Being an English student, it’s fair to say I do an awful lot of reading. Not that there’s anything awful about reading, but when the lecturers decide to release the reading list a week before the course starts, there are many afternoons spent in my room, book in one hand, mug of tea in the other. Luckily I love most of the amazing stories we get to study, and tend to follow them with more books of my choice.
Sometimes however, I like to put down the phenomenal, charismatic, gripping, ingenious invention that is the novel, and read something a bit more, how shall I put it? Direct. I love memoirs and self-help books, hearing people’s experiences and lives and tips, whether in lifestyle or fashion, or just something different and unique.
As well as those, I am quite a sucker for poetry. After ordering one collection, Amazon recommended me another, and another, and before I knew it I had volumes worth of books arriving through the letter box. I love them because they’re perfect for just breaking everything up. Filling the reading gaps with a sip of beautiful words, angst, or metaphors, but I won’t try to read them all one after the other again because that got a little boring. Anyway, after a lot of comparing and rereading the best bits, I have come up with my top ten books.
- Barbara Ann Kipfer, 14,000 things to be happy about
One of the cutest things ever. This woman recorded every little thing that makes her happy for years and made it all into a giant list in this book. It reflects all the beautiful things that are often overlooked, and renders in the moment of happiness that each one brings her. I could feel myself glowing as I read the lists, agreeing with everything she talks about. Well almost everything (Sunday school? I would have run away before going to Sunday school).
- Alicia Cook, Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately
Yep, it’s a poetry book. One of the most unique collections I’ve ever read. Whilst writing the poems, Alicia would listen to a song and then write that song at the end of each poem, as if she was weaving the two beautiful forms of art together. It focuses on the strain and suffering caused by addiction, touching on love, death, and spiritual growth. Beautifully written and perfect for anyone in need for inspiration.
- Brooke Barker, Sad Animal Facts
After reading this you will never see animals in the same way. This book is full of weird funny and sad facts about animals. Did you know that an ostrich spends 7 months alone every year? That if a wolf is kicked out of its pack it never howls again? Or that cows produce the most milk when listening to R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts”? It shows that animals can be just as troubled and complicated as us.
- Kate Spade, All In Good Taste
This is a book about what Kate Spade loves more than anything else: parties. It is a guide to being a modern-day hostess, full of tips, recipes, soundtracks and sparkling additions. I read it buzzing at the thought of all these events, ever so excited to be in my mid-twenties and hosting the most glamourous parties for my friends, where we all get dressed up with glitter decorations and champagne handed as they enter… Ok maybe I should work for a few years before I start doing this.
- Amy Chua, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
This is the first memoir I read, and so far the best. It’s written by a Chinese woman who moved to America to raise her two daughters, filled with stories and methods she used to bring them up under what she calls “Chinese parenting”. She focuses on the belief that grade A students were meant to represent good parenting, reflecting on her own upbringing and the hopes she had for her daughters. Although I don’t agree with everything she says and I’m certainly glad she wasn’t my mum, I was compelled by her stories and parenting beliefs that she delivers exceptionally well.
- Alexa Chung, It
All moments from fashion enthusiast Alexa Chung. Full of stories, doddles, and pretty pictures of fancy clothes. One look at the description and it was mine. She details the growth of her modelling and fashion career, reflecting her early fashion trends and inspiration. Worth getting because Alexa’s amazing, it’s all about fashion and it’s really pretty.
- Kate Tempest, Let Them Eat Chaos
One of the coolest, unique, most creative things I’ve ever read. It’s poetry but not the normal sort. The whole book is one long poem that’s written for live performance, focusing into the lives of seven strangers who live on a street in London, awake in the early hours of the morning dealing with their problems. It’s quite hard to describe exactly, so I’ll just tell you that it is phenomenal. Honestly I picked it up to dip into the first pages and read the entire thing (I mean it’s not that long but still!)
- Michael Faudet, Dirty Pretty Things
Ok this is a normal poetry full of romantic poems. A beautiful, touching collection full of raw descriptions and stories about love, loss, living, and sex. Yep there is a lot of sex in these poems, but if that’s what you like to read then read this because it is very well written. “Lips: Kisses dream of lips like yours”, and a whole lot more like that.
- Rupi Kaur, Milk and Honey
I spent a while choosing which poetry book to put first, but I had to go with this one because it is just so breath-taking. I bought this book after seeing multiple screenshots of the poems on aesthetic twitter accounts, and they weren’t wrong. From beginning to end the poems grip you with the beautiful words and the meaning embedded beneath them. I’m certain there’s one poem that everyone can relate to.
- Garance Doré, Love Style Life
The title fits well, because this book changed my life. Garance Doré is an utter legend, gracing us with this book full of her witty, authentic writing to explore her life, visions and love of the fashion world. This is so much more than a normal style guide, this is about expression and development, not just in fashion but in living and people. I remember reading it to take a breath from the ghastly period of A level revision, and was hooked by her amazing story telling and beautiful narrative. It’s for anyone who has dreams and ambitions, and in Garance’s case, an overwhelming love for Zara.
So there we have it, and this is just a selection of many other books I love. What are your favourites?
Until next time, cheerio x