The True History of Paradise is one of my favourite books because as soon as I open the pages I feel transported to my home country, Jamaica. I have found that there are many excellent books about Africa; depicted from within or looking from the outside in. However when it comes to stories about the third largest Island in the Caribbean, I can’t help but to feel we are underrepresented.
I am more than used to seeing the popular elements (music and sporting legends), but when it comes to the real working class and middle class lives, I have struggled to find good entertaining and factual accounts. The True History of Paradise does an excellent job of depicting a side of Jamaica that is not often shown. This story follows the life of a young woman whose family is intertwined in Jamaican politics. It successfully highlights the common issues that were faced in the 80s as well as regular flashbacks of Jean’s family, which served as a sort of lesson in the History of Jamaica.
Give it a read! It would be great to hear comparisons to how it is now in the lead up to the 2016 Elections, which take place on February 25th!
<——– J.K. Rowling tweeted that little bit of news yesterday.
I know, like, Harry Potter doesn’t actually exist and all, but chew on that little bit of news.
His oldest son, James Potter, would be starting at Hogwarts yesterday.
I’m at the point in my life where I deal with these revelations of time everyday. A few months ago, I realized that this year’s high school graduation class wasn’t even alive when I graduated high school. That’s old.
And, now, Harry Potter’s son is off to Hogwarts?
What’s next–Han Solo as an old man? Don’t answer that.
As an avid reader and someone who not only commutes at least an hour daily, but also travels at least once a month for work, I have been tempted more than once to buy a kindle. If I’m going to do it, I should really do it now (during the back to school sales). HOWEVER I love a good book. I’ve always dreamed of having my own library one day, amassed of beloved books from my youth that tell of my growth.
Eat, Pray, Love is a story chronicling two years of the life of a recently divorced woman who was on a mission to – excuse the cliché – find herself. We travel with Liz through the tough year when she is pulled through the trenches of the divorce through to the year she decides to spend in Italy, India and Indonesia.
This is my second time reading this book, and as I was rather young the first time, I took so much more from it this time around. There were many parts of the story I didn’t even remember reading the first time! The main message I took from EPL is the importance of being unapologetically you, through and through. There is one part where Liz decides to take on a vow of silence while at the Ashram in India, as she wants to seem ethereal. She recognises that she is a very sociable person and instead of seeing the benefits and positives in this trait, she strives to be something else. This plan is quickly thrown off its tracks and she realises that she shouldn’t be trying to force herself to be someone she is not. It is fine to admire other people and their personalities but to actively try to force yourself to emulate them instead of finding your own strengths will only lead you to be unhappy and false.
I have recently recognised this desire in myself. I often see the way other people handle certain situations and wish I could do the same. It’s usually to do with the confidence they possess, which I lack. But with the help of my mentor and life lessons I am realising the benefits of doing things in my own way. 2+2 = 4 but 3+1 = 4. There are different ways of doing things but one is not necessarily better than the other.
EPL is a very descriptive account of Liz’s experiences in these three very different countries; it almost reads as a travel guide. I finished the book longing to go to all three places, which may have been her intention. However, it did also make me very aware of how easy it is to read someone’s account of something and want to experience the exact same things. Almost like a fairy tale for adults. But if I take a year off from life and go to Italy, India and Indonesia it won’t be the same for me. I won’t have the same encounters, experience or come away with the same feelings. It’s interesting just how many factors are in play determining what your day looks like.
As much as I enjoy this book I did not like the ending. Throughout the story is very realistic showing the ups and downs of her life, but the ending read like a fairy tale, as if someone told Elizabeth that she needed to add a happy ending in order for the book to be well received. Yes it showed balance and yes I wanted the character to find love but it seemed slightly rushed. It did not leave me wanting to know what happens next in her journey as the entire journey seemed to end instead of just her time in Bali.
NB: The (2) in the title means this is the second time I have read this book.
The best book to read straight after 7 Habits! I cannot express this enough. 7 Habits gave the groundwork and then The Alchemist gave the motivation and encouragement. Now I plan to go through the 7 Habits workbook to solidify what I have ‘learnt’ in order to start using the tips and practises in real life.
The Alchemist is a parable of a young man who has decided to follow his destiny. It takes you through his good times but mostly his bad and how he got through them. I won’t go in to the storyline as I don’t want to ruin it but this story is very personal. I believe everyone can read it and see themselves reflected in Santiago (the main character) and take the lessons they need from it at the time of reading.
The first time I read it; while I was at University, I took something completely different from it. I think there’s something poignant about me reading it now at what I think of as a significant time in my life where my decisions are ridiculously important to my future. I have been an impulsive person up until now as I didn’t have a lot to lose and much more to gain from being experimental with my career choices. Now my decisions are becoming more important, this book will be something I dip into regularly to refresh myself with the importance of Omens, destiny and strength of mind.
The main thing I have taken from reading it this time around is you can achieve your hearts desires only if you put your mind and heart into it. I would love to hear what you take from it! Get in touch 🙂