Five Books That Helped Me Through Lockdown
Nothing brings me quite as much comfort in troubled times as a cup of tea and a good book. Reading can provide an escape from reality, an opportunity to learn, and a chance to exercise your mind. For me especially it helps me keep my mental health in check; it allows my overthinking mind (that normally runs at 100mph) to slow down and focus. That could either be by escaping to a different time and country altogether or learning something new about human psychology or physiology.
The below five books have certainly helped throughout lockdown and will stay with me for a long time. Hopefully one of these will resonate with you as well.
Notes On A Nervous Planet – Matt Haig
Haig’s non-fiction follow-up to Reasons to Stay Alive is a beautiful account and collection of thoughts around his anxiety. If you’re a sufferer yourself or even if the current climate is just making you feel a little uneasy, then this book should reverse some of that. Haig talks about his experience with anxiety in short, easily read chapters with some heart-warming and comical mini-essays too. It’s a book to come back to again and again, whenever you need a literary hug or to switch off from the outside world.
Girl, Woman, Other – Bernadine Evaristo
Girl, Woman, Other is a wonderfully written novel that combines the storylines of many women, whose lives are heavily intertwined. The tales begin separately with their own individual accounts but crescendo together and harmonise in the final chapters. The story begins in London but also takes us across the Atlantic to different parts of America. There are so many journeys from women of multiple backgrounds and generations that guarantee a new perspective whatever your upbringing or previous reading. There is so much to learn about the feminist experience from Evaristo’s prize-winning prose; an absolute must read.
Where The Crawdads Sing – Delia Owens
Set on the East coast of America in the mid 1900’s, Where The Crawdads Sing is the perfect novel to sink into and escape with. Kya has lived as an outsider in the marsh her whole life. She can identify birds by their feathers and creatures from their shells. People have come and gone in her life; she’s strong-willed, mistrusting of all, and incredibly shy. That is until some of the nearby villagers begin to take an interest in her. A soft murder mystery tale centered around coming of age and the prejudices of living differently, this is not one to miss.
Untamed – Glennon Doyle
Doyle’s account of figuring out exactly what she wanted in life was a pleasure to read. She talks about really sitting with her thoughts to work out what that was, not what she was told she should want or what was expected of her. The message of finding your knowing does repeat itself through the book but if it’s what you need to hear then it will be welcomed. Each chapter and topic that Doyle covers is charming and witty, just crying out to be bookmarked and re-read. If you’re using this time in lockdown to work out what your next step in life could be then add this book to your list.
Atomic Habits – James Clear
If you’re looking to level up and make some changes in your life then this is the book for you. Clear’s four-step process to implementing new habits is foolproof. Each step is focused on and discussed in detail, with a plethora of printables and extra resources on his website. An easy read that will have you eager to implement new changes into your life.
For more recommendations, feel free to come and find me on Instagram. As ever, if you can, please shop local! I couldn’t recommend enough the team at Pigeon Books on Albert Road.
By Nikki Jones – @TheBookishMindset
Feature Photo – Nikki’s own 🙂