“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.” – George R.R. Martin
Welcome back to my monthly book reviews! If it’s your first time here, YOU the Internet, fellow blog reader, are my accountability buddy! I write monthly book reviews, and in return, I hope you get some suggestions on what or what not to read based on my 2 cents 🙂
For the month of February, I read significantly fewer books because I was just too swamped with work. So instead of exploring new books, 2/3 of the books I read for the month of February were actually books I read years ago. Back then I didn’t have the habit of doing book reviews and jotting down lessons learnt in my Notion. So I figured it’s time to revisit these books. After all, each book hits us differently at a different point of our lives.
Book Count : 3
BOOK OF THE MONTH : Unf*ck Your Boundaries, by Faith G. Harper
This book could not have came into my life at a better time. That’s the reason why it’s my book of the month for February. I found myself being in a position where I compromised my personal boundaries, holding on to something that just wasn’t working anymore, taking too much responsibility for feelings that were not mine to feel. I was casually on Youtube when fate had it – I found Anna Akana’s video on Personal Boundaries, of which she quoted this book.
Harper explores the 7 types of personal boundaries that we have and elaborates on how boundary violations are enabled by many of society’s expectations. It’s a book that brings awareness to the invisible hand in all our interactions, and why we struggle to enforce certain boundaries more than others. Our Personal Boundaries is an elusive subject. It lives in the thickest shade of grey. How do we know where our boundaries truly lie? In order to do so, we must clearly know ourselves, and also be aware of the circumstances surrounding it. The book will not miraculously solve our inner quest to understand what works for us or not, but it will point a direction, and help us realise how might that look like.
To learn a bit more about the book you can check out my book takeaways here.
Other books for the month:
Animal Farm, by George Orwell
‘All animals are created equal but some are more equal than others’.
Animal farm is an allegorical and political satire novel. We follow the journey of the farm animals as they rebel against the human Farmer to take control of their lives, hoping to create a better and more equal lives for themselves. The rebellion was led by two pigs – Napoleon & Snowball who assumed the leadership of the farm thereafter.
This book never gets old – this is actually my third read of the book (I’ve kept the physical book over the years). Orwell uses life on an animal farm to expose the hypocrisies of totalitarian regimes. The hypocrisy rings so true, reading it, I can literally think of news reports in reality that mirrors the behaviours pointed on in the book.
It’s not merely a story of pursuit of freedom, it’s a story of manipulation, deceit, all in the name of ‘freedom’. A must read for every generation.
The Unbearable Lightness of Being, by Milan Kundera
The Unbearable Lightness of Being is a philosophical fiction novel filled with symbolism and life philosophies. We explore many of Kundera’s ideas and perspectives on eg. happiness, the burdens of life, the meaning of living in truth through the lives of primarily four characters within the novel. The stories take place during the era of communism, where we also explore the effects of political dissent under their rule.
If you ever came across the movie, do not be quick to dismiss this book, I can’t imagine condensing a book of this level of depth into a movie, and still doing it justice. This book is definitely an introspective read for those who enjoy mulling over deep ideas of life. However, it’s a rather dark read. I see the characters of the book more of vehicles for Kundera’s ideas, so the emphasis is more on philosophy than the story development itself. Nevertheless, I enjoyed many of his poignant quotes from the book and would like to leave you with one of the POV posited by the book.
‘Living in truth means not lying either to ourselves nor others – enabled only by living a life away from the public eye. The moment someone keeps an eye on what we do, we involuntarily make allowances for it and nothing we do is truthful. A man who loses privacy loses everything.’
Let me know if you’ve read any of these books, and what did you think about them!
Year to-date as at Feb’21 Book Count : 9
Check out other book reviews from other months:
See you next month’s book review 🙂