I’ve finally got my reading mojo back after losing it for an unacceptable and unnecessary number of *ahem* – years (about five to be precise). I convinced myself that I didn’t have time, which looking back was completely untrue. I’m a big believer in prorities, and every so often I try to assess my prorities to check that I’m doing things I find rewarding and enjoyable, rather than filling my time with ill formed habits. Reading was something that I really wanted to incorporate back into my life to bring some peace, and to learn about people’s lives that are so different to my own.
I much prefer reading non-fiction (I feel like I learn more), although I have read the obligatory Harry Potter and Twilight series – of course! I had a mad rampage on Amazon a few weeks ago and bought eight ‘starter’ books (nothing with too many pages) to get me back into the swing of things. Here is what I’ve been reading:
My first read was ‘3,096 Days’ by Natastcha Kampusch – a girl who was kidnapped at the age of 10 on her way to school, and imprisoned for 8 years. It details what life was like living in her underground prison along with the mental and physical abuse she faced on a daily basis. Her story is beyond incredible and her attitude an absolute inspiration. It was an honour to read her story.
My second read was ‘And The Mountains Echoed’ by Khaled Hosseini. I read ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ and ‘The Kite Runner’ a while ago so I knew I would love this book. It is a beautiful story about a brother and sister that are separated early in their childhood – how different their lives turn out to be with a real, human insight into life in Afghanistan. It touches the heart on so many levels.
My third read was ‘The Examined Life’ by Stephen Grosz. I must admit that after reading the raving reviews about this book I was slightly disappointed. It was a privilege to look through a window into other peoples’ lives, and it is truly astonishing what people have to cope with on a day-to-day basis. The main reason I was disappointed was because I like an ending to a story (which is probably quite psychologically revealing). I would get immersed in the story, then feel deflated and frustrated when I was left with a million and one questions at the end of each chapter.
My current read is ‘Gypsy Boy’ by Mikey Walsh. It is a very honest insight into Romany Gypsy culture in Britain during the 80s and 90s. I’m finding it quite difficult and disturbing. I didn’t realise how little I knew about Gypsy culture and how different their values and traditions are. I’m excited and scared to read it at the same time. The fact he has written a book is a pure testament to his bravery and determination.
Another book I’ve read within the last few years is ‘The Last Runaway’ by Tracy Chevalier. It is stunning book with three unlikely themes running through it – Quaker culture, quilting and slavery. It’s fascinating, moving and informational all at the same time. Pure joy to read.
I’ve got four more to read, but please do let me know if you have any suggestions in the meantime…