Book suggestions · Uncategorized

8 Books Tackling Mental Health Issues That You Should Read In May

Since 1949, Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed in May and yet it’s importance is only realized today, in 2020. With half the world in lockdown, we have no clue as to when this horrible nightmare will come to an end. Day by day, we’re finding solace in our balconies and warm cup of coffees, just like the characters from these books. You might find yourself breathing through them. If you’ve been looking for the perfect moment to pick up one of these reads, there isn’t a time better than this.

1. Man’s search for meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.”

-Viktor E. Frankl

Genre: Biography

Based on his own experiences as a prisoner in the Nazi concentration camps during World War 2, Frankl explains how we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. His own psychotherapeutic method- Logotherapy, describes how the primary motivational force of a human being is to find a meaning in life.

2. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.”

-Sylvia Plath

Genre: Modern Classic, Autobiography

The only novel written by Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar revolves around the life of Esther Greenwood- a college student who aspires to become a poet and gets selected for a month-long internship. Soon, she finds herself breaking down, her insanity becoming palpably real as she explores the societal expectations of women in the 1950s. Almost an autobiography of herself, Plath committed suicide one month after the book was published. Today, it remains known as an extraordinarily haunting classic.

3. All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

“The great thing about this life of ours is that you can be someone different to everybody.”

-Theodore Finch

Genre: Young Adult Fiction

Recently developed into a Netflix film, All The Bright Places remains one of the most affecting YA novels of all time. Violet Markey is suffering from survivor’s guilt, still coping over the death of her sister when she meets Theodore Finch- a person fascinated by death. It’s unclear who saves whom as they’re paired together for a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state.

4. I’ve never been (Un)happier by Shaheen Bhatt


“You can buy happiness off the rack-but sadness is tailor-made just for you.”

-Shaheen Bhatt

Genre: Memoir

Shaheen was diagnosed with depression at eighteen, five years after already living with it. Unwittingly known as Alia Bhatt’s older sister, this book is an invitation into her head. In this emotionally arresting memoir, she reveals the daily experiences and debilitating big picture of one of the most critically misinterpreted mental illnesses in the twenty-first century. For anyone who decides to read this, you are sure to go on a wild, unstoppable journey with your own thoughts.

5. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Genre: Contemporary fiction

Eleanor Oliphant thinks that she is completely fine. Yet she struggles with social skills and ends up saying exactly what she’s thinking. Everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen, the three rescue one another from the lives of isolation that they had been living. Ultimately, it is Raymond’s big heart that will help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one. If she does, she’ll learn that she, too, is capable of finding friendship—and even love—after all.

6. The Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

“So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.”

-Stephen Chbosky

Genre: Young Adult Fiction

Narrated through the medium of a series of letters written by Charlie- the wallflower to a stranger, the book takes us through his freshman year of high school in 1991. Charlie’s mind isn’t complicated at all. In fact, he cannot be more clear. This book discusses issues like substance abuse, rape, party culture, mental health through the innocent perspective of Charlie, who is special.

7. The Noonday Demon: An Atlas Of Depression by Andrew Solomon

“Grief is depression in proportion to circumstance; depression is grief out of proportion to circumstance.”

-Andrew Solomon

Genre: Non-fiction, Psychology

Off the charts in its enlightening, comprehensive analysis of this pervasive yet misunderstood condition, The Noonday Demon forges a long, brambly path through the subject of depression–exposing all the discordant views and “answers” offered by science, philosophy, law, psychology, literature, art, and history. The result is a sprawling and thoroughly engrossing study, brilliantly synthesized by author Andrew Solomon.

8. Turtles All The Way Down by John Green

“We never really talked much or even looked at each other, but it didn’t matter because we were looking at the same sky together, which is maybe even more intimate than eye contact anyway. I mean, anybody can look at you. It’s quite rare to find someone who sees the same world you see.”

-John Green

Genre: Young Adult Fiction

It all begins with a fugitive billionaire and the promise of a cash reward. Turtles All the Way Down is about lifelong friendship, the intimacy of an unexpected reunion, Star Wars fan fiction, and tuatara. But at its heart is Aza Holmes, a young woman navigating daily existence within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

BONUS:

Non-Fiction-

  1. Feeling good: The new mood therapy by David Burns
  2. The Happiness trap: How to stop struggling and start living by Russ Harris
  3. Who says you can’t you do by Daniel Chidiac
  4. An unquiet mind: A memoir of moods and madness by  Kay Redfield Jamison
  5. The subtle art of not giving a f*ck by Mark Manson

Fiction:

  1. Darius the great is not okay by Adib Khorram
  2. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  3. Looking for Alaska by John Green
  4. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
  5. Thirteen reasons why by Jay Asher
Book suggestions

10 Easy-to-Read books for beginners

“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”
― Groucho Marx

Picking the right book can be difficult, especially when you do not know what you might like. If you’re confused about where to start reading, here are some easy to read books from different genres which are sure to win your hearts:

1.The Harry Potter Book Series

By J.K Rowling (Queen)

No matter what your age is, if you haven’t read Harry Potter yet, stop whatever you’re doing and READ IT NOW! I remember when everyone used to hype about the movies while I hated the goofy guy in those nerdy spectacles but trust me, once you pick up the books, you won’t be able to put them down. The boy who lived has that effect. If you’re into fantasy, adventure, and a touch of everything else with a little bit (okay, a lot!) of magic, this is your book. Go grab the philosopher’s stone. Thank me later 😉

2. The Diary of a Young Girl

By Anne Frank

Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank’s remarkable diary has become a world classic—a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. The innocent thoughts of this teen girl has sold over 30 million copies and has been translated into over 67 languages.

3. The Alchemist

By Paulo Coelho

This masterpiece by Paulo Coelho has sold more than two million copies worldwide and has established itself as a modern classic. It tells the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found.

The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories can, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, above all, following our dreams.

4. Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland

By Lewis Caroll

Almost all of us know the story of the young girl named Alice who fell into a rabbit hole and entered into an unforgettable, chaotic world full of mystical characters called Wonderland. Through her journey, she meets several characters who become an important part of her life (The cheshire cat and the white rabbit) and also a few legendary enemies (like the Red Queen). This Lewis Carroll’s 1865 novel is pure magic for young and old alike. If you’ve liked the films, you’ll love the book.

5. Diary of a Wimpy Kid

By Jeff Kinney

Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a satirical realistic fiction comedy novel for children and teenagers written and illustrated by Jeff Kinney. The book is about a boy named Greg Heffley and his struggles to fit in as he begins middle school.

In it’s debut book, it’s a new school year, and Greg Heffley finds himself thrust into middle school, where undersized weaklings share the hallways with kids who are taller, meaner, and already shaving. The hazards of growing up before you’re ready are uniquely revealed through words and drawings as Greg records them in his diary.

6. Charlie and the chocolate factory

By Roald Dahl

Charlie Bucket’s wonderful adventure begins when he finds one of Mr. Willy Wonka’s precious Golden Tickets and wins a whole day inside the mysterious chocolate factory. Little does he know the surprises that are in store for him!

In the 1920s, England’s two largest chocolate companies- Cadbury and Rowntree’s often sent test chocolate packages to school children in exchange for their opinions on the products. Both companies were highly secretive about their chocolate making recipes and often sent spies to the factories of their opponents. This inspired Roald Dahl to write this story.

7. The Chronicles of Narnia

By CS Lewis

Journeys to the end of the world, fantastic creatures, and epic battles between good and evil—what more could any reader ask for in one book? The book that has it all is The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, written in 1949 by Clive Staples Lewis. But Lewis did not stop there. Six more books followed, and together they became known as The Chronicles of Narnia.

8. The Jungle Book

By Rudyard Kipling

If you’ve seen the disney movies, you must read the books which inspired this tale. The Jungle Book is a collection of tales which tells the story of Mowgli, a boy raised by wolves and Shere Khan, the biggest tiger in India. There is also Baloo- the sleepy brown bear, Bagheera- the cunning black panther, Kaa the python, and his other animal friends who teach their beloved “man-cub” the ways of the jungle. Mowgli must gain the strength and wisdom he needs for his frightful fight with Shere Khan, the tiger who robbed him of his human family.

9. Matilda

By Roald Dahl

Matilda is a little girl who is far too good to be true. At age five-and-a-half she’s knocking off double-digit multiplication problems and blitz-reading Dickens. Even more remarkably, her classmates love her even though she’s a super-nerd and the teacher’s pet. But everything is not perfect in Matilda’s world. For starters she has two of the most idiotic, self-centered parents who ever lived. Then there’s the large, busty nightmare of a school principal, Miss (“The”) Trunchbull, a former hammer-throwing champion who flings children at will and is approximately as sympathetic as a bulldozer. Fortunately for Matilda, she has the inner resources to deal with such annoyances: astonishing intelligence, saintly patience, and an innate predilection for revenge.

10. Enid Blyton Books

Be it Famous Five, Secret Seven, or any of the short stories (And other stories…), Enid Blyton books were a treat to me when i was a kid. There is absolutely no age limit to enjoy them. I highly recommend starting with any of the collection of short stories. They just simply flow. You won’t be disappointed.

Special mention to Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. If you’re big about the mystery genre, these books are your bible.

Uncategorized

Hello Booknerds!

I spend most of my time observing people. So for a long, long time..I’ve seen people do all but read. Whenever I pick up a book, there are three people mocking me about how much I read. As if it makes me different or weirder than the rest of them just because I choose a book as my companion. Many times it makes me question myself about my social life. Is it actually that bad? Should I give up on what I am just to fit in with the rest of the ‘others’?

Reading should be normal, shouldn’t it? Then why don’t we talk more openly about it just like we discuss our favorite TV series? Or are we so much into the Netflix and Prime era that we don’t have enough time for a light reading? For those who say ‘I don’t have time for this’, Let’s start with how much free time we have in a day:

According to a few studies, an ordinary person has an average of 4 to 6 hours of free time throughout the day. If you download an app for screen time on your phone (It’ll take you literally 10 seconds), you’ll know that you dedicate a minimum of two to four hours to it each day. Rounding it off, you’re online approximately for 24 hours a week. Surprising for someone who claims they have no time, isn’t it? Throughout the day, you approximately spend 1-4 hours to commute. It’s not that difficult to carry a paperback in your bag or play an audio book instead of staring at random people while scrolling through your phone and listening to songs which make you feel cool. So unless you’re Steve from Stranger Things or the Prime Minister, you have no right to calling yourself ‘too busy to read’.

Reading isn’t just scrolling through your feed and clicking on whatever article that looks interesting while yawning and drinking your coffee. It is an art that can be mastered with some time and a little bit of efforts. All it needs is some dedication and a lot of coffee from your side. You’re thinking that it is too late. You’ve made it this far without picking up a big fat book. Why not wait the rest of your life? It can be so exhausting to spend hours and hours to complete a book. Why not do something and and, let’s say, waste time instead.

That is exactly what I thought a few years ago. If you could watch a film about the same and save all that extra time required to read a 400 paged novel, then why even bother to pick it up ? Why skim through the newspaper uneasily when you can just turn on the news channel? Why all those extra efforts? These questions are completely legitimate until you find the book which will change your perspective about reading. The right book. You just have to look for it.


Welcome to my blog Booknerds (you will be, eventually). In my following posts, I will explore reading in it’s raw form. I will recommend, review and discuss about different types of books. Through this, I aspire to change the perspective of the few people who are currently reading this and introduce them to the beautiful world of books. 

Uncategorized

WHY READ BOOKS?

One must always be careful of books,” said Tessa, “and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.”
― Cassandra Clare

If you’re one of those people who haven’t yet willingly picked up a book or two and devoured every single page of it while being transported to an alternate universe then congratulations! You’ve missed out on a lot.

Luckily, it’s never too late to start reading. Once you pick up the habit of reading, you mostly wont give it up. It’s not bad, your body will most likely thank you for it! Here are some points which might make you consider picking up a book-

For all the singles- With books, you’re never alone

Whether you’re in a boring math lecture, sick in your bed with nobody to visit or on a month long vacation, a book will always be your best companion. People will go and come but books will always stay with you for the rest of your life. So next time you feel alone- pick up a book. It might take time to adjust to it but once you get to know it, it will become a part of you. To add a cherry on top, they smell amazing!

You don’t need a passport for reading. Explore for free!

Kings landing? London? Narnia? Just name it. You can go anywhere only by making sense of the words served on a platter for you. “We are forced to construct, to produce narrative, to imagine,” says Maryanne Wolf, director of the Center for Reading and Language Research at Tufts University. Is there anything difficult about it? Maybe. Is it worth it? Totally. All you need is some tranquility and boom! You’re travelling without actually getting up from your bed. Magical, isn’t it?

Reading makes your brain alive and literally prevents it from rotting

When you read, the activity of the neurons in your brain makes it possible for you to experience being in someone else’s shoes. It mentally stimulates your brain which has high chances of preventing you from having diseases like Alzheimer’s and Dementia in future. It slows down the process of brain degeneration. Reading is like exercise for your brain. The more you read, the more your brain stays healthy.

This video by Lisa Bu will only take 6 minutes from your time and it is completely worth watching.

You know more than others when you read

Remember those friends who read all the books about the upcoming movies and series just to spoil it for you? You can now be them. How cool is that? Reading does not just make you cool, it actually makes you knowledgeable. So next time you’re about to watch a movie adapted from a book, pick the book first will you?

Your vocabulary is enhanced by reading

Enriching your vocabulary is a long, long process, There’s no better way of learning good vocabulary than reading. Reading exposes you to so many words, meanings, concepts and ideas at the same time. It’s almost magical. You don’t even realize as they get embedded into your brain like seeds in soil. In no time, they become a part of you and grow. That’s the power of reading.

It reduces stress and calms you

Reading can be as calming as eating a chocolate ice-cream after going through a break-up. If you need a way to escape from reality- Read! If your neighbors are fighting too loudly- Read! If the lady sitting beside you in train cannot stop blabbering- Read! Honestly, there’s nothing better to put you in a good mood.

Reading improves your memory

Reading is like a work out for your brain. When you read, different functions of your brain are repeatedly tested together to make sense of the words and alphabets that you see. Studies have shown that reading reduces memory deterioration and slows down mental decline while actually helping to improve your brain functions. With every word you read, your memory becomes stronger.