Happy Place

Fearne Cotton wants you to read these 10 brilliant books

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Fearne Cotton
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Need reading inspiration? Fearne Cotton has got you covered…

It is so hard for me to whittle down my favourite books, but these are the ones which I’d consider truly life-changing. Trust me when I say that they’ve all been impactful, thoroughly enjoyable and expansive in their own way…

1) Silence by Erling Kagge

After reading the first sentence of this book, I felt my shoulders lowering and my breath slowing down. 

Erling is an explorer, so he has experienced long periods of silence and the benefits and wonders that arise from its magic. This has been a recent game changing read for me. I find myself properly listening to the sounds around me and growing in confidence when there is silence mid-conversation. Silence is where the magic lies. 

2) The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

I had a low patch last year where I felt panicked and judged and low. Whenever I experience emotions like this, I feel very lost and like I need a bit more structure and certainly a lot more guidance from others. It just so happened that it came from this book at the right time. 

These four agreements are simple, relatable and can be put into practice easily if we are willing to switch our own thought patterns up. I had so much to think about after reading this. I know I need to delve into its pages again soon. Constant reminders are always needed with the simple things in life. Us humans do like to over complicate it all, right? 

3) Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon

Although not completely symmetrical in narrative, there were parts of this very open and honest book that felt like they could have spilled out of my very own head. Bryony’s honesty is beyond admirable. The sort of stuff where you feel less ashamed about your own story, as how could you be when another is being so open about their similar situation. 

Breaking myths, secrets and taboos into tiny pieces in one fail swoop. This is a must read for all. I love Bryony and I’m lucky we have become friends, too. 

4) The Thousand Light Hotel by Emylia Hall

I love a good holiday read. Something you can drift into with ease and look forward to getting stuck into when you’re away from the story. 

This sun drenched book is about love, food and Italy; what’s not to love? I didn’t actually read this while on holiday, but somehow I felt like I was on a mini-vacation every time I opened its pages. Pure dreamy escapism with a side of biscotti. 

5) Watch Me and A Story Lately Told by Anjelica Huston

I adore autobiographies. I have read hundreds and there aren’t many I didn’t enjoy. There’s always something to be learned and gained from hearing someone else’s true story. 

Anjelica’s is full of decadence, excitement and old school elegance. Part one is all about her eccentric upbringing in Ireland, while book two delves into her early Hollywood days with, of course, stories of Jack Nicholson and champagne -fueled parties. She writes so beautifully and evocatively that you often see images of her life flash through your brain as you’re reading her words. It’s a truly immersive read.  

6) Chase The Rainbow by Poorna Bell

Poorna somehow manages to tell a very heartbreaking story in the most delicate and beautiful way. Tears rolled as I read her story, yet smiles and goosebumps were always round the corner with her epiphanies and views. Poorna lost her husband to suicide and talks frankly about bereavement and all the emotions surrounding it. A very important read indeed.  

7) Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

I have read every single one of this brilliant lady’s books, and have eaten them up in quick succession with this being my most recent. 

Being creative is incredibly important to me, but Elizabeth made me realise what that process really means and how best to hone it. I felt very inspired throughout, and several nice ideas sprang up during the course of me whizzing through her wisdom. Get stuck in and reveal your own magic within. 

8) No Woman No Cry by Rita Marley 

Again, another cracking biography that tells a story from a very different angle; I love it when books uncover a different side of someone. Rita writes about her life with Reggae’s most famous face and describes the complicated life they lead. It’s heartbreaking but beautiful and holds some excellent stories from a magic era of music. 

9) The Poison Tree by Erin Kelly

I’m a big fan of Erin’s mystery thrillers. They’re beyond exciting to read and I found my mind constantly racing to try and work out the next part of the story before I’d reached it. 

The characters are full of charm and interest, and you get massively sucked into their world. My son is called Rex because I read this when I was pregnant and fell in love with the name from this book! 

10) Where’d you go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple

This book is one of the smartest and funniest novels I’ve ever read. Again, I’m drawn to eccentric characters in real life and in the literary fantasy world, and this book certainly delivers those. 

It follows the story of a child and her reclusive and mysterious mother, and a once in a life time trip to Antarctica; a joyful, quirky read! 

For one day only on Tuesday 27 March, Fearne Cotton has taken over stylist.co.uk and transformed it into her very own Happy Place – a digital sanctuary, focusing entirely on wellness, happiness and good mental health.

For similarly inspiring and uplifting content, check out Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place, available on Apple Podcasts now.

Main image: provided by publishers