I used to be a really avid reader when I was younger. I was so addicted to reading at one point that my mum actually had to ask me to limit the amount I was reading so I wouldn’t forget to read the other stuff I should’ve be reading… my school books! I blizted through the Harry Potter series (I was obsessed up until the Pottermore website put me in the Slytherin house…), blasted through Twilight (but then soon registered that Edward was sort of weird), and blazed through Noughts & Crosses. As I got a bit older I erred more on the serious side – My Sister’s Keeper and The Help were two of my favourites. And then university started – I didn’t think it would have much of an affect on the amount I was reading – but it seriously, truly, plummeted. At a point, the only time I was reading was on the beach on holiday and I probably didn’t even finish my airport-bought book (props to The Big Short). When I started working I followed much of the same pattern – as much as I wanted to read I found it hard to find the time and since I don’t really “commute” to work (I walk 15 minutes…), I couldn’t read on my journey in like most people.
This year, I decided to make reading one of my priorities again. I’ve finally accepted that the only way I’m going to truly make this happen is through using Audible (I really didn’t want to give up on the idea of actually picking up a physical book at first, but I have to succumb). I’m starting off easy – and this year I’ve set myself a goal of reading 12 books. That’s one book a month (can I toot my horn and say I’m currently half way through book 4, in month 3?) Anyways, here’s what I’ve been reading recently…
I actually found out about this book via Sarah Ashcroft and a video she made that I believe was called something like “the book that changed my life”. The books is all about the Law of Attraction and how you can manifest your thoughts into actions. This idea is something I’ve known about for a while, but nothing I’ve truly “practiced” and well – I wanted something to change my life too!
What I can say is that it was insightful in the way that it made me more aware of my thoughts (and actually how negative they can be). I would typically jump to the worse conclusion but now I have become more aware of this (thanks to the book), and usually am able to switch this on it’s head and actually think positive and more motivational scenario outcomes (it can be as simple as switching “I’m going to be late” to – “I think I’ll make it on time…” It’s something I now encourage to everyone that speaks negatively when I see them.
Other than that – the book dragged quite a bit and was seriously cheesy. It was a bit wishy washy at times which really pulled it down. Would I recommend it? Yes. But I’d recommend an “open mind” and focus on the subject at hand as you may cringe through the cheese.
Next on the agenda was Michelle Obama’s autobiography which is one book that has been on my mind for a while, that I was happy to final settle down and read (audibly ;)). I really did enjoy this book just because I enjoyed learning about Michelle Obama’s life more than anything – actually, in some ways it reminded me a lot of my own life. Two black girls, very academic, school always as a focus… went to top universities and now in pretty well respected City jobs which will likely lead a lot in the outside world to think all is plain sailing. Her debates about what she wanted out of life and what would make her feel fulfilled hit home hard.
The book was a long one – I think up to 22 hours. So to shove it all into one month took a lot of focus. That said, I did, and I really enjoyed it. Another thing is, the book really weighed quite heavily on me. Talks about gun crime, family life, the power play of politics in the White House and freedom – whew, it took a toll out of me and actually after I finished reading the book I took a few days out of reading all together and substituted this with trivial UK music about getting money and girls. Hey, balance, right?
Would I recommend? Definitely! It’s a very insightful look into what’s really happening at the top, and probably a good pick me up for anyone who’s looking for some inspiration for killing it in the educational and corporate world.
With a heavier read out of the way, I wanted to dial it back and read a very simple, entertaining and trivial book. When I was in my teens I was a big fan of Sophie Kinsella and her Shopaholic series, so I decided to look up what she currently had on her roster and I liked the sound of I’ve Got Your Number. The book is about our protagonist called Poppy who loses her engagement ring and somehow ends up holding a phone hostage as the means to get her engagement ring back (long story), through this, she ends up semi PA-ing for a man called Sam.
It was a super light hearted “chick flick” but in book form and honestly, I really enjoyed it. I felt weird at first reading such a trivial book (I always go for serious books, autobiographies and the lot), but I knew it was needed and breaking up more serious books with light hearted books is definitely something I’ll continue to do in the future because I found this book very entertaining. To the point where I wouldn’t even have to be listening to it whilst doing an activity such as walking, shopping or gyming – sometimes I’d just lie in bed and listen to the book and that, my friends, is rare. I ended up finishing it in a little under 2 weeks because I was listening to it so much, hence how I was able to jump onto book #4 so quickly.
For anyone looking for a cute and funny read where you won’t exactly learn anything but sometimes who cares – this is the book for you.
My next/current book is “Prisoners of Geography” – a little break down of geopolitics as we know it through the use of maps. I’m really liking it so far (it’s also made me more knowledgeable in the standard debates I have with my family – yeahhhh I can tell you a little bit about the US and the power plya/fears around China – a nice little addition!