Books I read in 2020 – Shelved

Shelved

Before we now move on to the non-fiction category let me introduce you to the honourable mentions: Books I have stopped reading some ways into the story and will most likely not finish. Even though those reads were not for me at this point in time, they might very well make a fantastic next read for someone else.

So here they are in no particular order:

 

This first one is actually the one I am most likely to pick back up again in the future, but for now Are u ok? by Kati Morton sits in the unfinished category. Its subtitle is “A guide for caring for your mental health” and it is – kind of. Maybe I opted out too soon but the guide is very technical, it describes which mental health professional does what and whom you might want to seek out if you think you’d like support of a certain kind. It reads more like a glossary giving you an understanding of the field of mental health care. I went in with expectations about more practical tools in almost a self development style and did not find that in this read. Still very educational!

Next, I put down two books that did actually fall into the self development and growth journey realm. One was The Way of the peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman and the other one was The Power Of Now by Eckart Tolle. Both reads I just didn’t click with. The way of the peaceful warrior is just too much tough love with characters that are, to me, quite unrelatable and, frankly, unlikable. I get that this is the point of the narrative and I do not doubt at all that there is a lot of wisdom and learning in this book. The part fictional, part true story about Dan Millman’s spiritual teacher Socrates explores mental and physical growth, letting go of attachments and being truly present in the now. Not for me at this point, but I am sure a great source of growth for others! The same goes for Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now. The message about being present and about the meaning of the current moment is powerful and important. Just the way it is delivered here didn’t resonate with me. If you are interested in learning how to be more present and why all we have is the now and how practising this can shift your entire perception, this read is for you!

And lastly, the entry that makes me the saddest: Eve of Man II, The Eve Illusion by Giovanna and Tom Fletcher. This is the second volume of the couple’s trilogy about Eve, the first girl born alive in 50 years in a dystopian future world. Brought up under constant observation, locked away from the real world she has no idea about, she is supposed to choose one of three pre-selected partners to ensure the future of humanity. But when she learns about the state of the society she’s supposed to safe, about her own past and when she challenges her guardians about her own agency in all of it, the carefully laid out plan for Eve’s life falls apart. This Children of Men style dystopian fiction was something I eagerly anticipated but could not quite click with. The story was weak and not very original, the characters flat and not likeable. I read the first one and thought it was medium good. I hoped the second book would explore the implications of this dystopian future and Eve’s life in it some more, would deepen the story and the characters but at the halfway mark it still hadn’t and I gave up.
To Eve having her voice heard and having agency is understandably the most important thing. However, everyone else around her is so eager to go with everything she decides against all common sense, the mission, the greater good and humanity. There is a clear message here. Just because the motives of the people that got you out of one controlling environment are more honourable doesn’t give them the right to control you just the same and to utilize you for their motives. It’s just that the delivery was so stiff that I found it falling flat. Mildly infuriating even.

 

I do hope one of those reads is more for you than they were for me! And now, let’s move along to the non-fiction list! (Or back to the fiction category, if you like)

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