~ You’ll be into it if: you think it’s cool when authors intertwine big issues with a little comedy ~
If you haven’t heard of Trevor Noah, I urge you to have a squiz at some of his stand-up comedy as that alone will encourage you to read this book. If not, I’ll have a crack. Born a Crime was one of my favourite books of 2017 and here’s why: I learnt and laughed SO much, which are my two favourite things to do. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother in South Africa – so, being Apartheid, he was literally born a crime. Because of this, he was hidden by his very religious, extremely fearless mother for most of his childhood years. This book weaves between hilarious stories of his teenage indiscretions, distressing tales of growing up in one of the worst periods of racism and his unconditional, touching relationship with his mother. Trevor is smart and a bit of a babe – also two of my favourite things.
Stumbled by this little gem of a bookshelf today in Bali. I’m officially one of “those” people that take photos of things that might look cool on their blog. Gross. I’ve read two books so far on this trip and they both made me cry like a baby – I cried on the plane, I cried in a taxi and I cried at a cafe. You’ll understand when the reviews are up, I swear I’m not emotionally unstable.
~ You’ll be into this if: you just wanna read something positive in this goddamn world ~
I liked this book so much I got a tattoo of it. Safe to say my mum does not like this book. No matter what page you open, you’ll always find something to make your day a little brighter or remind you to stop being such a jerk. This is the kind of book I’d pass onto my kids, but they better not get a tattoo of it.
~ You’ll be into this if: you’re a bit of a history buff ~
This book is completely badass. And beautiful. And eye opening. And horrifying. And feminist as fuck. It’s a historical fiction about two French sisters during World War II and their resistance, perseverance and struggle with the German occupation of France. What I found really cool about this book was that it details life for the women that stayed behind when their husbands went to war and how they were, in a way, fighting a war of their own. I loved this book.
~ You’ll be into it if: you’re lacking a little creativity ~
Elizabeth Gilbert is the woman who brought us Eat, Pray, Love and is solely responsible for my goal of traveling the world, eating only pasta and doing yoga. I’m very ambitious. Big Magic is another of her books and it’s really bloody cool, it talks about creativity in a way I’d never thought about before. I used to categorise myself as someone who just wasn’t all that creative – this book calls bullshit on that, saying that everyone can be creative and in fact, everyone SHOULD be. It doesn’t matter how good you are at painting – or how bad – creativity in any form is vital in leading a happier life. When an idea comes around, grab it, that’s the Big Magic.
~ You’ll be into it if: you’re looking for a little perspective ~
I first read this book when I was about 14 years old – a much older boy who I had a massive crush on lent it to me and I think I was more interested in him than I necessarily was with the book. Some seven years later, the boy is gone and I find myself reading it for the second time. This true story is about Morrie, a 78 year old professor facing a terminal illness in the most courageous way possible: with love. As Morrie says ‘only by learning how to die, do you learn how to live’ and that is exactly what this book gives you – lessons on how to live, what to place your value in and when to say ‘if the culture isn’t working, don’t buy it’. This book will tear your heart open and ultimately put it back together, leaving you teary eyed in the best way possible.
~You’ll be into it if: you’re big on politics and even bigger on feminism ~
Gloria Steinem is a bit of a holy name in the world of feminism (I wish I could just say ‘in the world’) and this book is nothing short of inspiring. Gloria modestly describes herself as an organiser – of political campaigns and women’s rights movements. My life on the road is simply that, an autobiography detailing the events of her life spent in a constant state of travel, never really having a home base yet always having a purpose. If you’ve ever felt limited in your capabilities or thought that little old you couldn’t possibly make a difference, this book will serve you well. Gloria is badass and brilliant and I am so inspired by her.