Earlier this year, I came home from a rare night of partying and felt like nothing more than to lay my head on a pillow and fall asleep for 10-40 hours. When I woke up sometime the next morning, surely in a daze, Monja was anything but tired and hungover. In fact, he was chewing on pillows, racing up and down the bed, and generally acting like the annoying little brother I never had (I have a little brother, but mine is thankfully not annoying). I eventually heard Monja crunching on something and assumed it was a bone or antler or a pair of shoes I could do without since I was dying in my bed and couldn’t be bothered to care about trivial possessions. When I eventually did emerge from the depths of my comforter, I saw it laying there adorned with bite marks — the screen shattered. My Kindle. I’ve never been one to care about the damage or loss of physical items. I think in the moment of their loss or destruction, I am overwhelmed with the feeling of how little material possessions actually mean to me. But when I saw my Kindle laying there, I actually felt sad — it was weird. I had tons of books on it, most of which were highlighted with quotes I sometimes liked to go back and read. The Kindle itself felt like an old friend — it had followed me on many trips, to many countries, and through many of the ups and downs of life.
Instead of feeling sorry for myself or being angry at Monja, I decided to start fresh. I bought a new Kindle that day, which I felt bad for loving even more than my old, previous one. But who can blame me? This one has a light! And a dictionary! And it’s touchscreen! And did I mention I love it?
Anyways, this long introduction is probably meant to say that I’ve been inspired to read more. And reading more I’ve done did. I saw a post on Back East Blonde recently, where she shared the books she’s recently read. I loved that idea (and ended up reading one her suggested books), so I thought I’d share a bit about the books I’ve read in the past couple months, too. Y’know, in case you like to read or anything. 🙂
1. Illusions by Richard Bach. This was probably the most philosophical of the books on this list. It’s a fairly short book about two unlikely pilots who become friends. The outer story of friendship and flying planes is light and easy to follow, but the inner-workings of the book discuss themes of perception, control, and intuition, among other things. It’s a spiritual and meaningful read — I’d definitely recommend it!
Favorite quote from the book: “You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true.”
2. Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk. Chuck Palahniuk is one of my favorite authors. He’s quirky, carnal, cynical, and unabashed (he’s also the author of Fight Club, if that rings a bell). Most of his books are social satires and point out, humorously and often ridiculously, the faults of our society. Despite this, I find that most of his books end on an optimistic note. Survivor, in particular, is about a cult that commits group suicide but the main character (and some other cult members) never got the memo and now have to live as regular people. There’s tons more to the story, but I’ll leave it at that! It’s hilarious and honest and I really enjoyed it.
Favorite quote from the book: “‘Here’s another big symbol,’ she says, still crouched and looking up at me. ‘These flowers will be rotten in a couple hours. Birds will crap on them. The smoke here will make them stink, and tomorrow a bulldozer will probably run over them, but for right now they are so beautiful.'”
3. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. This book is a memoir from a holocaust survivor’s grueling stay at various Nazi concentration camps. The author also happened to be a psychologist who, while explaining the torture of the holocaust, had a lot of meaningful insights to share about his experience. The second half of the book was more of a research-based explanation of logotherapy, the psychology of meaning (to which he devoted his life). The entire book was excellent. He has a poetic and honest way of writing and he certainly made me think a lot about my own life and decisions.
Favorite quote from the book: “Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation. You cannot control what happens to you in life, but you can always control what you will feel and do about what happens to you.”
4. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. This book was so highly recommended by Nadine that I downloaded it right after reading her thoughts on it! I’ll admit, it’s a mega page turner. I finished it in four days and constantly looked forward to reading it. I enjoyed the well-developed and witty characters and the story itself was quirky and cute. I’d peg this book as a great romantic comedy, which isn’t the type of book I usually ever read. After the book was finished, I thought the story was sweet and the jokes were on point, but it didn’t feel meaningful to me. It was more of a happy, light-hearted read. If you’re in the mood for something easy-to-read and addicting, this is probably the way to go!
Favorite quote from the book: “I didn’t know love could leave the lights on all the time.”
What books have you read recently?
Photo via Horia Varlan // Flickr CC