Books Worthy of a Spot on Your Bookshelf

While I was honeymooning overseas, I took the opportunity to plant my nose in several (12, in fact) good books, a few of which I want to share here to help you out next time you’re on the hunt for something juicy, intelligent or captivating (or all three).

Let’s dive straight in… 

books

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Love with a Chance of Drowning

‘Ripped through it like a woman possessed’ is a pretty apt description of what happened when I started reading this brave and brilliant memoir by the talent behind The Fearful Adventurer, Torre DeRoche. Holy moly, girl can write. 

Torre’s genius storytelling had me in a headlock from page one, and I honestly didn’t move from the bed until that night when I landed, with great regret, on the final sentence. (my husband knows that when I’m in the Incredible Book Vortex, it’s best not to even bother trying to pull me out. Simply. Not. Going. To. Happen. Even on our honeymoon).

I won’t spoil it too much because I highly recommend you get your hands on a copy of your own, but essentially this is the tale of a city girl – one who happens to be petrified of water – who falls for a man with a big dream to explore the world. By sea. Which of course is a recipe for hilarity, plenty of hairy moments and a damn good story.

Embracing adventure became my mantra for the rest of the trip after reading Love with a Chance of Drowning (I wrote about that here) and if I were the star-rating type, I’d give this one five, all the way.

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Where’d You Go Bernadette?

A departure from my usual reading preferences (although this may have rekindled something with Fiction and I), this eccentric and witty page-turner kept me well and truly entertained on a rainy day in Santa Margherita.

The story centres around the volatile, whip-smart and ‘slightly troubled’ Bernadette Fox, a renowned architect, who is mother to 15 year old Bee and married to Elgie, a Microsoft exec. The plot is completely nuts – to explain, the author was previously a writer for TV show Arrested Development – and lands up, of all places, in Antarctica, where Bernadette has the opportunity to vanish entirely into the white.

Bizarrely thrilling; you can check out the reviews here for more.

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Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

Amazon says: “When twenty-four-year-old Susannah Cahalan woke up alone in a hospital room, strapped to her bed and unable to move or speak, she had no memory of how she’d gotten there. Days earlier, she had been on the threshold of a new, adult life: at the beginning of her first serious relationship and a promising career at a major New York newspaper. Now she was labeled violent, psychotic, a flight risk. What happened? An award-winning memoir and instant New York Times bestseller that goes far beyond its riveting medical mystery, Brain on Fire is the powerful account of one woman’s struggle to recapture her identity.”

I say: This one will blow your mind. The true story of a young journalist’s descent into madness, this book is at times disturbing, but undeniably gripping throughout – it’s the kind of story that hangs around in your psyche for a while as you think: “Is it possible that others out there labelled schizophrenic or mentally ill are in fact, suffering the same disease?”

Love books that leave you pondering.

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Choose Yourself

James Altucher is a total badass. I wish I could high TEN him in person for his no-BS tome, Choose Yourself. 

With unconventional tales of fortune and misfortune and nuggets of pure gold served straight up, this book dives into entrepreneurship and writing and life, serving as an emphatic and fast-paced sermon on self-responsibility. We gotta continue choosing ourselves, James preaches.

On every page you’ll hear whispers of ‘Fail more’ and ‘Take a godamn risk!’ and if you’re a fan of writers like Steven Pressfield (all hail), I know this one will speak to you like it did me.

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Have you devoured anything wonderful lately?

Post your favourite reads in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, I’d love you to share the love using the handy buttons.

BONUS: Your mega summer reading list: 200 books recommended by TEDsters. Oh, YES.