I’ve kept a list of (most) of the books I’ve read this year because it’s always nice to look back at the stories you’ve got lost in and the ones you couldn’t put down, even the ones I didn’t enjoy so much. This year I’ve delved more into non-fiction mostly from the influence of my boyfriend, due to their impact on developing my knowledge and a few self-esteem boosters. With my many trains journeys over the last 8 or 9 months, I’ve had the time to read a fair few. It was really hard to narrow down my favourites so I think I’ll stick with a solid top 5 that I highly recommend.
Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig
There was no way I was going to get through this post and not mention the amazing man that is Matt Haig. I always admire those who are open about their battles with mental health and Matt has done just that, writing books explaining his journey in the aim to help others. I was originally recommended this by my mum who has the physical copy, at the beginning of the year. I rediscovered the book again in November and downloaded it on audible which I use regularly on my train journeys. I find listening to non-fiction books actually helps me to absorb the information much easier. The book can be dark at times but that is the true reality of depression. Matt turns the truly awful times of his life into a learning lesson and encourages you to pick yourself up and start again; definitely, something I needed at the time I started to read it.
This Is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay
There has been a lot of talk about Adam’s diary entries of his time in the NHS. One of my lovely pals, Sarah was reading the book whilst we were on holiday back in June and suggested I gave it a go. Adam’s diaries are a real account of his work as a Junior Doctor and some of the tales he describes are truly hilarious. It was also interesting for me to read/hear what goes on during the long shifts of doctors, nurses and consultants. Knowing how hard the NHS staff work made me re-evaluate how I take for granted the care we have readily available at our feet. Worth a read if you fancy a laugh as well as an insight into the life of hospitals in the UK.
The Science of Boredom: The Upside (and Downside) of Downtime by Sandi Mann
Another non-fiction on my list that I found deeply fascinating. Given to me by my mum who found the book in a sale, I was intrigued to discover what goes on in our 21st-century lives of constant boredom. It’s mad to think that with all the technology and gadgets we have to entertain ourselves, we are more bored than ever. The book features studies made into what we tend to turn to in our times of boredom and questions why this is the case. Ironically an engaging read for a text on boredom.
The Chimp Paradox: The Acclaimed Mind Management Programme to Help You Achieve Success, Confidence and Happiness by Professor Steve Peters
This one is an Ollie recommendation, thanks hun. A real contender for the best non-fiction book I’ve ever read, this baby is effectively a self-help book that guides you on a journey to a calmer and laid back lifestyle. The Chimp Paradox looks at how we quickly jump to conclusions because of our inner chimp and gives paramount advice to help control the chimp at times we most need it. There are a few parts you may want to skim past as Professor Steve starts discussing the planets and their links with our emotions, unless you’re interested in that kind of thing.
Ruby Wax’s No Brainer: It’s All in the Mind by Ruby Wax
I bloody love Ruby Wax, mum and I went to see her book tour in November last year as she promoted her current book A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled. Ruby is someone else who openly discusses her battles with mental health, particularly depression and uses her comedic genius to engage with readers, making you laugh and learn along the way. This piece is only available on audible so if you don’t have access to it I highly recommend you read her other books; Sane New World, Frazzled and How to be Human – all hilariously yet full of meaningful insights into how the mind works. The audible edition is slightly different as Ruby ventures around the UK and America talking to different scientists and discovers what makes us tick.
Until next time,
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