Before I talk about the books I’ve been reading, I need to include a disclaimer: purchasing a TEFL course through the link here will result in us receiving compensation. We appreciate you trusting our opinion on the products that will help you teach and travel in 2020!
April added seven more books to my reading count for the year. I started the month finishing the Harry Potter series and ended it tackling the paperback books I have in my apartment.
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Reading the Harry Potter books again brought back so many details I had forgotten. Even though I recently re-watched the movies, there is so much more in the books. I particularly enjoyed this one more than I remembered. Perhaps as an adult, I enjoy the later, more mature Harry Potter books. Regardless, I am still thrilled I decided to re-read this series to kick off 2020.
Emma is the final book I had to read for my Teaching Literature course. I am ashamed to admit it, but this is only the second Austen novel I have read in its entirety. The other one is Northanger Abbey, which I’ve read twice. While Emma is a pretty slow-moving novel, I really enjoyed it. I wanted to know who ended up together by the end and the drama along the way was a great glimpse into aristocratic life in the late 1800s. Perhaps once I tackle the remaining books in my apartment I will set out to read the rest of Austen’s novels.
Light Filters In
I bought this book from Amazon when it was on sale for a dollar or two. It’s one of those poetry books that are so popular now. While it isn’t Keats, it was still a quick and decent read. The subject matter of the book covers everything from depression to abusive relationships.
While these types of poetry books won’t go down in history as great works of the century, I think they hold a lot of value in connecting survivors of things like abuse and sexual assault, and those struggling with their mental health. Sure, they aren’t instant classics, but perhaps they serve a bigger social purpose.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
In April I finished re-reading all the Harry Potter books. The seventh book is how I remember it: a slow start that builds tension in the plot and tension between the main trio. I also recently re-watched the films and there were some differences between the final film and the book, which led to me being surprised when I made it to certain parts in the book. As with the previous books, there are details that get left out of the movies, but the book does not disappoint.
A Lite Too Bright
A Lite Too Bright is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. This book tackles so many issues. The main characters are shrouded in mystery that gets cleared up by the end. The protagonist of this story goes on a cross-country train trip following clues left behind by his grandfather, who passed away a few years prior.
Tackling mental health, illness, human rights, and coming of age, this book really drew me in. I couldn’t put it down from start to finish and by the end I was so satisfied with the story. I was surprised to find that this is the author’s debut novel and I am looking forward to his next novel.
Eat, Pray, Love
My favorite book. I picked this up in Ubud, where the third section of the book takes place. If you read reviews on Good Reads, you’ll see that this book is one that people love or hate. I can understand why. Gilbert leaves a conventional life in order to search for something more. As someone who did the same, I understand why this book is controversial. It is hard to understand why someone might give up a nice house and husband to go travel around the world in search of something more.
The first time I read Eat, Pray, Love I was a month away from beginning my own international adventure. The message of the book resonated with me, as I had spent weeks explaining to people what I seeking by going abroad.
A year and a half later, I still resonate with Gilbert’s story. While I haven’t read anything else by Gilbert, I admire her life and her work. I hope that this book will continue to inspire women for years to come.
The Alchemist is one of those books that everyone seems to have read or wants to read. And after reading it, I understand why. You can read the 170 page book in a day or two and it has some great takeaways.
Like Gilbert, the main protagonist in this tale leaves behind his life as a shepherd to find his Personal Legend. Although there are many points in the story where Santiago wants to give up, he keeps going. He searches far and wide for the treasure that is his Personal Legend. By the conclusion of the novel, he succeeds.
The Alchemist is viewed as a self-help book as well as a novel revolving around the theme of finding one’s personal destiny. Throughout the novel Santiago encounters others who are seeking their own Personal Legend as well as those who have given up. By the end, the reader takes away that seeking one’s own destiny will bring happiness, but only if they are brave enough to face the challenges that come with seeking one’s Personal Legend.
As I enter May, I only have 8 books left until I hit my reading goal for 2020!