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Finding Joy in the Pages: My Top 5 Books of 2022

Reading is an amazing activity that has many benefits for the mind, body, and soul. Not only does it expand your knowledge and understanding of the world, but it also improves your vocabulary and language skills, can improve your memory and concentration, and can even reduce stress and improve mental health.

For those who are not regular readers, it might be easy to underestimate the power of reading and the impact it can have on your life. But for those who make reading a regular part of their routine, the benefits are multiple and far-reaching.

Benefits of reading

One of the primary benefits of reading is that it expands your knowledge and understanding of the world. No matter what type of book you’re reading – whether it’s a historical novel, a nonfiction book about a particular topic, or a work of science fiction – you are likely to learn something new and gain a deeper understanding of the world around you. This can be especially valuable for those who are curious and want to learn more about the world and the people in it.

‘A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.’

George R.R. Martin

Besides expanding your knowledge, reading also has the power to improve your vocabulary and language skills. When you read, you expose yourself to new words and concepts that you might not encounter in your everyday life. As you encounter these new words and concepts, your brain is challenged to expand its knowledge and understanding, which can lead to improvements in your language skills. This can be especially helpful for those who are learning a new language or want to improve their communication skills.

Reading can also be a great way to improve your memory and concentration. When you read a book, you are actively engaging your brain, which can help improve your memory and concentration skills. This is because reading requires you to pay attention and focus on the words and ideas presented in the book, which can help improve your ability to focus and retain information. This can be especially helpful for those who struggle with memory or concentration issues.

In addition to the cognitive benefits of reading, it can also be a powerful tool for reducing stress and improving mental health. When you read, you are transported to another world and can escape the stresses of everyday life, which can help you relax and feel more at peace. This can be especially helpful for those who are dealing with high levels of stress or anxiety.

Reading can also be beneficial for your sleep. Many people find that reading before bed helps them fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly. This is because reading helps to relax the mind and body, making it easier to fall into a restful sleep. This can be especially helpful for those who struggle with sleep issues.

Getting started with reading

So, how can you make the most of reading and enjoy all of these benefits? Here are a few tips for getting started:

  • Find a format that works for you: There are many different ways to read, and the best format for you will depend on your personal preferences and lifestyle. Some people prefer physical books, while others enjoy the convenience of digital platforms like Scribd or Kindle. Experiment with different formats to find the one that works best for you.
  • Set aside dedicated reading time: To get the most out of reading, it’s important to set aside dedicated time to focus on your book. This could be a few minutes each day, or a longer block of time once a week. The key is to find a regular reading routine that works for you and stick with it.
  • Keep track of your reading: If you’re the type of person who enjoys tracking your progress and setting reading goals, there are several tools available to help you keep track of your reading. Goodreads is a popular platform that allows you to track your reading, rate and review books, and connect with other readers. You can also use a tool like Notion to create a reading list and take notes on the books you’re reading. Keeping track of your reading can be a great way to stay motivated and make the most of your time.
  • Experiment with different genres: One of the great things about reading is that there is such a wide range of genres and styles to choose from. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try something new – you never know what you might discover. Whether you’re a fan of science fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, or nonfiction, there is a book out there that is perfect for you.
  • Join a book club or discussion group: If you enjoy discussing books with others, consider joining a book club or discussion group. This can be a great way to engage with other readers and explore new ideas and perspectives. Many local libraries and community centers have book clubs that are open to the public, or you can start your own group with friends or coworkers.

My favorites of 2022

This year, I have had the pleasure of reading a variety of books and have compiled a list of my favorites so far. You can find my reading list in Goodreads. The standout books on my list for 2022 include:

  • Flow” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: This book explores the concept of flow, a state of complete immersion in an activity that brings enjoyment and a sense of accomplishment. Csikszentmihalyi argues that flow is an optimal state of consciousness, in which we are fully present and engaged in the activity at hand. He suggests that we are more likely to experience flow when we are working on tasks that challenge us but are still within our abilities, and when we have clear goals and immediate feedback on our progress. The book is full of insights and practical tips for finding and cultivating flow in our daily lives.
  • Contact” by Carl Sagan: This science fiction novel tells the story of a young astronomer named Ellie Arroway, who becomes obsessed with the search for extraterrestrial life after experiencing a life-changing event as a child. As she grows older, Ellie becomes a leading expert in the field and is chosen to lead a team searching for signs of alien life. Along the way, she faces numerous challenges and makes some groundbreaking discoveries that challenge her understanding of the universe and her place in it. The book is a captivating blend of science and storytelling, and you found yourself rooting for Ellie as she pursues her lifelong dream of making contact with an alien civilization. I have listened to the audio book, read the book and watched the movie and I can say it’s a brilliant piece of story.
  • Pixar Storytelling” by Dean Movshovitz: This book is a must-read for anyone interested in storytelling and the art of creating engaging and memorable stories. Movshovitz, a film professor and Pixar insider, delves into the techniques used by Pixar to create their iconic films and offers practical insights for writers and filmmakers looking to hone their craft. The book is full of examples and case studies from Pixar’s films. I found it to be a valuable resource for understanding the art and craft of storytelling.
  • Flatland” by Edwin A. Abbott: This classic work of science fiction is a thought-provoking exploration of dimensions and the nature of reality. The book is narrated by a two-dimensional being named A. Square, who lives in a world called Flatland where all of the inhabitants are geometrical shapes. As A. Square travels through different dimensions, he encounters a variety of beings and comes to realize that the world is much more complex and mysterious than he ever could have imagined. The book is imaginative and clever, and I was fascinated by the way Abbott uses mathematical concepts to explore deeper ideas about the universe.
  • Marriage and Morals” by Bertrand Russell: This book is a thought-provoking examination of the institution of marriage and its place in society. Russell argues that traditional notions of marriage and sexuality are based on outdated ideas and that we need to reevaluate our attitudes and practices in light of changing social and cultural conditions. He also explores the nature of love and relationships and offers insights into what makes for a fulfilling and happy marriage. I found the book to be a challenging and thought-provoking read, and was deeply absorbed in Russell’s ideas about the nature of love and relationships.

Overall, these books have been some of my favorites of the year, and I highly recommend them to anyone looking for a good read. Each of these books offers something unique and engaging.

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