Jameela Jamil’s bookclub: 10 uplifting reads for life’s hardest moments

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As part of her Stylist takeover, Jameela Jamil shares the books that help her get through the highs and lows.

For Stylist’s 10-year anniversary, The Good Place actor and @i_weigh founder Jameela Jamil is one of our very special guest editors. Here, she recommends ten of her favourite books.

“To carry on the theme of difficult conversations, I’d like to highlight some of the amazing books on trauma,” she says. “I especially love Roxane Gay’s Hunger – she talks about her trauma in a way I haven’t heard before”    

When They Call You a Terrorist
When They Call You a Terrorist

When They Call You a Terrorist

Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele (£9.99, Canongate)

Telling the stories of the women behind the Black Lives Matter movement this is an examination of how they turned trauma and racism into a rally cry of resistance.  

The Girl Who Smiles Beads

Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil (£9.99, Windmill)

About how Wamariya and her sister escaped the Rwandan genocide only to face inhumane cruelty, this is a tale of using the worst life can throw at you for good.

Milk and Honey
Milk and Honey

Milk and Honey

Rupi Kaur (£9.99, Andrews McMeel)

For anyone who has ever fallen in love with the wrong person, Kaur’s poetry is the wise and soothing balm to help restore your self-belief and propel you onwards and upwards. 

A Half Baked Idea

Olivia Potts (£14.99, Fig Tree)

This tender memoir follows Potts’ life-swap from criminal barrister to patisserie chef in the wake of her mother’s death. It’s filled with the comfort we all seek when dealing with grief.   

I Never Said I Loved You
I Never Said I Loved You

I Never Said I Loved You

Rhik Samadder (£9.99, Headline)

Exploring the aftermath and effect of child abuse on the body, mind and memory, Samadder’s incredible memoir is written with both unexpected humour and heartbreaking honesty.   

She Must Be Mad

Charly Cox (£9.99, HarperCollins)

On a mission to destigmatise anxiety, depression and mental health issues, Cox’s poems are touchingly revealing and act as a rousing call for us all to support one another.   

Do Not Feed the Bear
Do Not Feed the Bear

Do Not Feed the Bear

Rachel Elliott (£16.99, Tinder Press)

A comfort read featuring free-running, different narratives (including a dog’s) and letting go of guilt and loss. It’s utterly uplifting and a warm reminder that people are here to help.

Breaking and Mending

Joanna Cannon (£12.99, Profile Books)

Now a best-selling writer, Cannon’s stories of her time as a junior doctor explore how humans can give each other hope and compassion in even the darkest of moments.  

Lucky

Alice Sebold (£9.99, Picador Classic)

The victim of a brutal rape at the age of 18, The Lovely Bones author Alice Sebold has written a memoir about finding the tenacity, inner strength and sheer determination to recover.

Hunger

Roxane Gay (£8.99, Corsair)

A life-changing book, Gay’s memoir tells the horrific story of how she was gang-raped aged 12 and the aftermath that led to her using her body as both a shield and an act of defiance.      

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…