Here are 7 books that our regular contributors read today. What’s on YOUR list?
Afaf is reading: The Winner Stands Alone – Paulo Coelho
When God closes a door he opens a window Click To Tweet
A familiar quote to most of us. A quote we hear from people around us when things get difficult. It’s a lesson that is hard to understand or figure out at the moment, but with time, when the new road reveals itself, it starts making sense. “When God closes a door he opens a window”. We’ve all experienced moments where we’ve felt lost, where things didn’t go as planned or expected. We’ve felt like it’s the end like there’s no other way and we’re stuck.
Figuring out life’s plan might take time, what we do during this period is what really matters. It takes a lot of patience and understanding, a lot of thinking and wondering to try to find out how our choices might not be for our best, and how life has a better opportunity for us. It takes a lot of trust in the universe and its plans. This quote is a lesson that life teaches us in all chapters and walks of our lives, it is an experience we go through in all stages regardless of age, race, culture. But step by step, we shall learn and master our understanding of life. So that at the end we might have a clearer understanding where the world wants us to be and how it works the way out for our needs. It’s a journey not only to our destiny; but a journey full of observing, wondering, and experiencing this wonderful wide universe.
Enjoy your read,
Betsy is reading: Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell
“What makes high-achievers different? Click To Tweet
I just finished Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. Such a great read, here are
my thoughts on it:
In Malcolm Gladwell’s, Canadian journalist and bestselling author, Outliers – he takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of “outliers” – the best and brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: “what makes high-achievers different?” Throughout this book, we learn how success is defined and what we need to do in order to achieve it.
“Unmerited advantages” was a concept I had never thought of until reading this book. Gladwell states, “It makes a difference where and when we grew up. The culture we belong to and the legacies passed down by our forebears shape the patterns of our achievement in a way we cannot begin to imagine.” He continues, “[successful people] are products of history and community, of opportunity and legacy. Their success is not exceptional or mysterious. It is grounded in a web of advantages and inheritances, some deserved, some not, some earned, some just plain lucky – but all critical to making them who they are.” Through cultivated talents, skills, and unmerited advantages, we can achieve success as we recognize opportunities and work hard in our pursuits.
Enjoy your read,
Dorka is reading: Margaret Atwood – Cat’s Eye
“Little girls are cute and small only to adults. To one another they are not cute. They are life sized. Click To Tweet
I don’t know any other author who writes about so many different topics and yet keeping her style. Margaret Atwood is way too old to be a working woman, but she decided to write more and more books even in her 70s. I just recently discovered her Cat’s Eye from 1998.
Like in some of her other books, she deals with time and womanhood, feminity through the main character who is a female painter. I think her dystopias are beautiful, but I prefer the stories which she builds up on memories. When I read the book I was completely lost in her language and the landscape of Canada. The title is a symbol for time, and also for childhood. She deals with a taboo topic – the childhood bullying among girls. As she writes, girl bullies can be so cruel because what they do, isn’t something physical, but you can feel it.
Her characters and relationships (mother-daughter, man-woman, and littler girl friendships) are perfectly shaped, and everything in Cat’s Eye is somehow familiar but also strange for me. She introduces the life after the WWII in Canada but never forgets to refer to the present. Time has no shape in the life of the main character, just like the cat’s eye glass ball, it just rolls on and on.
Enjoy your read,
Hanna is reading: Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype – Clarissa Pinkola Estés
“It is worse to stay where one does not belong at all than to wander about lost for a while and looking for… Click To Tweet
Generally I’m an adept of detective stories and Scandinavian literature but I also don’t get lost in classic literature – whether it’s English, German, Russian or world heritage. That’s why my current choice may be an odd one in the list. I’ve heard about the book Running with the Wolves a long time ago but never took into consideration reading it. Self-help, how-to and pseudo-psychological reading is not my piece of cake, that’s why when I hear something labeled as “your guide to femininity”, I’d better go for a thriller of some Icelandic literary newcomer. But I got this as a recommendation from a good friend whom I not only trust a lot but also regard her as a role model for generations Y and Z. At the moment, I’m through with a third of it and already able to make definite conclusions. Probably they will change when I’m done with it, but this is the state of things for now.
What do we understand under femininity? Skirts-dresses, lipsticks, laces, modesty, sweet smile, – basically a box of candies under a pink bow. Clarissa Pinkola Estés claims that femininity is the lost connection to the nature, the harmony with the real you. Femininity is wilderness, passion, bravery, fire in the eyes, determination, creativity. Femininity may be ugly as well. She introduces a discourse into femininity on the examples of fairytales and legends. And you will be very surprised how much hidden meaning the fairytales you know since your childhood contain!
Running with the Wolves will not tell you how to become happy, find love and make a great career, but you’ll find some valuable hints to understand your nature. A woman is presented as a free, daring, and mighty creation, but unfortunately taken away from her roots. I don’t wonder anymore why so many women find this book as a revelation – the frames they’re being put in by the society, outdated traditions and rituals, fall apart as soon as women discover their power.
Enjoy your read,
Kim is reading: Sherman Alexie – What I’ve Stolen, What I’ve Earned“So do you still think you’re the King of the Jungle? Click To Tweet
I found Sherman Alexie’s most recent book of poetry “What I’ve Stolen, What I’ve Earned” when I was searching for inspiration in the new book stacks of my library. It’s filled with what on the surface looks like stream of consciousness writing, but, on closer inspection, feels more like writing from a very conscious man. Though his topics are often serious, Alexie threads them with stark statements and dry, biting humor that brings the reader to unexpected thoughts and questions.
In “Sonnet, with Pride”, for instance, Alexie discusses the Iraq War via the pride of lions that escaped the Baghdad Zoo during an American bombing campaign. In the fifth verse, he writes, “As they watched the city burn and collapse, I’m sure a lioness turned to a lion and said, ‘So do you still think you’re the King of the Jungle?’” Alexie also weaves in a variety of pop culture references from Hawkeye’s breakdown in the M*A*S*H finale to a “Sonnet, with Kobe Bean Bryant.” And he uses the 1979 hit, “My Sharona,” to detail a longing for a past lover.
Throughout the book, Alexie, who is a Spokane/Coeur d’Alene Indian also makes numerous references to Native American culture. In “Crazy Horse Boulevard,” Alexie asks if there are roads named this and he explores the fate of these boulevards through the third rail of American cities, MLK, Jr. Blvd. For better or for worse, I fit one of the three ironies Alexie writes in “Crazy Horse Boulevard”: “most people who read this poem will be white people.” Either way, what he’s earned here is a new reader. And his poetry did inspire my own – as evidenced by the scrawls of a verse I made in the margins of a magazine.
Enjoy your read,
Netta is reading: Yes, please – Amy Poehler
You do it because the doing of it is the thing. The doing is the thing. Click To Tweet
Carving your own path in the world is hard. No one has ever done exactly what you’re doing; no one can tell you if you’re on the right track.
But some people can help you figure out if you’re going in the right direction. When you find one of those people, probably the best thing you can do is take their words to heart, and use them to guide you through the confusion.
For me, Amy Poehler is one of those people. Don’t get all excited – I don’t know her personally – but her words have often helped me get through difficult situations.
So naturally, I had pre-ordered her book, “Yes Please”. That was a smart move. In the book, Poehler shares lessons learned on almost any challenge you could come across in your life. As an entrepreneur, this one really resonated with me:
“You do it because the doing of it is the thing. The doing is the thing. The talking and worrying and thinking is not the thing.”
On days when I find myself wondering what on earth I’ve gotten myself into, and how I possibly intend to keep going, this quote helps put me on the right track.
Enjoy your read,
Virag is reading: Thrive – Arianna Huffington
...a direct road map to our inner lives is storytelling. Humans are hardwired for narratives. Click To Tweet
I relish personal stories and autobiographies. My favorite books always have a personal, human touch that makes me relate and connect to them. No wonder why I am so keen on flashing some storytelling on MCL as well. Yeah, I like good novels, too, but if I need to choose between fiction and non-fiction, I go for latter. The very personal blink to one’s life is what makes them credible; those are the lines I highlight, the ones I chew on for a few minutes, the ones that (mis)guide me, and the ones that make me remember the book and the person years after I read the last pages.
Arianna Huffington‘s name must be familiar to anyone, who moves confidently in the media world. What she’s built up is intimidating; yet genuinely inspiring. Her latest book, Thrive is not an autobiography, but it interweaved with a deep insight into her personal life. The reason I loved her book because it gave me at least two of those loud ‘aha-moments‘ – you know, the ones, some travels for until India. Now, I got them from my bed.
Without disclosing the main messages, Arianna urges us to redefine our definition of success. The success, we’re chasing today is (literally) killing us; but, of course, the pressure from society is heavier than our personal hunches. Until that very moment when something happens. Something that takes you off-balance and scares the life out of you. Yes, we’re this ridiculous – the only time we’re ready to change is when we’re lying under a biopsy examination, or when, perhaps, it’s too late already. Thrive is a book for people who want to succeed but want it in a way that will allow them to live fully; it’s for the people, who are attractively successful but feel burned-out or otherwise empty. Thrive is for everyone, who seeks an authentic approach toward a content life. Expect plenty of quotes from scholars, authors – (which I truly enjoyed) -, and even more research data – (which I found too much at certain points) that she uses to back up her concepts.
Enjoy your read,