Saturday, 4 March 2017

Book Review: Books For Living

Books For Living: A Reader's Guide To Life
Will Schwalbe
Published by Two Roads
Available in Hardback
Forthcoming in paperback

The world can be a lonely place even though we live in a connected world when you can't see someone on your timeline or in real life who has the same interests. You’re left with that feeling of being the last one left – the last reader. But Books for Living answers that question - no, you’re not the last reader left.

Will Schwalbe’s latest book, Books for Living, is a passionate, intimate, love letter to reading and books. He explores the power of books to shape our lives in times of crisis, contemplation and joy. Books have been a pillar in his life, and Schwalbe is opening the door and letting the reader find out his reading habits.

Asking a reader about their favourite book brings on sweating, mumbling and a mind going completely blank BUT the best question to ask is ‘what are you reading?’. This is the most joyous question to ask a reader. This is Schwalbe's response to this question, and it makes you feel like you're exploring someone else’s bookshelves – without realising it you’re putting your heart and soul on display and this is what Schwalbe is doing with this book. The reader gets a glimpse into the books which have influenced Schwalbe and shaped his outlook in life. He talks about the books which were there for him when his mother was dying, books to help him through school, books to say when it’s okay to be different.

Schwalbe points the reader in the direction of books to remind us that it’s okay to demand space and solitude, books to remind us to enjoy life and its small joys. Books to remind us to carry on living, be open to possibilities. This book contemplates if books can save lives. I think they can – either offering advice or escape in times of heartache, crisis or when there are turning points in our lives. Books can also guide us towards the life we want.

Books For Living contains a full range of book recommendations from the classics to Man Booker winners. My wish list is already bulging from the books Schwalbe talks about. At the moment, my list contains The Power of Habit (which I own but haven’t read), Azar Nafisi’s Reading in Tehran, and read more Daphne du Maurier.

This book is full of personal stories and recommendations and would be an ideal gift for any reader. Books For Living is available from your favourite bookshop.

This book was sent to me via Bookbridgr.

No comments: