For those of you who don’t know, I’m always reading a book. In middle school, I could sit down and read all day. I don’t quite have the time for that anymore, but I still love to read right before bed to help me relax. Recently, I have been reading a wide variety of books, so I thought it would be fun to update you all with what I’ve been enjoying lately.
For a Feel-Good Book:
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
I read this book while I was in India back in January, and it was the ideal book to read. This is a very popular book, but if you are unfamiliar with it, it’s about a woman who abruptly undergoes many life changes. As a result, she decides to take a year to travel to Italy, India, and Bali in an attempt to make her life more fulfilling, especially in a spiritual sense. This was a super quick read, and I thought hearing about her spiritual progression during her time in India was fascinating. Also, since I was in India during the time I read this book, I enjoyed this read that much more.
For Some Food for Thought:
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
This book was recommended to me a while ago, but it took until this spring for me to read it. It is a memoir about Dr. Kalanithi, who at the time was in his last year of neurosurgical residency. However, he finds out that he has a terminal form of lung cancer, and he passes away at age 37. This memoir was extremely insightful. Dr. Kalanithi grappled with the meaning of his life, especially since he lived his whole life trying to pursue a career that took 10+ years of education and training. As he was battling with cancer, he had to assess and determine what he most valued in his life now that he wasn’t guaranteed the future he had always dreamed of. I loved this book because it reinforces the reality that our lives are temporary, and although we should have goals for the future, it is also extremely important to not live in the future. It’s so crucial to not forget that the only thing we are guaranteed in this world is what we have right now in the present moment. It’s good to reflect upon the people and things we have currently in our lives to see if we are appreciating them to the fullest extent.
In the Company of the Poor by Dr. Paul Farmer and Fr. Gustavo Gutiérrez
This semester, I was talking to the new priest on campus, and when he found out that I am interested in medicine and public health, he lent me this book. Right now, I am about halfway through the text. Each chapter is either written by Dr. Farmer or Fr. Gutiérrez, and they talk about the intersection of medicine, social justice, and liberation theology. This book speaks about standing in solidarity with the poor. It talks about not just giving the poor the “crumbs of charity,” but to actually make changes to their current condition through works of social justice. The text really challenges me think about my daily actions to see if I’m in any way perpetuating a cycle of oppression for people in our society. Dr. Farmer and Fr. Gutiérrez challenge the readers to actively demonstrate the preferential option for the poor and vulnerable. It makes me reflect about how I want to practice medicine in the future to aid those most vulnerable in society. Just for a taste of the book, here are some quotes that really spoke to me:
- “The condition of truth is to allow the suffering to speak”
- “Liberation from sin of social injustice and exclusion is thus a clear sign of evangelization and the reality of God’s reign on Earth”
- “True love exists only among equals”
For an Escape from Reality
The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson
Just a few weeks ago, I finished this trilogy, and I am so sad that it’s over. I normally don’t read much fantasy anymore, but after this series, I may have to give fantasy books another shot. This trilogy is about a fantastical empire where there are certain people who can produce powers by ingesting different metals. The story mostly follows Vin, the leading female protagonist, as she tries to save this empire. I loved this series for many reasons. One, the main character was a strong, female figure which I loved. Two, the characters were so well developed throughout the series. They all have their own unique personalities that really enhance the story. Of course, I loved the romance between Vin and Elend. Finally, the ending of the final book was phenomenal. It was a whirlwind of events that incorporated action with love and also theology, surprisingly. This was definitely not how I imagined the series to end, but I loved it for that exact reason.
The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon
This is my current read right now, so I don’t know much about the series as a whole. Currently, the story is about Claire and her husband who travel to Scotland in 1945 as a way to rekindle their marriage. On this trip, Claire ends up traveling back in time to 18th Century Scotland where she ends up finding a new lover, Jamie Fraser. I’m very intrigued by this series because it incorporates historical fiction, fantasy, and romance all in one. It’s a VERY long series, so I don’t know if I will read just this book or continue on. I guess time will tell.
These are the books that I have been reading over the past few months. If you have any book recommendations, please leave a comment down below 🙂