Transform Your Relationships With These Books

In partnership with the Guille-Allès Library

The past few years have shone a spotlight on the relationships in our lives, and many of us have found ourselves looking for a more conscious way to relate to our partners, our families and friends, our colleagues... and ourselves. People of all ages are looking at their relationship dynamics and challenging conventional thinking in the search for more meaningful relationships.

If this resonates with you, you'll be happy to hear that our friends at the library have curated a list of book recommendations to help us all get the most from our relationships, looking at ways to inspire personal growth, embrace vulnerability and set healthy boundaries.




1.  'Tiny Beautiful Things' by Cheryl Strayed.

Cheryl Strayed may be most famous for writing Wild (which has since been made into a film starring Reese Witherspoon), but before she had a recognizable name, she was the anonymous advice columnist for The Rumpus. Her book Tiny Beautiful Things compiles the questions she received and the heartfelt advice she gave under the pen name Sugar, as well as essays she wrote about her own experiences.

It's a mix of memoir and universal self-help that'll inspire personal growth and empathy for others.

Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed


2. 'Partnering' by Jean Oelwang.

Jean Oelwang, president and founding CEO of Virgin Unite, has been on a decade-long exploration to find out how to nurture relationships with depth and purpose. Partnering draws from the wisdom of legendary partnerships including Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, Ben and Jerry, Desmond and Leah Tutu, and the collective who saved humanity by closing the ozone hole.

From hundreds of interviews with inspirational people, Oelwang puts forward the evidence that enduring partnerships are the foundation for a meaningful life, successful business and thriving collaboration. 

Partnering: Forge the Deep Connections That Make Great Things Happen by Jean Oelwang


3. 'Why We Love' by Dr Anna Machin.

In this entertaining and accessible exploration of love, Oxford anthropologist Dr Anna Machin dives into the science behind the myriad types of love that exist in the world, including romantic love, parental love, friendships, love for pets, football teams, religious love and even love for our smartphones.

Through original research brought to life by interviews and case studies, and encompassing such fascinating areas as polyamorous relationships, parasocial (love for a celebrity) and sacred loves, this book argues that it is time to stop putting romantic love on a pedestal.

Why We Love by Dr Anna Machin


Woman Reading 3


4.  'Set Boundaries, Find Peace' by Nedra Glover Tawwab.

Healthy boundaries. We all know we should have them - in order to achieve work/life balance, cope with toxic people, and enjoy rewarding relationships with partners, friends, and family. But what do healthy boundaries really mean - and how can we successfully express our needs, say no, and be assertive without offending others?

Licensed counsellor, sought-after relationship expert, and one of the most influential therapists on Instagram, Tawwab demystifies this complex topic for today's world. Set Boundaries, Find Peace presents simple yet powerful ways to establish healthy boundaries in all aspects of life. 

Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself by Nedra Glover Tawwab


5.  'Daring Greatly' by Brene Brown.  

Every day we experience the uncertainty, risks, and emotional exposure that define what it means to be vulnerable, or to dare greatly. Whether the arena is a new relationship, an important meeting, our creative process, or a difficult family conversation, Brown says that we must find the courage to walk into vulnerability and engage with our whole hearts.

In Daring Greatly, Brown challenges everything we think we know about vulnerability. Based on twelve years of research, she argues that vulnerability is not weakness, but rather our clearest path to courage, engagement, and meaningful connection. 

Daring Greatly: How The Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead by Brene Brown

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