I was introduced to the wonderful Briony Benjamin by the fiancé of my best friend Jordan a couple of months prior to the release of her book, Life is Tough But So Are You. Written in the wake of Briony’s devastating cancer diagnosis three years ago, Life is Tough But So Are You is a must-read for anyone wanting to navigate the hurdles life throws at us.
It’s been a real joy getting to know Briony, and seeing her book baby out in the world, and I was thrilled when she agreed to share with me the eight books she’d take with her to a desert island.
From the lone classic that made the cut to her creativity bible, read on to find out which eight books Briony would take with her to the sandy shores of a desert island.
Factfulness by by Anna Rosling Rönnlund, Hans Rosling, and Ola Rosling
Bill Gates said this is one of the most important books he has ever read for thinking clearly about the world. This book made me feel about 1,000,000 times better about the state of the world. As humans we have a bias towards negativity. It keeps us safe but put that into a 24 hour news cycle where we are constantly bombarded with negative news and it’s no wonder so many of us feel so anxious and depressed about the state of the world. Factfulness is a circuit breaker to all of this,
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Ahhhh this book I read and re-read it over and over for anyone who wants to ever try anything remotely creative or who doesn’t believe they are creative. (Spoiler alert: You are a human; which means you are creative so stop with that I’m not creative bullshit and get started).
Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker
This book changed my life, and it will change yours too. If you needed a little more help being convinced that sleep should be on the top of your things to do list – GET THIS BOOK INTO YOUR EYEBALLS and treat your body like the God-damn magical vessel it is by giving it the number 1 thing it needs. SLEEP! Ok maybe after water and food but yeah after those, it’s a life-saving magical medicine that is available to all of us)
Mindset by Carol Dweck
This isn’t just if you dream it you can do it bullshit – this book will change the way you think about what you are capable of. For me it was a GAMECHANGER and it changed my entire world view about what I can actually do with my life.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
An oldie but a goldie – you’ve got to read this book! So much about humans never truly changes so this book is as relevant as ever – key takeaways ‘We’re all craving a feeling of importance’, ‘the sweetest sound in the English language is the sound of your name said lovingly’ – in other words remember people’s names, or find out people’s names in the case of wait staff and suchlike!
The Proof is in the Plants by Simon Hill
I’ve become plant based after chemotherapy and this book is a fantastic guide to get you started and learn how to be plant based and healthy – and that in fact a plant-based diet is better for you, animals and the planet! We can change the world by what we eat.
The Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape
Scott Pape is my Beyonce, this guy is the bombdiggity. It professes to be the only guide to money you’ll ever need and it’s essential reading if you want to understand your money, have a stress-free life, and have the means to go cruising the med with your gal pals at 80’s.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Just trying to buck the trend here (and ooohhh God I mean Lizzy’s quick witty banter and Colin Firth…. Need I say more?!) This book is still laugh out loud funny, the characters jump off the page and I probably go back and read it once a year. It’s comfort reading for me!
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