Right now in the national lockdown it may feel like there isn’t much joy around us. While there is certainly something to be said about sitting with feelings and letting yourself experience them, I’d like to help you find a little bit of positivity. You guessed it; I’m going to talk about books, but this time I’m going to remind you how books can bring joy in this funny world we’re experiencing.
Escapism is the easiest place to start. Stories can take us to far away lands, making it easy to forget the world outside. Try to look for something set in a place you’d love to visit, somewhere historical, or just something that escapes your normal. Where The Crawdads Sing takes you to marshlands, thriving beautifully, untouched by civilisation. I felt myself there on the beach with Kya collecting shells and feathers. The Vanishing Half takes you to the mid 1900’s to small towns and big cities in America. Life was a lot different back then and the tale Brit Bennett spins will keep you reading until the very end. The Midnight Library is something different entirely where our female protagonist explores the different lives she could have lead.
Community is another way books could add some light to your day. Virtual book clubs are a brilliant way to feel connected or just reading a book with a friend is sure to help you feel closer to them. Some books that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed discussing have been non-fictions. Invisible Women looks at the data bias against women throughout history and has some really interesting studies that just have to be talked about. Feminists Don’t Wear Pink And Other Lies is a brilliant collection of short essays from a range of women that is a great conversation starter for feminism. How To Be Right In A World Gone Wrong is a witty collection of conversations liberal James O’Brien has collected from his radio show.
Happiness is another reason I’m quoting here, pure and blissful happiness. There really is still some good left in the world and just because it’s between the pages of books it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist elsewhere. The Flatshare was such a delight to read with wonderful twists and turns; it really has you rooting for the main characters. Love In Colour is a retelling of myths from around the world that been adapted into modern life. Each short story is compelling and a pleasure to read. The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse is a stunningly illustrated book about four very different characters. It’s heart warming and charming, a real classic.
If it’s going to feel good to read about improvement and getting yourself in order then there are some great books to help, but please don’t feel you have to achieve something right now. These are testing times and if you just need some self love then I’d recommend Matt Haig’s non-fiction reads. Atomic Habits is such an easy read if you want to implement new habits in any area of your life. Simple and straightforward, it will guide you right. Money: A Users Guide I found to be a really helpful guide to getting my finances and savings in order. The Daily Stoic is a page a day of stoic thought and philosophy that I’ve found comforting during lockdowns; the idea of focusing on what you can control and not what you can’t control has guided me through.
There’s certainly a lot we can get from books but if there’s nothing that takes your fancy here, please get in touch on either Instagram or Facebook at The Bookish Mindset and I’d gladly help you find something more suitable.