Image description: A stack of books on a shelf
Quarantine has left us all in a constant state of unease. Now more than ever, books serve as a compelling source of comfort and companionship.
Here, I present three meaningful selections that may offer readers a sense of solace, appreciation and motivation through these trying times.
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
A beautiful memoir from an Austrian neurologist and Holocaust survivor, relating his experience as a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps to the age-old quest to find meaning in one’s life.
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way”
The first part of Frankl’s moving bestseller describes a harrowing recount of the daily struggles of a camp prisoner, identifying sources of fortitude even in the darkest hours. Frankl goes on to introduce his influential theory of logotherapy in Part Two, which offers empowering gems of wisdom to all individuals in search for a meaningful life through work, love and a brave attitude to suffering.
In such trying times, when we are faced with the arduous duty of social distancing, palpable threats to our living standards as well as distinct risks to our mental and physical health, ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ stands for an unwavering sense of optimism and hope.
Atomic Habits by James Clear
A no-nonsense, pragmatic guide that draws on proven frameworks from biology, psychology and neuroscience to determine how to build long-lasting good habits and decisively break bad ones.
Everything from learning a new skill to improving your fitness or reducing stress can be achieved by habit-formation. Clear imparts a vast supply of practical advice that enables readers to take concrete steps towards achieving their goals with methods such as environmental design, commitment devices and habit stacking. Find out how to make time for new habits in a busy life, conquer your lack of willpower and build a system to get 1% better every day.
“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.”
While it seems like the world is on pause at the moment, we must continue to nourish our body and mind through a healthy and productive lifestyle. ‘Atomic Habits’ extends a hand in keeping us motivated through this difficult situation by demonstrating the power of making small, easy changes to deliver big results.
This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay
An amazing insight into the ridiculously stressful and draining life of medical professionals that is equal parts hilarious and deeply tragic.
Kay, with a series of gripping diary entries, delivers a captivating depiction of the journey from a House Officer to a Senior Registrar with the National Health Service in the UK. Alongside highly entertaining encounters with patients, this book reveals the strains of such a demanding career on relationships and friendships as well as exploring the catastrophic realities of the medical world.
“The hours are terrible, the pay is terrible, the conditions are terrible; you’re underappreciated, unsupported, disrespected and frequently physically endangered. But there’s no better job in the world.”
With the immense pressure on medical workers at this time of calamity, ‘This is Going to Hurt’ conveys a genuine portrayal of the sacrifice medical professional make every day, throwing light to the bureaucratic negligence and other serious concerns associated with the persistent underfunding of the NHS. It also serves as a poignant reminder to treat everyone with respect and gratitude, particularly those who forgo their own time and well-being for the sake of bettering ours.
Image credit: Annie Spratt via Unsplash