Welcome to our Ten Book Challenge where our favorite authors share their “Book-It List”—a book bucket list with 10 of their most beloved and memorable reads—from the books with their favorite covers and best opening lines, to the reads they gift and the bookstores they frequent. This is a peek into your favorite authors’ perfect bowl of literary comfort food. We hope you discover something delicious!
January guest editor Radhika Sanghani’s 30 Things I Love About Myself (Jan 4, 2022) was inspired after she herself spent a night in jail — she used the time to meditate and reflect, turning a negative situation into something positive for herself. It’s a funny, relatable, feel-good read to kickstart your new year, all about learning to honestly embrace yourself, flaws and all.
In 30 Things I Love About Myself, Nina Mistry is so not thirty and thriving: she has hit rock bottom. It’s her thirtieth birthday, and she’s locked in a jail cell in her pajamas. Suddenly, destiny calls when a book lands in her cell: How to Fix Your Shitty Life by Loving Yourself. So Nina makes a life-changing decision to embark on a self-love journey: by her next birthday, she’s going to find thirty things she loves about herself. Soon, Nina is making new friendships, embarking on daring romances, and finding her passion. With an open conversation about beauty ideals, mental health and racism, this novel is part inspirational self-help, part entertaining escape.
Radhika Sanghani has a lot in common with Nina, being an influential body-positivity campaigner and a British-Indian journalist who writes about race, social issues, and current events. Her first two YA novels Virgin and Not That Easy were called by Joan Rivers “one of the funniest things I’ve read in years.” And Radhika’s new book is sure to be the perfect pick to cure winter blues, stir up some laughs, and inspire self love.
I last bought/am currently reading: Still Life by Sarah Winman
I recommend to everyone: The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak. It’s beautiful and inspiring
That was my favorite to read last year, and why: Scruples by Judith Krantz. It’s 70s chick lit and I loved every second of it. I really needed a fun light read after a tough year and this was perfect!
An author I would love to have lunch with: Elizabeth Gilbert
That made me realize language had power: Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason
I’d like to see adapted to the screen: 30 Things I Love About Myself!
That made me laugh out loud—or cry—while reading it: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Bakman
That has the most gorgeous cover: The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex
With the best opening line: Pride and Prejudice!
Bookstore that I frequent/is my favorite: My local in London – West End Lane Bookshop
Bonus: The book I think is the most beautifully written: The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy