Books that Changed My Life

In this post, I will share some of the non-fiction books that changed my life 📚

Now and again, I come across books that shift my way of thinking entirely. In this post, I will share some of the non-fiction books that changed my life.

If you’re a curious soul like me, and you have a soft spot for philosophy, then you’ve probably already heard about, listened to, and read some of Alan Watts’ work, if not all of it. But, if you haven’t, I would highly recommend doing so.

His way of thinking is fascinating, and I found it to be eye-opening on so many subjects.
I, for one, struggle with the fear of not knowing what happens to us after we die, and Watts’ thoughts around this, in particular, helped calm me down a little. But all in all, Watts’s thoughts and writing helped me shift my perspective and look at things differently than I did beforehand.
I recommend listening to them as audiobooks or just searching him up on YouTube.

The Book by Alan Watts

Out of Your Mind by Alan Watts

I’ve written a post about this book and the diet culture that I didn’t know I was in a relationship with. You can read it here.

Megan’s book was a real eye-opener for me. I kind of knew that diet culture was all around, but I had no idea just how extreme it is or how much I’ve let it affect my life. This book made me realize just how hard I’ve been with myself and my body over the years.

This book made me look at food, advertisement, and exercise in a whole new way. It has given me a much more healthy relationship with food, a passion for body positivism, and I’m now the biggest @bodyposipanda fan!

Body Positive Power by Megan Jayne Crabbe

I never thought about just how powerful it is to ask people for help. I’m one of those people who tried for way too long to do everything on my own because I was afraid that I would lose control of my creativity if I asked anyone else for help. Silly, right? I still struggle with that at times.

Palmer writes about how far you can come by just asking for help. By letting yourself be open, and to not be ashamed to ask if there’s something you need or want. It taught me the power of connection, especially when living a creative life.

Amanda Palmer has such a presence, and I got lost listening to her voice and her story. A fascinating read/listen!

The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer

Yes! Yes! And more Yes!

I loved the message that Shonda Rhimes delivers in this book. I often find myself worried way too much about the “what if’s” of absolutely everything, and that can make me say no to opportunities, and then I end up regretting my decision to say no later on. Year of Yes made me realize just how powerful saying yes can be and how that can open unexpected doors that lead to places you couldn’t even imagine.

After reading this book, I’ve been more mindful about the responses I give to opportunities that present themselves to me. It was very inspiring and made me super motivated.

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

I just finished this book and I loved it so much! It had lots of great ideas and tips for any creative wanting to make their passion into a career, which is exactly what I’m trying to do at the moment (more on that in another post soon). I flew through this (listened to it on Libby) but I ended up ordering myself a copy so that I can go back to it later on in this process.

Cathy Heller had so much to share from her own experiences and also from the many people she’s had on her podcast, and it motivated and inspired me so much!

I definitely think that this is a good read for anyone who’s thinking about taking the leap of quitting that day job and go in pursuit of that career that you really want!

I’m so grateful that I randomly stumbled across this audiobook, and I will be reading it more than once. I will also start to listen to her podcast from now on to keep that inspiration and motivation up.

Don’t Keep Your Day Job by Cathy Heller

Have you read any books that were life changing? I would love to hear about it!

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The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells 📚 BOOK REVIEW

My review of The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells 📚

I listened to an audiobook edition of The Uninhabitable Earth.

Genre: Non-fiction, Environment

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd.

Originally published: February 19th, 2019

Pages: 336 (paperback)

Audiobook length: 9 hrs

Synopsis by the publisher:

It is worse, much worse, than you think.

The slowness of climate change is a fairy tale, perhaps as pernicious as the one that says it isn’t happening at all, and if your anxiety about it is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible, even within the lifetime of a teenager today.

Over the past decades, the term “Anthropocene” has climbed into the popular imagination – a name given to the geologic era we live in now, one defined by human intervention in the life of the planet. But however sanguine you might be about the proposition that we have ravaged the natural world, which we surely have, it is another thing entirely to consider the possibility that we have only provoked it, engineering first in ignorance and then in denial a climate system that will now go to war with us for many centuries, perhaps until it destroys us. In the meantime, it will remake us, transforming every aspect of the way we live-the planet no longer nurturing a dream of abundance, but a living nightmare.

My thoughts:

I was equally intrigued as I was terrified of diving into this book. Being very environmentally aware and being told upfront that it’s even worse than we think, that’s enough to get my pulse rising.
But scared or not, I think it is so important to keep ourselves educated on what is going on around us, and climate change is happening to every one of us, everywhere on the planet. And even though some like to deny it (I’m not going to mention names, but I’m pretty sure certain famous faces pops into most people’s head when I mention this) we have come so far and know so much now that it seems like complete ignorance to face the other way. And after reading/listening to this book, the knowledge of what has already happened, and what the worst-case scenario might be in the future, ignoring climate change isn’t an option anymore.

The Uninhabitable earth is a very interesting read based on scientific research from multiple sources, and it is also terrifying! I like how Wallace-Wells tries to have a somewhat light tone to this heavy and dark subject because even though we are headed in a certain direction where even the best-case scenario looks pretty grim, there’s always hope. Hope and a possibility for change, but we have to acknowledge how big of a problem this actually is, and how much work that needs to be done for us to make it better.

I wish that this book would make it into school curriculums around the world. Exposing children to this kind of grim info might not be the way to go, but I think that young adults (and a lot of adults for that matter) could really benefit from having this knowledge when making the choices that they do in this world.

The Uninhabitable Earth is a book that needs to be read, and sooner rather than later! I will keep on recommending this book to everyone I know because I think it is such an important work of non-fiction that deserves and needs get more praise and attention!

If we are going to change the future we have to get as much knowledge of the past and the present as possible. It starts with knowing, and I think this book is one of many great options when it comes to acquiring knowledge about climate change and what it does.

Highly, highly recommend, even though it is an uncomfortable read!

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3 Books that Shaped Me as a Reader

Here are three books that have shaped me as a reader through the years 📚

I’m pretty sure that all of us bookworms have certain books that shape us as readers, both as kids and later on in our adult lives as well. We change, our preferences too, and sometimes a book can surprise us into a whole new genre we never even considered being our thing.

I thought I would share some of the books that has shaped me as a reader over the years.

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

My dad was the one that introduced me to Anne Frank. I was about 8 years old and I already knew quite a bit about World War II as my fathers side of the family has Jewish heritage, and actually had to get away from the Nazis by moving to Sweden at that time. So the interest in WWII came at a pretty early age for me, and The Diary of a Young Girl definitely shaped my reading a lot. It was where I truly discovered how horrific, but also interesting and fascinating that time of history was, and still is. I’m still a WWII fanatic, just like my dad. I love reading non-fiction and historical fiction, and the well-written ones (especially those who are based on true stories) always breaks my heart and fill my eyes with tears. Reading Anne Frank’s diary was also what made me start journaling back in the days, which is something that I still do.

I think every kid should read this book. It’s so important and captivating. My dad also took me to Anne Frank’s house later on, which was a really interesting but also intense experience. If I remember correctly, I believe my dad has told me that I didn’t speak for a good while after we got out of there, and it is something I will never forget. I also would highly recommend going there if you ever get the chance to.

Bag of Bones by Stephen King

Bag of Bones is not my favorite King novel, but it was my very first. I remember browsing one of my local bookstores as a teenager and coming across this particular book. I can’t remember exactly what it was about Bag of Bones that compelled me to buy it, but buy it I did, and it has been quite the journey ever since.

I remember bringing it with me on a family vacation (but can’t for the life of me remember where we went), and was so captivated by this story that I was unable at times to put it down. It’s one of those stories that just made such a lasting impression on me that I actually remember quite a lot of what happened even though it has been years, and I’m pretty sure I would be surprised to find out how much I’ve probably forgotten if I tried re-reading it today (which is something I’m considering doing).

Let’s call it love at first sight, and King’s writing and I have been in a happy relationship (for the most part) for many years now, and it will continue to be that way for two reasons.

1 – The man has written so many books that I hardly doubt I will get through them all.

2 – It’s first book love, and that lasts a lifetime. Everybody knows that, right?!

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Did you just roll your eyes at the screen?! Well, if you did, I don’t blame you. Twilight is not great. It’s not even really good, but never the less, it is a book that played a pretty big role in my reading life. At the age of about 20, I found myself not having really read much in a few years. I don’t know what started that massive reading slump, but I do know that the easy entertainment that Twilight offered was what got me back into reading, and with a whole new love of fantasy and paranormal fiction. And because of that, I got to discover so many great books! So, even though I fully agree with the eye roll (and I have tried re-reading it some years later and wish that I hadn’t) it still deserves a spot on this list, and it will always hold a special place in this book lover heart of mine.

These three books are not my top three of all time, but they are all very special to me. If I hadn’t crossed paths with them, I probably would’ve had a very different reading journey than I’ve had so far.

Do you have a book that defined you more as a reader than any other? I would love to hear about it💛

Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton 📚 BOOK REVIEW

I read a paperback version of Everything I Know About Love.

Dolly Alderton

Genre: Nonfiction, memoir

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd

Originally published: February 1st, 2018

Pages: 336 (paperback)

Audiobook length: 8 Hours 33 Minutes

Blurb by the publisher:

A spot-on, wildly funny and sometimes heart-breaking book about growing up, growing older and navigating all kinds of love along the way

When it comes to the trials and triumphs of becoming a grown-up, journalist and former Sunday Times dating columnist Dolly Alderton has seen and tried it all. In her memoir, she vividly recounts falling in love, wrestling with self-sabotage, finding a job, throwing a socially disastrous Rod-Stewart themed house party, getting drunk, getting dumped, realising that Ivan from the corner shop is the only man you’ve ever been able to rely on, and finding that that your mates are always there at the end of every messy night out. It’s a book about bad dates, good friends and – above all else – about recognizing that you and you alone are enough.

Glittering, with wit and insight, heart and humor, Dolly Alderton’s powerful début weaves together personal stories, satirical observations, a series of lists, recipes, and other vignettes that will strike a chord of recognition with women of every age – while making you laugh until you fall over. Everything I Know About Love is about the struggles of early adulthood in all its grubby, hopeful uncertainty.

My Thoughts:

I walked into Waterstone’s at Trafalgar Square, just wanting to browse (as if book lovers ever JUST browse) through the books, and while I was making my way through book heaven, a table with yellow covers and red sprayed edges was screaming for my attention. And that’s how I got to know Dolly Alderton. I got to know her even more through this hilarious, sometimes sad, somewhat disturbing, but also heartwarming story of how she learned what she now knows of love.

I started reading this book in a top third bunk in a London hostel, while feeling in a place in my own life where I’m not even sure what I think I know about love anymore, and I fell into this book like Alice into Wonderland, finding the world of dating to be just as a peculiar and weird place for Dolly as it has been for me. Well, maybe a bit more extreme and weird for her, but still.

There was a lot throughout this story of her way into adulthood that I could relate to emotionally, although a lot of the experiences in itself was quite different.

I think we all struggle to come to terms with love and what exactly it is that it means to us, because of reasons that have to do with the weirdness of modern dating, but also our own demons (don’t tell me you don’t have any, because I won’t believe you).

I laughed and cried throughout this, and there were moments where I found myself rooting for Dolly as if I was reading something that was happening in that precise moment, and then having to remind myself that the happenings that were unfolding on the pages had already happened a good while ago, and so much more after that.

The most heartfelt and wonderful thing about this book to me was not the hysterical and absurd dates and episodes of casual hookups,  it was how Dolly told the story of her friendships, and especially the one she has to her best friend Farley. I miss that in “love stories”, both non-fiction and fiction, hearing about the importance, the wonder and the purest love of all, the one that can only be found in those kinds of friendships. It’s so beautiful to read about, and it’s so special to find how much she, and so many of us, learn more about true love through our friendships than we do through dating. It is easily overlooked because it comes so natural to us, and we love them so much that having to work for it is not something that feels like a struggle. It’s something that you want to do, out of love.

I’m rambling now, so let’s get back to the book.

There were passages in the book, like the recipes for foods, that I found myself almost skipping through just because I wanted to know more about what would actually happen next. To me, those parts just weren’t that interesting, but I could still appreciate the way Alderton created something a bit more original by adding them.

I hadn’t heard about Dolly Alderton before our destined “meeting” in a random Waterstone’s, but somehow it feels like I’ve gotten a new girlfriend into my life, even though we’ve never actually met.

It’s just wonderful to see someone daring to be this honest and vulnerable when sharing their own experiences. It makes me as a reader feel like I know that writer. Like we’ve had a grown-up slumber party and in the middle of all the cakes and prosecco, she suddenly said:

Let me tell you a funny story!

And then me sitting there with a bucket of ice cream, and every time she finished a story I would ask her for another one. And what a sleepover it turned out to be!

I highly recommend All I Know About Love if you enjoy nonfiction/coming of age reading with a little bit of a twist!

Click on the Bookdepository link below to get your own copy with free shipping, and let me know what you think of the book!

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