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Books to Inspire You in 2022

By Sarah Lundy, Amy Wright, Ana Matute and Zoe Doyle

The new year has rolled around and many of us use this opportunity to wipe the slate clean, set new goals and learn new skills. For some, the pressure to make, and then keep, resolutions can cause stress and, later on, disappointment when we break our new habits. So now is the perfect time to read something that will provide inspiration and optimism for the rest of the year. If you’re planning on making some New Year’s resolutions, take a look at these exciting books that may help to keep you motivated throughout your 2022 journey.

The Sewing Circles of Herat: A Personal Voyage Through Afghanistan by Christina Lamb

A book for readers to question themselves

about how they think of other people in the world, and for those who want to travel and learn. The Sewing Circles of Herat shows how a journey can also be an inner journey. Christina Lamb was twenty-one years old when she decided to go for the first time to cover the Afghan war and after the attacks on the World Trade Centre, she went again to find out, not just what had happened, but to contrast her youthful days. During this trip, we will learn about others and a country full of culture, behind a difficult history that is still contemporary. Lamb collects magical words, sometimes filled with melancholy, but that altogether shows an image of reality that may be far away, or not so much: “if we had not done [...] to keep up the literary spirit of the city, the depth of our tragedy would have been even greater.” A novel that will make you understand why it is important to stand up for your ideas and, as Christina Lamb, to work hard and keep questioning what you see every day.

I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman by Nora Ephron

If you feel as passionately about When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle as we do, you will no doubt want to become a bit more familiar with the woman who wrote them. As witty and as wonderful as the beautiful films she wrote, Nora Ephron’s I Feel Bad About My Neck is a collection of essays that will get your year off to a fantastic start. With her dry sense of humour, Nora gives advice and observations that will inspire you to look at the funnier side of life. We think that is what we all need a pinch of, as we head into 2022, and would highly recommend getting the version with an introduction from Dolly Alderton for yet more brilliant reading from another excellent writer.

On the Front Line with the Women Who Fight Back by Stacey Dooley

Whether or not you have watched any of Stacey Dooley’s documentaries, On the Front Line with the Women Who Fight Back is an educational and thought-provoking read to start 2022 with. Stacey tells the incredible, real-life stories of women she has met across the world, exploring issues such as sex trafficking, women in prison and abortion. Whilst sometimes hard to read, the bravery and determination of the women is truly phenomenal, in how they fight back in a world that works very much against them. Stacey’s brutally honest writing inspires and encourages you to raise awareness and do your own further research into the important topics she explores.

Just Eat It by Laura Thomas PhD

How many of us have experienced the pressure to get fit and lose weight in the New Year? Diet culture has permeated every facet of our media and fed us a narrative that body dissatisfaction is normal. Just Eat It by Laura Thomas PhD is an ‘anti-diet’ guide from a registered nutritionist that aims to empower people to develop and improve their relationship with their bodies and food. There is something for everyone here, but particularly for those who spend their time worrying about the ‘right’ foods to eat, are ruled by numbers, and have engaged in dieting and compulsive exercise to the point where they can no longer interpret their hunger cues. Laura introduces practical tools and exercises to promote gentle nutrition, helping to steer you towards intuitive eating. If you think it is time to move away from the notion that we need to try all the new fad diets we see promoted at this time of year, and instead learn and practise greater self-compassion, then this might be a helpful starting point.


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