GIRL WHO DOESN’T FIT IN

Dear Ella and Suse,
I'm a 20 year old arts-student at university who doesn't believe in a good future, mainly because of the state of the economy and comparing myself with my careerist acquaintances. This has made me inertia-ridden and unable to get out of bed. Because I get anxious around people, I literally have no one to talk to. I've tried to stop being like this for 5 years but I don't see things getting any better. Is there a book for someone like me?
Yours Sincerely,
Girl-who-Doesn't-Fit-In
Dear Girl-who-Doesn’t-Fit-in,
Well the general election may well have sent you even further into intertia, so you are probably even more in need of a literary salve! You could start by reading David Mitchell’s latest novel, The Bone Clocks, which will mostly add to your depression about the future. But you will, we hope, be inspired by the revolutionary characters who vow to create a better future where they can. This novel involves some levels of fantasy, but most of it is very much grounded in the current political and environmental reality, so if you are someone who shies away from fantasy, you won't find it too off-putting.
Next you could read a beautifully written book about a man who is so passive, sinking into his own inertia, that his life is destroyed by his own inability to act. This is Stoner – a superb book, which we hope will show you the error of doing nothing. You may find it rather strong medicine, as it is really a rather depressing book; so we now urge you to read something more positive and life-embracing. At this point we urge you to read the most life-embracing man we know, Tom Robbins. We love all his books, but perhaps for you right now, Still Life with Woodpecker could be the answer. In this meditative but inspiring novel, our heroine Cheri falls in love with the wrong guy, a man who insists on blowing up his political adversaries where possible. True love intervenes with Cheri’s philosophical life, and soon she and the Woodpecker are involved in a series of international heists, ending up in a pyramid remarkably similar to the ones on the Camel cigarettes…
Discover Tom Robbins and you will rediscover your mojo. If you get on with him read Jitterbug Perfume next.
Yours,
Ella and Suse
We prescribe - The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
Stoner by John Williams
Still LIfe with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins

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A SLUG WITH VISIONS OF HUMANITYABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP ENDED, LEAVING SCARSADULT ACNEAFRAID OF FAILUREALCOHOLIC DAUGHTERALONE ON A WIDE, WIDE SEAAlways wanted to be a writerANOREXICANXIOUS ABOUT SINGLE FRIENDAT A FORK IN THE ROADAVID READER, LACKING BOOKBEREFT OF A CATBORED IN ALABAMABOTHERED AND BEWILDEREDBRAIN SHRINKING MOMMABROKENBROKEN HEARTBROKEN HEARTED - TORN BETWEEN MALE AND FEMALE BEST FRIENDSBROKEN UP WITH GIRLFRIEND; FEELING BURNT OUTCAN’T MOVE ONCANDIDA REVOLTAIRECan’t afford to go on holidayCAST ASIDECHEATEDCHRONIC PAINCOLD HANDS AND FEETCONCERNED ABOUT DAUGHTERCONFLICTED PARTNERSCRAVING FOOD CULTURECYNICAL STEPSONDAILY ABUSEDARK NIGHT OF THE SOULDEPRESSED AND UNABLE TO READDEPRESSED DURING CHRISTMAS, AND LONELY NOWDESPERATELY WANTON GIRLDIRECTIONLESSEASILY BORED WITH NOVELSEMOTIONALLY SABOTAGED BY MY MOTHEREMOTIONS IN EXTREMEEVER THE FRIEND AND NOT THE PARTNEREXTREME ANGER AND FRUSTRATIONFADING AWAYFALLEN OUT WITH MY FRIENDSFALLING IN LOVE WAY TOO FASTFAZED AND CONFLICTEDFEAR OF CONFRONTATIONFEAR OF GETTING OLDFERTILITY PROBLEMSFOMO (FEAR OF MISSING OUT)FORGING A BRIGHT NEW FUTUREFRIEND WHO HAS LOST A CHILD LATE IN PREGNANCYFRIENDS DAUGHTER LOST TO SUICIDEFrightened of lifeGAPING HOLEGetting over a break-upGIRL OF UNCERTAINTY, BOUND BY RULESGIRL WHO DOESN’T FIT INGRIPPED BY LOSSGUILTY FRIENDHOPELESSNESSHOUSE AND LIBRARY DESTROYED BY FIREI love music more than booksI no longer commute – and therefore I no longer readI PEEK AT THE END OF NOVELS BECAUSE I WORRY THE CHARACTER MIGHT NOT MAKE ITI wish I were famousIN MOURNING OVER LITERARY DEATHSINABILITY TO SIT STILL AND ANXIETYINCONSISTENT AND NON-STUDIOUS- BUT AMBITIOUS NONETHELESSINDECISIVEINSECUREINTERESTED IN EVERYTHING BUT ACHIEVING NOTHINGINVISIBLE WOMANITALIAN NOVEL CURESJILTED AND UNSUREJOB IN LIBRARY UNDER THREATKICKED IN THE HEADLEADENLIVING ON THE MARGINSLONE RANGERLONELY AND DEJECTEDLONELY IN LOVELONELY IN MONOTONOUS JOB, LOSING SANITYLOOKING FOR A SENSE OF PURPOSELOOKING FORWARDSLOSS OF A SISTERLOSTLOW WATTAGELOW-ENERGY PESSIMISMMAD SCIENTISTMARRIED TO A MAN, ATTRACTED TO WOMENMISSED THE BOATMISSING MY MOTHER-IN-LAWMUM GOING BACK TO WORKNEED TO LET GONEW CITY, NEW LIFE -BOOKS FOR 12 YEAR OLD BOY?NEW FRIENDSHIP WITH HOLOCAUST SURVIVORNIGHTMARISH COLLEAGUENOMADIC FLANEURPOST NATAL DEPRESSIONPREGNANT AND ALONE