During the time the grocery stores start blaring jingle bells through their crummy speakers and when it is okay to listen to Mariah Carey. It’s time to think back on the year that has passed.
In 2017 I started to read again; nearly every day, right before going to bed, I would end the evening with an hour of reading.
Now it’s time to reflect on everything I read in 2018.
The Stand, by Stephen King
In 1990 a weaponised highly contageous strain of influenza is accidentally released upon the world, killing off the majority of the population. Society as a whole breaks down. The remaining survivors all share the same dreams: those of a dark mark, called Randall Flag, and of old African American woman, called Mother Abigail. Both beckon you to come to them and help them rebuild society, each in a different way and with different costs to humanity.
A more obvious tug-of-war story between good and evil has yet to be devised. This book is enthralling to the very last page.
Man’s Search for Meaning, by Victor E. Frankl
Frankl recounts in the first half his three year fight for survival in the concentration camps of Aushwitz and Dachau. As a therapist, specialised in existential analysis, his stories focus on how the prisoners created their own meaning of life to carry on dispite all hardships. He shows that even in the darkest of times, people survive by creating a role for themselves within the world they occupy.
The second part introduces the reader to Frankl’s Logotherapy, a psychotherapy using existential analysis. Logotherapy is focused on Kierkegaard’s “Will To Meaning” and consists of the search for meaning in one’s life as a primary driving force. This is opposed to Nietzsche’s “Will to Power”, which focuses primarily on search for pleasure. The idea is to search for meaning with pleasure and happiness as a logical consequence.
This book is a great read before the “Subtle Art” I mention next. It is humbling and shows how much the human spirit can endure with the right mindset.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life, by Mark Manson
The book postulates that we as human care about way too much, things that are not important, that get under our skins or that are detrimental to our emotional well being.
The point is, most of us struggle throughout our lives by giving too many fucks in situations where fucks do not deserve to be given. We give a fuck about the rude gas station attendant who gave us too many nickels. We give a fuck when a show we liked was canceled on TV. We give a fuck when our coworkers don’t bother asking us about our awesome weekend. We give a fuck when it’s raining and we were supposed to go jogging in the morning.
This book introduces Stoïcism to a new audience and focuses on one of it’s main postulates: There is a difference between who is responsible for a given problem and who is affected by the problem. You may not be responsible for the problem itself, but you are responsible for how it affects you. While the first is out of your control, you are able to control how it affects you.
- Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse
- Sapiens A brief History of Humankind, by Yuval Noah Harari
- The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho
- A Brief History of Time, by Stephen Hawking
- Deep Storm, by Lincoln Child
- Man and his Symbols, by Carl Jung
- Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, by Neil DeGrasse Tyson
- Red Rising, by Pierce Brown
Check them out via my Goodreads