To get myself into the ‘right’ frame of mind for each new year, I usually read a series of books. Be it the motivational type or non-fiction offering guidance on how to live your best life. Even if I have read the book before, I will re-read it so as to deep-dive and fully assimilate the lesson/s. My book-count for January is always incredibly low based on precisely this.
I can absolutely swear by the following reads:
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams and Reaching Your Destiny by Robin S. Sharma
This is one of my favorite books. Even though most of the advice may seem like ‘common sense’ I find that I constantly re-read as a refresher course of sorts. It is a great way to keep yourself accountable and put your best self forward. The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari offers advice on things we can do daily to improve ourselves and the world around us.
As A Man Thinketh by James Allen
I am a daydreamer. My mind takes me to the most insane places. Reading ‘As A Man Thinketh’ helps me to reel in my thoughts and focus them on specific things I would like to accomplish. This book reminds me to not let my mind roam free…what I think, I become.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
I have read this book at least 10 times and every time I pick it up I discover something new. The Alchemist is for me, my go-to book when the world feels too much, when I feel uncertain about my purpose and when the world gets overwhelming. This book helps me to navigate life and is a constant reminder that “whenever I want something, the Universe conspires to make it happen.”
The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Miguel Ruiz
I love the simplicity of The Four Agreements. The author outlines four ‘small’ things we can do to get personal freedom. They include: Do not take anything personal, do your best always, never make assumption and be impeccable in your words. You can see I put the word small in quotation marks, because while these small things seem simple enough, they are very hard to put into practice. However, I like being reminded.
What I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey
In an ever-changing world, it is hard to say what we truly know for sure. However, in this gem of a book Oprah shares with us things we know for sure. We get a look into her life experience and she offers learning lessons and advice we can all use. This book reminds me to be grateful, love people and to stop and practice self-care.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fxck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson
This is my second time reading this book and while Mark Manson isn’t presenting anything you haven’t read before, how he presents the information is really engaging. The key take away message is to focus on the more important things in life.
For 2018 I made a goal to:
1. Visit the library at least once a month and
2. Read more West Indian authors
3. Read at least one ‘long’ novel a month.
Below are the books that encompassed these goals:
Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson
This was a library read, I had it on my TBR list for a long time and I decided to give it a go. Overall it was an interesting read, however, I am not usually one for dystopian novels, though I did enjoy the various references to the Caribbean.
The Family Mansion by Anthony C. Winkler
I am a huge fan of Anthony C. Winkler’s writing! I have read almost all his books except for two. While I liked the premise of ‘The Family Mansion’ I wasn’t enthused with how the story it was delivered. I am used to Winkler writing about Jamaica during the 1900s, so it might be the time period that threw me off but I would not call myself a big fan of this book.
After Leaving Mr. Mackenzie by Jean Rhys
Having read ‘Wide Sargasso Sea’ and loved it, I decided to give one of Jean Rhys’s earlier novels a go. ‘After Leaving Mr. Mackenzie’ was not my favorite read. I felt the book meandered a lot, and there was very little depth to the plot and characters.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
‘The Goldfinch’ was my long read for January and man, was it long. Honestly, I heard so many good things about this book even so that when I went to purchase the book, the cashier told me it was her favorite book ever. Ha. I did not enjoy this book. I struggled to get through to the end. I actually at one point started resenting this book (yes I know, weird). Overall the book felt aimless, the characters, the plot line moves slowly and doesn’t necessary achieve anything major. I really did not enjoy this read, however, I will continue to read one long novel a month.
There you have it! My January 2018 book wrap up!