Autumn Reading List

1. Wild – Cheryl Strayed

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Blurb: At twenty-six, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of
her mother’s rapid death from cancer, her family disbanded and her marriage
crumbled. With nothing to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her
life: to walk eleven-hundred miles of the west coast of America – from the
Mojave Desert, through California and Oregon, and into Washington state – and to
do it alone. She had no experience of long-distance hiking and the journey was
nothing more than a line on a map. But it held a promise – a promise of piecing
together a life that lay in ruins at her feet.

Why I want to read it: I have heard wonderful things about this book. It was in Oprah’s book club this year. I have recently fallen in love with non fiction books!

2. The Happiness Project- Gretchen Rubin sQLh2gSTvgGYKVLj00XljTelBlurb: Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany. One rainy afternoon on a city bus, she realised that she wasn’t as happy as she could be. In danger of wasting her days – always yearning for something more, waiting for problems to miraculously solve themselves – she realized her life wasn’t going to change unless she did something about it. On January 1, she embarked on her Happiness Project, and each month she pursued a different set of resolutions: to get more sleep, quit nagging her husband, sing in the morning to her two young daughters, start a blog, imitate a spiritual master, keep a one-sentence journal. She immersed herself in everything from classical philosophy to contemporary psychology to see what worked for her-and what didn’t. Illuminating yet entertaining, profound yet compulsively readable, “The Happiness Project” is one of the most thoughtful and prescriptive works on happiness to have emerged from the recent explosion of interest in the subject. Filled with practical advice, sharp insight, charm, and humor, her story will inspire readers to navigate their own paths to happiness.

Why I want to read it: I love the title…who doesn’t want to be more happier?

3. The Receptionist- Janet Groth

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Blurb: In 1957, when a young Midwestern woman landed a job at The New Yorker, she
didn’t expect to stay long at the reception desk. But stay she did, and for
twenty-one years she had the best seat in the house. In addition to taking
messages, she ran interference for jealous wives checking on adulterous
husbands, drank with famous writers at famous watering holes throughout bohemian
Greenwich Village, and was seduced, two-timed, and proposed to by a few of the
magazine’s eccentric luminaries. This memoir of a particular time and place is
an enchanting tale of a woman in search of herself.

Why I want to read it: Why wouldn’t I?

4. Lean In- Sheryl Sandberg

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Blurb: Ask most women whether they have the right to equality at work and the answer will be a resounding yes, but ask the same women whether they’d feel confident asking for a raise, a promotion, or equal pay, and some reticence creeps in. The statistics, although an improvement on previous decades, are certainly not in women’s favour – of 197 heads of state, only twenty-two are women. Women hold just 20 percent of seats in parliaments globally, and in the world of big business, a meagre eighteen of the Fortune 500 CEOs are women. In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg – Facebook COO and one of Fortune magazine’s Most Powerful Women in Business – draws on her own experience of working in some of the world’s most successful businesses and looks at what women can do to help themselves, and make the small changes in their life that can effect change on a more universal scale. Learning to ‘lean in’ is about tackling the anxieties and preconceptions that stop women reaching the top – taking a place at the table, and making yourself a part of the debate.

Why I want to read it: Everyone has been speaking about this book. I teach human rights at school and we look at the differences between men & women so it might be useful.
5. Man’s Search For Meaning: The classic tribute to hope from the Holocaust
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Blurb: A prominent Viennese psychiatrist before the war, Viktor Frankl was uniquely able to observe the way that both he and others in Auschwitz coped (or didn’t) with the experience. He noticed that it was the men who comforted others and who gave away their last piece of bread who survived the longest – and who offered proof that everything can be taken away from us except the ability to choose our attitude in any given set of circumstances. The sort of person the concentration camp prisoner became was the result of an inner decision and not of camp influences alone. Frankl came to believe man’s deepest desire is to search for meaning and purpose. This outstanding work offers us all a way to transcend suffering and find significance in the art of living.

Why I want to read it: I heard Drew Barrymore speaking so passionately about this book I thought I would give it a go. I am also a lover of and believer in hope.
6. Grace a memoir Grace Coddington
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Blurb: For decades, Grace Coddington’s personal touch has steered wildly imaginative fashion spreads in Vogue magazine. Then came The September Issue, the behind-the-scenes documentary that turned the spotlight on a woman with a no-nonsense attitude and an unerring visual instinct. Overnight, the flame-haired Grace became a heroine for fashion insiders and the general public alike. Witty and forthright, and illustrated throughout with vintage photographs and exclusive line-drawings, Grace: A Memoir shares the excitement and vision that go into producing so many unforgettable fashion images. Here are the designers, models, photographers, hairstylists, make-up artists and celebrities with whom Grace has created her ‘stories in pictures’ – whether it be Jerry Hall conquering the USSR or Tom Ford falling down a rabbit hole in Annie Leibovitz’s version of Alice in Wonderland.  Grace’s own life has been as dreamlike as one of her madcap fashion spreads. Brought up in windswept wartime Anglesey, she arrived in London, aged eighteen, and quickly became a face of the Sixties. The muse behind Vidal Sassoon’s Five Point Cut, she posed for Bailey, Donovan, Duffy and Norman Parkinson in Swinging London and jumped into a pool in Saint-Tropez for Helmut Newton. Surviving a serious car-crash, she later became a fashion editor at British Vogue and during the Seventies and the Eighties started to create the fantasy travelogues that would become her trademark.
Why I want to read it: Recommended to me by a pupil and my mum.
7. Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
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Blurb: In the early 80s, Gregory David Roberts, an armed robber and heroin addict,
escaped from an Australian prison to India, where he lived in a Bombay slum.
There, he established a free health clinic and also joined the mafia, working as
a money launderer, forger and street soldier. He found time to learn Hindi and
Marathi, fall in love, and spend time being worked over in an Indian jail. Then,
in case anyone thought he was slacking, he acted in Bollywood and fought with
the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan . . . Amazingly, Roberts wrote Shantaram
three times after prison guards trashed the first two versions. It’s a profound
tribute to his willpower . . . At once a high-kicking, eye-gouging adventure, a
love saga and a savage yet tenderly lyrical fugitive vision.
Why I want to read it: I ADORE INDIA.
8. Gone girl – Gillian Flyn
Blurb: Who are you? What have we done to each other? These are the questions Nick Dunne finds himself asking on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police suspect Nick. Amy’s friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn’t true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they weren’t made by him. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone. So what really did happen to Nick’s beautiful wife?
Why I want to read it: ANother that everyone seems to have loved. I love a thriller too!
9. Murder on the Orient Express- Agatha Christie
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Blurb: Just after midnight, a snowdrift stops the Orient Express in its tracks. The luxurious train is surprisingly full for the time of the year, but by the morning it is one passenger fewer. An American tycoon lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. Isolated and with a killer in their midst, detective Hercule Poirot must identify the murderer – in case he or she decides to strike again.

Why I want to read it: I can’t believe that I have not read any of Agatha Christie’s books. I love a good mystery and my 13 year old sister was raving about this!
10. If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You- Kelly Cutrone
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Blurb: Kelly Cutrone, offers her inspirational career advice, life lessons, and thoughts on the new
face of powerful femininity. Shocking, edgy, witty, and surprisingly spiritual,
Kelly shares her hard-earned wisdom to empower and inspire a new generation of
aspiring professionals and those simply wishing to reinvent themselves. Each
chapter will cover one of Kelly’s Rules, such as: Check Your Pre-Conceived
Notions at the Door (aka Motherhood, Men, and the Nouveau American Dream); The
Truth Hurts, but Is Necessary; If You have to Cry, Go Outside; and, How To Give
Good Phone-the Importance of Non-Virtual Connection. Cutrone has been covered in
places like “US Weekly”, “In Touch”, “New York Observer”, “New York Post’s Page
6”, “New York Daily News”, “Glamour”, and WSJ.com. She’s also a regular on sites
like Gawker and Jossip.
Why I want to read it: I love ballsy, independent, straight talking women. I hope to be one one day.
My very first Tuesday 10! I didn’t expect so many non-fiction books to be on it!
What do you all want to read?
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