I can no longer deny that the internet ruined my reading habits. For a long time, I didn't want to admit it because I write online and consume a great deal of online content. Basically, I was defensive. But the truth is that the number of books I read each year has decreased over time.
Two things made me re-evaluate my relationship with the internet.
The first was the election. Leading up to and then after the election, I devoured countless op eds and think pieces and started to notice that my anxiety increased in corresponding measure. Add to that the endless arguments and fighting, especially among people who basically had the same aspirations for our country, and I had to take a step back. I became more selective about the things I read online and stepped away from contentious (and unproductive) arguments, and it helped. I am still trying to be more mindful about this.
The second thing was our summer vacation. I always read a lot on vacation, so, I loaded up my Kindle as we headed off to Europe. For the first two weeks, we did hardcore sightseeing in London and Paris so I didn't have much time to read. I also had limited cell service and access to WiFi so I was forced to unplug. However, once we got to Melides, a beach town in Portugal, I had plenty of time to read and I did. I consumed everything I'd loaded on my Kindle and remembered why I love reading so much. Nothing compares to losing yourself in a good book.
In the months since vacation, I've started reading less online and more off and thought I'd share three books I've read this month that I absolutely love.
Before Everything by Victoria Redel
I made passing reference to this one a few days ago when I shared my favorite quote from the book,
We are here. And then we are not here. For a little while, we are a story.
This book centers around a group of women who have been friends for years and the ways their lives intersect and diverge as one of them is in hospice. It is not as bleak as it may sound. It's truly a story about the power of friendship between women and how it sustains us.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
This is a story about a lonely person who begins to connect to others and how connection cracks her world open. It is equal parts touching, sad, hilarious, and hopeful.
There are days when I feel so lightly connected to the earth that the threads that tether me to the planet are gossamer thin, spun sugar.
She writes beautiful sentences like that and then writes a scene about the character's first waxing that makes you laugh out loud.
Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
This one is beautiful and heartbreaking. As a mother, this one was hard for me to read for many reasons but it has stayed with me. It is a philosophical study of what makes us who we are and what makes a life. A quotes towards the end from the main character, Aza,
I started thinking about turtles all the way down. I was thinking that maybe the old lady and the scientist were both right. Like, the world is billions of years old, and life is a product of nucleotide mutation and everything. But the world is also the stories we tell about it.
The friendship between the main character and her best friend, Daisy, is one of the best parts of this book. I loved them separately but together, they are magic.
Have you read any of these? Let's talk!