6 Of The Best Books I've Read In The Last 6 Years
Reading is something I’ve struggled with this year, I’m not sure why because it’s hands down one of my favourite things to do but sitting down and feeling mentally calm enough to get through a book has been a rarity. So I thought to try and kick start my love for reading again I’d share some of books that have made a serious lasting impression in recent years and whenever someone asks me for a book recommendation I always point them in the way of these wonderful reads.
WHATEVER YOU THINK, THINK THE OPPOSITE - PAUL ARDEN
This was one of the first books I read about creativity that didn’t make me roll my eyes. Paul Arden was the creative director of Saatchi & Saatchi so if there is anybody who can speak about creativity then it’s probably him. Sometimes I get stuck with the way I think about my work and my approach to it and this book always reminds to try and look at things from another angle. This book is one of the reasons that I think it’s so important to get out of your comfortable consumption bubble and read and watch things that you wouldn’t usually. It’s a simple, easy to read book that you can pick up and put down at your leisure but without fail whenever I’m in a funk I know I can turn to both of his books for a pick me up.
REASONS TO STAY ALIVE - MATT HAIG
When I read this book I wasn’t feeling too good mentally, I was really struggling with my OCD and this book was exactly what I needed at that time. So often I worry about reading mental health and how difficult it might be on the mind but this book changed my life. It reminded me how wonderful life can be, even when it does have it’s difficult times there are so many reasons to stay alive. So whenever I feel really low mentally this is a book that I know I can turn to not only feel understood and less alone in my struggles but to give me that important realisation too. This book is written in a brutally honest way but it doesn’t feel invasive to the author which must be an incredibly difficult thing to balance for those who choose to write about mental health in such a way.
QUIET- SUSAN CAIN
If you’re an introvert and want to understand yourself and your mind a little more then I cannot recommend this book enough. When I picked it up I wasn’t sure what to expect and was worried it might be a little boring but it’s not at all. Granted it’s not something you're going to want to read if you want to lose yourself in a story as obviously, it’s not that type of book. But to learn more about yourself, how your mind works, famous introverts and the world of extroverts too then it’s the perfect read.
THE SECRET HISTORY - DONNA TARTT
A book that absolutely screams autumn to me is The Secret History. It’s one of the only books I’ve read in the last 18 years, since Harry Potter that has sucked me in so much. Donna Tartt is a brilliant writer and creates such a strong world with wonderful characters that truly make you feel like you’re right there with them going through the same emotions, trials, and tribulations that they are. The Secret History follows Richard and his fellow students in New England, they’re an eclectic bunch which means you’re never quite prepared for what might happen. It’s a book that I need to give another read as I’m sure there are parts that I missed out the first time.
BIG MAGIC - ELIZABETH GILBERT
This was a big hit in the blogging world and again, I thought it might be really cliche and full of nonsense like a lot of books based on creativity can be. Not only is this book incredibly inspiring but it’s also brutally honest about the creative world and I think to strike a balance between the two must be tough. I’ve gone back through this book a couple of times and one of favourite topics in it is about not expecting too much from your creativity. I’m incredibly guilty of this and sometimes I expect far too much from my brain and what I can create. It’s truly fantastic that I am able to make my living from something that I began for fun but that doesn’t mean I should feel deserving of it as it could all go away within a second. Straight talking creative advice that doesn't make you feel like complete garbage isn't easy to find which is why this book is so special.
PRETTY HONEST - SALI HUGHES
Alongside The Secret History both of Sali’s books are absolutely incredible and my stand out reads over the past few years. Pretty Honest is a book that I suggest to anybody and everybody if they even have the smallest interest in beauty as it breaks down absolutely everything in understandable, easy to digest chunks. It’s a book that I wish I’d read when I was a teenager as it could have saved me from so many terrible beauty mistakes and also helped me understand my skin a lot more too. There is just something so wonderful about the way that Sali writes and she also has another book named Pretty Iconic. That book covers the most iconic beauty products in her lifetime and why they’ve made such an impact to not only her but the beauty industry too. If you’re a beauty lover then so many of these products will be familiar to you and you'll probably have your own stories about them.