner shop is the only man you’ve ever been able to rely on, and finding that that your mates are always there at the end of every messy night out. It’s a book about bad dates, good friends and – above all else – about recognising that you and you alone are enough. This is the next on my list but I must say the one I have been most excited about reading, so i’ll be sure to let you know my thoughts, as soon as I can put it down.
The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein. This is the newest addition to my list having only been recommended to me last week by a close friend. She talked so highly about it that I fast tracked it to the top and downloaded the audio version the same evening. Within the first five minutes I had downloaded two more of Gabrielle’s books and got totally side tracked which I meant I didn’t get much further. Gabrielle is described as ‘teaching readers how to transform their fear into faith in order to live a divinely guided life. Each story and lesson in the book guides readers to release the blocks to what they most long for: happiness, security, and clear direction. The lessons help readers relinquish the need to control so they can relax into a sense of certainty and freedom. Readers will learn to stop chasing life and truly live.’ If you have already read this and are looking for something more, Judgement Detox is definitely also worth a peek!
Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker. Someone actually recommended this book to me when I told them I was thinking about writing this blog, quite a few months ago now. We got onto the topic of mental health and sleep and they asked me whether I had read the book. Initially I didn’t see a connection between the two but a few days after I looked up some reviews and decided it deserve a place on the list. I am a big sleeper, unlike some I need a full eight hours to function even fractionally on par with other humans, so if this book is for anyone, it would be me. The book is described as ‘More than exercise, diet and wealth, science has shown that sleep is the most important factor to our physical and mental wellbeing. In the first book of its kind written by a scientific expert, Professor Matthew Walker explores twenty years of cutting-edge sleep science. From what really happens during REM sleep to how caffeine and alcohol affect sleep and why our sleep patterns change as we grow older, Why We Sleep is the wake-up call we need: transforming our appreciation of the vital role of sleep in all aspects of our lives.’
How to win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie. This is an oldie but a goodie, written in the eighties and based on some strict principles that swear to apply to everyone everywhere, no matter what day and age. I actually wasn’t sure about this book when I first heard of it – the title put me off straight away as it immediately lent itself to Self Help Book territory (not my thing!) and I certainly wasn’t looking for or in need of a step by step guide on how to convince people to be my friend. However, by the fourth recommendation I thought it was about time I bought myself a copy to see what the fuss was about. I decided this might be listen and learn situation so I downloaded the audio version. Now, I am not usually the lazy reading type (I do own a Kindle for when I’m travelling but I much prefer the real thing, the paper and pen, turning pages kind of book) but my job requires me to work at a desk most of the time and I quite often struggle to concentrate with everything going on the office. I usually find myself mindlessly drawn to what I can only call, questionable, Spotify playlists so I thought why not use the time constructively. I usually put this on when I have an hour or so put aside for a big project I’m working on so that I can really get into it, so far so good!
Needless to say I am very quickly becoming one of those people. The kind that brings books to social gatherings to impose on my unwilling friends, the kind that changes the subject mid conversation with the classic ‘I’m reading this really great book at the moment, you should try it’. Low and behold the moment I start buying an extra copy for birthday and Christmas presents. Who knows, maybe I will need that step by step on winning friends, after I’ve driven my current ones to despair..