Throughout lockdown I have again brightened my book worm tendencies into full blown obsession and have taken to this wonderful company called A Box Of Stories that have delivered new books directly to my door. In simple terms they basically save stories from being lost forever. Approximately 200,000 titles are published every year in the UK. Just 17% of these are lucky enough to get a decent marketing budget and make it to the ‘Bestsellers’ List created via the media and in bookstores. Among the other 83% are many amazing books and new authors that get squeezed out of sight in the marketing blitz of the selected known bestsellers. And there they stay…undiscovered. So I decided to bunch together some of the best books I’ve read to keep them alive in an unexpected develop of time that of course we have all struggled with but are thankful we are safe.
Coming in at Number 10: The fabulous and lovely ‘Man Up by Ross Mathews’ not only am I in love with him but he’s funny, interested and of course 100% fabulous. He takes us on a new journey to show his vulnerability in stead of the confident and insanely amazing person we see on Rupaul’s Drag Race. “From learning to swear like a hardened trucker to that time in high school when had to face down the most frightening opponent of all (his girlfriend’s lady bits), Ross holds nothing back. Oh, then there’s his surprisingly shady past involving the cutest pair of plus-sized women’s pajama bottoms, deliciously dangerous pot butter, and embezzled sandwiches”
We’ll have all seen the movie; 127 hours by Aaron Ralston, of course I read the book after the movie sadly and honestly the movie was nothing compared which all book lovers will agree that nothing compared to the book. “On Sunday April 27, 2003, 27-year old Aron Ralston set off for a day’s hiking in the Utah canyons. Dressed in a t-shirt and shorts, Ralston, a seasoned climber, figured he’d hike for a few hours and then head off to work. 40 miles from the nearest paved road, he found himself on top of an 800-pound boulder. As he slid down and off of the boulder it shifted, trapping his right hand against the canyon wall.”
A personal favorite is ‘Without A Voice’ Michelle Nicholson, this was a favorite because firstly I have met the lady and secondly it was a true story that was both interesting and breathtaking. Something I wouldn’t ever imagine happening never mind being able to tell the story afterwards. “beneath the façade lurked a dangerous and deadly psychopath, hell bent on revenge for Michelle’s rejection of him. Twenty four years later, still fighting to clear her name, Michelle tells, with raw honesty, the true and horrifying story of the murder of her beloved father and how she was framed for that murder,” This is insanely powerful story that I couldn’t put down once.
A strong number five More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera is focused on issues many of us or know someone who has gone through a similar situation. Focused on LGBT and how young Aaron will understand his feelings when a new boy becomes his friends, thrown in a mixture of relationships, friends and suicide. “Since Aaron can’t stay away from Thomas or turn off his newfound feelings for him, he considers turning to the Leteo Institute’s revolutionary memory-alteration procedure to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he truly is…”
The next two books are something that I have used to increase my motivation, self-love and empowerment during these times. The only two self-help books that I have read cover to cover.
Seven Steps To Self Empowerment: Elaine Mitchell This isn’t anything to do with family bias (although I’m related to an author go me!) The seven steps to self-empowerment has really helped improve the way I look at my life, the way I look at the things I have around me and changed the way I think of what I have around me and how thankful I should be. “A journal and guidebook created by Elaine Mitchell Empowerment Coach and Speaker. Create self-empowerment and develop personal growth whilst following the seven steps. Each step has its own chapter and journal pages. The steps are created to enhance everyday life, whilst activities are set at the end of chapter. The activities embed the learnings from the chapter.”
You are a badass: how to stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life. Jen Sincero I don’t normally like self-help books but it seems like she was talking in real terms, I felt like we was in some kind of conversation and she understood everything I was going through perfectly offering me solutions that didn’t seem to hard and when I doubted she shouted that if I wanted change this is how it was happening. “In this refreshingly entertaining how-to guide, bestselling author and success coach, Jen Sincero, serves up 27 bitesized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, easy exercises, and the occasional swear word, helping you to: Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviours that stop you from getting what you want.”
The Exact Opposite of Okay created by Laura Steven Not only is this book insanely relatable with being focused on teenage problems but how to deal with them in the hardest of situations. I fell in love with this book and immediately bought the sequel purely because of the human that manifested from every page. “Izzy O’Neill here! Impoverished orphan, aspiring comedian and Slut Extraordinaire, if the gossip sites are anything to go by . . .Izzy never expected to be eighteen and internationally reviled. But when explicit photos involving her, a politician’s son and a garden bench are published online, the trolls set out to take her apart.”
The Book of Hidden Things Francesco Dimitri, wasn’t exactly what I imagined it would be when the mixture of spiritual awakening and fear. They are four friends with a lifelong pact to stay in touch by once a year meeting at their favorite pizza place. “Art, the charismatic leader of the group, has always been adamant about the pact. But this year, he doesn’t show up. Searching for him, the friends make a worrying discovery: Art has been farming marijuana, a very dangerous activity in mafia-controlled country. Asking around in town, they hear bizarre and incredible rumours that Art cured a young girl of leukemia.”
A Place to Remember: Jenn J McLeod This is one of the books that I received in the A Box Of Stories parcel. The first one I have read up to know as I shared the around with family. It gripped me from the first few pages and I read the first half of the book within a few days. I have never read anything remotely romantic before this and I have loved the development of the characters. “Running away for the second time in her life, twenty-seven-year old Ava believes the cook’s job at a country B&B is perfect, until she meets the owner’s son, John Tate. The young fifth generation grazier is a beguiling blend of both man, boy and a terrible flirt. With their connection immediate and intense, they begin a clandestine affair right under the noses of John’s formidable parents.”
My all-time favorite book is; Looking For Alaska by John Green. I know that’s a typical girl book but there’s something about it that I could re-read over and over without getting bored in the slightest. The whole love lost and bad girl vibe really awoke my reading when I was younger. It seemed to speak of issues that no one could understand without walking with Miles and of course Alaska Young. “Miles Halter’s whole life has been one big non-event until he starts at anything-but-boring Culver Creek Boarding School and meets Alaska Young. Gorgeous, clever, funny and utterly fascinating she pulls Miles into her world, launches him into a new life, and steals his heart. But when tragedy strikes, and Miles comes face-to-face with death he discovers the value of living and loving unconditionally.”