The books that changed our lives

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A good book has the power to transform the way in which you think, feel and approach life. The DOSE team shares the ones that have made the most impact. From classics to self care books and autobiographies from their favourite entrepreneurs, here are the results…

Hettie Holmes, Editor & Co-Founder of DOSE

Sex, Drugs & Rock & Roll – The Science of Hedonism and Hedonism of Science by Zoe Cormier: explores how hedonistic impulses inform our highest pursuits, and how the renegades of science have illuminated the secrets of our deepest impulses. I came across Zoe when I was exploring my happy hormones at Secret Garden Party – she used to run events celebrating scientific discovery at music festivals. This book blew my mind – especially the section on drugs that discusses how our relationship with narcotics helps us to identify many of our most powerful neurotransmitters such as dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins. She is a huge inspiration of mine, which is why I asked her to kick off our new DOSE podcast series – launching on Acast in March 2019!

Shara Tochia, Co-Founder of DOSE

Shoe Dog by Phil Night: this book is all about how the Nike brand was built, and explains that perseverance, passion and resilience are key to building a brand – as well as being broke for a stage of your life. It is an incredible story, and gives me motivation to keep going and enjoy the journey with DOSE.

Charlotte Pasha, Journalist & DOSE contributor

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen has stayed with me since I read it at school 12 years ago. From the famous quotable opening line to the fact that it’s the most enduring love story, it says so much about human nature, relationships and family.

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese is an unbelievable book that makes you feel grateful to have read it and grateful for the life you have. Spanning everything from love, missionaries and medicine, it’s utterly beautiful.

Rosie Sargeant, Management Consultant & DOSE Contributor

Essentialism by Greg McKeown: subtitled ‘the disciplined pursuit of less’, this book teaches you that spreading oneself too thin often leads to underperformance, and that we need to focus on what is truly important in order to deliver the best results. As someone who has suffered from committing to too much, feeling guilty that I’m not doing my best work, then exhausting myself in the process of trying to compensate, this book helped me realise that I can’t be all things to all people. I remind myself of this philosophy every time I feel overwhelmed, or when I notice a dip in my performance. Usually the answer is straightforward – remove all non-essential commitments – although I still need to get better at being ruthless with identifying those!

Sarah Davis, Freelance Marketing Consultant & DOSE Social Media Manager

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne – a book about the law of attraction. It teaches you that in order to attract good things you have to actively manifest them and take control of your life. The Secret was the first real self-help book I read, and although it can be a little woo-woo at times, it really changed the way I look at life. It really helped me cultivate gratitude and positivity as well as achieve my goals. I’d recommend the audiobook as the book can be a bit dry to read, but it’s a great one to keep coming back to in harder times.

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle is about being in the present, not focused on the past or the future. It does read like quite a spiritual text, which I personally found inspiring. I was interested in mindfulness before I read this book, but this really solidified the concept for me. I love the simplicity of focusing only on the present. It helped me to become more mindful and happy on a day-to-day basis.

Lucy Sambrook, PR manager & DOSE Contributor

The book that changed my life is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Set in 1930s Alabama, a lot of people see the book as a civil rights novel, but it transcends that issue: it’s a novel about right and wrong, about kindness and meanness, but mostly about the importance of courage and kindness in the world.

Kate Marshall, PR manager & DOSE Contributor

Marie Kondo is a tidying genius! Her book Spark Joy: An illustrated guide to the Japanese art of tidying is all you need to de-clutter and simplify your life through tidying up. It includes step-by-step tips, tricks and diagrams, and she talks you through what joy means and why you should only keep items that do in fact spark it. This book really helps with the sustainability in fashion trend at the moment – she’ll help you to organise your things so you can easily find what you’re looking for and make the most of your wardrobe, plus anything that you don’t wear (because it doesn’t spark joy) can be given to a friend or charity where it will hopefully spark joy for someone else. The book taught me that a tidy life really is a tidy mind – I actually took notes from the book and bit by bit de-cluttered my living space. It helped me to live and work more productively and happily, which is an all-round great feeling. It has been a few years since I read the book and I have to admit a few areas have slipped back to their old ways but my knickers and sock drawers would still make her proud! There’s no escape now though as she’s not got her own Netflix series featuring case studies so the book has now come to life (in some seriously extreme forms).

Lizzy P, Marketing & DOSE Contributor

How I Escaped My Certain Fate by comedian Stewart Lee examines what led him to quit stand-up in 2001 and subsequently build his way back to becoming (in my opinion) the best stand-up comedian in the UK today. It features plenty of analysis of comedy, and what makes a joke…a joke. I’ve long been obsessed with ageing British male comedians, their thought processes and their work. I even got through to the final face-to-face auditions for Mastermind with Stewart’s work as my specialist subject (and Frank Skinner as my back-up). In this sort-of autobiography, Stewart Lee talks a lot about the inner workings of stand-up and the birth of alternative comedy in the UK. I can’t get enough of it and it is actually the only book to have made it onto my bedside table about seven years ago, and never left. It never fails to make me laugh if I ever need a bit of a pick-me-up and I try and force anyone I meet with an appreciation of comedy to read it.

Maneesha Arasu, Student & DOSE Contributor

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado is a short story collection that’s wildly different in terms of content, yet all linked together by their emphasis on exploring the experiences of women and their bodies. It’s the first book I’ve read in a long time that’s evoked that much feeling in me. It highlights the feminine experience in terms of bodily autonomy and consent, and it’s made me realise how rare that is to find in a book. It’s incredibly profound – you will feel changed after reading it.

Chloe Bacon, Executive Assistant & DOSE Contributor

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson made me realise that life is too short – something I’d heard for many years from my mum, but which had never really sunk in until I read it: what I’m worrying about now and what I think is a problem at the moment won’t matter whatsoever in a year’s time. I finished the book feeling calm and centred.

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Hettie is the editor and co-founder of DOSE. A keen runner, she’s also partial to a blast of high-intensity and hot yoga. A country girl at heart, she divides her time between London and the lush rolling hills of North Devon. When she’s not jetting off on her next adventure, Hettie can be found in a candle-lit alcove with a laptop, a spaniel and a full bodied Malbec.

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