Recommended Books on Loneliness
LITERARY REMEDIES AND BOOKS ON LONELINESS
The Heart is A Lonely Hunter (Fiction) by Carson McCullers
Written by a 23-year-old Carson McCullers then this is often looked upon as on the greatest American novels on the 20th century.
It's set in the deep South and tells the story of compassionate protagonist John Singer, a lonely deaf-mute, and of three other people who visit the cafe where he eats everyday and confide in him - there was an angry, embittered drunk man, a young girl who wanted to grow up as quickly as possible and a disappointed black doctor. Loneliness and misunderstanding haunts all of them. Their confessions to him lead him to essentially change their lives, in an almost unexpected, remarkable way. A story of hope and love, it will remind you of all the transience of life and that dark days to give way to brighter, less lonely ones.
The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman — an award-winning masterpiece of suspense and great storytelling, this fantasy tale about a child on a quest to save another will give the Narnia and Lord of the Rings series a run for their money. Beautiful characters and imagery, this book will truly whet your appetite for the second and third in His Dark Materials trilogy and is guaranteed to cure boredom and loneliness.
Wild by Cheryl Strayed — twenty-two year-old Cheryl Strayed captures the life-changing moments that set her on a solitary one-thousand-mile plus hike of the Pacific Crest Trail starting from the Mojave Desert through to California, Oregon and Washington. Motivated by her need to make sense of the loss of her mother and her failed marriage she embarked on this remarkable journey. This incredibly personal account, filled with humour and suspense at every turn, tells a story of healing in the face of significant challenges and terror on the trail. Selected for Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 Wild is Cheryl’s bibliotherapy, a story that she had to tell for the sake of personal redemption.
I, Claudius by Robert Graves about the autobiography of Tiberius Claudius who was born 10 B.C. into the royal family at the time. Embarrassed by his physically disability and non-stop stuttering, the royal family downgraded his role to imperial affairs. Claudius took to studying and became a historian and scholar. As the other members of the family were murdered one by one through betrayal by insiders, he managed to survive them and became emperor of Rome. Highly entertaining, it will make you grateful about your position in life.
Tales of A City by Armistead Maupin about 1970s San Francisco in its hey days with a diverse range of characters in a fabulous soap opera style novel that will leave you feeling content, fulfilled and happy to be who you are.
Related recommended reading lists:
Consolation in times of sorrow
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A big hello and thank you for reading! Passionate about literature, psychology, and life I launched Book Therapy as an alternative form of therapy using the power of literature. I train mental health professionals, librarians, teachers as well as readers on using bibliotherapy in their own work through our online Bibliotherapy, Literature and Mental Health course. We also curate reading lists/personalised book prescriptions for clients based on their individual needs. This is our signature personalised reading service.
You can also check out Book Therapy’s other free reading lists and A- Z of book prescriptions (covering both fiction and non-fiction). These suggest books based on your existing life situation (e.g. anxiety, job change, relationship heartache) as well as interests (e.g memoir, historical fiction, non-fiction, crime etc). There’s also a Children’s A — Z of Book Prescriptions. Feel free to check out the blog for more literary gems. There’s also a post on my personal story of how I entered the world of bibliotherapy and book curation.
In this role, I have had the opportunity to publish a book called The Happiness Mindset, and write various literary essays and pieces for newspapers and magazines. I have undertaken bibliotherapy workshops for The United Nations, various libraries in New York and corporate organisations in the UK and US. My book recommendations have featured in the Guardian, Marie Claire, NBC News, Asian Voice, New York Observer, Sydney Telegraph and various other publications. If you are a parent you might enjoy a podcast I’ve recorded with speech and language therapist Sunita Shah on Raising A Reader & Storyteller. And if you’d like to connect, email me at email@example.com or www.booktherapy.io.
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