Our favourite essays, texts and tomes to inspire and challenge this autumn
How Do We Know We’re Doing It Right?: Essays on Modern Life
– Pandora Sykes (Hutchinson)
Modern life is full of choices. We’re told that happiness lies within and we can be whoever we want to be. But with endless possibility comes a feeling of restlessness; like we’re somehow failing to live our best life. From fast fashion to millennial burnout, the explosion of wellness to the rise of cancel culture, Pandora Sykes interrogates the stories we’ve been sold and the ones we tell ourselves, and suggests that the answers to life might lie in the questions we’re asking.
Grasp: The Science Transforming How We Learn – Sanjay Sarma & Luke Yoquinto (Random House)
As head of Open Learning at MIT, Sanjay Sarma has spent a career considering how learning works best. Grasp takes readers from neuroscience to cognitive psychology and beyond, as it explores the science – and future – of learning and ask how we can use it to discover our true potential, as individuals and across society.
Niksen: The Dutch Art of Doing Nothing – Carolien Janssen (CreateSpace)
We all know we need to slow down, just as we knew we need to develop more hygge in our homes and more lagom in our lives. Now, Niksen, the latest cultural imperative from Denmark will show us how to slow all the way down, and do nothing more than just nothing. Unwind and reap the benefits of the sixth happiest country in the world.
Parting Words: Nine lessons for a remarkable life – Benjamin Ferencz (Sphere)
If you want life lessons from anyone, you want them from Benjamin Ferencz. Ferencz turned 100 in 2020, and is a man with a remarkable life. From an immigrant in childhood in America during the Great Depression, to a scholarship at Harvard, he then landed on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, was present at the liberation of several concentration camps, oversaw several of the Nuremberg trials and fought to create an International Criminal Court to prosecute war criminals across the world. In this extraordinary book, he shares the nine humble, compelling and life-affirming lessons he’s learned along the way that we can all harness for ourselves.
Raising A Rare Girl: A memoir about parenting, disability and the beauty of being human – Heather Lanier (Piatkus)
Born with an ultra-rare syndrome known as Wolf-Hirschhorn, Heather Lanier’s daughter Fiona challenged all of Lanier’s preconceptions, and opened her up to a new understanding of what it means to be human and what it takes to be a mother. This beautiful memoir is about embracing life as a spiritual practice that breaks us open in the best of ways.
The Age-Well Plan: The 6-Week Programme to Kickstart a Longer, Healthier, Happier Life – Susan Saunders (Paitkus)
Following on from The Age-Well Project, which dived deep into the science of ageing well, in The Age-Well Plan, Saunders draws on almost a decade of extensive research into healthy longevity and her experience as a health coach to give you the tools you need to live your own age-well life. This simple, clear and easy-to-follow six-week plan will show you how to make to support healthy ageing.
The Money is Coming: Your guide to manifesting more money – Sarah Akwisombe (Piatkus)
In The Money Is Coming, Sarah Akwisombe, founder of No Bull Business School, gives you an easy-to-follow, ten step system to manifest more money into your life. By using a unique blend of Sarah’s no direct style and an honest, inquisitive look at the universe and the law of attraction, you will learn to re-programme your brain to work for you, breaking down negative money blocks to replace them with new thought patterns for a positive money mindset.
The Lazy Genius Way: Embrace What Matters, Ditch What Doesn’t, and Get Stuff Done – Kendra Adachi (WaterBrook)
The chorus of “shoulds” is loud. You should enjoy the moment, dream big, have it all, get up before the sun, and so on. Or maybe, says Kendra Adachi, you should ignore what people think.
It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed by the mixed messages of what it means to live well, but Adachi invites readers to live well by their own definition and equips us to be a genius about what matters and lazy about what doesn’t. Inspiring.
Unreasonable Success and How to Achieve It: Unlocking the Nine Secrets of People Who Changed the World – Richard Koch (Piatkus)
In this ground-breaking book, bestselling author Richard Koch charts a new idea of success, identifying the nine key attitudes and strategies that have propelled the most unlikely people positions of power and influence. Who could have predicted that Nelson Mandela, a once-obscure lawyer, could have averted disaster in South Africa, or that Helena Rubinstein, a young woman growing up in ghetto of Kraków, could have changed the face of beauty throughout the world? With this book, you can embark on a journey towards a new, unreasonably successful future.
You Exist Too Much – Zaina Arafat (Catapult)
Told in vignettes that flash between the U.S. and the Middle East – from New York to Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine – Zaina Arafat’s debut novel traces her protagonist’s progress from blushing teen to sought-after DJ and aspiring writer. Opening up the fantasies and desires of one young woman caught between cultural, religious, and sexual identities, You Exist Too Much is a captivating story charting two of our most intense longings – for love, and a place to call home.