Reading List

What I’d Been Reading 


Quiet by Susan Cain 



Finally ticked this one off my to-be-read list. If I could read any book out loud on a mountain, this would be one of my first choices. Our culture has a rather unreasonable obsession with extroversion, that we unfairly link it with all successful people. While the point of this book isn’t to crap on extroversion (because it’s useful in certain situations), we don’t realize how grossly underrated the value of introversion is. Many of the greatest people we know are introverts — owing to their ability to be closely attuned with their own thoughts and emotions. Just as extroversion has its strengths, so does introversion. It’s long overdue that we recognize this fact. 



Bittersweet by Susan Cain 



Also picked up Susan Cain’s latest book. If “Quiet” criticizes society’s obsession with extroversion, “Bittersweet” criticizes our obsession with happiness. Obviously, it’s good to be happy. But the problem is when we have the need to put on a happy face all the time, that we don’t let ourselves feel any other way. We view gloomy feelings such as sorrow as bad things to have. As the author helps us realize, feelings are neither good nor bad. It’s okay to feel sad, to be angry, to grieve. By letting yourself feel whatever it is you’re truly feeling, you’re simply allowing yourself to be human. 



Umbrella Academy (Volumes 1 to 3) by Gerard Way


DARK HORSE-The Umbrella Academy Graphic Novel Box Set | Newbury Comics

Got myself into a Gerard Way / My Chemical Romance rabbit-hole after they released their latest single. Honestly, I don’t think I had ever truly realized how great a writer the lead singer, Gerard Way is. As you can probably recognize in MCR’s concept albums, Way has a knack for storytelling — and his comic books are just as gut-wrenching as his lyrics are. “Umbrella Academy” here isn’t merely about superheroes — it’s about a family of adopted siblings, struggling to heal and come to terms with the death of their unloving foster parent.



The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys: National Anthem by Gerard Way


The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys: National Anthem

This comic book was written based on the original concept that Way had for MCR’s album, “Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys”. It’s set in a dystopian future where grief no longer exists. People could easily take pills and watch television to erase their painful memories, and the deceased could be brought back to life. But ultimately, life would be meaningless — society would end up being a hollow shell — devoid of passion and character.  



Nature and Selected Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson 


Nature and Selected Essays

If you’ve never read any of Emerson’s essays, I’d highly recommend you do — starting with “Self-Reliance”. Re-reading his essays has made me realize how more relevant they become as time passes. “Self-Reliance”, especially, teaches you to stand by your own values and to trust your own thinking and intuition. In an age of social media where we tend to compare our “twisted-up insides to others’ blow-dried outsides”, as another author, Mary Karr put it, every one of us needs to figure out what success and happiness mean to us individually.  

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