Attachments – Rainbow Rowell
This book follows Lincoln, an IT-guy tasked with reading his colleagues’ emails at a nondescript newspaper company in 1999. Whilst performing his (admittedly slightly stalker-y) job, he begins to read exchanges between Beth and Jennifer. He also begins to fall for one of them. Attachments is a combination of third person and direct transcriptions of email exchanges, and will draw you in with its fantastically developed characters and their messy, beautiful, complex lives. Check it out here.
Conversations With Friends – Sally Rooney
The debut novel of Sally Rooney (of Normal People fame), Conversations With Friends is equal parts honest, hilarious, and heartbreaking. Conversations With Friends follows the relationship between four people who become entangled in one another’s lives. It has you questioning who you’re rooting for. It makes you reflect on what makes a good relationship, or even really a good person. You’ll be taking it with you long after you’ve finished reading it. Check it out here.
All My Friends Are Superheroes – Andrew Kaufman
All My Friends Are Superheroes is a book about love. It’s also about people, and relationships, and, not surprisingly, superheroes. In a world where most people have special abilities, protagonist Tom is completely ordinary. His wife has been hypnotised and is no longer able to see him. Things aren’t great. Though on the surface, this book seems like your regular sci-fi, it’s really an investigation into what makes a person, and what makes a relationship. It’s witty and clever and lovely. Check it out here.
Reasons to Stay Alive – Matt Haig
Both a Waterstones Book of the Year Nominee and Sunday Times Bestseller, Reasons to Stay Alive is a must-read for those who struggle with anxiety or depression, as well as those that don’t. This book isn’t preachy or melancholy; it’s a biographical account of one person’s struggle, and is witty and funny and meaningful all at once. The blurb calls it “a book about making the most of your time on earth”, and it’s just that. We can’t recommend it enough. Check it out here
The Courage to Be Disliked – Ichiro Kishimi & Fumitake Koga
This recommendation goes out to all of the people pleasers of the world. A lot of self-growth books can err on the side of patronising; The Courage To Be Disliked is not one of those books. Written in an almost story-like structure, the book follows a young visitor debating a philosopher on matters of life. You’ll be left to question why you think and act the way that you do, and why others do the same. Check it out here
Everything I Know About Love – Dolly Alderton
There’s a reason you saw this book everywhere last year. Everything I Know About Love is more than a memoir; it’s a reflection of growing up as a millennial. About friendship. It’s about bad dates and parties and heartbreak. Dolly Alderton is like your old friend and big sister and favourite English teacher at school all wrapped into one. Check it out here
Books for Reflection
Burn After Writing – Sharon Jones
Burn After Writing is reminiscent of both 2014 Tumblr and rainy train journeys in the best way possible. It asks you to be brutally honest with yourself and face tricky questions, but is so cathartic in the ways it gets you to properly inspect important moments in your life. If you’re taking some time to be introspective and reflective, this will make you think about where you are now and how you got here. Check it out here.
Q & A A Day – Potter Style
Q & A A Day is a reflective diary that is genuinely so easy to fill in. It asks you one question a day, and has enough space for five years worth of answers. By only having to write a little a day, it’s not overwhelming or intrusive, but still allows you to watch yourself grow and change over the years. Check it out here.
The Calm Journal – Anna Barnes
Everybody could do with The Calm Journal in their lives. Filled with quotes, tips, and exercises on how to relax, this book is there to lend a helping hand in stressful moments. On a ten minute break at work and need a breather? Whip this out. Sitting at home with a candle lit and a face mask on? Why not delve into The Calm Journal, then, too? Check it out here