As I am a big believer in the power of words, I think books are one of the best forms of getting a hearty message across. Whether that be a warm, happy or hard-hitting message, we so often need to hear them. The books that stay with me – good and proper – are those that completely open my eyes to thoughts I haven’t thought before and lessons about issues such as mental health, human rights and, well, anything and everything. Below are three of my favourite books that are also books I closed with a heavy but thankful sigh- you just have to read them!
I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai. A ridiculously inspiring story, Malala is my absolute role model. When the Taliban took control of her home, she fought against one of their core messages: girls are not to go to school. After being shot after school, against all odds, Malala survived. With a lot to say and no chance she’s keeping quiet, Malala spreads her peaceful and beautiful message. She oozes strength, passion and brilliance. My mum read it recently and one thing she took from it is that Malala is simply a normal girl. And that makes it all the more poignant.
Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig. Matt Haig talks about his experience with depression. Warm, charming and yet hard-hitting, I think it should be a general rule for everybody to read this book. Mental illness is such a taboo despite the fact so many people will experience it at some point in their lives, whether that be personally or through a close friend, partner of family member. Haig writes Reasons to Stay Alive both hilariously and with its importance at the very heart of it all. With the help of his own story, Haig tells us his reasons to stay alive. This book easily tackles any ignorance and teaches those who haven’t suffered with depression or those who have suffered in a different way what it’s like, how you might be able to improve a situation and ultimately that time really does heal.
The Invoice by Jonas Karlsson. One of the happiest little books I have ever read, The Invoice is incredibly insightful. It is set in Stockholm and easily put Sweden in my top five places I want to go. The Invoice is important because it tells us what really matters. A beautifully simply book, it might be, but it gives the reader a healthy dosage of reality. The protagonist (nameless, and my literary head wonders if that’s so we can pop our name in its place) is sent an invoice for the happiness he has experiences. He doesn’t understand mostly because he lives, what he describes as, an “unremarkable” life. Through hilarious encounters with the helplines provided and those who work for the company distributing these invoices, we go on a journey of discovery with the protagonist. While the first two books in the post are nonfiction, The Invoice serves to show that fiction can also provide messages that stay with us.
I believe books we choose to read are one of the most important sources in educating and helping lives and mindsets. I am Malala taught me about courage, our rights and feminism. Reasons to Stay Alive taught me about depression, the little things and that we should listen to those cliches we always hear. Like really listen. The Invoice taught me that we might think our lives or parts of our lives are insignificant… But maybe that’s what is bringing us the most pure form of happiness. And most of all, we need to respect and adore that.
What books do you think everyone should read?
~ Kat ~
P.S. 10/21 ❤