When I was a kid, the library was one of my favourite places. I used to go every weekend, hungry for new stories, then spend hours lost in adventure after adventure. Nowadays I admit I tend to reach for my phone instead of a book, be it on a bus or in my bed. Social media is wonderful, of course, but in 2017 I’m making a conscious effort to disconnect a little more. When Penguin Books approached me to share my #readinggoals in an Instagram collaboration, I jumped at the idea. This past week I've taken over their feed to share a few books that I'm excited to read, and the reasons I chose them.
The Little Book of Hygge – Last year I was lucky enough to visit both Copenhagen and Aarhus. Danish folk do it right. They seem to understand the magic of intentionally slowing down and cultivating then savouring happy simple moments. I think we could all do with some more of that... and who better to learn from than the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute? Teach me your ways, oh wise Wiking.
A Brief History of Time – Many years ago, my physics teacher took us on a school trip to listen to Professor Michio Kaku talk about time travel. It was my first glimpse into the world of string theory and it blew my mind. I’m looking forward to reading A Brief History Of Time to remind myself how amazing our universe is.
Lust – I only recently learned of this collection of short stories by the magnificent Dahl. As a kid, I was addicted to his dark and twisted stories, and I’m delighted there’s more to discover as an adult.
When Breath Becomes Air – As much as I’m looking forward to this autobiography, I’ll admit I’m also scared to begin. Written by a neurosurgeon who was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, it follows his journey from doctor to patient. Knowing that Kalanithi died before finishing this book breaks my heart.
The Optician Of Lampedusa – Every morning I wake up, make some coffee, take a deep breath and turn on news from around the world. I know that something will upset or shock or anger me... but that’s exactly when we need to look closer and try to learn from the pain. That’s why I’ve picked this book by BBC journalist Emma Jane Kirby – an account of an ordinary man who happened upon hundreds of drowning migrants in the Mediterranean Sea.
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle – Oh Murakami. Only you could leave me feeling like a melancholy poet. Bramble, my pygmy hedgehog, has the right idea, all curled up against the cold January air. I think I’ll join her along with this book.
I hope this has inspired your reading list. If you've read any of the books above, let me know what you thought. Also hit me up with any other recommendations. Disclaimer – This collaboration was sponsored by Penguin Books, who kindly let me choose books from their extensive catalogue. Thanks guys!