A very brief top reads this year

The World Book Day happened next week, and as a celebration I´ve decided to start a new section on my blog for another one of my passions – BOOKS. I read quite a lot and a wide range of different genres. When someone asks me who is my favourite author or which sort of genre do I read, I freeza. I literally behave like a mum when asked if she’s nurturing any sort of favouritism for any of her children.

According to my Goodreads profile, this year I have read 8 books so far, but I am going to highlight 3 of them:

  1. Man’s Search For Meaning, by Viktor E. Frankl

If you’ve never heard about this book before, and if you’re a skeptic like me trying to get away of self-help books, you do not have to worry. This book is not one of the kind. If you do ask yourself about the meaning of life, if you find yourself emerged in moments of self reflection about what this is all about, wondering if your life is actually worth living, you do need to read this book.

The author was himself a prisoner in concentration camps for three years, and the first part of the book is about his experience and what he discovered and learned on human nature and ability of survival, of finding meaning even in the most extreme situations. As any piece of work about the Holocaust, this is heavy content. However, Frankl focus is not the exploration of morbid details such as deaths, torture or suffering, but the human mind and the way it might even influence your own destiny.

Reading the first part of the book might even seem enough, but proceed to the second part where you learn about Logotherapy, the psychological  theory he founded, based on man’s life meaning. It is really interesting and relatable. Also, Frankl is an amazing writer being able to explore theory in a current and understandable way.

 2. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

I wanted to read this book since it was put in Our Shared Shelf reading list (in case you don’t know, this is a group in Goodreads founded by Emma Watson with literature created by and about women). I finally ordered it and I was a bit shocked when I realised it is a graphic novel, written as a comic book. I was never a big fan of comic books. However, once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down.

It is an autobiographical novel, about gender inequality in muslim societies, about the struggles lived within their culture and the stereotypes they live and endure within western countries. The way it is putted in the book, Satrapi makes it possible for someone that does not know their religion and society from inside to understand how things really are and work. Being a woman in a western society might not be easy, and we all still fight for gender equality. Though, being a woman within a muslim society governed by Islamic extremism… you can’t even say women have any rights. to me it actually looks like no one has any rights, being a man or a woman. Essential basics of freedom are denied. Cover yourself, obey your husband, pray to your God. Satrapi manages to show us all of this in a funny tone that we’ll keep you entertained even in moments when you must want to explode in fury with how much injustice there is in the world.

3. Extracts from The Second Sex by Simone De Beauvoir

I made a mistake when buying this book. I ordered it online thinking I was actually buying the actual book. Only when it arrived I realised it was a short version, with some main chapters. I’ve been wanting to read this for years now. It is definitely worth it though. In a short version we can get familiar with the main line of thoughts of Beauvoir.

She’s just brilliant. I personally believe everyone should read this book, since it is only a short version. She reflects on the difference of being a man and being a woman, how women are seen as the other, something I actually never had thought about, but in perspective, I can relate. She exposes how women have been so easily submissive to the men sovereignty, having been educated for centuries in societies that teach her to obey the patriarchy, the father authority in the house, being denied of any decision making, and ,most times, even proper education. Growing up with these values made girls believe they couldn’t actually achieve great academic status or even top careers, since unconsciously they already believed they were not able to, because they were not men. Another chapter I found really interesting is the one she defines the independent woman.

I could go on and on about this, since it is something that I am passionate about. I definitely want to read the actual book and educate myself in gender issues as much as I can.

Love,

Nic

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