Lifestyle & Culture

Books by your Bedside

With the end of lockdowns in sight Charlotte Lloyd checks out what people have been reading and which books should be on your Wishlist.

As we look forward to lockdowns being lifted across the state, we will also be looking at a whole new, very social world that seems to keep coming and going. Are we ready to go back into the big scary world or would some of us rather curl up inside with a good book? Lockdown for many has been a time of countless book purchases. No matter how many books someone has, it will never be enough…that is my opinion anyway.

The thing about books is you are constantly learning and educating yourself, whether through a fictional world or one which exists right here. Reading a good book is a great way to escape from a world of, well let’s face it, disappointment. I wanted to know what books are sitting on your bedside table? What are your obsessions? Why do you rate your book so highly?

I talked with some book lovers to find out what they have been reading. Here are some of the responses.

Beautiful World Where Are You – Sally Rooney

“One of the most seen books spread across my social media, people have been reading this at the beach, at the park, at home with a cold drink. It doesn’t matter where they are, people can’t seem to get enough of Rooney. Many would call her stories often frustrating, especially with awkward character dynamics spread throughout all her books. However, in saying that, this is what makes her writing so universally relatable and imperative for readers. The passages that Rooney writes have been praised. Even from her last two successful releases ‘Normal People’ and ‘Conversations with Friends.’ ‘Beautiful World Where Are You’ however goes a lot deeper in its discussion on class, religion, climate change, and varying social issues. This in turn is helpful to readers in identifying their own perspectives on these issues and articulating how this views the world around us. Captured by one as ‘effortlessly realistic,’ Rooney is continuing to captivate people through her honest writings on love, loss, and friendship.”

‘How To Do The Work’ – Dr. Nicole LePera

“Now if you’re not a self-help junkie then I would be most inclined to skip past this review. ‘How To Do The Work’ carefully exhibits ourselves at our most vulnerable, conscious, and aware. I know this sounds daunting but by doing this, we are opening ourselves up to changes from our past patterns and responses that have been causing us grief. Dr. LePera takes a deep dive into the world of our psyche making us become aware of our consciousness and how to deviate from what we have been taught so long ago. Despite many of us think we have no need for self-help, in recent times, this genre of writing has exploded. So many more of us want to know ourselves better, why are we the way that we are? Why do I promise to change my habits but fall straight back to where I was with zero habit and discipline. If you’re looking for a truth-seeker then this is your call. In order to see ourselves clearly and at our most raw, the first step is opening up to the exploration of ourselves and noticing what needs to change.”

‘Cats Eye’ – Margaret Atwood

“If you haven’t heard of Margaret Atwood then once again, keep scrolling but if you have then you’re in for a treat. Often depicted as realistically depicting the dystopia Atwood has said she never writes about what hasn’t already happened. And when looking at her past works such as ‘The Handmaids Tale’ this tends to be quite alarming. But in an exaggerated way, this is true. Released way back in 1988, this is a less popular one of her novels yet deserves to be in the spotlight. This book tells the story of Elaine Risley, a fictional painter, who reflects on her childhood and teenage years. Looking back on past memories it tends to be a slow start but is worth the read nonetheless. Atwood as a feminist herself includes some great feminist commentary and exhibits the realities of the female psyche at different stages of your life. By using compelling storytelling and description, Atwood carefully depicts what it means to be a young girl coming out of World War and all the way to the 1980s while trying to navigate oneself while also navigating the world around them.”

‘Greenlights’ – Matthew McConaughey

“This is a cross between memoir and self-help but is neither one nor the other. I’m sure you’ve all heard of actor Matthew McConaughey. This self-reflection is one that, as he nears the age of 50, he felt was necessary. For 35 years McConaughey kept a journal of his adventures and life within the film industry and beyond, the result of such is this book ‘Greenlights.’ As a way to learn from what was held between the pages of his journal, the new memoir/self-help is a set of critiques, musings, and insights that follow him through his childhood and upbringing in Texas to his travels and adventures with his acting career and further on from that, a look into his personal life of love and fatherhood. Although not everyone’s cup of tea, this book can simply be described as a ‘pleasant surprise,’ one that cannot hold up to anyone’s expectations as it replicates the unexpected. With not only writing but illustrations to fill the pages, this book really encapsulates the realities of McConaughey’s life and can be seen as a manual for finding your way. The book’s title refers to catching green traffic lights in life and this having a flow-on effect in your life. This is a different type of memoir that offers words of advice, wisdom, and knowledge.”

While small, the list above is a nifty way to spend the last few months of your year. Reading books by the beach as the weather begins to warm up. Understandably none of these books would suit your taste but on the other hand, a change in the genre could be exactly what you need. The recent times that have passed us may not have gone as expected yet by losing yourself in a good book, you’re bound to escape our harsh reality if only for a little while.

Feature Image by Eva Davies, Yak Media Designer

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: