A few months ago if you had asked me if I was a fan of self-help books then I would have run screaming for the hills. But I've read a few of them over the last few weeks. Maybe it's because I'm feeling a bit down or maybe it's because I've just picked the good ones. But regardless, I've been really enjoying reading them. When it comes to self-help books what I'm looking for is really a little motivational kick up the ass and I really feel like these books have given me that. I'm trying to be less of a 'book snob' and enjoying reading out of my regular genre which has led to me finding these great books.
The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck by Sarah Knight - This book caught my eye so quickly. Outside of my blog I'm pretty foul-mouthed (and not ashamed to say so) and I was drawn to this book because it seemed a bit more light hearted and fun than others. It really helped put a lot of things into perspective. I've been focusing really hard on doing less at the moment because I think that over the last few months I've tried to do way too much and just totally burnt myself out. This book helped me to think of possible commitments in a more detached way and how to prioritise things for myself. I absolutely loved it and I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of her second book.
Eat Sweat Play by Anna Kessel - I hate sport. Or at least, I thought I hated sport. This is a non-fiction novel all about women and sport and why there is such a huge drop of young woman from sport as they go through puberty. It made me realise a lot about my attitude towards exercise and sport. I think the biggest thing I learnt from this is that a lot of the time exercise is sold to women as something that they just have to do to stay healthy - like a chore. It reminded me that it's possible to actually just enjoy exercising. That I don't have to jog or lift if I don't want to. That I can ice skate or swim or take a fun dance class. If you were one of those girls who hated PE and used to forge your mum's signature to get yourself out of gym class - read this book.
Quiet by Susan Cairn - When I was growing up I was always aware that I was a little different to my peers. Whilst my friends would beg their parents to let them stay out later at night I was quite happy with my curfew, it gave me an excuse to go home and be by myself. And whilst I enjoyed spending time with my friends (and still do) the reality of it is there's just so much 'people time' I can handle. I'm an introvert. I fully embrace that but at times it can feel really isolating. This book is quite a slow read but it was worth it for me. It really helped to remind me of my value not only as a friend but as a student and an employee too. This book was really eye-opening and gave me a new burst of confidence in myself that I'll always be grateful for.
#girlboss by Sophia Amoruso - There's been a lot of controversy with this book due to people not being a fan of the term girl boss and also the fact that Nasty Gal has gone bankrupt. But when I read this book about a year ago I found it to be really motivating and it gave me that kick up the ass that I needed. I didn't take exact advice from this book, generally just the right attitude and the motivation to get shit done. I used to run my own Etsy store before I closed it to focus on uni and this book made me feel really focused on it. This is a great book for women who are interested in running their own businesses and being their own boss.
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - If you read any of these books then make sure it's this one because it's very short so you can read it in maybe two hours! Or alternately you could just watch the TEDx talk. Personally, I find that there's more power in the written word but it just depends on how you best absorb information. This book is the script of a speak that the author performed. It's all about how important feminism is and well, why we should all be feminists. I've always considered myself to be a feminist but when talking to people like my mother and grandmother it can sometimes feel like everyone still associates the word feminism with hating men and burning bras. And I like my bras. I think this is a great book because it's a very quick read but is very uplifting and empowering.
Love them or loathe them, I think there's a time and a place for self-help books and for me, maybe that's now.