Happiful Reads

Kat Nicholls
By Kat Nicholls,
updated on Sep 6, 2018

Happiful Reads

To celebrate National ‘Read a Book Day’ we asked the Happiful office to share their reading recommendations

A wise person once said “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body” and we must say, we couldn’t agree more. Perhaps we’re biased as we produce a magazine, but we love the way words tell stories and their ability to connect with others.

Whether you’re a fiction fanatic or a nonfiction aficionado, books have this incredible ability to open our minds. They show us new perspectives and transform us to different worlds. They offer both a path for introspection and a form of escapism, depending on your book of choice.

Read a Book Day is not about reading an entire book in a day (though, that sounds rather wonderful), it’s about inspiring us to get reading. There are so many ways we can learn and entertain ourselves these days, a scroll through Instagram here, a YouTube video there, it’s unsurprising so many of us struggle to find the time to read.

Today, we challenge you to pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read and just... start. Pick a time of day when you plan to read (we love to read on lunch breaks and just before bed) and challenge yourself to keep up the habit for a week, and see how you get on.

In need of some reading inspiration? We asked the Happiful team to tell us what they’re currently reading and what’s one book they recommend everyone reads.


Kat Wheeler, Editorial Assistant:

What are you reading right now?

I’m just about to start reading The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner – book two for my two-person book club I'm doing with a friend.

What’s one book you would recommend everyone reads?

This is so hard! There are so many books that I love and that have changed my life in all sorts of ways. But I think Animal Farm by George Orwell is a must, mainly because it's so accessible but so important.

Bonnie Evie Gifford, Creative Writer and Producer:

What are you reading right now?

Tess Holiday’s The Not So Subtle Art Of Being a Fat Girl: Loving The Skin you’re In. (I want to be Tess Holiday when I grow up, she’s so awesome!)

What’s one book you would recommend everyone reads?

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. If you’ve ever had that awkward, nerdy university experience where you just couldn’t fit in, where you clashed with a professor, or found yourself being taken advantage of by course mates, Fangirl will totally speak to you.

If you’re part of any fandom as well, Fangirl beautifully weaves that geeky world and subculture through its pages. Don’t let the Young Adult category put you off; it’s freaking awesome.


Jo Ferguson, Head of Membership:

What are you reading right now?

I am currently reading Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson. I recently read another of her books - We have always lived in the Castle, widely considered to be her masterpiece - and I was so completely engrossed by it that I had to read more of her work immediately!

Jackson was an American author of horror and mystery fiction, who suffered from severe anxiety and agoraphobia as well as a series of other health issues, and lived a largely-reclusive life prior to her death in 1965. I think the way she writes mental health so naturally into her dialogue and prose is wonderful.

What’s one book you would recommend everyone reads?

This is a very hard question, but I would probably choose Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need To Know About Global Politics by Tim Marshall. It's a highly-accessible, highly interesting read that examines how geography has influenced - and continues to significantly influence - politics across the world.

Understanding the concerns of different nationalities and how this plays out in the political playground is really eye-opening, and I think makes our species' most insurmountable and irreconcilable problems feel a little bit smaller. Anything that helps us to understand each other (as humans) a little better can only be a good thing.


Katie Hoare, Digital Marketing Executive:

What are you reading right now?

I’m reading Cara Hunter's, In the Dark.

What’s one book you would recommend everyone reads?

Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things. It’s so poignant, wonderful and devastating all at the same time and actually a work of magic!

Kat Nicholls, Content Producer:

What are you reading right now?

Why I’m no Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge. This book is eye opening in so many ways - if you’re not sure what 'white privilege' means, if you think racism is only a problem in America or you don’t understand the concept of structural racism - I implore you to give this a read.

What’s one book you would recommend everyone reads?

Argh, there are so many! The latest book to blow me away though has to be Eat up by Ruby Tandoh. Food and eating plays such a vital role in our lives and entails so many aspects, from body image to class. Combining facts and statistics with personal essays and a peppering of recipes, I just can’t get enough of Ruby’s tone of voice.

As someone who loves food and also has a history of disordered eating, I found it especially interesting and think anyone with a complicated relationship with food should give this a go (read with a snack).


Amie Sparrow, PR Manager

What are you reading right now?

I'm currently reading The Death of Truth by Michiko Kakutani and I'm with the Band (20 year print anniversary re-issue).

What’s one book you would recommend everyone reads?

A book I would recommend to everyone is (so hard to choose) The Bone People by Keri Hulme... or Red Azalea by Anchee Min... or...

Okay, okay I need to stop!

Lucy Donoughue, Head of Content and Communications:

What are you reading right now?

I'm currently reading Playing Big by Tara Mohr, after it was recommended on the podcast In Good Company, hosted by Otegha Uwagba. I love the way Tara speaks to the reader and the practical exercises around envisaging what you really want - and working out how to minimise that nagging self-doubt, I think a lot of us have, I know I do!

September always feels like 'back to school time' when I start thinking about what I can do better and how I can have more confidence in my abilities and this is the perfect guidance.

What’s one book you would recommend everyone reads?

I think everybody should read The Salt Path by Raynor Winn. The Times called it 'the most inspirational book of the year' and I would agree. This is the true story of a couple who have their world turned upside down at a later stage in their lives and the journey it takes them on, all along the South West Coast Path. Raynor's writing is beautiful and heartbreaking but yet hopeful. It really is a must read.

We hope this list inspires you to relish in the pure pleasure of stepping away from your screen, getting cosy on the sofa with a hot cup of tea and reading something wonderful.

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook to let us know what you're reading today!

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