If you had asked me a year or two ago whether I liked self-help books, I would have laughed. A year or two ago, I’d rather have stared at paint drying than pick up a book titled ‘You are enough!’
And now...I am obsessed. It started when I discovered Ask Polly columns when crippled by heart break and despair. And then I stumbled across tome after tome, that fired off epiphanies and made me aware of mindsets I struggle with. Donna Markova’s ‘I will not die an unlived life’ was seriously soul nourishing. Also loved: Tiny Beautiful Things (a collection of Cheryl Strayed’s Dear Sugar columns) Zen in the Art of Archery. Audrey Lorde’s essay ‘The uses of the Erotic’ . Mary Oliver’s poems do as much for me as an Ask Polly column, and there are numerous works of fiction—1000 Splendid Suns for example—that have left me changed.
Right now, I’m slowly making my way through Scott Peck’s ‘The Road Less Traveled’ and it is heavy and amazing. It’s like therapy in a book. The biggest realization for me has been that I really struggle with toxic shame, and realizing that there is not something inherently terrible and disgusting about me has been liberating. I still haven’t grasped this fully emotionally, but even just being aware that I’m prone to shame on a rational level has made a difference.
Tell me what books have changed you, lovely people! Non-fiction, fiction, poetry, essays anything. I’m always looking to add to my reading list