Immersing yourself in the pages of a captivating novel or memoir, forgetting that time exists, is by far one of the best forms of therapy. When it's so easy to get caught in our daily routines and get stuck in our heads with our worries, it's refreshing to live through somebody else's story to help us overcome a tough situation and get a renewed sense of hope. Now that it's getting chilly outside, there's no better time to grab blankets, hot chocolate and indulge yourself with stories of love, nostalgia, adversity and fierce women who never stopped dreaming and creating. Here are five very different books to satisfy your every mood. Let their words be a source of comfort and inspire you along the way.
If you're feeling nostalgic, kind of like yearning for the old glamour of New York City, Truman Capote's Breakfast At Tiffany's is your classic go-to read. Sit back and let it take you to the mid-twentieth century through the life of Holly Golightly, a rebellious country girl turned New York socialite who can't be tied down in the pursuit of her aspirations.
The novel set in 1943, but published in 1958 is a story about reinvention. Holly is a girl who is wants to escape the trappings of her small-town life to pursue her own ideal of happiness. And while many critics say that Holly relies purely on charm and seduction, there's still an underlying message that anyone has a shinier, mightier self to show to the world.
If you don't read the novel, which is it's less than 200 pages, do check out the movie: there's nothing like Audrey Hepburn's interpretation of Holly Golightly to remind you what an true style icon looks like. But fair warning, this book (or movie) will leave you with the urge to throw on a black dress and indulge in shiny jewelry.
If you're feeling like shaking up your inner goddess, check out Circe by American novelist Madeleine Miller. The New York Times best-selling book not only has a fresh and contemporary take on Greek mythology, but it has made female mythological figures badasses like never before.
Circe is a celebration of female strength in a man's world. She is the daughter of Perse (a water nymph) and Helios, the god of the sun. And although she is immortal, she is not as powerful as her mighty parents. Still, she's an enchantress who stands alone against the rage of both men and the gods and becomes a hero in her own right.
If you're feeling lovelorn, the stories of Haruki Murakami in Men without Women will give you a little bit of empathy for the boys. Hey, guys can feel lonely too.
In seven narrations, we learn about lovesick doctors, students and their high school sweethearts, ex-boyfriends, actors and bartenders who in their own way, have loved and lost women in their lives who left an indelible mark in their lives.
With a mix of humour and melancholy, every story touches upon the subject of lonliness while recognising the striking differences between the sexes.
If you're in the Mood for some fearless inspirational women, Leonora is a must-read. French/Mexican Author Elena Poniatowska recounts the story of Leonora Carrington, the most famous female artist in surrealism, who was always a bit under the radar as men, unsurprisingly, have always been the most prominent in art.
Leonora was the heiress of a British textile industry tycoon who rebelled against her family, and teachers, and left it all behind to honor her right to be a free as woman and as an artist.
Part of what makes her story so compelling was her turbulent love affair with artist Max Ernst who led her into the world surrealism. She then became part of the artistic circles that included the likes Salvador Dalí, Marcel Duchamp, Joan Miró, André Breton and Pablo Picasso to name a few.
If you're in a serious adventure mood, Margaret Atwood's most recent work The Testaments is a tempting read. In fact, chances are you're already familiar with her dystopian masterpiece of 1985 The Handmaid's Tale (or the Tv show based on the book) which explores the subjugation of women in the totalitarian, male-dominated state of Gilead and their fight to gain independence.
The Testaments is the sequel set fifteen years after the original novel. The story goes back to the oppressive regime of Gilead, but this time it looks into the beginning of its imminent collapse and the incredible human beings who could make it possible. The narrative is dynamic, full of exciting twists and turns, which make for an addictive read.