The best books for when you feel lost in life

Lee Crutchley Author Of Nobody Knows What They're Doing: The 10 Secrets All Artists Should Know
By Lee Crutchley

Who am I?

I'm a writer from a small town in England that nobody has heard of, who now lives in Berlin. I have written books about depression, insomnia, creativity, and travel that have been translated into 20 languages. My book How to Be Happy (or at Least Less Sad) was called "a wonderful tool for anyone struggling with depression – or even just feeling blah" by Publishers Weekly. My latest book Nobody Knows What They're Doing is available now.


I wrote...

Nobody Knows What They're Doing: The 10 Secrets All Artists Should Know

By Lee Crutchley,

Book cover of Nobody Knows What They're Doing: The 10 Secrets All Artists Should Know

What is my book about?

In a world desperate for a glimpse of authenticity, Nobody Knows What They’re Doing is a breath of fresh air that reveals the truths hiding between the lines of Instagram-friendly aphorisms and behind the words of the most inspirational TED talks. An honest look at the reality of creativity and the joy and difficulty of crafting good (and bad) art, this book belongs in the hands of every exhausted creative, every starry-eyed dreamer, and every person who is trying to make their way in the world—and keep a roof over their head while they do it.

The books I picked & why

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Naïve. Super

By Erlend Loe, Tor Ketil Solberg (translator),

Book cover of Naïve. Super

Why this book?

Every book on my list has changed my life in some way, but this novel probably had the biggest impact. When I first read it, my life had followed a similar trajectory to the protagonist. I had become disillusioned with the meaning of life, quit my job, and left home to travel the world for a year or so. This book explores a lot of big themes in deceptively simple language. I re-read it any time I feel a bit lost in life. It always helps me to feel better, and see that things fit together, in just the right way.

Naïve. Super

By Erlend Loe, Tor Ketil Solberg (translator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Naïve. Super as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Troubled by an inability to find any meaning in his life, the 25-year-old narrator of this deceptively simple novel quits university and eventually arrives at his brother's New York apartment.

In a bid to discover what life is all about, he writes lists. He becomes obsessed by time and whether it actually matters. He faxes his meteorologist friend. He endlessly bounces a ball against the wall. He befriends a small boy who lives next door.

He yearns to get to the bottom of life and how best to live it.

Funny, friendly, enigmatic and frequently poignant - superbly naive.


Press Here

By Herve Tullet,

Book cover of Press Here

Why this book?

I know it's not supposed to be something you're "good" at, but I've never been any good at meditating. Until I bought this book for my niece and nephew that is. I read it with them a couple of times, then read it alone a hundred more. If you're feeling lost, this book will help you feel found. If you're overwhelmed by life, this book will show you how simple it can be. Just press the little yellow circle, it duplicates. Rub one of them, it turns red. Shake the book around, the circles fall down. All you need to do is the one little thing written on the page, then the next, then the next. That's all you can ever do, and it's all you ever need to.

Press Here

By Herve Tullet,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Press Here as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

PRESS HERE, MIX IT UP!, LET'S PLAY!, and SAY ZOOP! Collect all four interactive books from Herve Tullet!

Press the yellow dot on the cover of this interactive children's book, follow the instructions within, and embark upon a magical journey! Each page of this surprising touch book instructs the reader to push the button, shake it up, tilt the book, and who knows what will happen next! Children and adults alike will giggle with delight as the dots multiply, change direction, and grow in size! Especially remarkable because the adventure occurs on the flat surface of the simple, printed page,…

It Chooses You

By Miranda July,

Book cover of It Chooses You

Why this book?

Miranda July was struggling to finish her new movie script and, instead, interviewed a bunch of people she found through the Pennysaver. This book is the product of that procrastination, and I don't think I've ever related to anything more. It helped me to see the value of procrastination in general, and to realise I actually need to procrastinate. It's how I think and, counterintuitively, it's how I get things done. So these days, if I feel that need to procrastinate, I don't beat myself up about it, I do it. I'm much more productive as a result. I’m also much better at realising the difference between needed procrastination and laziness.

It Chooses You

By Miranda July,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked It Chooses You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the summer of 2009, Miranda July was struggling to finish writing the screenplay for her much-anticipated second film. During her increasingly long lunch breaks, she began to obsessively read the PennySaver, the iconic clas sifieds booklet that reached everywhere and seemed to come from nowhere. Who was the person selling the "Large leather Jacket, $10"? It seemed important to find out - or at least it was a great distraction from the screenplay.

Accompanied by photographer Brigitte Sire, July crisscrossed Los Angeles to meet a random selection of PennySaver sellers, glimpsing thirteen surprisingly moving and profoundly specific realities, along…


Holes

By Louis Sachar,

Book cover of Holes

Why this book?

I used to be freaked out by coincidences. Synchronicities made me feel like there was something else at work in life, behind the scenes, in a bad way. This book is one of the many things that have helped me to feel the opposite. It's about a detention centre where children build character by digging holes in the desert. It's also about coincidences, and how they don't really exist. To me, coincidences feel similar to our insignificance in the wider universe. It can be crushing, or liberating, depending on how you look at it. It may sound silly, but reading this book helped me to choose freedom.

Holes

By Louis Sachar,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Holes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking

By Oliver Burkeman,

Book cover of The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking

Why this book?

I've read a lot of self-help books, for various reasons, and this is one of the few that has actually helped. The problem with most self-help books is they focus on eliminating any negative feelings entirely and they often lie completely. They tell you that huge sweeping life changes are as simple as just deciding to make them. The Antidote does what its title implies, and shows that a different way is possible. It shows us the value in accepting those things we're normally told to avoid and the life-changing magic of taking small achievable steps.

The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking

By Oliver Burkeman,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Antidote as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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