Borrowed, Bought, Given 2022

Hello again and welcome to my blog’s annual tradition. My posts might be few and far between throughout the year but for these particular posts, I could be dead and still rise from my grave just so I can fulfill this self-imposed obligation.

Just so I can brag about the books I’ve read. I mean, I brag about the books I buy. It’s only right that the ones I had actually read get some credit, too. Also, to give strangers the impression that I’m smart. I would use eyeglasses as props but they ruin my nose contour so even though my optometrist reckons I need them, I don’t.

I picked up and dropped off a lot of books this year. By that, I mean I have several books lying around the house that are in various stages of being read. Some halfway. Some I only just begun. And one that I’m this close to finishing it may only be a matter of ten pages but then my mind wanted to drift off to something else. And so I go through my bookshelf aimlessly, eyes darting back and forth looking for a title that’s not too, um, cerebral.

I’m currently reading Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. Go figure.

If I have to rate my top 3 books this year, it would be as follows, but in no particular order:

  • The Road Less Travelled – M. Scott Peck
  • The Dictionary of Lost Words – Pip Williams
  • The Perks of being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

I am aware that The Perks of being a Wallflower has a movie adaptation but I never got around to watching it. Not that I actually wanted to. Just that I never did. And I’m glad I didn’t. My experience of the book was simply delightful. The way the narrative was delivered was poetry to my eyes. I found myself reading beautifully written lines over and over again so as to relish it like lemonade icy pole on my tongue. I took my sweet, sweet time reading this book. I really did.

The Road Less Travelled is more like a spiritual/psychology type of reading. I gained some profound insights from this book, for real life, especially about the dark side of being religious to a fault. Not exactly the religion per se, but more in terms of the maladaptive patterns that result from obliging too much to the religion’s construct that you stunt your own spiritual growth in the process. This is one of those cerebral reads but one that, depending on where you are on your spiritual journey, shatters previously-held ideologies. I’m not saying the book is saying that religion is wrong. All I’m saying is, if religion is used as a form of control and dominance over others, it has the tendency to make people psychotic.

The Dictionary of Lost Words is a brilliant book, as well. It has a feminist take to it, but without being arrogant or offensive. It was also interesting to learn how words came to be and how they evolved over time without the author getting too technical about it that it borders on boring. On the contrary, reading the book felt like going on a pleasant tour around the museum, gently absorbing information along by osmosis before you forget them all once you exit through the gift shop.

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