Growing up, books were my best friends. They offered worlds filled with adventure and populated by a cast of intriguing characters. Years later, I can still rely on a book for advice, inspiration, or an escape from the daily humdrum of life. The thing is, no matter where you are in life, you’re never to old for a good book. Here are three pieces of literature that can see you through from one phase of life to the next.
For the StudentBook: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Fangirl is the story of Cath, a first year college student who has been a fan of the Simon Snow book series since she was a child. Over the years she has turned to the series as a way to cope with the complications in her childhood and adolescence. But as she experiences the pitfalls of independence in college life, she grapples with her biggest fear: is she strong enough to leave behind the surety of her childhood passions and venture forth on her own?
Fangirl perfectly addresses many of the issues we face as we take our first steps towards independence. Cath’s anxiety in an unfamiliar environment, her struggle to balance her interpersonal relationships, and her instinct to cling to security are all familiar experiences. By the end of the novel we learn that while there’s no shame in holding on to the past, it shouldn’t prevent us from coming into our own.
For the Career WomanBook: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Set in England post the Second World War, this book is a series of correspondences between the mildly scandalous Juliet Ashton and her friends. Juliet is a journalist and author who recently released a successful collection of wartime stories and is now suffering from lack of inspiration. Her luck changes when she receives a letter from the nearby island of Guernsey, where a man has acquired a book that once belonged to her. She soon begins to receive letters from the other inhabitants, who are curious about their neighbor’s friend on the mainland. Inspired by their tales of occupation she decides to visit the island in the hopes of finding a muse.
Aside from being a witty and charming novel, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is driven by Juliet’s hunt for inspiration. Throughout her search she refuses to compromise on her personal ethics and manages to maintain positive relations in both her private and professional life. Above it all however is Juliet’s sense of humor and her ability to take a step back and appreciate the little things, something that many of us lose as we get involved in our hectic careers.
For the HoneymoonerBook: The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Everyone loves a good, old fashioned love story, though you can hardly consider something old fashioned when there’s time travel involved. This anachronistic romance is told in turns by Henry, a man with a genetic disorder that causes him to randomly travel through time, and his wife Clare. Clare first meets Henry when she is six, and he is thirty-six, and they are married when she is twenty-three and he is thirty-one. What unfolds is the story of their love and their attempt to live a normal life despite Henry’s tendency to slip through time.
The Time Traveller’s Wife is an interesting take on love and marriage. Clare and Henry’s story is all about compromise and understanding. It is their tenacity and determination to make things work that alleviates the strain Henry’s condition puts on their relationship.
They say art imitates life, and that can be seen most clearly in the stories we share. Whatever phase of life you’re in, and whatever problems you may face, the best advice can often be found between the pages of a book.
Shivangi’s interests include video games, psychology, and everything in between. Certified night owl, official nerd, and purveyor of fun facts. Follow her on instagram (@stixer11) if you want to meet her dog.