8 recommended books if you don’t know what to read right now

If you’re spending more time at home, you might feel like you should be reading more. But it’s not always easy to focus in-between the news stories and nervous moments.

This doesn’t have to be a time for productivity (more on this here.) You don’t have to learn Arabic or finish writing your book or make your kitchen work surfaces gleam. But it can be a time for taking care of yourself.

If you’re going to read more books, I’d urge you to make it about nurturing yourself. Even with no one watching, even with no goals achieved, reading can soothe us, inspire us, and heal us.

If you’d like a few tips to point you in the right direction, here are some book recommendations if you don’t know what to read right now…

Untamed by Glennon Doyle

Stop pleasing, start living, says Glennon Doyle. I’m reading this book at the moment and adore it already. I haven’t read any of Glennon’s other books (Love Warrior was a New York Times bestseller), but this one came to me at a good time.

“Being human is not hard because you’re doing it wrong, it’s hard because you’re doing it right.”

Do Pause: You Are Not a To Do List by Robert Poynton

I’ve been a fan of the Do Book Co for years now. My life has been inspired by Do Pause and Do Breathe, and my business has grown with help from Do Scale and Do Story.

If you need a reminder to slow down and unwind, Do Pause: You are Not a To Do List is a great pick.

Some of the other fantastic books by Do Book Co are:

The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri

“In the midst of war, he found love… In the midst of darkness, he found courage… In the midst of tragedy, he found hope.”

If you’re looking for a novel to get lost in, The Beekeeper of Aleppo is a stunningly powerful book about hardship, love, and the resilient hope of a beekeeper and his wife in Syria.

“Where there are bees there are flowers, and wherever there are flowers there is new life and hope.”

Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad by Austin Kleon

I’ve heard several people recommend Austin Kleon’s latest book over the last few weeks, and it’s a great choice if you want to kindle your creativity during this time. As someone who loves to write – and feels most like myself when creating things – I adored reading this recently.

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

If you want a long book to fall into and occupy your mind for the next week, Cutting for Stone is a fantastic choice. I’d been meaning to read it for years and finally did a few months ago. It was incredible. I’m wondering if it’s too soon to read it again.

“Wasn’t that the definition of home? Not where you are from, but where you are wanted…”

Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave by Joanna Gaines

Joanna Gaines might be seeing a rise in sales this year… Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave walks you through how to create a home that reflects the personalities and stories of the people who live there, so you can all savour it.

If you’re in the mood for a project, there’s a removable design template at the back of the book for a step-by-step guide to planning and sketching out your own design plans.

Two other great picks for enjoying your home are The Art of Coorie: How to Live Happy the Scottish Way, or Goodbye Things: On Minimalist Living to inspire some quarantine decluttering.

Sattva: The Ayurvedic Way to Live Well by Eminé and Paul Rushton

Soothe your soul and recalibrate with Sattva, Eminé and Paul Rushton’s guide to living well with Ayurvedic wisdom. I recently shared eight habits from the book that we can adopt to make our day-to-day routines more nourishing.

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

It’s the book that has helped me through so much over the last ten years. I think a reread of War and Peace is on the cards for me.

“Here I am alive, and it’s not my fault, so I have to try and get by as best I can without hurting anybody until death takes over.”

If you’re thinking of reading the Russian classic for the first time, here’s some of my advice to get you started:

More handpicked book recommendations:


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Love books, feeling a little lost right now, and looking for some comfort and guidance forwards? I made The Sanctuary exactly for this.

It's good to meet you! I started Tolstoy Therapy back in 2012 to share my healing journey through anxiety and PTSD with books. I also climb mountains, go on solo adventures, and write over at livewildly.co.

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