10 Books We Couldn’t Put Down
Whether you’re looking for something to read during your morning commute or you’re just desperate to get lost in a good book, here are the titles we’re talking about at UO HQ.
Weak Messages Create Bad Situations by David Shrigley
Satirical, darkly humorous and brimming with witticisms, Shrigley’s latest collection of surreal artwork materialised itself as a response to the current political landscape. Beautifully hand-illustrated, the book calls on us all to stop listening to the nonsense spouted by those around us and to instead learn the ways in which we can be the change we wish to see in the world. Glasgow-born Shrigley defiantly calls for an end to weak messages and terrifying situations by offering us hope aplenty (with a sizeable side portion of laughter). Take it upon yourself to get lost in the mesmerising illustrations, whilst absorbing the underlying importance of Shrigley’s message. £12.99, Urban Outfitters.
Useless Magic: Lyrics and Poetry by Florence Welch
Lead singer of the critically acclaimed Florence & The Machine, Florence Welch bares her soul in this candid collection of enchanting lyrics and previously unseen poetry excerpts. A varied and visually stimulating piece of work, Welch’s magical debut charts her transition from reckless, tearaway wild child to patient, gentle grown up. Featuring hand-drawn sketches from Welch herself, as if to offer the reader a peak at the pages of the songstress’ personal journal, Useless Magic appeals to both diehard and casual fans alike. Questioning and laced with fragility, the brutal and cathartic honesty Welch pours into her lyrics is ever-present in Useless Magic. £20, Urban Outfitters.
Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton
Playfully dubbed this generation’s very own Bridget Jones, journalist and Sunday Times Style columnist Dolly Alderton is no stranger to the trials and tribulations of navigating the intricate world of modern dating. In this outrageously honest memoir, Anderton vividly recounts personal stories and satirical observations that are bound to resonate with every modern woman. Despite what it may seem, the book itself is actually an ode to the power of female friendship, rather than a guide to romantic love. Add it to your ‘must read’ list and get ready to want to discuss it with everyone you know.
Make Your Bed by William H. McRaven
Let’s be honest, we could all use a sprinkling of motivation from time to time and where better to seek it out than in the pages of a rousing book? Penned by retired US Navy Admiral William H. McRaven, Make Your Bed is an eloquent helping of words of wisdom and practical advice for anyone seeking to change themselves, or the world around them. Based on the popular viral speech the admiral gave at the University of Texas graduation, this book is the ideal autumnal read for anyone searching for a much-needed dose of inspiration. £9.99, Urban Outfitters.
Severance by Ling Ma
Ling Ma’s powerful debut novel is a dystopian tale of the missed opportunities of modern life. After an outbreak of the (fictional) plague Shen Fen decimates America, protagonist Candace Chen, a millennial American and office body devoted to routine, suddenly finds herself as one of the last few survivors. Unable to avoid isolation, Candace falls in with a group of others who have survived. Together, they flee to the countryside in the hopes of starting their lives over. Ma’s offbeat, apocalyptic novel is laced with satire and deadpan humour, making it the perfect evening read if you enjoy your literary tales with a proportionate helping of dystopia.
The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur
Perhaps you’re not one for delving into a juicy novel, but instead crave a spot of serene poetry that’ll transport you to a state of relaxation and inner peace. We’ve just the answer. Rupi Kaur’s long-awaited second collection of poetry, The Sun and Her Flowers, is a vibrant and transcendent journey of growth and healing. Illustrated by Kaur and divided into five chapters, it’s a journey of wilting, falling, rising and blooming; a celebration of love in all its forms. So, make yourself a cup of herbal tea, relax onto some soft sun-drenched seating and transport yourself to another world with this title. £12.99, Urban Outfitters.
What Are You Doing With Your Life? by J. Krishnamurti
So, the title of this one might feel a little daunting and may have even instilled an unwelcome feeling of fear into some of you (you’re not alone). Despite that, this book has the potential to change the way you see the world for the better. Here, one of the world’s greatest philosophical teachers, Krishnamurti, offers his wise words of inspiration for all the hurdles we face in life. From love and relationships to anxiety and loneliness, he reveals the best way to be your true self. If September heralds a fresh start for you, this is just the book you need to read right now. £9.99, Urban Outfitters.
The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving A F**k by Sarah Knight
This tongue-in-cheek bestseller is guaranteed to help alleviate certain stresses in your life by simply teaching (and encouraging) you to care less about things. Simple, right? Simple but undeniably effective. This hilarious parody will teach you how to effectively manage your time and money, bestowing you with a new found freedom to spend them solely on the things that you truly care about – things that are wholeheartedly worthy. Knight’s cleverly devised ‘NotSorry’ method will allow you to declutter your mind and help you initiate your journey to a better, happier and more fulfilled life. £12.99, Urban Outfitters.
The F Word by Lily Pebbles
It often feels as though society, culture and traditional media are in an ever-reigning battle to pit women against one another. Despite how draining and tiresome this often proves, it’s ever-important for us to celebrate the sheer power of female unity and friendship. Recognising this importance, Lily Pebbles has taken it upon herself to explore the complexity of female friendships. Dissecting the powerful essence of friendship in all its wild and wonderful forms, Pebbles touches upon the innate need for female attachment at all stages of life in this touching, poignant piece of work. £16.99, Urban Outfitters.
How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Originally published in 1936, Dale Carnegie’s iconic novel has sold more than 16 million copies worldwide, propelling countless numbers of people up the ladder of success in both their professional and personal lives (what’s not to love?!). Carnegie’s time-tested bestseller teaches you how to get what you really want in order to achieve your maximum potential. The book famously outlines the twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking, the six ways to make people like you and the nine ways to change people without arousing resentment. If you’re looking to make little changes to your life that will ultimately lead to feeling happier, then this book is for you! £9.99, Urban Outfitters.