When you feel alone don’t look within, look out and look beyond for others who feel the same way, for there are always others, and if you can connect with them and with their story, you will be able to see everything in a new light.
I will emphasise yet again – I am not someone who reads non-fiction. It is not a genre that sits easy with me and I find my attention span reducing drastically when I pick one up. This coming from someone who regularly stays up past bedtime to finish books is saying something.
And then The Reading Women Challenge 2021 happened. And it was time to face the prompt that I was most reluctant about – A Non-Fiction Book about Social Justice (inserts sleeping emoji here).
However, thanks to the Goodreads discussion board, I discovered this little known gem by the very talented Elif Shafak. Simply put, she’s got a way with words which is just so elegant.
How is it possible then that in an era when social media was expected to give everyone an equal voice, so many continue to feel voiceless?
Shafak wrote How to Stay Sane … during the heights of the pandemic in 2o20. In this bite sized book (which I devoured over a lazy Sunday), Shafak dissects and analyses every single emotion most of us are feeling – Anxiety, Anger, Apathy, Identity, Bewilderment and the feeling of not being heard – and then prods us to use these feelings and turn them into Knowledge, Wisdom and Information.
And that’s that – 96 pages of eloquent reflection, and a gentle push for all of us to rise above the noise, really listen to one another and move forward together.
We live in an age in which there is too much information, less knowledge and even less wisdom. That ratio needs to be reversed. We definitely need less information, more knowledge, and much more wisdom.
Reading Women Challenge – Prompts Completed 9/24
- A book with a rural setting
- A book with a cover designed by a woman
- A fantasy novel by an Asian author
- A book by a neurodivergent author
- Reread a favourite
- Protagonist older than 50
- Young Adult Novel by a Latinx author
- A book longlisted for the JCB prize
- A non-fiction book about social justice
Cover image courtesy: amazon.co.uk