Six books that will lift you up, make you think, and thoroughly entertain you

To mark this year’s World Book Day, celebrated annually on 23 April, we’re launching the Badi Book Club – a new section on our blog where we share book recommendations from our community.

Book lovers around the world have been honouring the World Book Day with enthusiasm and fervour since 1995. Barcelona, where Badi is headquartered, throws a one-of-a-kind book and rose festival, locally known as Sant Jordi, a day of books and love. This year things will inevitably look different as we’re collectively quarantined over the coronavirus crisis, though Barcelona’s balconies are likely to be adorned with roses in honour of the city’s most beloved holiday.

Books have proven an important ally in dealing with this strange new reality, providing us with respite, solace, and a much-needed escape. So we’ve asked our community what they’re reading and we’re giving our favourite books centre-stage for a day.

The Badi Book Club kicks off with a selection of books on personal growth that will lift you up, get you thinking, and make you laugh in equal measure. A perfect read for a time where we want to feel supported, strong, and also entertained.

Today’s recommendations come from Chris, our very own customer relationship manager, unofficial burpee challenge champion, and a thoughtful reader with a taste for thought-provoking pieces with a touch of quirky humour.

Chris recommends her favourite books on personal growth

Getting deep into a good book is my favourite way to immerse myself in an alternate world without getting into trouble in real life.

Chris A badi with a taste for thought-provoking reads and quirky humour

Here’s what Chris recommends for these strange days of confinement and uncertainty.

Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

By Cheryl Strayed

Tiny Beautiful Things, by Cheryl Strayed

The best-selling author of Wild, Cheryl Strayed, writes for The Rumpus’s advice column under the pseudonym of Sugar. Tiny Beautiful Things is an insightful and compassionate collection of the best pieces from the column, combined with previously unpublished material. But don’t be fooled, this isn’t yet another forgettable compilation of “Dear Aunt Agony” letters, where the author dishes out clichéd advice pretending to understand how the letter writer feels. Instead, Cheryl Strayed expertly manages to respond to each and every letter in a raw and heartfelt manner, often using her personal experience to tell us the simple truth – life is undoubtedly unpredictable, both hard and beautiful, and as such most absolutely worth living.

How to Be Nice to Yourself: The Everyday Guide to Self Compassion, Effective Strategies to Increase Self-Love and Acceptance

By Laura Silberstein-Tirch PsyD

How to be nice to yourself, by Laura Silberstein-Tirch

Set goals, jot down actions, be mindful, love yourself. Yeah, easier said than done. Well, this book teaches you how to do all of the above. Offering advice collected from a variety of sources, such as meditation, mindfulness, and acceptance and commitment therapy, this book teaches you the simple strategies to start feeling good about yourself. It is packed with practical advice, exercises, and tough questions that will challenge your everyday thinking and help you practise self-compassion. If you’re naturally self-deprecating and insecure, as many of us are, this book will help you work through those issues in a way that is practical, functional, and highly customisable.

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed

By Lori Gottlieb

Maybe you should Talk to Someone, by Lori Gottlieb

Most of us think of therapists as doctors for the mind, people who fix our emotional health, much like physicians cure our bodies. Well, things are not quite as straightforward in therapy. In this book that will make you both laugh out loud and pause in contemplation, Lori Gottlieb shares a peek into her world as a therapist, offering a refreshing look at what it means to be human. Drawing on her experience both as a therapist and a patient herself, this New York Times best-selling author adeptly leads us to the realisation that no magic solution will fix us, but that each of us harbours a unique power to transform our life from within.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

By Susan Cain

Quiet, by Susan Cain

For any introvert who’s struggled with being heard, reading this book will feel like getting to the end of a film where the dark horse suddenly rises to outshine the protagonist. Introverts have been treated as such for the longest time in Western culture – the underdog considered as less than the outgoing Extrovert. Through brilliant research and passionately told real-life stories, Susan Cain illustrates how louder does not necessarily mean better. Quiet is a resounding vindication of the introvert and their power in this world, and a compelling invitation to anyone identifying as one to see themselves in a new, redemptive light.

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened

By Allie Brosh

Hyperbole and a Hafl, by Allie Brosh

When you pick up this book, hilariously illustrated and beautifully put together by the author of the popular blog Hyperbole and a Half, you will expect to laugh and be thoroughly entertained. And you will be. What you may not expect are the inevitable emotional sucker-punches in the form of the author’s battle with depression, illustrated candidly in comics. In a way, Brosh’s chosen medium shows that there is no one set manner of expressing our emotions, and that struggles come in many shapes and sizes. If you enjoy dry, self-deprecating humour coupled with ridiculous drawings, this book is for you. Hyperbole and a Half will make you laugh, cry, and rejoice over the small wins in the author’s life.

The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World

By Eric Weiner

“We may be fairly happy now, but there’s always tomorrow and the prospect of a happier place, a happier life. So all options are left on the table. We never fully commit. That is, I think, a dangerous thing. We can’t love a place, or a person, if we always have one foot out the door.”

The Geography of Bliss, by Eric Weiner

How true is this statement? Aren’t we all constantly chasing the next extraordinary experience or that one thing that will finally bring us closer to happiness? A travel memoir coupled with psychology and peppered with humour, this book takes you across the globe, showing you the different perceptions of happiness across countries, cultures, and human experiences. Turning the final page will likely lead you to re-evaluate your priorities and, hopefully, awaken you to the realisation that happiness is a lifelong journey rather than a mere destination.

There you have it, our top recommendations for a cosy, contemplative read during these trying times. If you’re looking for more ideas on what to do while in confinement, take a look at our favourite series to watch, ways to soak up some culture online, or new skills to acquire or develop.