When you’re healing from chronic illness and focused on your health, it can be easy to read nothing but health related books. There is more to life than just educational non-fiction…
I thought it might be fun to ask a few fellow AIPers from around the globe what their book recommendations are for their favourite book (or series) over the past few months. And, I received some reading inspiration in the process.
“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.” – Oscar Wilde
I hope you get some inspiration from these suggestions, too…
Sophie Van Tiggelen (aka the squirrel from A Squirrel in the Kitchen)
Never let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (Nobel Prize of Literature 2017)
Genre: science fiction (not horror)
The author takes us into the life of a group of students in an upscale British boarding school. Progressively, we come to realize that the reality is very different from the appearances. Something happened to those kids and it has made them different from the rest of the people. What was done to them? Will they be okay?
Sophie writes, “I liked it so much because the plot took me completely by surprise. The author is very good at distilling little clues here and there, casually, to make you think and wonder. He brings you slowly but surely to the truth, and then you find yourself emotionally invested in the future and wellbeing of those kids to have come to care for.
A beautiful, heartbreaking story.”
Jo Romero (aka the writer and recipe developer behind Comfort Bites Blog)
The Shardlake series by CJ Sansom (pictured – book 1)
Genre: Historical Mystery]
The series follows a lawyer working in Tudor England at the time of Henry VIII, who gets commissioned to investigate a series of murders, on behalf of the King.
Jo writes, “I loved this series of books, because the writing is so detailed and atmospheric, you actually can fully absorb yourself in what it would have been like to be in Tudor England, with the smells, sights and different characters. The author has a degree in history and has been careful to add a lot of historical fact into his novels. They’re sometimes a bit gory in places, but nothing too extreme – and the endings aren’t usually predictable. You’re left until the very last minute wondering who’s going to get caught out.”
Kerry Jeffery (aka the counsellor and writer behind Emotional Autoimmunity)
The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon (pictured – book 1)
Genre: Fantasy/Romance/Historical Fiction
On a second honeymoon to reconnect with her husband after the war, Clare Randall visits a site of standing stones in Scotland to collect some interesting plants she saw. She is pulled back in time 200 years to a very different Scotland on the verge of war and she has to use all of her wits to survive. She meets the compelling Jamie Fraser who she is forced by circumstance, to marry.
Kerry writes, “There are 8 books so far in the Outlander Series. Big, well written, substantial books with wonderful characters, strong women, historical events, adventure, time travel, love and loss and so much more.
I love series that continue the story, world and adventures that you can lose yourself in and get swept away into other worlds.
I have just finished my second re-reading through the series so far and I am always left missing Clare and Jamie and their families and looking forward to going back into their lives when the next book is released.
At the worst of Hashimoto’s, I was unable to read because I just had no concentration and was unable to retain much of what I read so I was limited to simple things I could get my brain fogged mind to comprehend. I am so blessed to be able to read and enjoy again. The books so far are:
Amanda Brangwynne-Smith (the instagrammer behind @amanda_whatcanyoueat)
The Rain Wild Chronicles by Robin Hobb, of which there are 4 books, followed by The Liveship Traders of which there are 3 books. (pictured – book 1)
The Rain Wild Chronicles – ‘Dragons have returned to the world…’ a story of the return of dragons and how their handlers worked with them to make their way through some seriously adverse conditions to find the “lost city” where dragons in days of old ruled and were worshipped.
Amanda writes, “I love everything Robin Hobb writes; she was raised in Alaska and learned how to raise a wolf cub, to skin a moose and survive in the wilderness! Her “world” is believable, her writing draws you in and basically doesn’t let you out. Have read 9 of her books in the last year. And how can we not live in a world with dragons? Maybe having lived with a Welshman for the last 28 years has influenced me a wee bit. Our red dragon sits on the bookshelves – belonged to the kids, really!”
Catharina Delmarcel (aka the health coach and blogger behind Dutch site Paleo Feest)
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Big Magic is about the daily reality of living a creative life. It deals with negative self-talk, specific fears and how to overcome them – or use them productively. It tells you how to pay attention to ideas knocking at your door and how to commit yourself to nurturing them and helping them materialize into this world. People’s perception of what you make is secondary. What is important is to let yourself create.
Catharina writes, “This book captures every difficulty and oddity involved in working creatively. Which means you’re not bonkers, it’s just the work! The writing itself is beautiful, with plenty of intriguing real life examples. It’s a mixture of poetry, mysticism and good old down to earth self-help.”
Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and Me by Bill Hayes
A moving celebration of what Bill Hayes calls “the evanescent, the eavesdropped, the unexpected” of life in New York City, and an intimate glimpse of his relationship with the late Oliver Sacks.
I have had a fascination with Oliver Sacks since first reading his book, ‘The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat’ in my first year of university. I think it may even have been a catalyst in my decision to change my major from English to Psychology.
This is Bill’s love story to both Oliver and his adopted city of New York. It is beautifully written and gives us a wonderfully intimate window into their time together. I loved this book!