Let's be honest: Coronavirus lockdown hasn't been easy on anyone. But I've been thoroughly enjoying the additional time and solitude that quarantine has given me. And one thing that I've particularly enjoyed doing is reading more than I usually would (ever!). Here are 5 books that are absolute page-turners and have kept me entertained during quarantine.
The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin This book was recommended to me by my very dear friend, Chris. Chris is a counsellor and knows that I am fascinated with his job where he talks to people and helps them realise their life goals. And if anyone knows me, they know I love self-development books because they give me a chance to do some self-reflection. This book does just that. It gives you an amazing framework to understand yourself better and helps you answer some big life questions, like how do you manage expectations for yourself? How do you respond to others' expectations of you? You'll be able to answer those questions for yourself if you read Gretchen Rubin's book!
Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall Have you ever heard of that quote that says "Cherish your strengths, improve your weaknesses"? One of my weaknesses is geography. I blame this on the fact that I am slightly directionally challenged and my memory isn't the best. So this book completely surprised me because it turned out to be such a gripping read! I've never enjoyed learning about geography and politics in the same way that I have with this book. It was just so honest and fun to read, and it felt like I was traveling around the world through Tim's stories.
Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari After reading Sapiens, I knew I had fallen in love with Yuval Noah Harari's writing. And that's still true with this extra lengthy sequel to Sapiens. The coincidence? The first chapter mentions The Black Death and the Spanish Flu, which was actually really insightful to read considering that the whole world is currently going through a pandemic. Harari gives us a look at what has happened in the last 200 years, and what may be coming.
Blink by Malcolm Gladwell Every now and again, I revisit (aka reread!) a Malcolm Gladwell book. It's because I think they're all really helpful. I'd just recently finished his brilliant book Talking to Strangers, and this was the perfect book to read next. It's all about "thin slicing", which is so important to understand in the age of fake news, social media and the internet.
Happy by Derren Brown Finally, this book saved so much of my sanity and taught me how to find positivity in a bleak situation. It's about the history of Stoic philosophy and the teachings in it are already helping to frame my mindset. Two big lessons that I got from this book was that you can't have self-growth without struggle, and it's much more easy to navigate life when you practice non-attachment. And if you want to explore those concepts even further, it's time to pick up Derren Brown's book.