After the second half of 2021, I switched from reading business books to Mental Health as a genre and with Paul Kalanithi’s memoir When Breathe Becomes Air, I got a chance to dabble in philosophy as well.
Here are the books I’ve read in the first six months of 2022:
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
a fictional account of Eleanor coming to terms with her wounds & trauma after living in denial for more than a decade
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
If you have a chance to live each possible version of your life – one where you are an Olympian & International Swimmer, one where you are a singing sensation, one where you find the love you think you want and many more versions.
Would you choose to live the current version of your life still?
The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk
a book about the conceptualisation of trauma from the American war days in Vietnam and other countries, the foundational definitions of PTSD and how trauma continues to impact the lives of millions and yet it is not a part of DSM (Diagnostic & Statistic Manual – a list of mental health diagnoses).
Trauma not just impacts your emotional capabilities. It affects us on a physiological level as well. The book presents a holistic understanding of trauma and ways to deal with it – including Yoga.
In Order To Live by Yeonmi Park
a North Korean’s journey of escape to freedom, from not knowing what freedom means to finally becoming an ambassador of human rights
When Breathe Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
a memoir about Paul’s life as a literature lover, neurosurgeon and his battle with stage IV metastatic lung cancer.
We as humans are meaning-making species; we strive to look out for meaning constantly.
a terminal illness like cancer is likely to strip off meaning from all tenses of your reality: past, present & future
how do you find meaning then?
“I can’t go on. I’ll go on.” – Samuel Beckett
Each of these books has left a profound imprint on me, allowing and building a holding space for all that life entails.
Tell me what is on your reading list in comments?
I also published my collection of poetry this year, check it out here.