Turn off that cell phone and TV and get stuck into a good book.
Jade Spilka looks at some new books and old favorites to read this Winter – or to give as presents.
As the weather turns colder, it is the perfect time to cuddle up with a good book. With proof that colder weather can contribute to a rise in depression, picking a happy, feel good book is more important this time of year than ever. Here are a few options to add to your book bucket list.
1. The Happiness Project
by Gretchen Rubin
The Happiness Project follows Gretchen Rubin’s yearlong experiment with happiness and the search for a more joy-filled life. Rubin attended Yale Law School and later clerked for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Despite her success, she was unhappy with the direction her life was going. She always had a passion for writing and decided she would pursue her hobby as a career. After writing a few books, she got the idea for The Happiness Project and began researching, experimenting and discussing happiness in her everyday life. Rubin offers a firsthand account of her personal experiences, while offering insights as to what may work for different personality types.
2. Happier at Home
by Gretchen Rubin
Gretchen Rubin’s sequel to The Happiness Project, Happier at Home, focuses on happiness specifically within the realms of family, interior design, clutter and other house-related areas. This book tailors happiness within life’s intimate spaces and experiments with how to make a house more of a home. Rubin, again, shares her experiences while offering other ideas based on her extensive research and conversations she has had.
3. The Giver
by Lois Lowry
The Giver is a classic story that juxtaposes life with and without choices. Lowry illustrates the beauty and color of life. He demonstrates that though life is not perfect, its imperfections are what make it such a remarkable experience. This novel speaks to its readers and transcends decades to be universally relevant and applicable.
4. Alice’s Adventures
by Lewis Carroll
This literary masterpiece is not just for children. The whimsy and carefree spirit the book carries can actually be more appreciated by an adult readership. The classic work allows you to escape into Wonderland and forget your troubles. The bizarre storyline is pieced together beautifully to stitch a work of art that knows no boundaries. The creative freedom it has allowed and inspired is immeasurable.
5. The Pursuit of Happyness
by Chris Gardner
This autobiography chronicles the life of Chris Gardner, a homeless man who struggled to raise his son. His story is one of determination, inspiration and overcoming some of life’s toughest obstacles. Included in the book are many of his memories, including one incidence that inspired the misspelling of “happiness” in the title of his book.
6. The Book of Joy
by Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu
Two of the world’s most joy-filled people teamed up to write The Book of Joy. In it, the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu share spiritual practices and personal stories from their lives. They reveal how they have achieved a lifetime of joy, with hope that the readers can find joy themselves.
7. Life Without Limits
by Nick Vujicic
Nick Vujicic was born without any arms and legs. He struggled with depression for a period of time, but realized God had a plan for his life. He turned his obstacles into his career and his way of making a difference in the world. He now is a world famous motivational speaker that inspires his audiences to live their best life despite their obstacles. He believes his message transcends any language barrier because you don’t have to speak English to see he has faced many hardships, but he is living his best life despite his disabilities.
8. Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
by Dr. Seuss
Not only do children read this book throughout the world, but it is also a popular gift for high school and college graduates. It motivates readers to go in the direction of their dreams, but also warns them of the trials that life will bring them. It does, however, reassure readers that their trials are their mountains waiting to be conquered. It is a book of empowerment for any person, no matter their age.
9. The Artist’s Way
by Julia Cameron
Julia Cameron devotes this book to those struggling with writer’s block or other creative blockages keeping them from reaching their most imaginative self. She is very specific and inventive in describing what blocks human creatively. She gives the readers keys to unlocking their own creativity. Though imagination looks different in each unique individual, Cameron’s book is a tool that can be used universally by artists and intellectuals alike.
10. Live Original
by Sadie Robertson
In Live Original, Sadie Robertson motivates readers to live authentically to their beliefs and be true to themselves. Robertson is part of a famous family that is both widely known for and criticized because of their beliefs. She is a testimony of staying true to herself and living as an original individual, and she encourages her fans to stick to their beliefs and convictions. Robertson’s happy and fresh approach to life shines through the pages and through her many motivational speeches.