In the whirlwind of life’s chaos, I found my refuge not in jetting off to some far-flung paradise but in the company of six trusty books that transformed my tumultuous reality into a literary adventure. Picture this: an avid reader, a workaholic, and an introvert (yours truly) taking a detour from deadlines to dive into the wisdom of Clarissa Pinkola Estés, John Kim, Adam Kay, Khaled Hosseini, and Charlotte Gill. It wasn’t just a reading spree; it was my self-prescribed therapy, sprinkled with a dash of stolen books (sorry, friends). 

As fate would have it, my challenging phase coincided with a sudden bout of wanderlust. So, armed with these literary comrades, I decided to move to another country. Not just any travel, the kind that involves soul-searching, border-crossing, and a generous dose of self-reflection. I zigzagged through the pages of “Women Who Run with the Wolves,” danced with the concept of “Single on Purpose,” and navigated the hilarious yet poignant corridors of “This is Going to Hurt.” In the comforting embrace of “A Thousand Splendid Suns,” I explored the Afghan terrain without leaving my cosy reading nook.

Meanwhile, Charlotte Gill’s “Almost Brown” took me on an intimate journey through family, ethnicity, and an unhealthy obsession with American junk food. In the world of literature and travel, I’ve learned that sometimes the best journeys happen between the pages, and the most enlightening destinations are the ones within ourselves. Embark on a literary journey with these 6 must-read books for every reader who’s either on the road or gearing up for a voyage.

Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Before you roll your eyes at the title, let me spill the tea, ‘Women Who Run with the Wolves’ by Clarissa Pinkola Estés is a literary rollercoaster for everyone, men and women alike! I fell head over heels for this gem, and let me tell you, it’s not your typical bedtime story. Estés dives into global mythology, whisking us on a journey to embrace our inner Wild Woman. Forget societal norms; this book is all about intuition, authenticity, and the sass to face life’s curveballs. Tales like Vasalisa and the Handless Maiden aren’t just stories; they’re guides to owning your true self. This book is your ticket to a life of realness, joy, and the resilience to rock your own story. 

Single on Purpose by John Kim

Ready for a wild ride of self-discovery? John Kim’s ‘Single on Purpose’ isn’t your typical self-help saga; it’s a rebellious anthem for those wanting to rock their solo journey. Kim’s ‘self-help in a shot glass’ method, born from his own divorce saga, is a no-nonsense guide to owning your quirks, ditching toxic patterns, and rekindling your inner spark. Forget the cliché that happiness hinges on a romantic partner; Kim’s on a mission to debunk that myth. Picture his journey as an offbeat ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ tattoos, motorcycle escapades, and a doughnut or two included. Kim schools us on life skills, thinking boundaries, independence, and self-know-how. 

The 10% Entrepreneur by Patrick J. McGinnis

Ever dreamt of being an entrepreneur without the whole ‘quit your job and risk it all’ drama? Patrick J. McGinnis has your back in ‘The 10% Entrepreneur,’ a genius playbook for the indecisive dream-chaser. Forget the glam of full-time entrepreneurship; McGinnis is all about balance. McGinnis isn’t just selling dreams; he’s giving you a GPS for your entrepreneurial journey. Follow his step-by-step plan, identify your project, and strategically commit resources. Worried about success? Meet real-life 10% Entrepreneurs like Luke Holden and Dipali Patwa, proof that you can slay the entrepreneurial game without ditching your day job. 

This Is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay

‘This Is Going to Hurt’ by Adam Kay is the prescription for laughter, tears, and a guilty admission; I borrowed it from a friend and never returned it. Kay’s candid and hilarious take on the secret diaries of a junior doctor isn’t just a page-turner; it’s a rollercoaster ride through the highs and lows of NHS life. Imagine a senior registrar in obstetrics and gynaecology dealing with ‘itchy teeth’ and emergency hysterectomies; it’s a medical drama with a side of comedy. Kay, now a comedy writer, infuses his tales with humour that turns even the most challenging experiences into moments of hilarity. Inspired by the 2016 junior doctors’ dispute, this book is not just an exposé; it’s a heartfelt tribute to the unsung heroes of the healthcare system. So, join the literary ward rounds and discover why ‘This Is Going to Hurt’ is the book I ‘borrowed’ and never gave back, a guilt trip worth taking for the laughter and insights it delivers.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khalid Hosseini

Khalid Hosseini is a renowned author known for his beautiful prose and profound narratives. His book, “A Thousand Splendid Suns,” is a literary dance that captivates readers with its artful truth bombs. Hosseini’s stories dissect the human experience, taking readers on a journey through Afghan history. The story follows two women, Mariam and Laila, who navigate a landscape of love, betrayal, and resilience. Afghanistan is not just a backdrop but a character in this literary masterpiece, showcasing the triumph of the human spirit against a tumultuous history. The book is a testament to Hosseini’s talent in crafting stories that dissect the human experience.

Almost Brown by Charlotte Gill

‘Almost Brown’ by Charlotte Gill is a captivating memoir that delves into the experiences of Indian immigrants and their experiences of brown parents. The memoir explores the challenges of growing up biracial in a new land, with the dynamic of her family’s relationship crumbling. Gill’s father’s Houdini acts during childhood symbolize the cracks in their nuclear home. After 25 years, Gill and her dad reset, turning the page on their relationship. The memoir transcends typical family drama, offering a 256-page feast that explores gender roles, microaggressions, and the quirks of American culture.

For fellow book lovers, these six companions turned my reality into a literary rollercoaster. Cheers to laughter, page-turning joy, and the splendid lines that shape our stories!

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Hira Suleman, the brains behind Creative Sloths, a Dubai-based creative agency that's turning heads with its innovative approach. Hira is an introverted wordsmith, a passionate writer who effortlessly weaves creativity into every campaign. The quirky mind driving the slothful revolution in creativity. When not crafting marketing magic, you'll find her immersed in the world of literature, channeling the spirit of a sloth, the ultimate symbol of tranquility and strategic leisure.