6 unusual books to cosy up to this autumn


I really should have included snuggling under a blanket with a good book in my autumn love list. Clearly I was just far too wrapped up in the thought of candles and crumbles.

Mmmm crumbles.

Anyway kids, here are some brilliant, and slightly different, books for you to delve into at this time of conkers and Yankee candles (both of which seem to be spreading throughout our flat...). Enjoy!

The Versions Of Us - Laura Barnett

Kinda like a more complicated version of Sliding Doors but without the annoying characters (not that I don’t love that film). Jim and Eva meet at university aged 19 and you follow three different versions of their lives up until they're elderly. It takes a little while to get used to jumping between three different stories but once you get into the swing of things, you’re so hooked by the concept of all the different paths life can take you down. The characters are all so realistically human and it makes the story so lovely and gives you all the LIFE feels.

Reasons To Stay Alive - Matt Haig

This little memoir is just lovely. It’s engaging, intertwined with humour and might even save lives.

Matt Haig suffered a breakdown in his early twenties. This is his fight; told through lists, anecdotes and regular reminders of reasons to stay alive.

The Opposite of Loneliness - Marina Keegan

I saw so much of myself in Marina. The need to write, the need to be better, the need to share, the need to create. This girl was a storyteller and a much better one than I could have hoped to have been at university.  This book is a collection of her short stories and essays and every single one of them is so OMG YES. Her essays, in particular, are full of what it means to be a young adult in the 21st century.
Marina died in a car accident five days after she graduated and this book is a tribute to her incredible talent and questions how much more she could have given had she lived.

Lovely. Dark. Deep. - Amy McNamara

Oh maaaan, young adult genre nailing it yet again. The title pretty much sums it up tbh; this book makes you ache. You start off knowing that Wren lost her boyfriend in a car accident and has retreated into herself to the point of being an elective mute. And then you just gotta go with it because the full story of what happens emerges over the novel and you meet all these dandy characters who help Wren start to heal.
It’s a story of loss and pain and guilt and hope and reflection and new beginnings.

Nobody Told Me – Hollie McNish

So when I told my friend some of the details in this book, she went as white as a ghost dressed in a sheet and kinda looked like she was gonna throw up the shit load of cheese we'd just engulfed.

Oops; soz babes. So, yeah, word of warning; don't read if you have a fear around the concept of giving birth. If you ain't ready to even think about that shiz, then tuck this one away for another day. However, if – like me – you have a kinda fascination with what being pregnant and what giving birth really entails, then go ahead.

The ‘Nobody told me’ title basically refers to all the things that happen to a woman when she’s pregnant and gives birth that society seems to pretend don’t happen. Like when women give birth in TV programmes and in the next scene have flat, toned stomachs. Sure, babes, sure.

So, yeah, if you want to know about the sheer wonder of things your body is capable of and the reality and delights of what having a child is really about... I'd say go for it. Just expect to be told how it is.

Oh and there's poetry. Pretty darn awesome poetry.

As I’ve said before, in my opinion, Hollie McNish is the ultimate sass queen. The woman makes a living by being a performance poet; HOW COOL IS THAT?! She makes you laugh, cry and creates that warm fuzzy feeling. This is a combination of honest diary entries and hilarious, thought-provoking poems and she just nails it. Put aside any pre-conceived notions of poetry and read this; you'll end up freaking loving it.

Very Good Lives - J.K. Rowling

You can read this baby in half an hour and I cannot recommend enough that you take that half an hour out of your day. This is the commencement address that JK Rowling gave to the graduates at Harvard University in 2008. She talks about the benefits of failure; how having the courage to fail is key to taking risks and a good life, and of the importance of imagination; how imagining ourselves in the place of someone less fortunate is a unique human quality that we all must strive for.
Every time I read this, I’m reminded how important it is to do what you love, how the important things in life are not what’s listed on your CV and, most of all, how lucky I am.

The speech is here if you fancy listening to it instead.

Happy reading folks x


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