15 Brilliant Bedtime Books To Dip Into

Every night before I go to bed, I like to read a few pages of the latest tome I have been persuaded to buy reading the book reviews on Amazon. Bedtime reading is something I actively encourage the kids to do too – far better for you than messing up your sleep patterns with the dastardly blue light of your iPad, phone or PC.

These books, I must confess, are usually of the self help variety – an unfortunate addiction I have been unable to kick for many years. Ah, the hours I have spent lurking in the “Mind, Body, Spirit” section of Waterstones, lovingly inhaling the aroma of proper printed books, tinged occasionally with a waft of Costa Coffee.

I have never had the brass-faced cheek, mind you, to plop myself down on the chairs provided and start reading a book cover to cover. Some people obviously don’t know their bookshop from their library. And who’d want to buy a book that someone has already thumbed, scuffed or otherwise defaced, however, infinitesimally?

Anyway, the bedtime reading pile has grown to a structurally unsafe mound and I must confess that not all of these books have not actually been read cover to cover.

To give you a rough idea of my various current passions, I’ve listed some of them below so you can join me in my odyssey of weirdness, should you so choose.

The Magic by Rhonda Byrne

bedtime reading - The Magic By Rhonda Byrne

I know I should probably employ a large dollop of scepticism when reading any of Byrne’s work (Author of “The Secret) but, whatever your views on the Law of Attraction, passing your day in a positive frame of mind is usually more productive than being a miserable git.

The Surrendered Wife by Laura Doyle

Basically, keep the peace by letting your husband do whatever he wants. (that’s Doyle’s version). My version is keep the peace by letting your husband do whatever he thinks he wants – after several weeks of subliminal programming (also known in this house as nagging).

Essential Help for your Nerves by Dr. Claire Weekes

I like Weekes’ approach to stress management. She explains very well that many of the physical conditions we put up with are created by our own worries and thus simply do not exist. Dr Weekes was a doctor in Australia (she passed away in 1990) but this guide stands the test of time with its advice to deal with your anxiety in a gentle way.

The Joy of Gardening by Eileen Campbell

A lovely gift from a friend who was instrumental in helping me to get my garden into vegetable and flower bearing shape this year. It’s a collection of inspirational quotes and thoughts about gardening to chivvy you along when you realise you can’t lift a bag of compost on your own and you don’t know your perennials from your elbow.

5:2 Cookbook Recipes For Fasting by Angela Dowden

I did toy with this diet this year but the idea of spending two days a week eating just 500 calories was too much for my delicate, ahem, constitution. Research suggests that this pattern of eating helps conditions such as diabetes and is implicated in longevity so I may yet give it a go but certainly not when it’s this dark and cold.

The Misinterpretation of Tara Jupp by Eva Rice

A country girl is whisked off to London in the Sixties to become a pop star. I haven’t read this as I have an allergy to “chick lit”- if indeed that’s the genre it belongs to. I have tried to like “chick lit” but I normally find the plots so sugary and contrived, I need to go and clean my teeth after a couple of chapters.

Confidence And Success with CBT by Avy Joseph and Maggie Chapman

Confidence & Success with CBT by Avy Joseph & Maggie Chapman front cover

This is one I bought at another ‘temptation location’. It’s very glamorous. Brace yourselves – yep, WH Smiths at University Hospital Wales, Cardiff. Damn them with their “Buy One Get One Half Price” offers. Still it’s better than a kilo of chocolate for £1 isn’t it? CBT, just in case you don’t know, is cognitive behavioural therapy. It’s a kind of therapy which gets you to talk about and express your issues. Ask yourself probing questions – e.g. why do I always succumb to “Buy One get One Half Price” offers in WH Smiths?

Taking Control of TMJ by Robert O. Uppgaard

This is a very helpful manual for those who suffer from jaw joint problems. You’d be amazed how much jaw pain can blight your life – from headaches, to problems opening your mouth and related dental problems such as tooth clenching and grinding. I’ll be posting more about TMJ later this year but if you do suffer, you have my sympathy. I am lucky because the University Hospital of Wales is home to the dental school which has a clinic for TMJ sufferers. Now you know one of the reasons why I lurk in WH Smiths!

Tarot Made Easy by Nancy Garen

Tarot Made Easy by Nancy Garen front cover

Now this one is one of the most thumbed and loved. I brought this original version in 1991 and have kept it ever since. For Tarot buffs, I still like the Rider Waite pack for its clarity and tradition and I find that, as long as you don’t overuse them, you can generally get quite an insightful answer to your most pressing questions.

Poirot & Me by David Suchet

I am a complete Agatha Christie buff and my box set of Poirot is constantly played. Suchet is the definitive Poirot as far as I am concerned and I was delighted to get my mitts on a signed copy of this courtesy of the lovely folk at the Chepstow Bookshop. I am hoping The Husband will take me to Greenway, Christie’s lovely Devon home this year to see if it will inspire me to finally start writing my own crime fiction.

How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body by Dr David R. Hamilton PhD

More along the general theme of “we are what we think we are”. I am fascinated by the body’s miraculous ability to heal even the most serious of illnesses and think there’s a lot to the Eastern approach to medicine – i.e. treating the body holistically, rather than the Western approach of diagnosing ad hoc and prescribing drugs which usually address only the symptoms and not the cause of the disease.

This book contains a list of specific visualizations you might like to try. It certainly makes the point that responsibility for our own health is in our own hands, rather than those of our physician.

The Promise by Graham W. Price

The subtitle to this one is “Never Have Another Negative Thought Again” and while I haven’t managed that state of cognitive nirvana, Price does offer a useful view that blaming ourselves for past actions is pretty useless because we can only do what we are able to do with our current level of awareness.

In other words, generally we act the way we do because we don’t ‘know’ any better. ‘Knowing’ here though is deeper than a basic understanding of right and wrong – it refers to how spiritually advanced we are. I obviously know that eating the contents of my children’s selection pack is wrong. Sadly, I am not yet spiritually developed enough to put the Curly Wurly back in the fridge. Make of that what you will CBT fans.

Diana Vreeland, Empress of Fashion by Amanda Hamilton

This is a fascinating biography of the late, great Diana Vreeland who worked for Harpers Bazaar and Vogue and made the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1964 (the year I was born). An undeniable style icon, she fascinates me because she seems to have been one of those women who knew what she stood for and radiated power. It’s a quality that few women have but one that you definitely know when a woman does not. It’s something that, say Helen Mirren, has in buckets but Jennifer Aniston is a thousand haircuts away from.

E2 by Pam Grout

E2 by Pam Grout front cover

This is my current favourite. Its subtitle is “Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality”. Each experiment takes about 48 hours and in it you challenge the universe to prove theories such as the Universe is a benevolent, friendly place which just wants to give you what you want. The catch of course is that you’ll (to quote Dr Wayne Dyer), see it when you believe it. I’m having great fun trying to manifest a whole variety of things and if I do, I promise to report back!

I’d love to hear what is lurking in your bed book pile and what bedtime reading you are planning this year.

*contains affiliate links


  1. Ren Taylor
    1 March, 2018 / 3:20 pm

    This is a great blog post as I really need some good books to read before bed….thanks

  2. Tania Stannard
    1 March, 2018 / 2:39 pm

    I actually find it difficult to fall asleep now unless I have read a couple of pages lol. Interesting selection there

  3. Leila+Benhamida
    26 February, 2018 / 10:05 pm

    I own 3 of them books. The Magic, E2 and The Tarot made easy. Great choice of books. I love Pam Grout books.

  4. Kira
    17 February, 2018 / 8:20 am

    Some great books. I want to get my hands on a copy of the magic. I am a big lover of the rider Waite decks and have had them for years 🙂

  5. 16 February, 2018 / 7:49 pm

    I never used to like non-fiction but after having PND I began reading mental health & mindfulness books and got a bit hooked. A friend has been talking about The Secret & The Magic so might have to give them a go (with sketicism of course!) x

  6. 14 February, 2018 / 7:10 pm

    I am always looking for some new bedtime reads so will definitely be checking some of these out. I’ve been hearing such good things about The Magic!

  7. 14 February, 2018 / 2:03 pm

    The are interesting picks. I would love to read some of these.

  8. 14 February, 2018 / 7:02 am

    I’ve been wanting to come across a post like this as I’m after a few book recommendations myself… so thank you! 🙂

  9. anthea
    13 February, 2018 / 8:38 pm

    I’m so out of touch with good reads. I used to read loads before the kids were born but nowadays overtime I pick up a book I fall asleep after the first couple of pages

  10. 13 February, 2018 / 7:53 pm

    I try not to read fiction in bed because it keeps me awake! So I’m on the lookout for non-fiction reads – might try E Squared, it sounds fun!

  11. Kara
    13 February, 2018 / 6:02 pm

    I am still trying to finish Harry Potter and the Cursed Child!

  12. 13 February, 2018 / 11:11 am

    I love reading and encourage the kids to read as much. Love the sound of the titles here.

  13. 13 February, 2018 / 10:50 am

    Ooh I’d love to get my hands on that CBT book – I’ve had some success with it in the past but you really need to stick with it to see real progress and I’ve fallen off the wagon recently.

  14. Claire
    13 February, 2018 / 10:30 am

    Sounds like a lot of interesting reads here. I need to start reading more books 🙂

  15. 12 February, 2018 / 9:00 pm

    Nice list of reads! I’m currently reading “Poseidon’s Arrow” by Clive Cussler. It’s full of action and derring-do by Dirk Pitt.

  16. 12 February, 2018 / 8:37 pm

    Reading before bed really is such a positive thing to do, you’re absolutely right that blue light from phones and other devices is a monster that keeping you awake! I have always been intrigued by tarot, so the book by Nancy Green that you featured here sounds like something I would certainly be interested in!

  17. 12 February, 2018 / 7:55 pm

    These all look great books. I loved The Secret but haven’t read The Magic yet. Kaz

  18. 12 February, 2018 / 3:56 pm

    What a fantastic variety of books! If I’m honest, from the title I was expecting some slightly cringey uber girly books, but I’d gladly read any of these!

  19. 12 February, 2018 / 3:02 pm

    Such a good diverse variety of books. I tend to stick to biographies/ chatty style books or chick lit when I reach for a book x

  20. 12 February, 2018 / 11:42 am

    What a great list! The CBT one is something I really need to read, I have had a lot of CBT over the years and found it so helpful!

  21. 12 February, 2018 / 11:27 am

    I love reading books, nothing better than curling up in bed with a good read.

  22. Jessica
    12 February, 2018 / 11:25 am

    These are some fantastic books I cannot remember the last time I read a good book

  23. Barbara+Finemore
    12 February, 2018 / 8:53 am

    Larest book was a Tom Rob Smith! Terrifying – how could I sleep after that??? My latest ‘series love’ is by Peter May. Detective Fin Macleod who grew up in the Outer Hebrides returns to the Islands to solve a murder. The description of the landscape is captivating and brings memories of a recent visit flooding back. Mr May has recently completed another, similarly set, having had several set in China and Feance. Can’t wait!

    • linda
      12 February, 2018 / 10:53 am

      I’ve never heard of these Barbara – I may give Mr May a try! There’s hardly anything on TV these days.

  24. Hannah denton
    12 February, 2018 / 8:36 am

    “How your mind can heal your body” sounds brilliant! You’ve mentioned some great reads.

  25. 12 February, 2018 / 8:16 am

    Some interesting books on this list. The CBT one specifically peaks my interest.

  26. Lorraine Cooper
    30 December, 2013 / 9:49 pm

    I'm glad you defined CBT, as I know of at least 3 other uses of those letters – one military, one transport, and one that while there are days where it sounds tempting, isn't standard subject matter in a family blog. 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!