January 14th 2018
“Books are a uniquely portable magic” -Stephen King
It wasn’t until college that I discovered the true wonders of leisure reading. I did read quite a bit in high school, but college was when I really started to find books that actually resonated with me and held my attention. Since then I have sort of become obsessed with book shopping. My bookshelf has gotten fuller and fuller in recent years and has everything from poetry to fiction to Shakespeare to textbooks to self help and so on, and so on. It has gotten to the point where my bookshelf cannot even contain all of the books I have so I have moved a select few to the side of my headboard.
This collection at the side of my headboard is the group of books that I really want to read (or reread) in 2018. It is also the collection of books that I will be giving you a “tour” of today!
1- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
I don’t know much about this book, but I have seen it heavily recommended by multiple people and it seems like something that would be right in my wheelhouse. The Synopsis given by CliffsNotes is:
“Santiago meets an Englishman who wants to learn the secret of alchemy, or turning any metal into gold, from a famous alchemist who lives at an oasis on the way to the pyramids. While traveling, Santiago begins listening to the desert and discovering the Soul of the World.”
Overall, the story seems like a nice blend of fiction and transcendental introspection that I can really get behind. In high school, I used to hate when teachers asked us to look for the symbolism in books, but that has since changed and I am totally ready for a book that seems bound to have symbols and metaphors at every turn!
2- The Teacher Appears by Brian Leaf
I purchased this book as part of my yoga training reading list, but totally want to complete the whole thing on my own. It is like a spiritual Wreck This Journal in a sense! There are over 100 prompts all of which are pertaining to some aspect of spirituality, introspection, or yoga! The title comes from the quote “When the student is ready, the teacher appears”.
I personally love this book and I think it is a great way to integrate intention into your life and enhance your spirituality! Plus, it is super fun. There is coloring and writing and challenges like using your book as a prop in your next yoga practice. I would totally recommend this book to anyone looking to tap into their spiritual side and do a little soul searching this year.
3- Flux by Orion Carloto
I have already done a full review on Flux because I got it for Christmas and read it around then. I absolutely adored it. It is a collection of poems and prose by Orion Carloto, a popular internet personality and budding young writer. Her words are absolutely stunning and profound while also incredibly simple. Her metaphors are clear while not at all lacking in depth.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in reason some fresh new poetry about love, heartbreak, discovery, rebirth, personal growth, and letting go. I found reading this to be a transformative experience and I really want to read it again to put some post its on my favorite poems.
4- A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
By far, my all time favorite book. I have never been so drawn into a story that I still think about it regularly almost a year and a half later. If you want to read my full review and thoughts on the book, I have previously written a blog post on that as well that you can check out! To sum up the plot in short, the author (who wrote herself into the story) finds a bag washed up on the beach containing the personal belongings of a girl named Nao from Japan, including a personal journal. The story jumps back and forth between chapters as you read Nao’s diary and go on this journey with Ruth (the author) to try to figure out what became of Nao.
Although the plot sounds rather complicated, it is actually a really comfortable read that isn’t too difficult to understand. It is a nice blend of mystery and culture through a beautiful coming of age story. I think I have recommended this book to everyone I know already, but I am now recommending it to my readers as well because I feel it is that good. I really want to read it again this year.
5- Candy by Mian Mian
I purchased this book at a thrift store a couple of years back, started reading, then got a different book I was more excited for and sort of fell out of reading it. This book was originally written in Chinese and translated into English. I don’t know much, but from what I have read online and from the little bit I sat and read, it appears to be a memoir about Mian Mian herself as she traverses the more gritty and underground part of Chinese culture in the late 80’s and early 90’s.
I actually read that this book was banned by the Chinese government for a bit because it spoke of controversial and taboo topics. It is sort of like drugs, sex, and rock and roll in this hidden part of Chinese culture. The way Mian Mian writes interested me because she sort of ignored time and space and gave us a look into her stream of consciousness. I would love to finish this book up this year because I feel like it has a lot to offer.
6- Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
I started this book and got a decent way through it before yoga training started, however, when I did start yoga training, reading sort of fell to the wayside. I really really enjoyed the bulk of this book that I read and I would love to finish it. I have seen the movie version, so I know the general story and how things turn out, but I still want to read for the experience (and for the fact that books are almost always better than the movie).
If you are unfamiliar with the story, it may seem rather disturbing to you, but it is about a professor who boards in the home of a woman and her daughter, Lolita. He falls madly in love with Lolita who is 12 years old at the beginning of the novel. Here is what Google has to say about it because it can explain it better than I can:
“The novel is notable for its controversial subject: the protagonist and unreliable narrator—a middle-aged literature professor called Humbert Humbert—is obsessed with the 12-year-old Dolores Haze, with whom he becomes sexually involved after he becomes her stepfather. “Lolita” is his private nickname for Dolores.”
This novel is written in such a unique style and I can’t wait to dive back in.
7- The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
I think this book was super hyped up a few years ago and I was sort of interested in reading it. But until last year, when I found this nearly new copy sitting on the shelf of a thrift store for a dollar, that I finally decided to pick it up. I think this is going to be the next book I read. I have gotten super into self help books and personal growth over the past couple of years and I would love to grow my library of favorites by one more.
I am also interested in reading this because I would really love to publish my own self help or personal growth book at some point and would look some inspiration in terms of style and format. I also find self help books to be a great thing to read at the start of a new year or end of a previous year!
8- The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall
This isn’t so much on my read list as it is my review list. I have read about every crystal I have in this book and have put post its on every single page containing a crystal I own. This year, I want to go back through and add post its to new pages as well as buy some new crystals that I can enjoy reading up on.
I previously did a crystal collection last year and since then, I have gotten in a few new additions to the collection, but want a few more before I share another post about them! I keep this book on my headboard as more of a constant reference.
What is on your reading list for 2018? If you have any recommendations for books i should look into this year, let me know!