I have always been an avid reader, if you follow me on social media now you will have seen me shamelessly self promoting my new page @larareads on Instagram. I am sure that the daily uploads of book recommendations are clogging up your Insta feed. I would apologise for the relentless plugging of my lockdown reads but I am just not sorry. I want to develop a page where people can go to find new recommendations or reviews of books to read. I have a very varied taste in genre and style and will happily get stuck in to any book so it is a page on which, I hope, will have something for everyone to read. More than my attempt to get higher footfall to my profile, I want to convey my love of books in the hope that any followers might take up reading and find the same escapism it gives me. For me books are an inexpressible source of comfort, especially during these times when uncertainty and fear are rife. Fiction is an escape, a change to delve in to our imaginations, leave our own stories behind and slip in to the worlds of the characters. The protagonist becomes our primary concern, their lives become ours, at least while we read anyway. These moments spent in the pages of a book give us a small relief from our own thoughts and worries.
From today we embark on another four weeks of lockdown so it is the perfect time to start reading or rekindle your love affair with books. Below are some of the books I have posted this week on Instagram including a short review. The majority of these are available to order from Amazon second-hand books and could be with you by the end of the week should you fancy reading them.
THIS IS GOING TO HURT/ TWAS THE NIGHTSHIFT BEFORE CHRISTMAS BY ADAM KAY.
These two wonderful non-fiction books are the absolute perfect lockdown reads. They are a collection of diary entries written by comedian Adam Kay as he completed his medical training. They are both equally compelling and hilarious, giving us an insightful look at life on the wards. Kay tells us stories of his time as a doctor with visceral honesty, reminding us of the amazing work our NHS doctors do, all is which is sadly under-paid and under-appreciated. Must reads.
THE ALCHEMIST BY PAULO COELHO
The Alchemist is an absolute classic. It is an adult fable about following your dreams and never giving up despite the odds being stacked against you. This is an amazing read if you find yourself feeling a little lost, uninspired or deflated during this difficult time.
THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY BY MATT HAIG
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig is my absolute favourite book of 2020, I can’t recommend it enough. At the start of the book we learn that the protagonist Nora Seed is experiencing a profound sense of exhaustion and depression, she is on the verge of taking her own life. At the point between life and death she is given the opportunity, through a fantastical library to experience to experience her alternative lives reminding her that no life is perfect. This is a story full of hope and just what we all need to read at the moment.
BIG MAGIC BY ELIZABETH GILBERT
Big Magic is one of my favourite non-fiction books, it is one of the first books I read that made me believe, with any real conviction, that I could be a writer. Elizabeth Gilberts prose dares us to be brave, to be inspired, to be creative. She tells us stories from her life as well as the people around her, she takes us on a journey of self-discovery and reminds us that creativity doesn’t have to be intimidating. Great motivational lockdown book.
FIRST WE MAKE THE BEAST BEAUTIFUL BY SARAH WILSON
I dont normally love self-help books, I find that they often contain little real insight. This book however is one of the best books I have read on what it means to live with high anxiety. If you have ever suffered with anxiety, are dealing with it at the moment or are someone who struggles to understand it, this is a must read. Sarah Wilsons writing is well researched, authentic and personal. It is full of her own experience AND possible solutions. It is such a relatable and comforting read.