I’ve always been a massive reader my whole life. I make the effort to spend some time reading every night before bed no matter what. I love when I lose myself in the story, like how you would watching a film. Books have opened up numerous worlds to me, whether they may be imaginative or spiritual ones. I know not many people enjoy reading nowadays, or struggle to find the time to do so, which I think is a massive shame. I want to start writing book reviews, in hopes that by sharing ones that have offered me vast insight, it might inspire you to expand your horizons through the literary world. So here are a few of my favourites that I’ve read this past year.
‘The Universe Has Your Back’ by Gabrielle Bernstein
This book changed me. It sounds dramatic, but I read it at a pivotal point several months ago, and it has completely transformed the way I see the world. In fact, Gabrielle talks about miracles frequently which was what inspired the name of this blog. The main message she spreads is to put our trust in the Universe no matter what, because only then will our manifestations become reality. She also introduced me to Kundalini meditation. The first time I did one of her guided meditations, I felt chills throughout my entire body. That kind of thing had never happened to me before! It was like I had a spiritual awakening. She includes exercises at the end of each chapter to help us integrate her teachings into daily life – such as the meditation that I did. I still go back to the book every now and then to realign myself. I can tell this will become a staple in my book collection.
‘Ishmael’ by Daniel Quinn
This was an incredibly interesting read. It is cleverly written, and I could tell that Daniel had spent a lot of time perfecting his words. In a nutshell. the book talks about how a gorilla named Ishmael taught a man the secret to saving the world from all its current problems. The topics he mentions are slightly difficult to understand at first, but he backs up everything and explains all his arguments in detail, such as through references from the Bible. It was fascinating to see how he linked our modern issues with the history of ancient civilisation. This is not so much a spiritual book, but talks more about how we should live life on Earth and be one with the environment.
‘A New Earth’ by Eckhart Tolle
I just finished this a few days ago, so it’s still fresh in my mind. I also read Eckhart’s ‘The Power of Now’ earlier this year, both of which I love. His work is one of the most well-known within the mindfulness realm of self-help books. In this book in particular, he talks in length about the ego and how we can overcome it by bringing awareness to it. I specifically like how he doesn’t make mindfulness sound like a daunting task that only certain people can achieve. He focuses on the trust essence of things – it can be as simple as paying attention to your own breath throughout the day. This is a great read for anyone looking to improve their health, relationships, and overall life quality by living in the present moment.
‘The Untethered Soul’ by Michael A. Singer
Another book on mindfulness. I’d say this is more complex than Eckhart’s books. I remember finding it rather difficult to read because I had to really pay attention and process the words thoroughly. Having said that, it is definitely worth the read as it goes through the importance of being detached from our thoughts. Michael uses the analogy of your conscious self being the person watching a movie – the movie being your life. Anything that happens in the movie is not actually happening to you. Similar to how events occur in life, as long as you don’t identify with them, they can’t affect you. It takes a while to incorporate that into daily life – I definitely haven’t. But it acts as a great guideline to break free from our constant thoughts.
‘The Four Agreements’ by Don Miguel Ruiz
This is a nice and easy read. It’s a small book that most of us can probably go through in an afternoon, yet it still provides so much wisdom. As the name suggests, it includes four agreements or ‘rules’ that we should abide by in life in order to live fully. I think they are all things that we are guilty of doing everyday without realising it. If you’re not a big reader but are interested in improving yourself, I would highly recommend this.
‘The Book of Joy’ by Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu
This book brought me so much joy. Not only because that’s kind of the name, but seeing the playfulness between Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu just makes me smile. They may be old on the outside, but you can really tell that they are children at heart. I can almost feel their glowing aura of happiness whilst reading it. The two meet in Dharamshala for Dalai Lama’s birthday and to share with us the secrets of living with joy. Even if you’re not into spirituality, it’s worth it to just experience the relationship between the two men. They have both experienced so much and have vast amounts of knowledge to share. What I love most is the fact that they’re from different religions but both share the same core values in life. It is the perfect example of how all religions should really live together in harmony, not in war.
‘Flawed’ by Cecelia Ahern
Finally, a fiction that is not spiritual-based. I used to only read fiction because I would get bored of non-fiction very quickly. Funny how things have changed. Anyway, I have always been a big fan of Cecelia Ahern and this was no exception. I really love the message behind this book, which actually has a sequel called ‘Perfect’. She created an interesting Universe where people are arrested for committing even the smallest crime and are branded on their skin to show the world what they have done. It gives me a bit of a Hunger Games vibe for some reason, although the two aren’t really similar. To give a brief overview, the book illustrates how we should stand up for what we believe in despite what society says. A great, empowering read. Did I mention that I finished this in a day because I just didn’t want to put it down?
That was a long post. Hope it wasn’t too long-winded but I tend to ramble on. Let me know if any of you have read these books and what you think about them! If not, please pick up at least one of them and give it a go. I promise you won’t regret it 😉