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  • Writer's pictureBianca Harland

Call me by my name. If you can remember it....

A bit like judging a book by its cover, so much of how we behave and act is based on our gut instinct. Our gut reaction. Intuition. The first time you meet someone. Starting at a new job, a new friend, a new country. Going on a date. Choosing a new book. Your gut speaks to you instantly. And I mean instantly. It’s just down to how much we listen to it. Really listen to it. Quite often I think I find myself trying to shush it. I don’t want it to be right. Sometimes I desperately hope that my gut is wrong. It’s rarely the case.

So, day three out of quarantine in the dreamy tropical island paradise that is Soneva Jani, and obviously, I’m listening out for the old gut instinct to kick in. And people have been asking the obvious ‘how are you finding it’. But today I was asked specifically what’s your gut saying. And I loved it. What a wonderful way to gauge how you are really feeling. You don’t even need somebody else to ask. You can ask yourself, right this very moment. Just make sure you really listen to the answer.

The week has been a total whirlwind of new faces, places and names. Please don’t quiz me on a name. I’m rubbish at the best of times. It feels as though I’ve met fifty hundred billion new people in the last few days and find myself coming up with rhymes in my head to try and remember their names. Kaia like fire, Kaia like fire. I hear myself repeating.

With the shop is finally open, and feeling all shiny and new to me, I start to settle into the new pace. The books look pretty, the water looks blue and so far, today, at this very moment, my insides are happy.

Very rarely, though, I have found my instinct slightly off course, this can occur when faced with the task of choosing your next book. Because, like the rest of the world, I have that unfortunate habit of judging by the cover. And, I really like it when I’m wrong.

Books I wrongly judged by their covers.

Lost Connections - Johann Hari

A topic that many of us find a challenge to navigate, I am a big fan of open conversations about mental health. And that is why this book should be read by all. Johann Hari looks at the world as a whole, and about how we are doing as a society on the issues of mental health and human connection, which we all crave. We all need to be reading this book, to understand the impact and importance of connection, not through a screen, but 3D, in your face, say hello, kind of connection. If you do or don’t, have or have not struggled with mental health, today or in the past. Read this book. Learn something. Be a friend. Connect.

Educated - Tara Westover

I’m not sure I’ve ever been more wrong about a book. Memoirs are not usually my kettle of fish. However, this is not just a memoir. This is if you are looking for something to explode a light on the power of human resilience, on grit and survival. It is a true example of how your surroundings, family, or any other outside influences don’t always need to hold you back. We are often quick to blame an outside influence for our lack in life. Let Tara Westover be a lesson to you all. A warning that it’s not all sunshine and happy days, but, neither is real life.

The Midnight Library - Matt Haig

I think perhaps I just wasn’t totally drawn in by this cover. But the message that lays on the pages inside deserve me retracting my judgement. Long story short this tale is told through the eyes of everyday, normal human being, Nora. It’s about how all we are really looking for in life is to feel fulfilled. And what is it that causes us to feel fulfilled. It’s a journey we have all been on, over and over, in our minds. We all wonder if everybody else is feeling the same. The world of social media means that are able to compare our lives to those of others at the swipe of a finger. What would we do if we were actually given the chance to make a change, swap lives?

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Apr 25, 2022

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