Yesterday I walked out of a bookshop on cloud nine – the only way to describe the feeling of adding a brand spankin’ new book to your ever-growing collection.
That smell. The crisp, clean paper. No creases in the covers. No late night snacks dribbled on the pages. Thousands upon thousands of unread words just waiting to find their way into my memory bank. Bliss!
It was when I arrived home still buzzing from the glee of buying new books, however, that I was suddenly confronted by the cold, hard truth. There, sitting in a neat stack beside my bed, were all the slightly dusty but nonetheless new books I’d also purchased lately and never actually finished reading.
I’m easily excited by books ok? It’s not that I don’t enjoy the ones I buy; I promise I do! But then a shiny new release catches my eye and I get so impatient to read it that I push all the others aside.
The problem isn’t exclusive to buying books either. Time and time again I find myself at the library, knowing very well I have two or three half-read library books at home that need returning within the fortnight, but I can’t help myself. A particular storyline catches my eye and home it comes, the others a distant memory (until I get a text message reminding me to bring them back).
It’s got to stop, this unfinished business of mine. I currently have these eight books waiting patiently beside me and I give you my word I will finish them – one after the other, without my eye wandering to any other literary floozies in the meantime.
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
I wanted to read this after hearing of Maya Angelou’s passing last year. I admit, I hadn’t heard much about her before then (which is often the case, sadly enough), but I was inspired and interested by the articles I read about her, so didn’t hesitate to buy this (and her second book Gather Together In My Name – add that one to the list too) there and then. Her books are autobiographies and considered modern American classics. This books tells me it will “touch hearts and change minds for as long as people read” and that pretty much sums up why I read in the first place.
The Call Of The Weird – Louis Theroux
If you haven’t heard of, stumbled upon or absolutely devoured one (or all) of Louis Theroux’s documentaries, please do yourself a favour and get them on your TV screen ASAP. Despite the fact I’ve kicked the journalism game (for now? Who knows.), he inspires me and leaves me with my jaw dropped in awe in equal parts. You know those questions you’d never dare to ask a convicted murderer, white supremacist or prostitute? He not only asks them, but does so in a way that makes it sound like he’s just asking what they had for breakfast. I spotted this book in the front window of a book shop that was unfortunately closing down, but I did score it for five bucks. (I actually made my boyfriend climb into the window to get it for me.) This book narrates his travels around America, revisiting some of his most memorable subjects.
You Can Create An Exceptional Life – Louise Hay & Cheryl Richardson
I’m rather hit and miss with self-help books. Sometimes I can’t get enough of them and other times I want to hurl them at the closest brick wall. I know they mean well, but I have to be in the right head space; there’s a fine line between feeling lectured and inspired when you’re in a slightly vulnerable frame of mind. Lately though – give me all of the self-help books. Maybe I’m feeling confident my life is moving in the right direction; I’m not entirely sure, but I picked this book up today and thought “Yeah, this is exactly what I need”. My darling mother picked this book up for me at a seminar she attended and my bookmark tells me I got halfway through before something shinier came along. From what I remember, I was loving it, so perhaps I’ll start from the start and love it all over again – the whole book this time though.
Not That Kind Of Girl – Lena Dunham
My current read; I’ve got about 60 pages to go and possibly putting off finishing it because I’m in love with this book. I’m worried that when I’ll get to the end, I’ll feel like I have to say goodbye to a close friend when all I really want is engulf myself in her utterly enthralling stories for the entire afternoon (plus some). This book has made me simultaneously squirm with discomfort and laugh out loudly countless times. Can I write just like her please? At least I feel comfort in the knowledge Season 4 of Girls has just begun, so at least I can get my Lena fix for a little while longer yet.
I Am Malala – Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb
I’m very aware ‘inspiring’ is a common theme so far and Malala Yousafzai takes the cake. How you could watch, listen to and read about this incredible young woman without being overcome with a complete and utter amazement, I do not know. I’ve no shame in admitting I jumped aboard the Malala bandwagon and I will continue to ride it for a long time yet. This book has been a little hard to get into, but I’ve been reassured it gets a easier a few more chapters in. Either way, I will stick with it because it’s the least I can do for a woman whose legacy will continue to change the world long after the both of us have left it.
Half The Sky: How To Change The World – Nicholas D. Kristof & Sheryl Wudunn
This book. This. Is it possible for a book to be one of your favourites despite not quite getting to the end…yet? If it’s totally lame and cliche to say this book changed my world, well…I’m lame and cliche. Because it did. I picked it up at a eccentric little shop in Manly on a girls’ weekend to Sydney a couple of years ago when I was looking for something to give my mind a decent shake-up. This book details and addresses some of the most horrific ordeals women are going through today and the constant struggle for equality around the world. If I could only ever give you one piece of advice, it would be to pretty please read this book.
The Metabolic Clock – Julie Rennie
Whilst eating a healthy diet is something I’ve improved on significantly over the past year or so, it still remains my ultimate weakness. I’m not really interested in losing weight “easily”, but I am always on the hunt for recipe books with healthy meals that don’t require ingredients I’ve never heard of, have no desire to consume or cost a small fortune from an exotic health food store. I found this book at the Mind Body Spirit expo quite a while ago and upon lending it to my Mum, promptly forgot I’d ever purchased it so I was quite surprised when she returned it about a month ago. Have I used it? Not yet. But I’ve flicked through it and it along with recipes, it has some great articles on motivation, nutrition and eating a balanced diet. Which is what my apple pie and cream filled belly really needs right about now.
Yes Please – Amy Poehler
Last, but certainly not least – my latest addition to the ‘Yet To Read’ collection! This is the only one I haven’t actually started because I did only buy it yesterday after every single person in the world told me to. (Perhaps a slight exaggeration.) I feel like it’s a good follow up to Not That Kind Of Girl, and I am all about that girl power right now. I also want to point out that while I could have paid $10 less online for this book, I was happy to pay more from my local bookstore. I had a nice chat with the owner and she gave me a few book recommendations and while I appreciate online is usually cheaper, I’d rather forgo a few bucks for face-to-face interaction. Plus no matter how quick your delivery is, it doesn’t beat right then and there. Have I mentioned patience is not my strongest trait? At the end of the day, local bookstores can’t stay open if we buy everything a few bucks cheaper online and trust me, browsing bookstores is one luxury I am not willing to give up.
If you’ve read any of these books, I’d love to hear what you thought, or if you have any recommendations (because if there’s anything I need in life it’s more books on my to-read list), please let me know in the comments!
Now if you don’t mind, I’m off to read a book…or eight.