For me, autumn is the perfect time to cosy up inside with a fresh, new book and read. My favourite evenings are those without any commitments, some hot tea and a book I can get lost in. Preferably with the rain pouring down outside. Those evenings don’t happen too often, but when they do, I always cherish them.
Now that the colder part of autumn and the rest of the year is coming around, there’s no better time to stock up on some new books. After reading much non-fiction this summer, I’ve included some more fiction on my autumn reading list.
Some of you might know Trevor Noah as the really funny stand-up comedian who hosts the Daily Show. You probably don’t know (at least I didn’t) that he had a pretty rough childhood in South Africa before becoming a famous comedian. He grew up in the townships of Johannesburg to a white father and a black mother – at a time, when such a union was punishable by a couple of years in prison.
Trevor Noah tells the stories of being born a crime, living with a violent stepfather and actually going to prison one time. Between all the horrors and hardships, it is still a light-hearted book. I cannot recommend it enough, as it is such an enjoyable read and you actually learn more about the absurdities of the apartheid regime.
With all that is happening in the world lately, I have decided to read up. Not just consume the news everyday, but try to understand more about what’s actually going on. I feel like it’s easy to sit back helplessly. Of course, reading books won’t change the world as well, but actually knowing (a bit better) what’s going on in politics and why, seemed like a good place to start.
Thus, I put together a little reading list for myself. Politics, social sciences, history, you name it. Of course, I have realised that I have merely scratched the surface so far, but these books have made me hungry to learn more.
This book has made me think A LOT. I have read one work by Paul Collier before (The Bottom Billion) that I really liked and Exodus should be on everyone’s reading list as well. Collier shows in which places our migration policies aren’t working anymore. He shows how they are based on Western society after the Second Warld War and doesn’t fit today’s challenges anymore.
Furthermore, Collier describes what exactly lead to the refugee crisis in 2015 and how it could have actually been prevented. He also names new policies that might help struggling states today to prevent another crisis happening again.
A few months ago, I shared some of my favourite slow and ethical style books with all of you. Well, I’ve been a busy reader over the summer! A few fashion and style books made it onto my reading list as well and today I want to share some new favourites with you.
This book is more than a fashion book. Instead, it’s a beautiful collection of tips and interviews on minimalism and simple living. Lina Jachmann covers interiors, fashion (of course), health + well-being, work and food.
I’ve really enjoyed reading the interviews in the morning and getting new ideas for a simple, beautiful life. If you’re just starting out with a more minimalistic approach to life and your wardrobe, I would recommend this beautiful book. It feels a bit like a big magazine and it’s made me finally give capsule wardrobes a try (well, maybe ;).
Two relaxing things I really love: Fashion and books. So, especially in the summer time, what better way to wind down than reading about fashion and style? Summer has only just begun, but I am definitely planning on spending quite a few afternoons on a blanket in the park, reading my favourite slow fashion books. If you’re curious, I put together some of my all-time favourites. Some might surprise you on a list about slow fashion, but for me, learning more about your style is a vital part of slow fashion as well. Happy reading!
+ Love x Style x Life: I have just finished Garance Doré’s lovely book (it actually prompted this post) and I loved it! I am aware that Doré doesn’t concern herself with ethical fashion, at least not to my knowledge. Nevertheless, she talks about a few of the most important principles of slow fashion: Buy the clothes you feel great in, not all the newest trends. Buy good quality. Know your colours and your style and you won’t need to buy new all the time. Fashion can’t help you if you don’t feel great in your own skin. These are just a few examples, but there’s so much more wisdom in Love x Style x Life.
On top of all her style advice, as a blogger, I loved reading about Doré’s journey to where she is now. She tells us more about her life between Paris and New York, body image issues, Fashion Week…as a fashion lover, it’s delightful. And also just a really beautiful book – don’t you dare and read the e-book! It’s light reading, so perfect for an afternoon on the balcony, with an iced tea on hand.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while (or if you’re following me over on Instagram) you probably know that one of my biggest hobbies is to read. My favourite kind of novels are the ones that teach you something at the same time as keeping you invested in a gripping story. In this post, I have put together a list of my favourite novels that will truly change your perspective and how you see the world.
+ Americanah: This is probably one of my favourite novels ever. And I read A LOT of great books. Americanah tells the story of lovers Ifemelu and Obinze. As they leave Nigeria for the West, they get separated. Ifemelu tries to find her way in the US while Obinze goes to England. 15 years later they meet again, as both once again return to their homeland. It’s a fascinating and true story about being an immigrant, an outsider, as well as finding your way back once you’ve left your home.
+ Homegoing: Homegoing isn’t a typical read for me since the story picks of in the 18th century (and I’m NOT a fan of historical fiction). The story is worth reading it though. It deals with the sisters Effia and Esi, two sisters with two very different destinies. While Esi is sold into slavery in America, while Effia stays in Ghana and marries a British slave trader. The novel tells the story of their families – each generation up until this day. It’s a fantastic tale and it will really change your perspective on American history as well.
+ When the Moon Is Low: I only just finished this book and now I want to get everyone I know to read it. It tells the story of Fereiba who flees from Afghanistan with her three children after her husband gets killed. In the course of the journey (spoiler alert) Fereiba and her 16-year old son Saleem get separated, each trying to find their own way to London. I’ve never read a refugee story that tells the individual details of the different stops of the journey (Turkey, Greece, Italy and so on) in such detail. This book isn’t an easy read, but it definitely changes your perspective as well.
+ The Kite Runner: I love all of Khaled Hosseini’s novels, The Kite Runner as well as “And the Mountain Echoed” and “A Thousand Splendid Suns”. If you still haven’t read any of them, you need to change that immediately. This is his first one, so I’d start with it. His prose is absolutely beautul and you will learn a lot about Afghanistan and it’s history along the way.
+ Exit West: This novel is quite new and well worth the buzz it received lately. It tells the story of Nadia and Saeed, two very different people who fall in love in the middle of a civil war. Together, they decide to flee. Will they make it? And will their love make it as well? A very wise observation of a book.
+ Half of a Yellow Sun: My second book from Adichi for this post, but she’s just so good. This book is really informative as well, this time on the civil war in Nigeria in the 1960s, how the world reacted and what it did to Nigerian citizens. But it’s not just a history book – there are three intermingled family stories that are really fascinating as well.
+ The Lowland: Another family story (can you tell that I like those?), this time set in India in the 1960s. Brothers Sudash and Udayan are inseparable, but also absolutely different. Udayan wants to change Indian politics, while Sudash leaves for America to make a name for himself. Then tragedy happens and the family is shook upside down. This is another book I absolutely love and it will keep you glued to the pages till the end.
+ Behold the Dreamers: Jende and Neni are immigrants in New York, fresh from Nigeria. The year is 2007 and it’s looking good – Jende has a job with a Clark Edwards, a high manager at Lehman Brothers. The family is moving up in the world. Then the financial world crashes down – and for Jende and Neni everything changes too.
+ Zeitoun: This is the (real!) story of Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a prosperous Syrian-American and father of four children. When Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans, he decides to stay in the city to take care of his properties. What happens to people once order is lost, is truly scary. This shows how prejudices affect all of us and how they can have truly horrible repercussions. Not an easy read, but definitely worth it.
+ What is the What: I read this book ages ago and it still has an impact on me. It’s from 2006, written way before the ‘refugee crisis’, but it’s still surprisingly relevant. It tells the story Valentino Achak Deng, a refugee from Sudan, and what he has experienced on his way out of his country. This book will haunt you.
What books did you read lately that changed your perspective?