Where I try to pivot away from all the self-improvement stuff

Anyone who’d browse the yearly reading lists I used to post here would’ve noticed I had a penchant for self-improvement books. Books that told me how to stress less, age better, become minimalist, be happier and not be so distracted. After devouring those books, I’ve realised that they more or less say similar things, so I’m making a conscious effort to branch out to different genres.

These are my top three books in the “non-self-improvement category” for 2019 (so far):

Becoming” by Michelle Obama. I’m not the kind of person to have strong opinion about another country’s politics. When I picked up the book, I didn’t really know much about her. Other than her being the former President Obama’s wife, of course. But what an amazing read – inspiring and authentic. It humanised the strong, powerful image of the woman I’d been seeing on my TV and online. Even if you’re not particularly an Obama fan, I totally recommend this as a story of a woman coming into her own.

Early Riser” by Jasper Fforde. I’ve read all theThursday Next books and a few others. However, I stopped paying attention when “Shades of Grey” (not to be confused with the other Shades of Grey) wasn’t followed up with a sequel. I find his books formulaic, but what keeps drawing me in are the fantastical worlds he creates and the detail he puts into it. It’s enough like the normal world to seem familiar, but different enough to be amusing. I always love the footnotes he peppers throughout his books. And the wit.

This one’s about a world where humans hibernate over winter. That’s all I’m going to say.

The Tyrant’s Tomb” by Rick Riordan. Yes, I know this is a Young Adult novel. But I’ve been a fan of the Percy Jackson series and I’m not stopping now, if not to satisfy my “what-happens-next” curiosity. Just one more book left! (Unless he decides to come out with another series…)

I have to be careful about the fiction/non-fiction books I read. I like reading books as an escape, so I usually stay away from books that are set in the real world, if that makes sense. I don’t want to read about women trying to establish their careers or navigating relationships or any of that stuff that hits too close to my own personal experiences. Give me something otherworldly, I say. (Unless you’re Michelle Obama.)

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