1. Gifts of the Sea – Anne Morrow Lindbergh:
It’s the kind of book I read and re-read and dip in once in a while, the kind of books I want to buy and give it freely to any woman, my mother, my relatives, my girl friends, old and young, near and far, single or married or separated or in couple. At any point in life you’ll need this book, it’s a guide that understands and loves and soothes you. It’s thin and it’s profoundly empowering that you’ll get out feeling refreshed and happy and ready for the next challenge. Nothing radical, nothing shocking or trying to be more than a true, gentle, wise friend as it is.
2. Analog Sea Review – First volume:
I came across this tiny little gem in Strasbourg. Imagine a book that you cannot find anywhere on the Net, and that deliberately refuses to be available there even just to buy. A 100% offline journal that takes you back in time where the ‘analog’ world still existed. All the pieces, poems, essays, interviews, paintings, thoughts and ideas and emotions are delicately beautiful, as fragile as the snow globe that is enraptured with sparkles of real and raw pieces of life. A small volume that fits perfectly in my hand and speaks purely of truth and love.
3. Notes to Self – Emilie Pine:
It’s a heavy, emotional, heart-wrenching work at the struggles women face throughout their life. So personal and yet so universal, eloquent and sensitive to its last word. The 6 essays detail the psychological effects of the familial and societal abuses on young girls and women, their battles with victories and defeats with each big and small choice they make. Powerful, with so much courage. The only problem is that I read it with an equally heavy heart that made it a bit difficult to appreciate everything since a part of me was shut down to numb the pain endured.
4. The Cost of Living – Deborah Levy:
Sounds like a financial advice self-help but it has zero relation to anything monetary. Coincidentally this is another “feminist” book that I picked up without realising (I don’t even consider myself as a feminist, but more of a humanist!) This book is much less heavy than “Notes to Self” though the themes they deal with are of no less importance. But I think there’s a gap in age and points of views. The author of “The Cost of Living” is in her mid-fifties while the other is still a thirty-something. While the other is much of an intense, turbulent storm of emotions, things are viewed with a more detached, gentle and somewhat more introspective angle and somehow it gave me solace and lightened my load.
5. Notes on a Nervous Planet – Matt Haig :
If you feel lost in this digitalised jungle, this is the guide book you would want to buy. How to stay sane in this age of social media that diffuse anxiety and abuse social validation for the profits of giant media corporations? How to have a healthy relationship with news and phones and work and life? How to prepare yourself mentally before the invasion of artificial intelligence? How to keep on swimming to the shore? We are living on a nervous planet that will break down any minute and yet we have to try to survive, and ultimately thrive. It’s an intimate book written by someone who experienced mental illness once and is still fighting to guard his mind and soul in peace. I actually took notes (3 pages) of important quotes in my journal so I can refer to them conveniently if need be, to remind myself to breathe and slow down and appreciate the wonder of living in this tiny little blue dot floating along the universe.