When the days become longer and the weather warmer, what’s better to give you that relaxing summer feel than a great read? Whether you sit in the garden, read in the park, or get a few lines in before lights out, these 10 titles are essential. Ranging from inspiring memoirs, advice on careers or pure escapism, there’s plenty to keep you turning the pages under the sun.
1 – Becoming, Michelle Obama (2018) – Bold and inspiring, the early recollections of Michelle’s early career choices prior to assuming the role of First Lady are both humbling and motivating. The honesty and vulnerability in her openness of discussing feelings of inadequacy and imposter syndrome will be a great comfort for anyone aspiring to make great changes, political, professional or otherwise.
2 – A field Guide to Getting Lost, Rebecca Solnit (2015) – A meditation on loss, losing and getting lost, this memoir is fitting for anyone in the early stages of adulthood and a subtle reminder to enjoy the pursuit of whatever it is we strive for in life.
3 – Children of Blood and Bone, Tomi Adeyemi (2018) – Ahead of the release of the sequel this December, this magical tale of a young woman tasked with restoring magic excellently portrays the strength of its female protagonists in multiple ways. From the assertive Zelie to the reserved Amari who steadily gains her voice when faced with uncertainty, the novel also touches upon themes of alienation and discord between different groups.
4 – Business Model You, Alexander Osterwalder, Tim Clark, and Yves Pigneur (2012) – Practical insights and exercises to help you brainstorm you newest business idea or side-hustle.
5 – I Don’t Know What I Want But I know It’s Not This, Julie Jansen (2003) – Effective tools and introspective journal prompts to help you examine what it means to find gratifying work
6 – Good Talk, Mira Jacob (2019) – Part memoir, part graphic novel, Jacob explores race and identity as a Brown woman in post 9/11 America which resonates on either side of the Atlantic.
7 – The Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person, Shonda Rhimes (2015) – A year of daring to open yourself up to new opportunities from the perspective of an entertainment juggernaut (creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal) who just so happens to identify as an introvert.
8 – So Sad Today, Melissa Broder (2016) – As though reading a friend’s diary when you know you ought to know better. Painfully relatable, this series of essays touching upon Broder’s lived experience of mental health difficulties are funny, insightful and tragic all at once.
9 – Slay in your Lane: The Black Girl Bible, Elizabeth Uviebinené and Yomi Adegoke (2018) – Essential reading for any Black woman living in Britain today, they provide essential tips and anecdotes on how to navigate race and gender today. Also recommended for those who identify other than Black to offer insight into the lived experiences of many young Black Brits you’re sure to come across on a daily basis.
10 – The Infinite Wait & Other Stories, Julia Wertz (2012) – a charming collection of three comics chronicling life as a young creative juggling chronic illness in their early 20’s.
Words by Jearl Boatswain
The UK's first Career & Lifestyle Magazine for women in the Creative and Media industries.