Wednesday, February 7, 2018


The books I had from the library when I snapped this picture.
I made a New Year's resolution to read 52 new to me books. I'm a notorious re-reader and have a tendency to get stuck into a loop of re-reading the same books in a continuous cycle. Some people comfort eat, I comfort read. And eat.

So at the start of this year I dug out my dusty library card and got a pile of books. I was sick most of January and didn't have the energy to do much else except keep us alive and got on to a pretty good start with my reading.

These are books I read in January, but I don't think I'll make this a monthly thing. but I thought it might be a good to post about it here, maybe it'll keep me accountable.

I wont post a full review, since you can find really in depth reviews online, I'll just mention one or two things that stuck with me from the book. 

1. The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking
This was a very comforting little book with cute illustrations. A very fast read.The message was: enjoy, little things make life nice. It's OK to just curl up with a book, which is my favorite thing to do anyway. I especially liked the bit about clothes. You usually hear (in Finland) how everyone should dress more colorfully, this book said to dress for comfort and in black and grey! All of Denmark is doing it apparently!

2. The Art of Happiness by Dalai Lama XIV and Howard Cutler
This book gave me so much to think, I had to read it in small doses so I wouldn't sprain my brain, that's how it felt. It mostly talks about the importance of compassion. Reading this I realized I'm kind of resentful and angry and should really do something about it.

3. Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship by Gregory Boyle
This was also about compassion. The stories in it (about gang members) were so interesting and I really liked the writing style. What most stuck with me was the point about not labeling people as fundamentally "bad" or "evil", and instead think for example " has lost hope" or "mentally ill" or whatever is appropriate for the situation. It's so easy just to think: oh, he's a monster!

4. Enough: Breaking Free from the World of More by John Naish
Somewhat dated, but very good thoughts about having enough still. Not just about things, but enough information, enough work etc. What struck me most was the concept that we have already "arrived". We have some amazing things already. If you don't think you have enough now, you will not be impressed when you have more. Teleportation will be invented and we'll all be "oh, my teleport is sooo old, takes for ever, I really need to get an upgrade".

5. The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to make Your Loved Ones' Lives easier and Your Own Life more Pleasant by Margareta Magnusson
I thought this would be a tidying book in the wake of the success of the Konmari method. Instead, it's written by a 82 (!) year old woman, actually doing death cleaning, that is getting rid of excess in her home so that her kids and grand kids wont end up sorting through a ton of crap when she passes. Sort of morbid, but I guess that's the point.

6. Ikigai by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles
I had high hopes for this book: find the purpose of your life (that's what ikigai apparently means)! But it was mostly about things I knew already: eat healthy, exercise, have good relationships... And it doesn't actually tell you how to find the purpose of your life! There is a diagram that says it should be something you love, are good at, makes money and that the world needs. I'm still drawing blank.

7. Unelmahommissa: Tee itsellesi työ siitä mistä pidät by Satu Rämö and Hanne Valtari (~Dream Job: how to make a living doing what you love)
This is a book written by one of the bloggers I follow. They talk about how to make a career out of your hobbies basically. I liked the way they were very specific, telling details you don't normally hear like how much exactly they charge for a certain job and what goes into it.

8.  Vapaudu: polku hyvään elämään by Nanna Mikkonen (~Free yourself: a path to a good life)
This was a bit woo-woo for my taste. I like my self-help backed up by science. But it was a super interesting read just for the crazy life's journey of the writer. There was an affirmation I really liked. It goes: I forgive you (your name) for not being the way I want you to be. You can replace your name with the name of your enemy, your mother, a friend... I've tried saying it in my mind when something annoys me. Maybe it's woo-woo, but it does calm me down.

So there! Eight books down, forty-four to go!

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