7 books every carer should read
Jorden Williams, Content Designer at BANES Carers Centre, has pulled together this uplifting list of reads, especially with unpaid carers in mind.
Let’s be real, most of us don’t have the time to commit to reading seven books! And this article isn’t meant to give us another pressure to add to our to-do list. But carving a little 'me time' out for ourselves is an essential part of taking care of ourselves. If you need a little help with this, you might like our Carers Guide to Self Love.
Reading is often something we run out of time to do – but half an hour with a good book can do wonders for our mental health.
So let's plan some time for ourselves, make a nice cuppa, pop our feet up and grab one of these books to dip into.
Reading isn’t only a great way to unwind, but it can help us recharge for a new day, and maybe we’ll even learn something new. So bookmark this list and see what jumps out to you next time you want a good read.
This great selection is vouched for by others in the caring community, covering everything from practical issues like cooking on a shoestring to finding joy in our days.
We’ve included links to where you can purchase each book, but don’t forget to check out what your local library has on offer!
1. The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy
Yes, of course this is on the list. This seems like an obvious choice because EVERYONE recommends it, but it’s for good reason, we promise!
Many of us will have seen Charlie’s touching illustrations doing the rounds on social media, that can just stop you in your tracks.
They’re gorgeous, uplifting and universally relatable, often reflecting on themes of courage, resilience and love. It’s like the book already knows us, and who doesn’t want a little pep talk every now and then?
2. Cooking On A Bootstrap by Jack Monroe
Jack shares over 100 simple and budget-friendly recipes that you can knock together even if you’re not a culinary whizz.
Favourites of ours include the aptly named recipe ‘I Cannot Get Enough Of This Five-Minute Thing’ and the delicious ‘Moonshine Mash’.
The recipes are all about cheap, filling and nourishing food for you and your family. Jack has thought about everything from what you might have lying around to how you might ‘veganise’ the dish. Definitely a handy one to have in the kitchen.
Book Depository, £11.70
3. Happy by Fearne Cotton
Whether you’re listening to her podcasts or reading one of her many books, there’s just something about Fearne’s tone that’s inviting, relaxing and makes you want to savour each moment.
Fearne has now written 4 books relating to mental health, so it was hard to choose just one! But we knew we had to showcase her first book, Happy.
It’s perfect to devour in a day or something to keep dipping into for a serotonin boost. Her simple, practical steps will help you find a little joy in every day.
The Works, £3.00
4. Tender: The Imperfect Art of Caring by Penny Wincer
A beautifully written and honest account of the realities of caring. Penny draws on her personal experience of caring, previously for her mother and now for her son. She weaves this with others’ stories to offer an insightful and often moving read.
If you want a taste of what’s to come, you can listen to her powerful interview on BBC Sounds where she reflects on what it is to be a carer. And also her chat with Mobilise's CEO James Townsend, on their podcast 'Who Cares Wins'.
5. The Sun and Her Flowers - Rupi Kaur
The Instagram sensation’s second collection of poetry touches on love, loss and growth.
Beautiful reflections of the world around us, accompanied with delicate illustrations make this a win for us.
This is not a book to read cover to cover, it’s just perfect to dip in and out of when you need a little inspiration in your day.
6. It’s Not OK to Feel Blue (and Other Lies) - Scarlett Curtis
This is a fantastic collection of writings about mental health from over sixty influential people. These personal stories cover a range of issues that aim to dispel the myths surrounding mental health.
It offers us a raw insight into the personal struggles of authors, celebrities, politicians and much more, and promotes the message that you’re not alone.
An inspiring read that you can easily flick through when you want a lift and some reassurance.
7. Becoming by Michelle Obama
A personal account from one of the most iconic women in the world – what’s not to love? In this witty and honest portrayal, the former First Lady shares not only her triumphs but the struggles she faced along the way.
Her reflections are warm and relatable, as she touches on issues like juggling motherhood and work, and the impact of seeing someone you love struggle with illness.
A beautifully written page-turner you’ll find hard to put down! If American politics sparks your interest, you can also check out Barack Obama’s latest memoir, A Promised Land.
The Works, £15.00
This is by no means an extensive list of all the wonderful books out there that can support you with your caring role. We just hope this has inspired you to take some time for yourself.
As always, we love to hear from you and if you have any other books you’d like to recommend to other carers, please join our Facebook community to share your ideas.
About the author
Jorden Williams is the Content Designer at BANES Carers Centre