Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Self Care: Books You Won’t Want to Put Down

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Leeds chapter.

It’s beginning to feel like spring and as a result I have become obsessed with thinking about summertime. I love a rainy-day, binge-watching Netflix, and a Sunday roast as much as the rest of us, but summer is just that little bit better. Beach days, BBQs, watching the Euros in a pub garden – after all it’s not called hot girl winter, is it? After the end of exams, I can think of nothing better than a day of tanning, and my mission has been to find the perfect selection of books to help pass the time. I get it – some people hate it, but let’s be real, squinting at your phone screen and then inevitably having to put your phone in the fridge because it’s overheated isn’t the best vibe, so grab one of my favourite books instead. I love all of these recommendations because you just can’t put them down, so if you aren’t a massive reader and maybe want to start – here are some of my favourites!

ONE DAY (David Nicholls) – Waterstones £9.99

If you’re graduating this summer, this book has you covered. Even if you’ve watched the Netflix series, it’s just not the same. For all you delulu-girls with your campus crush – this will give you a lifetime’s worth of scenarios. Set on the same day of each year, it follows the lives of Dexter and Emma, starting the first day after their graduation from university, through all the ups and downs that follow. It’s breathtakingly realistic, and brutally heartbreaking. 

LESSONS IN CHEMISTRY (Bonnie Garmus) – Waterstones £7.99

I started and put this book down a few times, but once I was in, I think I read the whole book in one afternoon. Challenging the 1960s status quo, the protagonist Elizabeth Zott, will inspire you with her determination, humour, and most of all her black and white honesty. You might even learn a thing or two about chemistry along the way (for all you STEM girlies). I’ve never read anything like it, and its uncompromising approach towards equality has made me re-read it over and over again.

CLEOPATRA AND FRANKENSTEIN (Coco Mellors) – Waterstones £8.49

Imperfect romance is encapsulated in this bestselling novel. A myriad of tangled love stories, friendships, and post 2000’s angst, all set in New York, it’s a shattering account of how mental illness and addiction warps lives. Mellor’s wit and perception is clear in every line and will make you laugh as quickly as it will make you cry. It’s powerful, completely captivating, and beautifully written. 

EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT LOVE (Dolly Alderton) – Waterstones £10.99

This is my personal Bible. Without a doubt, I have never read a book that I have identified so deeply with. Dolly Alderton’s (agony aunt for the Sunday Times) autobiographical account of her relationships, both romantic and platonic, will make you die of laughter, reminisce on old love, and most importantly, give you the confidence to face your 20s. Dolly holds your hand through every relationship she’s had, and still leaves you smiling. But most of all, she stresses that the person most important in any relationship or friendship – is you. If there’s one book every woman should read – it’s this one. 

Doom-scrolling is fun, but considering we’re all going to be hunchbacked from being glued to a laptop all day – why not give one of these books a go? If you’re worried about the cost, you can get great discounts by ordering books online, choosing independent bookstores, or using your university library. So go on – romanticise summer 2024 that little bit more and enjoy a little bit of escapism. Books are a great form of self-care, and with exam season and deadlines coming up, we all need a bit of self-love.

Written by: Bella Greenstock

Edited by: Raahat Lakdawala

I’m in my first year at the University of Leeds studying International Relations. I am so proud to be a member of Her Campus and to be able to work alongside such fantastic, talented and supportive women. I love theatre and music, running, podcasts and travel, and of course writing!