Since starting the I Weigh movement two years ago, Jameela Jamil has used her celebrity to encourage people to find their inner strength and fight back against dangerous societal norms. In a reading list for Stylist, the actress and self-love activist highlighted 10 of her favorite books for overcoming life’s hardest moments:

“To carry on the theme of difficult conversations, I’d like to highlight some of the amazing books on trauma…I especially love Roxane Gay’s Hunger – she talks about her trauma in a way I haven’t heard before.”

Read on for a list of Jameela Jamil’s favorite books and find more empowering, female-driven stories in the reading lists of Emma Watson, Florence Welch, Gabrielle Union, Reese Witherspoon and Roxane Gay.


When They Call You A Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele

“Telling the stories of the women behind the Black Lives Matter movement this is an examination of how they turned trauma and racism into a rally cry of resistance.” -JJ

The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil

“About how Wamariya and her sister escaped the Rwandan genocide only to face inhumane cruelty, this is a tale of using the worst life can throw at you for good.” -JJ

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

“For anyone who has ever fallen in love with the wrong person, Kaur’s poetry is the wise and soothing balm to help restore your self-belief and propel you onwards and upwards.” -JJ

A Half Baked Idea by Olivia Potts

“This tender memoir follows Potts’ life-swap from criminal barrister to patisserie chef in the wake of her mother’s death. It’s filled with the comfort we all seek when dealing with grief.” -JJ

I Never Said I Loved You by Rhik Samadder

“Exploring the aftermath and effect of child abuse on the body, mind and memory, Samadder’s incredible memoir is written with both unexpected humour and heartbreaking honesty.” -JJ

She Must Be Mad by Charly Cox

“On a mission to destigmatise anxiety, depression and mental health issues, Cox’s poems are touchingly revealing and act as a rousing call for us all to support one another.” -JJ

Do Not Feed The Bear by Rachel Elliott

“A comfort read featuring free-running, different narratives (including a dog’s) and letting go of guilt and loss. It’s utterly uplifting and a warm reminder that people are here to help.” -JJ

Breaking and Mending by Joanna Cannon

“Now a best-selling writer, Cannon’s stories of her time as a junior doctor explore how humans can give each other hope and compassion in even the darkest of moments.” -JJ

Lucky by Alice Sebold

“The victim of a brutal rape at the age of 18, The Lovely Bones author Alice Sebold has written a memoir about finding the tenacity, inner strength and sheer determination to recover.” -JJ

Hunger by Roxane Gay (also rec’d by Emma Watson)

“A life-changing book, Gay’s memoir tells the horrific story of how she was gang-raped aged 12 and the aftermath that led to her using her body as both a shield and an act of defiance.” -JJ

(via Stylist)

Categories: Activists Actors

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