Nonchalant ~ 5 Top Reads to Keep You Smiling

5 Top Reads to Keep You Smiling

Suddenly found yourself with some extra downtime? Totally over refreshing your news app? Suffering from far too much screen time? Yeah… us too. These positive, engaging and easy non-fiction reads are a great way to while away a few hours at home. Happy Reading.

Factfulness – Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About The World – And Why Things Are Better Than You Think.

Hans Rosling

We’re living in uncertain times, and it’s natural to feel helpless and a bit down (and that’s before we think about any of the other world affairs that dominated our newsfeed before that C-word took over…).

This book shines light in dark places, looking at the fantastic leaps humankind have made in recent decades, debunks common misconceptions on Global Development and helps you to re-balance your media intake.

Written by a father-daughter-son team, with a hefty dose of perspective and positivity – trust us, you will devour it and once finished be able to relish in some of humanity’s incredible wins.

Hans Rosling’s Sunday Times Best Seller

Even better, Factfulness begins with a thirteen-question, multiple-choice quiz to help readers evaluate their understanding of current world facts – have a go and challenge your friends and family to spread the word.

The questions focus on topics including global healthcare, education, wealth and population. Upon then realising quite how far from the facts you may be (but don’t fret, even a room of OECD experts were wildly off the mark!) the team explain each topic – the truths, myths and developments through disarmingly charming and funny anecdotes.

Everything I Know About Love

Dolly Alderton

With your dating life on pause until we’re allowed to mingle outside our household, if you haven’t yet read this funny, relatable, witty, (at times wild – wait for the taxi story…!) and heartwarming memoir this is the perfect companion for self-isolation.

Dolly’s very personal insights into growing up in London, negotiating the trials and tribulations of youth, flat sharing, hangovers, friendship, true turmoil, finances, adulting, relationships and of course love.

Oh, and her reminiscing about time spent on MSN messenger…who would’ve known in the 90s that all those skills honed in chatrooms would’ve equipped us so well to endure self-isolation and the Houseparty app?!

Whilst the title suggests this could be mistaken for another dull chick-lit novel, Dolly’s shallow observations and angsty teenager melodrama (I mean who isn’t slightly melodramatic at 16… no judgement) quickly melts away.

As she hooks you in, she refocuses on the importance of the powerful relationships forged with her friends and how important they are in navigating her world. We all need powerful, brave, kind and caring women in our lives and this is a beautiful book dedicated to them.

The Doorstep Mile

Alastair Humphreys

Would you like to live more adventurously? Wouldn’t we all…if we only had the time I hear you say… Well, we know this seems like a rogue recommendation bearing in mind recent events, with 1/5 (at time of writing) of the population now under some kind of stay at home order but…

  1. BoJo has said we can go out once a day.
  2. Start dreaming up some micro-adventures for #lifeafterlockdown.
  3. The practical tips help you develop an adventurer’s mantra.
  4. It has some great motivational tips to approach each day with enthusiasm, find and resurrect the boldness, wonder and curiosity that we had as kids before life, adulting and stress got in the way.

So how do we figure out how to go about living adventurously amidst the chaos of real-life. This book will help you to think big, start small and find adventures anywhere, maximise your downtime (yes, Apple’s Screentime, App is the most confronting thing of life currently for us too…. yes, it’s too high, and yes, if you brought it down you could probably squeeze in that hike/run/rollerskate).

We found it helped shift our perspective a little, think about how to build more (micro-)adventures into our lives and now we’re using it to plan cool ideas to do once all this madness ends.

Like Alastair, could you too sleep under the stars on a Tuesday night in the garden? Climb a tree whilst walking the dog? Walk a lap of the M25 one weekend? Have a cheeky river swim en route to your 8.30 am meeting? Why the hell not?

The Importance of Music to Girls

Lavinia Greenlaw

Another charming and whimsical coming of age tale, this memoir is a little piece of social history as it tracks a young girl through adolescence, growing up on the outskirts of London in the late 60s and early 70s.

Music is evocative and incredibly powerful for transporting us back in time, punctuating many of the most important experiences in our lives. This little book is the author’s soundtrack to her life. Each chapter named after a song, accompanied by an emotional and heartwarming narrative. It will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside.

Greenlaw dedicates a chapter discussing one of the greatest acts of love: Making someone a mixtape.

If you can’t isolate with your special someone, or even if you can, this sounds like a timeless self-isolation tip.

The days of CDs, recording songs off the radio onto cassette and downloading dodgy MP3s off the internet may be over (unless you can dig out an old cassette player from the loft!). But take the time to curate (and even collaborate on) an epic Spotify playlist for your girlfriend. Sounds like an excellent way to spend an afternoon of lockdown.

Truth To Power: 7 Ways to Call Time on B.S

Jess Phillips M.P

What’s that? A UK politician with buckets of charisma and integrity? And wait, she’s female? Finally!! Good news all round.

Want to know a little more about Birmingham Yardley’s MP Jess Phillips? If so, this book is just waiting to be dived into – providing an excellent intro into her inspirational philosophy and an insight into her campaign for positive social change. How can we better use our voice for good?

How can we dig deep, get organised, find courage as well as the tools we need to really make a difference? If you are feeling a little helpless or anxious right now, this is a great book for you to pick up. It is great for perspective, inspiration and confidence building, packing a lot of punch into just 221 pages.

Want to read them all but don’t know where to start? Both Dolly and Jess are featured in the wonderful How To Fail With Elizabeth Day podcast (also available in book form but we did promise 5!), giving you a taster of their world outlook.

Oh and she may not have written a book yet but Phoebe-Waller Bridge also features. Twice. Enough said?

Let us know if you have read these books and what you thought about them by commenting below.

Love Team Nonchalant x

Nat Stevens
Nat Stevens

Nat is a London native currently living and working in South London. She is into all things travel and most things running. Nat has just got back from living in Asia for the last six years, both Singapore and Beijing. Nat is Most likely to be found taking photos, cooking, running, exploring London’s galleries or spending too much money on food.

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