With the start of a new year comes a fresh slate and the perfect opportunity to set challenges for the year ahead to ensure that 2017 is one of your best years yet. While we may be heading towards February at an alarmingly quick rate, it’s never too late to make a resolution for the year ahead. With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of inspirational books that will help you do just that. From travelling more, to taking up running, or simply living a happier and more fulfilling life, read on for my reading recommendations for the start of the new year.
Running Like a Girl
A warm, funny and honest account of Alexandra Hemminsley’s foray into running, Running Like a Girl, the author speaks of the support and camaraderie that comes hand in hand with running a marathon. Inspiring, motivating and highly emotional in places, I defy anyone to read this without wanting to start their own running journey.
Eat Pray Love
So inspiring was Elizabeth’s Gilbert’s best-selling travel memoir that it sparked a follow-on: Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It – compiled of a collection of letters people wrote to the author in the wake of reading its predecessor outlining the impact the book had had on them. A relatable book that speaks to anyone that’s suffered heartbreak, Eat, Pray, Love will instil in its reader a sense of wanderlust that lasts well beyond the final page.
The Happiness Project
An account of the year that Gretchen Rubin spent pursuing happiness, The Happiness Project is part memoir, part guide, part study on the idea of happiness and how we can all achieve it. From de-cluttering wardrobes to reading more and nagging less, Rubin set herself twelve months’ worth of tasks as she set out to conquer a more contented way of living. An inspiring and uplifting read, The Happiness Project is a well-researched book full of ideas on how to live more in the present, and appreciate the smallest things in life.
While hiking the Pacific Crest Trail may not be on your to-do list for 2017, Cheryl Strayed’s walking memoir Wild will undoubtedly inspire its reader to seek solace in walking and challenge themselves beyond the realms of what they thought possibly. Beautifully written and evocative, Wild is a poignant, awe-inspiring read that shows how one rather extraordinary woman dealt with very real and very raw grief.
Part business guide, part memoir, Chapter One is an honest account of the ups and downs of Daniel Flynn’s mission to launch a business to eradicate global poverty. Read it, and you will think slightly differently forever.
Tuesdays with Morrie
Both beautiful and thought-provoking, Tuesdays with Morrie is American author Mitch Albom’s account of his time spent with his sociology professor before his death. After losing contact with Morrie after Albom finished college, the two men rekindled their relationship which turned into one final ‘class’: lessons in how to live. Morrie leaves Mitch with a true gift; and encourages him to devote himself to loving others and to creating something that gives him purpose and meaning. A tear-jerker at its core, Tuesdays with Morrie has effected readers the world over, and instilled in them a desire to leave their very best life.
We Should all Be Feminists
Adapted from Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche’s much-admired Tedx talk of the same name, We Should All Be Feminists offers its reader the author’s take on feminism in the 21st century. A passionate and powerful read, The essay explains why both men and women alike, need to be feminists in order to bring about in a world which would be happier and safer for everybody.
Very Good Lives
In 2008, J.K Rowling delivered a commencement speech to graduates at Harvard University which has since gone on to become the most viewed speech on Harvard’s website; on their YouTube channel alone it’s been viewed over 1.5 million times. Thus it was decided that said speech was to be published in book form, entitled ‘Very Good Lives‘. An exploration of the benefits of failure, Very Good Lives is a poignant lesson that will teach its readers the age old story that when one door closes, another one truly opens.