As we head into the holidays/summer, I wanted to share some great things I’ve been reading – and a way of thinking I have about the information I consume.
I’ve noticed that I read for 3 main reasons:
Reading to escape or be immersed is one of my preferred ways to switch off, and I can’t wait to be doing a lot of both good and trashy reading under the mango trees this summer.
My 2022 faves include:
- The Charioteer by Mary Renault
- We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
- Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao
The bulk of what I read falls under this category, and this year alone I’ve read 31 books in the Educate space. This is a big way I develop my thinking and expose myself to ideas and practices that are personally meaningful for me, and can help me help the people I work with. Books on leadership, business, psychology, thinking differently, global issues and spirituality/mindfulness are my particular jam. I take lots of notes too, and ponder key insights. I especially love figuring out how to make the big ideas accessible and liveable.
My faves for the year include:
- Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman
- Another Day in the Colony by Chelsea Watego (essential reading for any Australian)
- The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness and Healing in a Toxic Culture by Gabor Mate
I think we’re all on board for ENTERTAIN AND EDUCATE. So, what is INTERRUPT?
It’s true that all books offer a new way to see the world. Whether it’s through use of your imagination, being exported to a strange land, or learning new ideas and concepts – these all usually occur within a current paradigm of framework of thinking. Typically in the I know that I don’t know category.
But what is interrupting your worldview? What ideas are you exposing yourself to that completely challenge and realign your thinking?
These are the books that INTERRUPT – and in the bubbles we all live in, having our thinking challenged is critical to finding pathways, new linkages, inspiration and even new ways of living.
I usually seek at least one of these per year, and this year that book was We Do This ‘Till We Free Us by Black activist and community organiser Mariame Kaba. I’ve been following her stuff for a while, and love her perspective on hope:
“Hope doesn’t preclude feeling sadness or frustration or anger or any other emotion that makes total sense. Hope isn’t an emotion, you know? Hope is not optimism. Hope is a discipline… we have to practice it every single day.”
Yet it was this book that completely interrupted how I thought about the carceral system and the need for prisons. I felt while reading this how I felt when I first heard The Hunger Project talk about the END of hunger. My mind couldn’t comprehend such a thing – and my mind was similarly challenged about ending the prison system.
It got me conscious to so many other systems of organising we have inherited and are stuck with and don’t bring any fresh thinking too. It challenged my mindset about change, and what it takes to stand for large, counter intuitive shifts. It forced a reckoning with my own privilege and beliefs. It was confronting and glorious!!
So, when you’re thinking through what you want to read next year, maybe this framework of ENTERTAIN /EDUCATE / INTERRUPT can be useful for you.
And let me know your greatest reads this year! Book lovers unite!
Till next week,