Books For When… You Are Stressed

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!

Books for when you... are stressed

My Not So Perfect Life Sophie Kinsella

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.

My Fair Lazy Jen Lancaster

My Fair Lazy: One Reality Television Addict’s Attempt to Discover If Not Being a Dumb Ass is the New Black, or a Culture-Up Manifesto, Jen Lancaster

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

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 HappyJenny 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? 

Until tomorrow,
The Historian!

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7 thoughts on “Books For When… You Are Stressed

  1. fattymccupcakes March 30, 2017 / 8:08 pm

    I am a diehard Kinsella fan. I did not love her second to latest (is that even a phrase??) Shopaholic book, but the rest I LOVE! I also loved her other books not included in the Shopaholic series. That said, I did not fall in love with this book…I was expecting hijinks and humor. Like, Katie getting caught faking her life. I dunno. It was OK. It IS a good book when you need to escape your life, though…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Charlotte Graham April 3, 2017 / 9:18 pm

      I think I might be one of the few readers who enjoys Chick Lit but hasn’t read any Sophie Kinsella yet. I’d like to at least give Shopaholic a chance!

      Liked by 1 person

      • anhistorianabouttown April 4, 2017 / 7:12 pm

        The first three are a lot of fun and really easy to read! I also enjoy the audiobooks while I’m making my daily commute- it’s breezy enough that I don’t find it distracts from driving!

        Liked by 1 person

    • anhistorianabouttown April 4, 2017 / 6:57 pm

      I found that I got bored of the same old hiccups and bumps that happen throughout Shopaholic, I liked the slightly more serious tone of this because I know that if there is a follow up it wouldn’t go back to the way it was a la Shopaholic!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Charlotte Graham April 3, 2017 / 9:20 pm

    The Jane Austen P&P adaptation sounds like I would love it. The other P&P adaptations I have read fell flat with me, because they were about 90% actual P&P, but with select words replaced with some flavor-du-jour.

    The Jenny Lawson book sounds like something I would love! I really enjoy humor, especially if it is in the efforts of coping with harder issues.

    Thank you for these recommendations!

    For me, when I am stressed, I rely even more heavily on my (already) favorite genre of fantasy. I love being carried away in a fantasy world of dragons and elves, where problems in my real life don’t even exist for any characters.


    • anhistorianabouttown April 4, 2017 / 7:22 pm

      I should probably stop reading P&P adaptations to avoid disappointment but I’m always hopeful that they will grab me like these! Eligible was one of the biggest reading disappointments I’ve had in years, and it’s because they really did just plug in buzz words.

      Jenny Lawson is memoir GOLD and I can’t wait until her next book (which I believe includes margin doodles) comes out!

      I am hit and miss on fantasy, but I LOVE the Locke Lamora series!! I love diving into how long it is, and getting lost in a truly “other” world!!

      Liked by 1 person

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