Reading plays a big part in my life, particularly when I am stressed and/or under the weather. I believe that reading is the perfect escape, and lets you get away from whatever is troubling you with minimal effort and money. This week I am sharing the books that have helped me escape and relax at difficult times. They allow you a vacation for a little bit without a ton of thinking or evaluation. Pure enjoyment, and sometimes that is exactly what we need in our lives!
My Not So Perfect Life, Sophie Kinsella
I’m actually just finishing up listening to this right now, I was able to borrow it on the Overdrive app from the library! I can be very hit and miss with Sophie Kinsella, I don’t care for the Shopaholic series much past the third book. However, I much prefer this narrator AND this storyline- Katie appears to have a fabulous London life but after a series of mishaps ends up helping her dad with a glamping business in Somerset. It’s fun and you can see yourself in Katie’s position; I really appreciated this, because I can’t see myself spiralling into consumer debt á la Becky Brandon, the Shopaholic. It is super fun listening and I can’t stop listening! It’s helping me escape the stress right now.
Jen Lancaster is an interesting author to me. Sometimes I find her too over-the-top cruel and selfish, and am left wondering how on earth she got to be so popular. However, she then shows much love she has for animals or pens a pretty insightful book like My Fair Lazy and I’m board! Jen’s memoirs detail different points in adulthood: her unemployment and search for work, buying a house, learning home skills (cooking, crafting, etc). In MFL, she tackles the feat of becoming culturally literate and educating herself on books, art, dance, and theatre. I think that this is actually a fanastic project for anyone to do; so many of us do get wrapped up in Instagram, reality TV, and SnapChat and ignore the “traditional” areas of culture in favour of immediacy. It is hilarious and enlightening to follow Jen on her journey, and experience her reactions to some rather avant garde art!
Prada and Prejudice, Katie Oliver
Okay, I am a big Jane Austen fan, and I read many, many adaptations that I don’t actually like in any way. However, Katie’s series is far enough away from the original that it stands as it’s own story while still having enough nods to the originals that you are pleasantly reminded. There are two other books in this series, and they are warm and funny and keeps you guessing what will happen next, which is not entirely common in chick lit. I also LOVE that there is the element of style mixed in the story; if you give me fashion, I will love it.
Furiously Happy, Jenny Lawson
Furiously Happy is Jenny Lawson’s follow up to Let’s Pretend This Never Happened and continues on in the same vein of comedy and reality. She shares her goal to be furiously happy in spite of her struggles and journey with mental illness. This is a fantastic book to read when you have the weight of the world on your shoulders; it reminds you that despite what your brain may or may not want you to do or to feel, there are still reasons to be happy, and that you should try to be furiously happy in spite of what may be happening. It also has some really insightful chapters on how her husband handles everything- seeing it from the other side is very interesting!
So, dear readers, what are your favourite ways to cope with stress and escape from the world for a bit?