RECENTLY READ: DARK MATTER, THE GIFT OF FEAR, THE COURSE OF LOVE, SOLITUDE

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Despite my 4 years in university as an English undergraduate, I'll still admit that I am a slow reader. That being said, there hasn't been a post dedicated to books I've read in a long time, if ever. I find it hard to sit down and read after a long day of work when I would much rather be catching up on my Youtube subscriptions or working on my blog, but my recent trip to Cuba has changed that for the time being.

While I was there I didn't have any wifi connection, unless I bought a card to connect to my phone, so I clearly had a lot of time on my hands when I wasn't laying on the beach or swimming in the ocean. We also got a fair amount of rain so there were days when all we could really do was stay in the hotel room or the lobby with a cappuccino and book in hand. During that time I managed to get a lot of reading done that I wanted to and I thought I'd share a few of the books in today's post. 

Dark Matter - Blake Crouch

This is the only fiction novel I've read in the past little while and I can honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed it despite it being science fiction. I typically go for more character based dramas, but this novel was full of the right kind of action, romance and scientific information to keep my interest until the very end. It follows the life of a scientist who gave up on trying to discover time travel, opting to live the family life with his wife and son. Until one night when he is held at gun point and forced into living the life he thought he left behind. 

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The Gift of Fear - Gavin De Becker

As soon as I heard Gavin De Becker speak on the Waking Up podcast with Sam Harris, I knew I had to read the book he kept referring to. The Gift of Fear highlights the importance of listening to your intuition especially in threatening situations that can lead to violence. As women we are often told to be nice and try not to offend people, and that typically leads us down the path of ignoring any reactionary fear to a situation just because we want to be pleasant.

De Becker suggests that we should forget that and be mean when we feel threatened or in danger. Nothing good comes from being a compliant victim and we shouldn't hesitate to listen to what our animalistic mind is telling us when we feel a tingle up our spine and the hairs on the back of our neck stand up. An overall great read with a few pedantic moment here and there.  

The Course of Love - Alain De Botton

My boyfriend and I randomly found this book in a book exchange box a few months ago. I didn't really know what to expect going into it, as I didn't know anything about the author. But I am incredibly happy I got to experience it because it opened my mind up to the way relationships and love work from the perspective of someone who studies it for a living.

He creates characters who begin their relationship from their initial meeting and follows them as they progress through all the stages, providing insight into what is happening and the emotions they are feeling. It put into perspective my own emotions while in a relationship and helped me rationalize what I do and why I do it. It's a very interesting read, one I never thought I'd enjoy. 

Solitude - Michael Harris

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Okay, so this one isn't technically "recent", but I haven't really had the chance to talk about it since finishing it so I thought this would be the perfect post to do so. Michael Harris discusses what it means to live in complete solitude when we are inundated with constant updates from social media, emails and television. We are never truly alone, and yet it seems like we aren't really all that social either.

He goes into detail of studies that explore the human experience of dealing with our new technological society and even describes his own venture into solitude as he escapes into a cabin in the woods alone for a period of time. This is a very interesting read for anyone out there who might be feeling overwhelmed by the constant online connections we have with other people. Do we ever really get a moment alone? Or are we doomed to live our lives through Instagram stories? 

What books have you read lately? Any recommendations?