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My 2023 reading list

I'm currently busy with my 2023 reflections and in as much as I did well in some areas of my life and smashed my goals, on the reading-for-leisure front, it didn't go quite as planned.

I didn’t meet my reading goal of at least 20 books but here are some of my reflections on this:

  • The seasons of life aren’t the same and it’s ok not to meet every goal you set up for yourself. What matters is that you started on something and will continue, at the right pace, in alignment with the season you are in. Life threw one too many lemons at me this year and I did my best to manage the pressures. So I won't beat myself up and will celebrate the 12 books I managed to finish.

  • There's a book, perfectly suited for every season you are in. That’s why sometimes it’s a bit difficult to flow with a book you might have picked up. The Art of War was a challenging read for me. I will definitely pick it up again, season permitting, so I can make the most out of its teachings.

  • Ditching books after a couple of chapters is ok. I started reading Think Like A Monk early December but ditched it for a much easier read. That’s when I picked up The Mind of a Conqueror. I will read it again, from the beginning, in the first quarter of 2024.

  • Reading is not a race. The art of acquiring knowledge through a book requires patience, i.e. slow reading. This was the case for me when reading A Return to Love. You simply cannot rush through a book that teaches you about the essence of living and requires you to dig deep into your soul.

  • Reading books on taboo topics is a must. How then do we broaden our minds, thinking, etc. if we don’t? These books are thought provoking and make you think deep about where you stand about certain societal issues, norms, values, schools of thought, etc. What the Quran teaches about Jesus and People to be loved served this purpose.

  • Autobiographies and memoirs are just awe inspiring. I LOVE and truly enjoy autobiographies - this wasn't always the case though. I had no real interest in them but fiction. Remember Mills and Boon days? Yeah. I was that girl. However I've grown so fond of them - people’s untold stories are always so fascinating. Not in a "scoop the juice" kinda way but in an inspirational manner. Not only do you learn about people's upbringing, challenges and victories, but they also help you to understand the compelling circumstances that people have been through. This makes you grow in compassion and exercise this muscle more. Honestly, autobiographies are relatable, eye-opening and endearing.

  • Support local authors. As a self-publisher and mom to a young author, I cannot stress the importance of supporting local authors, more especially, self-published ones. The publishing industry is so beaurocratic and not so supportive to self-publishers. The plight of these publishers and authors is real. If our very own are to grow, we need to be intentional about the support we give. Besides relatable stories, great thinkers, there's some brilliant writers out there. #supportlocal at all costs. I'm planning to read a lot more of the locally produced books in 2024.

These are my takeaways, for now. On that topic of self-publishing, I will put something together to share our experience and journey thus far.

What's was on your 2023 reading list? Any recommendations for 2024?

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