Book Review 2016

  1. How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, by Dale Carnegie

In his book, Carnegie addresses multiple methods to which one can overcome melancholy or anxiety. He talks about seizing the day, and not thinking about those who you don’t like — which I personally believe are both great lessons which many people still must learn. In addition, he quotes famous and renowned philosophers and institutions which have carried out research into respective psychological aspects of humans to dissect why we feel the way we do and to clarify emotion. His chapters are constructed conventionally, and by the end of each he has listed a summarisation of lessons learnt in each chapter. This, therefore, allows readers to quickly highlight and scan the book for the lessons, once read. His lessons are usually backed up by a famous or innocuous quote as inspiration for his derived moral. Naturally, I believe this book should appeal to almost anyone and everyone. It’s a great way to drown out worry and you’ll even enjoy some humorous parts!

My favourite quote:

“Don’t try to saw sawdust.”

2. The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho

Coelho travels through life in his book, experiencing the language of the world, hidden expressions and the beauty of eye contact — all the while the fiction character travels deserts and oceans and pyramids in order to find where his heart lies and satisfaction in the world. It is certainly a beautiful book, with simple diction and an open mind, this book is definitely for those who enjoy adventures and abrupt endings — including suspense. A lot of it! I couldn’t put down the book, and it kept me fuelled for two days as I scrammed through it to discover the ending. Join Santiago and the other characters on a journey that seems to last for almost 200 pages, but holds the experience and moral of an entire life.

My favourite quote:

“Because, wherever your heart is, that is where you’ll find your treasure.”

3. The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath

Plath is known to be a renewed poet, but she has written a single semi-autobiographical book (which is this book), where she goes through multiple life events in an unconventional and non-chronological manner. This ranges from psychiatric observation, to sexual intimacy, to feminism, academics, college, depression, invisible bell jars and everything else that comes with it. The diction Plath uses is strong and complex, her language is concrete yet abstract in many ways and I recommend this book to avid readers rather than beginners. The concept and overall moral portrayed is heartfelt and emotional, and I’m almost definite that this novel will appeal to anyone who has recently, or has ever felt, depression, melancholy, trepidation or simply sadness and the wonders of it.

My favourite quote:

“Because wherever I sat — on the deck of a ship or at a street cafe in Paris or Bangkok, I would always be under the same glass bell jar, stewing in my own sour air.”


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