4 books I want to read this summer

Since finishing my English Literature degree, I’ve been in a bit of a reading rut. As someone who is used to powering through three books a week for my course, suddenly not having my reading habits dictated to me left me more than a little bit lost. I thought the freedom would be inspiring; that I would go wild and delve into all of the genres and authors that I haven’t had the chance to enjoy over the past three years. In reality, it was ridiculously overwhelming. I didn’t know where to start. And, if I’m being honest, I’m not sure what types of books I enjoy anymore.

Whilst I know exactly which texts I enjoy studying and writing about, and which literary topics I find stimulating, I’m not so sure what to pick up when it comes to reading purely for pleasure. I don’t know whether I actually like Young Adult literature as a genre, or whether I just liked writing about it. I don’t know if I dislike classic American literature, or whether I simply disliked the few examples of it that I read at university. It’s like I’m having a bookish mid-life crisis.

However, I do know what topics are interesting me at the moment: Spirituality, incredible women and self-improvement. So, in attempt to pull myself out of this reading rut, I decided to seek out books about those topics, instead of picking texts based on their era, genre or author. Trust me, that’s a type of reading that is conditioned out of you when you study a literature degree! Now I have a small but glorious TBR for the summer ahead of me that’s full of books I’m actually excited to open up.

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Craft: How to be a Modern Witch by Gabriela Herstik 

I wanted to read this book about a year ago but, thanks to my mammoth university reading list, I never got around to it. Then, on a recent trip to Treadwells Books in London (spiritual and witchy babes, you need to visit!), I was reminded of it. Clearly the universe wanted me to read Craft, because  it was put directly in my path. And how could I refuse? 

It’s Herstik’s debut book and I’ve never read anything on witchcraft before, but this guide for the “modern woman who wants to take control and reconnect with herself” sparked my interest. It discusses a lot of topics that have become a bigger part of my life recently – crystals, astrology and understanding the phases of the moon – so I had to pick it up.

Witches, Sluts, Feminists: Conjuring the Sex Positive by Kristen J. Sollee 

As I said, spirituality and magik (with a K not a C!) are things that I’ve been wanting to learn more about recently. So, when I found this book, which intersects a discussion of witchcraft with one of feminism and sexual liberty, I knew that I had to have it! It seems to be the perfect middle ground between academia and pop culture. Ideal for someone relearning how to read for pleasure!

Becoming: Sex, Second Chances and Figuring Out Who the Hell I am by Laura Jane Williams

Laura Jane Williams, as well as just being a total badass, is a “happiness expert”. And who doesn’t want to learn a thing or two from someone who has that on their CV? 

Becoming was her debut book, a memoir that was created to remind us that “even when the going gets tough, no one is really f*cking up like they think they are.” I’m already a quarter of the way through this beauty and I adore it. It’s made me cry and cackle (both of which happened on the same crowded train to London). I can’t wait to keep reading.

The Multi-Hyphen Method by Emma Gannon 

“Work less, creator more and design a career that works for you”. 

When I saw those words on the front cover of this books, there was no doubt in my mind that I needed it. Since finishing university everything in my life has felt uncertain. I suppose when you’re used to having your days scheduled out for you, that’s inevitable! So, I hope that this book will give me the push I need to continue pursuing a career that I love. 

I’ve read Emma Gannon’s book “Ctrl, Alt, Dlt: How I Grew Up Online” and also listen to her podcast, so I already know it’s going to leave me feeling inspired! 

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