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Hi everyone,

 

I thought a blog would be a great way to exchange book recommendations as I love reading and writing reviews. I've also started putting pen to paper, and have recently completed a creative writing course. Maybe you'll be reading one of my books down the line!?

 

If you want to share about what you're reading, or anything at all for that matter, let loose and go for it!

Reading progress update: I've read 5%.

Hogfather: (Discworld Novel 20) - Terry Pratchett

Very entertaining, but I'm a little lost at the moment! Will it eventually make sense?

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

Siddhartha - Hermann Hesse

I finally finished my first read for the 16 festive tasks! Yea! And even better, I loved it. If it'd been a bit longer I probably would have given it the full five-stars.

 

Siddhartha is about a man who's searching for enlightenment, or a peaceful existance, and goes on a pilgrimage to find it.

 

You will, he spoke, go into the forest and be a Samana. When you have found blissfulness in the forest, then come back and teach me to be blissful.

 

I've always been interested in spirituality, moreso of late, so was naturally inclined towards this book. It's written in a very simple style which works perfectly as a reflection of the simplicity of life that Siddhartha seeks.

 

Initially Siddhartha plans to find enlightenement in the teachings of others, but quickly finds this unsatisfactory.

 

...nobody will obtain salvation by means of teachings! You will not be able to convey and say to anybody, oh venerable one, in words and through teachings what has happened to you in the hour of enlightenment

 

This is very true and something I've recenly discovered for myself; you have to find the answers on your own. Others can guide you, but ultimately it's up to you.

 

From this point Siddhartha goes off on his own to find peace and dabbles in the life of riches in his quest.

 

He had been captured by the world, by lust, covetousness, sloth and finally also by that vice which he had used to despise and mock the most of all vices: greed.

 

He abandons this life and goes to live with a ferryman he'd met at an earlier pont, but does he at last find enlightenment? I'd recommend you read it and find out because it's only roughly 100 pages long and well worth your time.

 

Reading progress update: I've read 17%.

Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

This is my first Dickens and I already know it won't be my last. His writing is infectious and his characters leap off the page.

Books...

Reading...

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment - Eckhart Tolle

This was without a doubt the best book I’ve read on mindfulness, maybe even book). A bold statement! Something just clicked with me and not to put too fine a point on it, but my life has changed in so many fantastic ways.

 

Eckhart Tolle is a spiritual guru who had an awakening around the age of thirty when he was extremely depressed (to put it mildly) and realised that he was not his thoughts, but the observer of those thoughts.

 

The beginning of freedom is the realization that you are not the possessing entity-the thinker. Knowing this enables you to observe the entity. The moment you start watching the thinker, a higher level of consciousness becomes activated.

 

The book is written in the style of question and answer, which I thought was a great way to break up the information. It did, however, mean there was a lot of repetition, but in the foreword we’re warned of this. We’re told it’s use is intended so the reader really gets what Eckhart is saying.

 

The largest portion of this book is taken up with the notion of surrender. Surrendering to the present moment instead of perpetually resisting. So often throughout life we’re trying to get somewhere else or wishing we were doing something else, but that means we miss the here and now, what is.

 

Surrender does not transform what is, at least not directly. Surrender transforms you. When you are transformed your whole world is transformed, because the world is only a reflection.

 

I have so many paragraphs highlighted it’s unbelievable! I plan to look at these sections often as I can’t explain how much they’ve helped me. Before I started this book I was so mind identified that every reaction I made was according to a script. That script was my conditioning from the past. I wasn’t reacting to situations according to present moment conditions. Well that shits over now and I know it.

 

More than anything mindfulness has helped me get in touch with my body. People (and I was one of them) don’t consider their bodies enough. It’s not something that’s given enough focus in our society. Our bodies are the vehicles that take us through life, so they deserve more of a consideration. In our consumerist culture it’s all about attaining, rather than simply being here with what is, whatever that may be.

 

Mindfulness has helped my anxiety and acceptance of my current situation and I highly recommend that you give it a try. If you access the power of the moment you can find the deep peace that’s inherent within all of us.

Reading progress update: I've read 47%.

Siddhartha - Hermann Hesse

Slowly the disease of the soul, which rich people have,

grabbed hold of him.

Reading progress update: I've read 28%.

Siddhartha - Hermann Hesse

Even though it's written in quite a dry style, I'm still enjoying this a lot. It's about a young man, Siddhartha, who leaves his home in search of enlightenment. I've been getting much more interested in mindfulness these days than ever before, so this was something I've been itching to get too. Plus, when I found out it's set in India, fulfilling the requirements for square number 14, I knew it was definitely the time.

 

Reading progress update: I've read 50 out of 176 pages.

If you can believe it I'm STILL on the first square! I've been a bit unwell, away for a brief trip, then unwell again. I'm totally back now, though, and ready to get going again. Can't wait!

 

On a separate note I swapped out A Gentleman in Moscow for this as I decided I wanted to use this game to get as many actual books I own read. I've had Desperate Characters for a couple of years but always put it off. Not anymore! The only thing is my eyes are a bit sore in consideratioon of the tiny print, so it might take me another few days to read. Thankfuly there isn't a time limit per square, is there!?

 

 

 

Books...

Reading...

Reading progress update: I've read 3%.

A Gentleman in Moscow: A Novel - Amor Towles

I'm so excited to start this game! Thank you Murder by Death and Themis.

 

Reading progress update: I've listened 270 out of 432 minutes.

Turtles All the Way Down - John Green

I started out really enjoying this book, but since it stopped focusing on the fugitive and turned into a love story, I stopped being so invested in it. Plus, I'm not really connecting with the protagonist, either. The best part is Aza's best friend, Daisey, who's hilarious. If only the book was all her show! Anyway, since I read a book set in Northern Ireland from the perspective of a little boy immersed in the Troubles (The Good Son by Paul McVeigh), I've been in complete book hangover mode. Nothing, literally nothing, compares!! And yes, I'm now singing the song by Sinead O'Connor in my head! Nothing compares, nothing compares, too you..

Books...

Happy Halloween everyone!

Reading progress update: I've listened 85 out of 432 minutes.

Turtles All the Way Down - John Green

I have so much brain fog at the minute that I need light reads and I love John Green, so when I heard he had a new book out, well. It's about a teenage girl, Aza, who has an anxiety disorder (a bit like me) and she's also tracking a fugitive. I wasn't sure about the audio version at first, but I've gotten so sucked in by the story that it's not a concern anymore.

Currently reading

The Gift of Anger: And Other Lessons from My Grandfather Mahatma Gandhi by Arun Gandhi
Progress: 55/153pages
Hogfather: (Discworld Novel 20) by Terry Pratchett
Progress: 28%
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Progress: 63%
A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle
Progress: 37%
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by H.T. Willetts, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Progress: 100%
Desperate Characters by Paula Fox
Progress: 50/176pages