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Three books to invest in this January: Self-help from a bookworm

Olivia Atkinson

It may be mid-term, but if you can squeeze in some time to give these three books a read, I guarantee you’ll feel inspired. For those in third year, the time is fast approaching to make decisions on your next steps, whilst second and first years will still be developing their routine. Hopefully each of these books will help different year groups in different ways, whether it be to awaken creativity, inspire your cultural side, or simply engage with what it truly means to be happy.

To start with, meet Elizabeth Gilbert and her latest authorship, ‘Big Magic’. You might have heard of her debut novel, ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, but Ill come to that soon. With her success in writing and journalism, Gilbert has finally produced a self-help guide to channelling your own creativity. At times when you might experience a block in your life, or perhaps simply struggle to devise an argument for an essay, this book will show you how to reignite your creative spark and let the magic happenThe main point is that you do what makes you happy, before you can truly release your inner creative. But I wont spoil the rest of your personal journey, as I think each reader will experience something unique.

I believe that fiction can be just as helpful as instructive books. Written for purpose is not a phrase I would attach to novel-writing. For instance, whilst some may find ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ clichéd or predictable, others call it their Bible. This honour deserves recognition, and my experience was certainly eye-opening, particularly in Gilbert’s description of the undiscovered world. Reading enables you to disappear and take stock of what options and tools you have available to plan for life. ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ highlights one woman’s journey to discover not only herself, but a sense of appreciation for the inspiring world around her. This book will encourage readers to realise the potential that presents itself on the ever-changing planet we call our home.

Next, may I present Fearne Cotton’s new self-help guide to being, ‘Happy’. With the clue in the title, Fearne attempts to explain depression, and her personal experiences. The book provides guidelines to what one might encounter with depression, and other forms of mental illness, and Fearne’s tone is accurately empathetic. She has interviewed various teams that work with helplines and websites aimed at providing an ear to young people dealing with depression. While I could not personally relate to the traumas she describes, I was certainly uplifted and finished this book feeling positive. Unexpected, thought-provoking and a genuinely good book.

Hopefully the student readership here will agree that this sums up the best way to get through your degree – speak your mind, share with others, and focus on the goal of the ‘good stuff’ that lies ahead.

These powerful, experienced and cultured women can convince anyone on how to look towards happiness, success, and creativity. Their works apply to any variation of study, and the stresses that come with it. As a student, I can bet you’ll be as pleased with the results as I am. Happy reading and happy New Year.

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