Saturday, 3 February 2018

January Book Round Up

One of my aims for this year is to read a lot more. After all a ‘man who doesn’t read lives one life, a man who reads lives many’. I can’t remember where I heard that quote but I’ve always liked it.

I also set a goal to do a round up of the books I read each month, hoping it would motivate me to keep reading when my hand is twitching for the phone.

I am going to be totally honest, I didn’t read all of these books in January. I decided to choose two of the longest books to read this month so they’re taking a little longer than I would have liked, but I should be fitting them into February's round up.

Instead I’ve added a couple of books I read towards the end of last year that I really enjoyed and have been telling everyone about anyway.

When Breath Becomes Air, Paul Kalanithi

This is one of the most humbling and poignant books I have ever read. Paul Kalanithi wrote the book while he was finishing up training as a neurosurgeon and dying of cancer. It is moving, captivating and beautifully written. Paul is as poetically brilliant at writing as he is technically brilliant at being a neurosurgeon. It was fascinating to learn how he became drawn to neurosurgery, especially hearing about his experiences on the job. At a time when the NHS is under fire it really makes you appreciate how much work doctors actually go through each day and how taxing it is on their physical and emotional health. This was a book where I had to re-read several pages to try and fully appreciate the magnitude of what he was saying, one where it was hard not to cry while reading on the tram and one that left me thinking for several days, maybe weeks, afterwards.

The House, Simon Lelic

I absolutely love a thriller, it’s one of my favourite go-to genres. I picked up The House while waiting for my flight to Thailand and I zoomed through it. The story follow Jack and Syd who have done the impossible and bought a house in London (they must have been passing on the avocados). The story is written in quite a unique way; it’s written first hand by both Jack and Syd. They are writing down parts of the story, talking to each other throughout. It’s quite dark in parts as the main theme is child abuse. I was gripped and came up with a million and one endings in my head.

The Outsider, Albert Camus

My brother gave me this for my birthday, he has quite a quirky and unique taste in books so I always love getting a book from him. Written in 1942 by Albert Camus, The Outside is an existentialist classic that follows Meursaults life in Paris. At the start of the book his mother dies and Meursault does not show the usual range of emotions at the funeral that people expect. Later on he commits a ‘random act of violence’ and the fact that he didn’t show any emotions at his mothers funeral is put forward as evidence of his guilt. Meursault has a simple way of looking at the world that can be seen as cold and detached, but the book raises the question 'is it the wrong way?'. The last twenty or so pages were so absorbing and deep I had to re-read them to try and figure out my own take on what was happening.

Memories, Dreams, Reflections, C.G.Jung

Psychology is a subject that I have always found fascinating, as well as dreams. I have vivid dreams every night and I love looking up the meanings behind them and discovering what things symbolise. Carl Jung is known as the founder of analytical psychology. He worked closely with Sigmund Freud on the relationship between the conscious and unconscious mind. He is also one of the most influential people in modern dream studies. The book includes an exploration of Jungs childhood, his studies, his relationship with Freud, his work and his travels. Jung became quite invested in the book and wrote many chapters himself, particularly his early childhood memories. If you want to learn more about the man behind the theories this book is the way to go. It also explores philosophical thoughts, frequently referencing writers like Nietzche.

I enjoyed reading all of these books and each of them gave me pause for thought. I’m going to put more time aside to read next month so all of the books will be fresh in my mind. Have you read any of these? What books have you read recently that you’d recommend?

Also I'm aware Breath Without Air is the only book not in the picture but I think we have lent it out to someone, oh well!



  1. I've not read any of these and one of my goals this year is to read more too so I'll check them out!
    Amy xx

  2. Great post - i'm trying to get back into reading this year so i'll try and pick up some of your recommendations!

    Caz |

    1. A lot of people seem to be getting back into reading this year, if you have any recommendations I'd love to hear them :) xx


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