5 Books To Motivate You Until Summer Arrives

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If you’re in the midst of coursework, exams or simply pushing through in anticipation of (a hopefully pleasant and warm) summer, you need a little motivational boost. A mix of motivational, fiction and short stories should temporarily whisk you away and keep you going until you can actually relax!

#1 The Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes

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The award-winning creator of hit shows Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes’ latest offering follows her year of saying ‘Yes’ where she would otherwise be tempted to decline. Inspired by her sister, Rhimes made it a goal to accept the opportunities presented to her. As the summer inches closer, this book will encourage you to be fearless and make more of your life. It is also great for introverts who want to find ways to come out of their shells from time to time.

#2 The Sleep Revolution, Arianna Huffington

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With the stress of exams and coursework looming over you, sleep is probably to first thing to go. You can nap once you’ve finished, right? Wrong! The author and founder of the Huffington Post explores the way in which sleep can enhance our quality of life by improving our state of mind, feeding into our wellbeing and helping us to feel more fulfilled. Aimed at combatting our tendency to want to sleep fewer hours in our digitally-fuelled world, this book is a scientific and historical leap into the importance of sleep and will awaken you to the underestimated benefits of a great night’s rest.

#3 The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin

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Resolutions aren’t just for new years and the month that follows! This book by New York Times bestselling author Gretchen Rubin detailing her quest for year-round happiness and fulfillment is super inspiring. Resetting her frame of mind each month by setting new goals pushed Rubin to make time for the recreational, professional and personal activities she wanted to do, but didn’t think she had time for. 

#4 The Thing Around Your Neck, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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This is a compelling collection of 12 short stories that you can indulge in without neglecting your scholarly or work duties for too long. One of my favorite writers and author of the brilliant ‘Americanah’, Adichie takes you on an exploratory whirlwind of themes and places. From Nigeria to the U.S, infidelity, loss and falling in love, this book will quench the banality of exams with its rich but brief life adventures.

#5 Grit: The Power Of Passion And Perseverance, Angela Duckworth

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Following her hugely successful TED talk of the same name (8.6 Million views!), Psychologist Angela Duckworth combats the notion that success is based on innate talent or natural genius in this book. A combination of hard work, passion and persistence will help you to stay committed to your goals over the long term. Inspired by her own meandering career as a business consultant, teacher, and neuroscientist, Duckworth recounts her personal experiences and draws upon her scientific research to prove that ‘grit’ is the key to success.


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Isabel Togoh

Isabel is a 22-year-old MA student from London (via Ghana and Paris). She enjoys writing, reading long articles, laughing a lot, and consuming healthy amounts of Brie cheese. She also loves to mentor young students, and hopes to become a journalist once she graduates.

  • Lou

    I have the ‘year of yes’ on my kindle ready to read, but I’ll be adding some of these to my wish list. Thanks for sharing.


  • marti @fitwitheart

    thanks for the great ideas – definitely adding Grit and the Sleep Revolution to my list of must reads!

  • Keating Bartlett

    I’m adding all five of these to my summer reading list! I’m currently reading Thrive by Arianna Huffington and love it! So inspirational.

    xo, Keating | Keating & Co

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