There’s something so snug and comforting about autumn – changing colours, early morning mists and the days growing darker – that makes me just want to settle down in front of the fire with a huge mug of tea and a good book. I always seem to have a ridiculously long list of ‘must reads’ or podcasts that I absolutely have to listen to! Clearly I’m never going to get through them all, but here are some of my top picks that have made an impact recently – and with World Menopause Day last Sunday, for me this is the most important book to start my list.
The New Hot: Taking on the Menopause with Attitude and Style by Meg Mathews
Since the launch of MegsMenopause in 2018, Meg Mathews has been a huge voice in breaking down the stigmas surrounding menopause. With candid accounts of her own debilitating experience, this is a brutally honest, funny and insightful book. The result of her own extensive research and discussions with health professionals, menopause experts and alternative therapists, there is a wealth of information, practical advice and support here – everything you want and need to know about the menopause – and all of it set out alongside her own personal journey to find answers and healing. This is about being informed, getting the support you need and owning your menopause. Brilliantly compelling and entertaining, in my view this is essential reading for every woman going through this stage in life.
This Girl is on Fire: How to Live, Learn and Thrive in a Life You Love by Andrea McClean
Here is another superbly candid book that is a captivating read from start to finish. Andrea takes us on her journey of loss, pain, relationships, divorce, trauma and her ultimate burnout, right through to finding empowerment, healing and becoming ‘a girl on fire’! Sharing the lessons she has learned with inspiring insight and wisdom, this is about understanding who we are and taking control – discovering what it is that sets us on fire – and the steps that only we can take to get where we want to be and lead the life we love. I absolutely loved this book. Definitely a go to – again and again!
Extraordinary: How to lead a bigger, braver, more meaningful life by Elke Edwards
Having recently interviewed Elke for our In Conversation With … I couldn’t wait to read this book and it definitely didn’t disappoint! This is a brilliant game-changing guide for people who are ready to take control and realise the life they want to lead. Drawing on decades of experience, Elke breaks the book down into seven parts – each one offering transformative skills and down-to-earth guidance that will help you find the life that is right for you. Elke asks all of the important questions we need to ask ourselves – importantly is it time for a different path? Clear and concise, the clarity Elke offers as she answers these questions mean this is a book you will definitely keep returning to.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
This debut novel literally blew me away. Beautifully written, an atmospheric celebration of nature, with rich descriptions and unforgettable characters, this is a book about loneliness and survival, love and loss, racial and social prejudice and, ultimately, about hope and endurance. Set in the 1950s and 60s, it follows the story of Kya, abandoned by her family to grow up isolated and alone in the swamplands of North Carolina. Two timelines gradually intertwine – the tale of a possible murder in 1969 with an investigation that implicates Kya, interspersed with lengthy flashbacks to her youth and young adulthood, and culminating in the eventual court case. The intensity of this book is heart-breaking and sinks into your thinking as if you’re living in the story alongside them. I honestly couldn’t put it down!
You’re Booked : Podcast hosted by Daisy Buchanan
I recently discovered this fabulously entertaining podcast where journalist, author and broadcaster Daisy Buchanan goes into the homes of writers she admires and snoops around their bookshelves to discover the books that made an impact on them. Chatty and lively, with some great guest author interviews, this is all about books and the writers who write them. There are some great insights into the authors she talks to, and it’s perfect listening for recommendations if you’re on the lookout for a good read. In my view, a literary podcast gem for all of the book lovers out there who are constantly on the go and don’t always have time to just curl up with a good paperback!