Over the past 48 hours, I have been on a (quantum physics) journey across multiverses in the mind of Jason Dessen, a man desperately seeking to reunite with his wife and son. As Jason Dessen, I have grappled with questions of identity and how everyday choices alter both the course of our lives and who we become as human beings.
Science confirms that by reading Dark Matter by Blake Crouch, I have, indeed, gone on a journey with the protagonist as “the brain, it seems, does not make much of a distinction between reading about an experience and encountering it in real life; in each case, the same neurological regions are stimulated” (see source). No wonder reading this book, “running” in suspense across multiverses, has felt like a vacation from my own life.
I reignited my love affair with reading when my son was born. As I underwent the shock of motherhood (realizing my most basic needs no longer came first, struggling with lack of sleep and dwindling time, and feeling disconnected from life as I knew it), I began to read. At first, it was to stay awake during middle of the night feedings. Later, it was to have something to escape to when I felt I was about to snap. Three years later, I continue to read voraciously--you would be surprised by how many books you can devour by just reading 20 minutes each night.
I find such bliss in reading that I fully agree with JK Rowlings when she says “wherever I am, if I’ve got a book with me, I have a place I can go and be happy.”
And so, since we are all about happiness at Love Your Body, we present to you book recommendations. These aren’t book reviews since those are done so much better by others. This is just a list of books that have made us smile. We will continue to add to it over time. Some will be new releases while others will be all-time favorites. We hope they help you find the novels that give you a break from your everyday, all while making you smarter (see how reading strengthens your brain)!
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
Since this book inspired me to begin this blog post, I must begin by recommending it. I am not into science fiction or thrillers, yet I could not put this book down! If I didn’t have children, I would have read it in 12 hours. Why? It’s fascinating to explore what our lives would have been like had we taken a different turn at a key juncture. The book also delivers bits of Eckhart Tolle-style wisdom (such as, your thoughts create your reality) and illustrates them on a grand scale. The writing is also very fast-paced and easy to sink into.
Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
This is one of the very first books I read when I began to read again after having my son. I enjoyed reading it so much that I would continue reading after I had finished nursing him in the middle of the night! It is laugh out loud funny, endearingly quirky and thoroughly charming.
Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan
I used to stay away from family dramas because I figured I had enough of that in my own family, but books like this one changed my mind. I not only felt a lot of empathy for the characters in this book, I was also able to understand why they made the decisions they made, even when they hurt each other. This book also offered me something I love: the ability to travel back in time. Alice’s heart-wrenching story took me back to the 1920’s, 1930’s and 1940’s, lighting up parts of history I knew about but wasn’t familiar with.