They can be "books that I physically own, be it arc, bought, paperback or ebook. It could have been there for months or just acquired it yesterday."
My little twist is to highlight one new release and one classic each week.
Over the next few weeks I will also focus on the Australian books lurking in my TBR in preparation for AusReadingMonth in November.
Reading by Moonlight by Brenda Walker is one of those books about books that I love to dip into at times. It came highly recommended by a friend. I hope to do it justice one day soon.
A memoir of reading and healing.
The first time Brenda Walker packed her bag to go into hospital, she wondered which book to take with her. As a novelist and professor of literature, her life had been built around reading and writing. Now she was also a patient, being treated for breast cancer, fighting for her life and afraid for herself and her family. But turning to medicine didn't mean she turned away from fiction. Books had always been her solace and sustenance, and now choosing the right one was the most important thing she could do for herself.
In Reading by Moonlight, Brenda describes the five stages of her treatment and how different books and authors helped her through the tumultuous process of recovery. As well as offering wonderful introductions and insights into the work of writers like Dante, Tolstoy, Nabokov, Beckett and Dickens, Brenda shows how the very process of reading – surrendering and then regathering yourself – echoes the process of healing.
Reading by Moonlight guides, reassures, throws light on dark places, and finds beauty in the stories that come to us in times of jeopardy. It affirms that reading can be essential to life itself.
This week is a non-fiction TBR week.
Resilience by Anne Deveson has been on my shelves for over ten years. I bought it during a particularly difficult year. The death of an ill aunt, the very sudden death of a dear colleague, followed by the tragic death of a friend's 21 yr old son had left me reeling. I was looking for answers and guidance.
Resilience was recommended to me and promised to be useful.
I dipped in and out of sections of it at the time, but in hindsight, I realise that I wasn't really capable of taking much in back then that wasn't grounded purely in the here and now. Thinking philosophically about what had happened that year was still some time away.
Perhaps, some of it did sink in though, given how well I have coped with subsequent grief and loss and major change events in my life.
This work explores resilience, one of the most important and intriguing characteristics affecting human wellbeing. In western societies scant attention has been paid to exploring how and why some people and some communities are better able to cope with adversity and risk than others.
Anne Deveson addresses the nature of resilience, whether it can be learned, its many components, what inhibits resilience and why some people/communities are more resilient than others. individuals and groups of people to feel they can cope, to encourage a different ethos amongst the shapers of law and policy, and to encourage the establishment of programmes to develop resiliency models for young people.
Have you found a book or an author that has helped you through tough times?
I usually turn to Jane Austen, but there have been two times in my life when she deserted me.
One was a very happy time and one was a very stressful time.
In both cases, my mind couldn't settle on anything except the immediate events. The problem wasn't Jane Austen though, I actually couldn't read anything at all. The solace of reading left me completely.
I hope it never happens again!
Later: I've just spotted that Sophisticated Dorkiness et al are hosting Non-Fiction November again this year. Now I have a double reason to get these two books read in the coming weeks!