Be Watchful of Own Prejudices: a memoir in translation, A Jihad for Love by Mohamed El Bachiri reminded me that what the world needs (and has always) needed is tolerance and love.
Escapism is Wonderful: Get out of the real world for a while, for no sane person can keep up with the ills of this world. The steampunk novelettes, Magical Mechanications by Pip Ballantien and Tee Morris, reminded that one of the purposes of literature is to entertain.
Always Pay Attention: There are books that makes you sit up from the very first sentence. The kind of writing that grabs your attention and works hard at keeping it as you turn pages. I certainly like this kind of writing. But as I read a collection of short stories, The Storyteller Speaks by Annika Perry, I remembered that I actual love slow-paced books. They allow me to pay close attention to their worlds and characters.
Practice Gratitude: No-one (for me) does it better than Emily Dickinson. Reading and rereading her poems always reminds me to focus on nurturing what sustains and gives me joy by appreciating the little things in life.
Build Your Tribe: History has always been unjust towards women. This injustice is so vividly captured in Cast a Long Shadow by Leena Lander, a historical novel about one of the infamous witch hunts in Northern Europe; women turning against each other as they are falsely accused. The importance of surrounding oneself with people who get you and want the best for you cannot be overstated.
to be continued…
notes: As I wrap my reading, I thought I’d share some of the valuable lessons I revisited this summer, and how each book enriched my experience.