I used to read a lot of self-help books. A LOT- and I think I overdosed on them. I touched on this in one of my earlier posts.
This year I’ve been reading a lot of fiction. (Or rather, listening to a lot of fiction.) Through this, I’ve been living through the turmoil of beautiful characters from unique universes, relating to their experiences, and identifying with their emotions. I was most touched by the books about having perspective, being grateful, and living in the “now”. A lot of times, I find myself focusing on things that don’t immediately matter (i.e. pitfalls in my life plans, experiences I’m missing out on, how people perceive me.) Here are some books that healed me in unique ways.
This book taught me how to be brave when I feel alone.
Maybe you’ve seen the movie, but there’s something so gritty and raw about reading Cheryl Stayed’s recount of her hike on the Pacific Coast Trail. Her reasons for the hike are heart wrenching. And learning about how she finds herself while alone is healing. It’s the perfect book when you feel like you’re on the verge of a quarter life crisis. Also, if you’re a Californian, it’s cool to listen to Cheryl’s recant of the diverse West Coast landscape.
This book taught me how to cherish what I have.
Of course – you knew I would throw in a nerdy sci-fi novel. Dark Matter is based on the theory in Schrodinger theory in quantum mechanics where there are multiple parallel universes in one point in time. In this story, the main character, Jason lives in Chicago, has a wonderful family, but an average career. He gets abducted by his doppleganger from a parallel universe. This doppleganger takes over the Jason’s life & the main character is sent to the doppleganger’s universe. In the doppleganger’s universe Jason is a wildly successful, but with no family. This is the tale of Jason finding his way back to his family. I stayed up SO late reading this- I finished it in 2 days. There are parts that make this book a psychological thriller (my favorite). The book makes you question what you value and encourages you to be grateful for what you have.
This book taught me how to catch myself when I’m giving other’s opinions too much value.
I’m going to have to be honest, the plot of The Girls was not my cup of tea because I felt like the plot was a bit predictable. Regardless, the themes were powerful. This book is a psychological thriller, which I love, but what I really like is that it explores the stigma of being a young wo man. It looks at how society expects us to act around men, how male attention implies worth, and how (in our youth) we can be so impressionable. It’s both thought-provoking and disturbing. It makes me wanna support my sistas in their time of need.
This book me how to accept the sweet and sour in life.
Â The book explores a young girl’s fictional memoir of her last days on Earth. Despite the dark theme, the book is written on a light hearted way and easy to read. Regardless, it the writing is heart wrenching. This is by far my favorite book all year. It brings up deep themes like: bullying, the effect of suicide on a family, feelings of hopelessness, living in the moment, appreciating the “now”.
Here’s one of my favorite quotes from the book:
“At first I was like, No way am I saying that, but when you hang out with people who are always being super grateful and appreciating things and saying thank you, in the end it kind of rubs off, and one day after I’d flushed, I turned to the toilet and said, “Thanks, toilet,” and it felt pretty natural. I mean, it’s the kind of thing that’s okay to do if you’re in a temple on the side of a mountain, but you’d better not try it in your junior high school washroom, because if your classmates catch you bowing and thanking the toilet they’ll try to drown you in it. I explained this to Jiko, and she agreed it wasn’t such a good idea, but that it was okay just to feel grateful sometimes, even if you don’t say anything. Feeling is the important part. You don’t have to make a big deal about it.”
That being said, out book club book for August is Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. I hope you guys get what I got from it.
Thank you Audible for sponsoring this post. Audible is a magical way to consume literature. The high quality recordings make it easy to follow stories. I’ve spent countless nights awake, listening to compelling novel. If you’ve never tried Audible, you can 30 days free by using our Violet Fog link. Comment below if you read any of these books- I would love to chat about them.