The Reading List
Our Spring reading list is all about reframing mindset, from exploring how vulnerability and melanchology can be secret strengths to looking to the past to illuminate the future…
BOOK OF THE MONTH
A Line Above the Sky by Helen Mort
When the world around you is in chaos, climbing can give you the illusion of being in control – or at least that’s how it feels for prize-winning poet and novelist Helen Mort, who has captured the thrill of the climb in this beautiful book about mountains and motherhood. Melding memoir and nature writing, Mort finds herself re-examining her relationship with both the natural world and herself after becoming a mother for the first time, as well as asking how we can find freedom through pushing our limits. A visceral love letter to losing oneself in physicality, it’s a celebration of womanhood in all its forms.
Companion Piece by Ali Smith
Known as one of the most inventive and intellectually fierce writers of our times, Ali Smith’s latest novel is the final instalment of her Man Booker-shortlisted Seasonal quartet. Designed as a coda for the much-lauded cycle of novels – Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer – which were written and published between 2016 and 2020 (the last of which responded to the pandemic in real time, making her one of the first authors to do so), her latest literary offering is designed as a celebration of companionship in all its forms – at once timeless and contemporary, and always spellbinding and shapeshifting.
Bittersweet by Susan Cain
This latest offering from New York Times bestselling author Susan Cain explores the concept of ‘bittersweet’ and reveals how vulnerability and melancholy can actually be strengths when viewed in the right way. With each chapter dedicated to an issue that defines our lives – from love and death to authenticity and creativity – she helps us understand the power of the bittersweet and shows how understanding and embracing it can chance the way we work, live and love. In a culture that celebrates toughness, it’s a refreshing take for those who yearn for a more meaningful world.
Cues by Vanessa Van Edwards
While we may not realise it, every conversation we have is made up of tiny signals – from our facial expressions and posture to vocal tone and choice of words – which others use to figure out how trustworthy we are, or how much to take note of what we’re saying. In this insightful book, interpersonal expert Vanessa Van Edwards teaches you how to harness those cues to make sure your personal and professional relationships run as smoothly as possible. From revealing the vocal signals that make you sound more confident to the words that help maximise trust, this handy tome will make sure you’re never misunderstood.
Elektra by Jennifer Saint
In this follow up to her bestselling novel Ariadne, which follows the tale of the Minotaur, Jennifer Saint returns with another dazzlingly fresh take on Greek mythology. Her latest book tells the story of three of the most influential women in the Trojan war – Clytemnestra, the sister of Helen and wife of Agamemnon; Elektra, their headstrong daughter; and Cassandra, the prophetic Trojan princess who is destined never to be believed. Filled with rich prose that instantly transports you to ancient Greece, it offers a unique take on the fickle nature of men and gods – and the women that suffer due to their whims.
Fierce Appetites by Elizabeth Boyle
As a medieval historian, the events of 2020 felt more than a little familiar to Elizabeth Boyle – it was a plague year, after all, something the Middle Ages specialist understood better than most. Less familiar, however, were the other events, where she found herself turning 40 and confronting the death of her beloved father. Writing a chapter per month, Fierce Appetites is the scholar’s attempt to make sense of a year like no other, one that saw her navigate grief, addiction, family breakdown and the complexities of motherhood, while using her knowledge of the past to
shape her vision for the future.
The Bridge by Donna Lancaster
Heartbreak comes in many forms – whether it starts with the pain of not fitting in at school or going through the end of a relationship to facing the death of a loved one – and its aftershocks can be felt for years to come. This new book from renowned coach and therapist Donna Lancaster provides the practical tools you need to move through the pain and into a space of compassion. Using an innovative nine-step programme, The Bridge will teach you how to care for yourself and give you the courage to really feel your feelings.