Zoe Williams – The Madness of Modern Parenting

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Zoe Williams The Madness of Modern Parenting

Are you not a parent, parent-to-be soon or have a big interest in babies and parenting? Then this book review might not be for you (well, you might want to give the book as a gift to (expecting)parent-friends). The title holds it all, this book is about the madness of parenting in todays’ world. A short and interesting, highly political book composed of three essays.

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Arianna Huffington – On Becoming Fearless

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Last summer I got hooked on Arianna Huffingtons’ book Thrive. I wrote a personal review about it, and immediately put one of her other books on my to-read list: Fearless – in love, work, and life. Now, you should know something about me. By nature, I am a very fearful person. I’ve known this since the age of 13, and over the years have grown accustomed to living with this character trait. My fear grew bigger than me. I didn’t go outside anymore, was afraid to talk to people and felt that my life was on the verge of ending all the time. Hours of therapy might have helped me deal with it, as did growing up in general. Thus the title of this book had a special appeal on me, being fearless, feeling fearless about fear, is what I dreamt about for a long time. What a lot of people dream about I guess. So it was not without great expectations that I started reading this book.

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Karen Joy Fowler – We are all completely beside ourselves

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Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2014, a review in the New York Times Book Review stating that this is “a novel so readably juicy and surreptitiously smart, it deserves all the attention it can get”, and a quote by one of my favorite authors, Ruth Ozeki, saying “it’s been years since I’ve felt so passionate about a book”. I hope you can understand that there was no way in which I could walk away from the bookstore without buying We are all completely beside ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler. And this book also provides me with a new experiment. Writing a review without revealing the plot. Challenging, since the plot starts being revealed from page 77 onwards, continuing until the book ends on page 308. So, here we go…

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Arianna Huffington – Thrive

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So I read a book. The first one this vacation that I’ve finished. And I’m dreading it. I dread the fact that this book didn’t have more pages, that it cannot be read forever, that Arianna didn’t repeat the same message in different lines in a second book, that it’s unfortunately not a trilogy. This must be one of the first books in my adult life, that I truly feel I will read again. And again. And again. Please, you, read it as well.

When I started reading the book I had planned on writing a thorough review of it. The book being such a bestseller and probably loads of people will have it on their wishlist. But I’ve changed my mind. It might be better to just tell you a bit about how this book (already) changed me.

I’m a few days into my vacation now. Boy, did I feel stressed and empty when it started. Like I just wanted to lay in bed for the rest of the week. Even cry, maybe, or eat a lot of chocolate to avoid that. I felt trapped in my life. It has been that way for a while now, but I just couldn’t find the source of this feeling. Arianna shone a light on it. My life is in overdrive, overdrive in the wrong directions. It feels like I am caught in a web of Ambition, Passion, Career, Money, Work. That’s not what life is about, ultimately. I felt taken by the hand by a book. Crazy? No, it felt very natural.

The book reads like a guide, and a memoir at the same time. It is a realistic story and one I can relate to (except for the fact that I’m luckily not that attached to my phone as Arianna describes some of her acquaintances to be). The book reads like a long conversation with a wise friend, a very intellectual friend as well, I must say. And one that is truly inclined on helping others find balance again. Not in a traditional self help way. There is wisdom in this one, there are sources and studies and quotes from famous philosophers. No empty words that give you a temporary high, and make you fall down a black hole moments after, because you have no idea what to do with them. Arianna Huffington has given us a true guide, practical as well as intellectual.

There is more to life than careers and money, than professional ambition. And we are lucky we get the chance to make good use of it. I feel this book is one of the pioneers in a new movement that will hopefully grow further. The movement that brings us back to our human roots, away from our digital and enclosed lives. From the shallowness of striving only for a career or prestige because of earning money or empty successes.

For example, the book inspired me to start Slow Blogging. Not just pumping out articles on a daily basis for the sake of blogging and being read. No, I want my articles to hold more value than that. To not be like fastfood but more like a small portion of haute cuisine food. There is an abundance of information and of empty blogposts already, and I’m guilty as charged I fear. Now, it’s time to put quality above quantity. Second, Arianna Huffington inspired me to de-digitalize myself more. To put my phone and laptop away for longer periods of time. Hold digital detox-days and evenings. Put pen to paper instead of staring at a computer screen. Most of all, to go look for the human connection again. The REAL connection, the giving, the sharing, the loving.

I applaud this book and its writer.

Did this spark your interest in the book? You can buy Arianna Huffington Thrive here

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Bookreview: Sloane Crosley – How did you get this number?

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You know that feeling that you sometimes get after finishing a ridiculously good book? A combination of homesickness, since you want to get back to live the life of the main character, and addict-like roaming the internet to find out where you can get your next fix of writing by the same author.

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