Assortment of books

You may have noticed that we have been leaving books for you to find around our campuses as part of our #OffTheShelf campaign. As well as giving students and staff the opportunity to take home and read found copies, we hope that these copies will be passed on. There’s even a space in each book for readers to leave a review!

Why are we doing this?

We know reading has an educational impact, helping with everything from improving vocabulary to exploring new ideas, but reading also can have a positive impact on your health.

In an increasingly busy world, we want to encourage everyone to take some time out of their day and relax and reading offers a great escape. Research shows that reading for pleasure can dramatically enhance your wellbeing, helping to de-stress and improve your relationships with others.

Our Recommendations

All the #OffTheShelf books have been carefully selected by UWTSD staff with particular themes in mind for each book drop. In doing so, the ambition is to provoke thought and start important conversations.

To those of you who may have missed the opportunity to pick up a copy of some of our favourite titles, we hope you enjoy these reading lists and find them as compelling and challenging as we have.

#OffTheShelf reading lists

The coronavirus outbreak disrupted life as we knew it. Many of us are feeling worried and anxious about our health and our loved ones’, and those of us already living with mental health problems are facing extra challenges too. Taking care of our minds is just as important as taking care of our bodies, and a good book can help us cope by providing insight, comfort and a welcome escape!

With this in mind, we decided to run a digital #OffTheShelf campaign: instead of leaving books around our campuses for people to find, read and pass on, we've put together a collection of useful e-books, podcasts, and other resources to support your wellbeing during these difficult times.

  • My Year of Rest and Relaxation - Ottessa Moshfegh  
  • Asleep - Banana Yoshimoto  
  • The Sleeper and the Spindle - Neil Gaiman  
  • The Lathe of Heaven - Ursula K Le Guin  
  • Freshwater - Akwaeke Emezi  
  • The night circus - Erin Morgenstern  
  • Nod - Adrian Barnes  
  • Nightlights - Lorena Alvarez  
  • The house of sleep - Jonathan Coe  
  • The Magic of Sleep: A Bedside Companion   
  • The Sleep Book - Guy Meadows  
  • Why We Sleep - Matthew P Walker  
  • Insomnia - Marina Benjamin  
  • Awakenings - Oliver Sacks
  • Convenience store woman - Sayaka Murata
  • Big Mushy Happy Lump - Sarah Andersen
  • Queenie - Candice Carty-Williams
  • The circle - Dave Eggers
  • Death Wins a Goldfish - Brian Rea
  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - Robert M. Pirsig
  • Poems to Live Your Life - Chris Riddell
  • Number One Chinese Restaurant - Lillian Li
  • Rest - Alex Soojung-Kim Pang
  • Homo Deus - Yuval Harari Walden
  • Broken Places & Outer Spaces - Nnedi Okorafor
  • The Animators - Kayla Rae Whitaker
  • Safe - Derek Owusu
  • Lagom: The Swedish Art of Balanced Living - Linnea Dunne
  • Little Black Book - Otegha Uwagba
  • Grit - Angela Duckworth

Focusing on the Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 theme of body image.

  • The Little Book of Body Confidence - Judi Craddock
  • Body Positive Power - Megan Jayne Crabbe
  • Am I Ugly? - Michelle Elman
  • Notes on a Nervous Planet - Matt Haig
  • Man Up: Surviving Modern Masculinity - Jack Urwin
  • The Shock of The Fall - Nathan Filer
  • The Key to Happiness - Meik Wiking
  • Goodbye, Things - Fumio Sasaki
  • Love for Imperfect Things - Haemin Sunim
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time - Mark Haddon
  • A Beautiful Mind - Silvia Nasar
  • The Mindful Life Journal - Justin R. Adams
  • Coming Back to Me - Marcus Trescothick
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest - Ken Kesey
  • Jayne Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
  • Elinor Oliphant is Completely Fine - Gail Honeyman

Celebrating inspirational women

  • Becoming – Michelle Obama
  • The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
  • To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  • So Lucky – Nicola Griffith
  • Love In a Fallen City – Eileen Chang
  • Suffragette: The Autobiography of Emmeline Pankhurst – Emmeline Pankhurst
  • Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Tales of Extraordinary Women – Elena Favilli
  • Jane Austen at Home – Lucy Worsley
  • Men Explain Things To Me – Rebecca Solnit
  • Bloody Brilliant Women – Cathy Newman
  • Love Medicine – Louise Erdrich
  • Stay With Me – Ayobami Adebayo
  • I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban – Malala Yousafzai
  • The Gender Games: The problem with men and women, from someone who has been both – Juno Dawson
  • Do it Like a Woman – Caroline Criado-Perez


Highlighting LGBT authors and experiences

  • A Brief History of Seven Killings – Marlon James
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
  • Fingersmith – Sarah Waters
  • Carol – Patricia Highsmith
  • Sister Outsider - Essays and Speeches – Professor Audre Lorde
  • Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic – Alison Bechdel
  • Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit – Jeanette Winterson
  • The Last Romeo – Justin Myers

Highlighting black authors and experiences

  • Diversify – June Sarpong
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
  • Beloved – Toni Morrison
  • Half of a Yellow Sun – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race – Reni Eddo-Lodge
  • Natives – Akala
  • The Good Immigrant – ed. by Nikesh Shukla
  • The Color Purple – Alice Walker

Focusing on the National Libraries Week 2018 theme of wellbeing, ranging from practical guides to inspiration

  • Sane New World – Ruby Wax
  • How to Bullet Plan – Rachel Wilkerson Miller
  • The Travelling Cat Chronicles – Hiro Arikawa
  • Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway – Susan Jeffers
  • Reasons to Stay Alive – Matt Haig
  • Mindset – Dr Carol S. Dweck
  • How Not to Be a Boy – Robert Webb
  • The Stranger on the Bridge – Jonny Benjamin
  • The Things You Can Only See When You Slow Down – Haemin Sunim
  • The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  • Kakeibo: The Japanese Art of Saving Money – Fumiko Chiba
  • Counselling for Toads – Robert de Board

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for updates on the next #OffTheShelf book drop, and don’t forget to let us know what you think!

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