Given that we’re one day away from May, I think it’s a good time to look back and reflect on things I’ve learnt from what I’ve read so far in 2019. I don’t often think about what books have taught me, I must admit, but this year I’ve definitely picked up a few books that have made me go ooh, I didn’t know that!
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and this week’s prompt is:
Inspirational/Thought-Provoking Book Quotes
Obviously, I’m bending my interpretation of this somewhat. I’m focussing more on the ‘thought-provoking’ aspect of this week’s prompt. This post will consist of books that have taught me some literal facts, and also other books that have taught me things about myself – and this is just out of the books I’ve read this year. So without further ado, let’s have a look at five – yes, for once I am being restrained and doing FIVE not ten – books that have given me an a-HA moment.
1. Women to the Front
by Heather Sheard and Ruth Lee
This book taught me new things about women’s roles as Doctors, not nurses, during World War One (not Two).
I love my history, and I’m sure you all know that. But my favourite thing when reading historical books is when they open up some new knowledge that broadens my understanding of an era or event.
Before this book (which is non-fiction but one hell of an inspiring read – here’s my full review!) I’d honestly never put much thought to qualified female doctors during the wars. Not only the World Wars but specifically WWI (the much lesser fictionalised war, in my opinion). It was refreshing, inspiring and eye-opening to see how these amazing women achieved their goals in an era that was so against women and made such an incredible difference on the frontlines and the home front. I could not recommend this enough!
2. Home Fires
by Fiona Lowe
This book taught me that I do enjoy books outside my comfort zone, providing I give them the chance.
Home Fires really made me sit back and question my too-comfortable, routine reading choices. I went into this book determined I would not love it, found it difficult to get through in the beginning but ended up overly emotionally attached and I loved it.
This was a tough read, dealing with some serious issues. But if anything, Fiona Lowe’s beautiful writing and brilliant characters, has made me think twice about some of the other general fiction books loitering on my shelves. Perhaps I should shake up my daily dose of dragons with some more realistic drama after all?
by Stephen Fry
This book taught me about Greek mythology and how it can be super fun to learn about.
Of course, I can’t discuss learning new things without bringing it back to a very literal point. Less self-reflective, this book (written by the mastermind that is Stephen Fry) found new and hilarious ways to teach and reintroduce me to Greek myth. So much of what is inside these pages has really stuck with me and I feel much better acquainted with these classic tales now.
4. The Boy Who Followed His Father into Auschwitz
by Jeremy Dronfield
This book managed to teach me something new about the Holocaust.
If you’ve been around my blog for a while, you might’ve noticed the one thing that tickles me pink with holocaust fiction (words that probably shouldn’t be in the same sentence), is when an author manages to write a book about it and reveals a new aspect of it I’d had no idea existed.
Having studied modern history (particularly WWII) at university, nothing thrills me more than the opportunity to learn more on a topic I find so intensely interesting. This book, whose name is far too long for its own good, was an amazing, true insight into the goings-on in many of the concentration camps and felt like my first real look into what went down in them.
5. White Stag
by Kara Barbieri
This book taught me that fantasy is full of surprises and new niche subgenres.
So to finish this off on a nice light note, this book blew my socks off for a ridiculous reason, really: goblins! I’ve never read epic fantasy before that centred around goblins in the same way many main stream YA fantasies centre around faeries.
I loved that Barbieri found a way to refresh this subgenre – and dare I say, create her own new subgenre? Who knows, there’s probably heaps of similar books out there but I just haven’t found them yet! It certainly pays to persevere with some left-of-centre books sometimes and discover something excitingly new that I absolutely adored!
A final note . . .
One thing I must add to this is how much these discoveries have encouraged me to reach one of my goals for 2019.
This year, I’ve been aiming to focus on recommendations, rather than solely bogging myself down in my own choices. 80% of these books were Advanced Reader Copies. Which means that 4 out of 5 of these books I took a chance on based on what someone else has suggested for me to read, and I’ve discovered something that has literally enriched my life.
Which means I can say this goal for 2019 is possibly the most rewarding goal I have ever set myself and I’m so excited to see what else I uncover throughout the rest of the year!
That’s a wrap!
Have you read something this year that taught you something new?