Need to take a break from constant forward motion? Here’s a list of the books that are helping us slow down, speak up and feel wonderfully small this month.
The pull of this book is hard to put your finger on. The narrative isn’t necessarily strong or sweeping and the characters flit in and out so often that it’s hard to get attached to them, yet something about Cusk’s brilliant writing style truly holds you captive. This is a story written in conversations, each chapter chronicles a sometimes mundane, sometimes intellectual, sometimes tense talk between a writer and the people she comes in contact with on a work trip to Athens. The je ne said quois of this book is that it feels like life. It leaves you thinking about your own daily interactions with a renewed sense of interest and inspires you to book a flight to Greece ASAP.
Looking at Mindfulness
This is a book to read, re-read and buy for all of the people you love in your life. With each new chapter, French psychiatrist and mindfulness expert Christophe André leads you through the qualities and benefits of meditation by aligning each aspect with a carefully chosen painting. If you’re curious about mindfulness or want to gain some practical tools for slowing down and enjoying the world around you, this book is an incredible and inspiring place to start. Also, books that have been translated into English from their native language—like this one—often have a flow that is bright, surprising and instantly engaging.
The Captain’s Verses
Written while in exile on the island of Capri (best exile ever, if you ask me) these poems are filled with arduous love for Neruda’s then partner, Matilde Urrutia. Love poems are often difficult to engage with—they feel too sweet or whiny and leave the reader feeling embarrassed and awkward. However, the Captain’s Verses ring with an idealistic truth—a love that we’ve all felt and aspire to. This little book is perfect to throw in your suitcase when you’re traveling as a faithful reminder of the most important and beautiful things in life.