No one wants to be caught browsing the self help books in a bookstore. But isn’t any book that adds something new to our minds or changes our perspective helpful? We want to be challenged, informed, altered and inspired. Here the RUSSH Editors have rounded up the books that have helped them along the way.
Brand & Art Director
The Romantic Movement: Sex, Shopping & The Novel, Alain De Botton
I have never been able to buy into the idealization of ‘romantic love’. Don’t get me wrong, my Rom-Com game is strong (and I will cry every time), I love a grand gesture and yes, I do believe in love – but I am talking about real love, not the fantasy of what it (or the person) owes us. I believe in love beyond the feeling. Side note: No-one can ‘complete’ anyone.
After reading Alain De Botton’s The Course of Love (my number 1 to this very day) I practically swallowed this book whole. Written in a similar narrative format, it tells the story of a love affair from the very first meeting to the break up, taking moments of pause along the way to provide insight from a pragmatic, philosophical stance. For both people in the relationship. It almost feels as though you are combing through the notes of a couples therapist. There are diagrams, graphs and genuine ‘laugh out loud’ moments. Brilliant. It may not have changed my perception of love and relationships but it surely affirmed it.
Market & Beauty Director
The Body Keeps the Score, Bessel Van Der Kolk
Your mind will disobey your heart and your whole body will let you know. When did we stop listening to our bodies? (Or was that just me?) Sometimes books, and topics, pop up in your life over and over again causing you to take notice. You’ll see it on a friends Instagram story, another friend will mention it in passing, it will show on a list of book recommendations and the topic will come into conversation with another. This is what happened with The Body Keeps the Score, and the idea of the mind vs the body in general.
Van Der Kolk is a physiatrist and the book explores the ways the body will hold onto and store emotions and when this is the case, how talk therapy is often inefficient for treating it. Because how can we put words to something that we feel? How limited is language for describing emotion? If emotions and traumas are felt, then should we feel (not talk) our way out of it?
The book in a nutshell? Do yoga.
If you aren’t up for an entire book here's an hour podcast that will give you some insight.
The Barefoot Investor, Scott Pape
This book really made me think about my finances in a different way. I've always been a great saver and quite financially savvy, but this book is not just about your day-to-day money. It's about building wealth and looking at things like your Superannuation. Scott Pape shows, with evidence and examples, the difference between high-fee and low-fee super funds - and what that does by the time you retire. It gave me the kick up the butt I needed to change how my super was being managed. And to start looking at investing in index funds.
Daring Greatly, Brené Brown
This was gifted to me (by my prior boss no less) and I’m ashamed to say I have yet to read it. However, due to the current climate of the world, I can now lay in the backyard with the sunshine and this book ready to be inspired - another luxury in my privileged isolation.
In this book written by Dr Brené Brown, “she argues that vulnerability is in fact a strength, and when we shut ourselves off from revealing our true selves we grow distanced from the things that bring purpose and meaning to our lives.”
I’m not usually a fan of the cliché self-help books, but I feel this was specifically given to me for a reason. So now is the time to remove my prior judgements and let go.