This year, part of my goals is to do some more reading. As a child I used to love reading, I would read all day on the weekends, late into the night sometimes just to finish a really good book. I have a pretty wild imagination, its one of the reasons I often can’t handle some movies – they just feel too real, like it is entirely possible they could reach out and grab me! When I got to university and started my thesis for my Master’s, I stopped reading normal books. I read a million and one journals and research articles to gain information, but I read nothing for fun or for myself. Then I started work, and turned to trashy TV and social media to entertain me in the evenings. All too often I find myself in a time warp, my phone sucks me in and hours later I look up to realise it is nearly midnight and I have been watching random YouTube videos or reading silly memes for hours.
This year I need to get back into fueling my mind with thoughts. To kick off and working my reading muscle I have decided to read some books that work on ME. Things that help me be a better human and live a better life. I decided to challenge myself to read a book a month. Since I haven’t read a full book since my honeymoon in 2015, this might sound easy, but it will be a challenge for me. I belong to a few inspirational groups on Facebook, and over the last few months I have been writing down books I want to read, based off some of their recommendations, as well as some of my own. I have bought 6 books, I have 2 more I am waiting on getting – then 4 left for the rest of the year. Here is my 2017 Must Read list, and a reason why I chose each book.
- Universe Has Your Back – Gabrielle Bernstein
Rob very kindly bought me this book for Christmas and I am so happy he did. Gabby has a beautiful way of writing and really what she says makes sense. The essence of the book is something I have been saying to my family for ages – you breed your own positivity. If you are positive, generally things around you start looking good. your attitude and mindset are the greatest resource you have to turn your universe around. It has some great advice, practical exercises and she encourages daily meditation, which I have started doing each morning.
- Eat Dirt – Josh Axe
I just started reading this book and I am already captivated. The idea that what you eat could be triggering symptoms you just thought were part of who you were. Some of my longer readers will know that I have in the past, and sometimes still do, suffer from bouts of depression. I have for as long as I can remember always suffered from allergies and headaches too. When I was a teen, we did tests to see if I was aneamic because I was forever sleepy – I am known in my family to sleep for days. I am interested in learning more about how my diet has played a role in how I feel and how perhaps the things we are eating could be replaced with better alternatives that can heal us from the inside.
- Add more ING to your life – Gabrielle Bernstein
My coach recommended I start with this Gabby Bernstein book first, but since I got the other one first, I will read this in Feb. I think it follows the same principles as “The Universe Has your Back” and given it was her first book, I may find it a bit repitive but I am happy to continue working on my own happiness and find ways to grow my own positivity. From the mixed reviews online, I may or may not enjoy it but I love that it has a 30 day plan, and I am eager to give it a try.
- The Life Changing Magic of Tidying – Marie Kondo
I think the older I get the more I hate knick knacks – having stuff that serves no purpose and just clutters your mind. Rob laughs at me but I honestly feel like my head and lungs close up when I see clutter and stuff that doesnt have a home. I want to read this book in March, in time for a good spring-clean (because it will be spring in March in Ireland – I know my South African readers may be a bit confused by this).
- The Life Changing Magic of not giving a F*ck – Sarah Knight
How to stop spending time you don’t have doing things you don’t want to do with people you don’t like – sold! How many times I have internalised conversations and taken on someone else crap instead of learning to let it go and move on. This book sold me on its title and practicality, but was also recommended by a fellow blogger whom I now adore. She actually suggested this book and the Marie Kondo principle in her blog, follow her for more hands on advice.
- When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi
A friend on Instagram read it and raved about it. The book is a memoir about the author’s life and illness, battling stage IV metastatic lung cancer. My friend went on further to say that it is a doctor in search of what makes a virtuous and meaningful life while facing his own death. I was captivated by her statement on this book and decided it had to be a book I read this year. My all time favourite book is Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl which I loved, I see this book carrying a similar place in my heart.
Those are the books I currently have in my possession, and like I said above, there are two other books I want to add to my list to read this year.
- Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert
I loved her first book “Eat, Pray, Love”, although at the time I didn’t realise how much the book resonated with me. I think as you get older you realise the only way to be happy is to be true to yourself and to be your authentic self. Some people know who they are at a early age, others are like me, and are still working that out. This book explores creativity and provides lessons in how to unleash your creativity.
- The book of Joy – Dalai Lama & Desmond Tutu
The secret to finding joy. I just love the idea of reading a dialogue between these two great men. A friend read this book last year and highly recommended it.
Let me know which book you think I should add to this list?
~ Meg ~