Sunday, 29 January 2017
Reading is my happy place, best with a blanket and tea. I'm grateful that January 2017 has given me plenty of time to read. Though, honestly, I'm not sure how with two major work deadlines and a minor ME meltdown when my body realised it wasn't on a permanent vacation. How've you been?
This month I've been on quite the Potter-a-thon demolishing the remainder of The Chamber of Secrets, The Prisoner of Azkaban and, with just a few hours to go, The Goblet of Fire. This is mainly due to three things: Stephen Fry, Audible and the ability to listen to my audiobooks just about anywhere.
They joy this has given me has been exquisite. I wholeheartedly encourage you to re-read your childhood favourites. Especially if it's a book that resonates with you as much as Harry Potter does with me. I remember my Mum reading it to me and my brother when we were tiny, the water-logged copy I held onto after drowning it in my book bag when I was seven, the aches and pains I used to get from rushing to get from cover to cover in under 12 hours - this was pre-internet era for me and was out of pure joy rather than for fear of spoilers. I have fallen in love with the characters all over again with the kind of wisdom only age can bring.
I also re-read Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso and remembered all the reasons I feel so kickass after reading it. In the paperback version, there's a particular paragraph about feminism that I really relate to. Like me, Sophia never thought being a girl was something she had to overcome and she believes the best way to honour the past and future of women's rights is by getting shit done. There's also a beautiful quote by Leonardo da Vinci on page 152 that reads:
...People of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.
Though, I did skip a few pages and dip in and out of the sections that make the most sense to me and light a fire under my ass. I loved hearing Sophia's voice in my head again so much that I immediately purchased Nasty Galaxy from my phone as I worried over the forty or so pages I had left. Though, was left with the sense that, although Nasty Galaxy is perfect for your Instagram feed, it's not a page-turner that can absorb you for hours. It's a coffee table book that you'd flip in and out of. So, I headed out to my local supermarket in what I thought passed as acceptable attire - my PJs paired with my oversized khaki jacket - to purchase something I could sink my teeth into.
That book turned out to be A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled by Ruby Wax - as seen on bloggers social feeds everywhere. I'm finding it really illuminating as I, like Ruby, struggle with my inner hatred of anything remotely related to self-help. As they mostly make me want to fall asleep or throw things. The most mindfulness I've managed to achieve is a light, spring clean of mental clutter using apps such as Breathe. Which, though handy, don't help me relax after anything more than a bad morning. Consequently I'm both excited and sceptical to get onto the 6 week mindfulness course.
The last two books I've picked up this month are on SEO and mapping out and building websites. Since graduating from my degree, the shininess has worn off all this free time I now have and I miss learning new things. Though I can only stick at them for 20-30minutes a day - the time it takes me to usually run out of sticky highlighting strips. I've truly missed the feeling of learning something that does not involve a hashtag, newfound GIF site or latest social media trend.
What books have shaped your 2017 so far?