Hello everyone, welcome to today’s bookish video. I wanted to share 3 books I finished recently on Audible that have left a huge impact on me, and have been life changing because of the way they changed my perspective. The books I will be speaking on today are; Zikora by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, all 7 Harry Potter books by JK Rowling and finally The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Alright so let’s discuss Harry Potter and how I am very late to this party. I am overwhelmed by this series because I didn’t think I would like it at all. But now I’m like Dumbledore is a G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time), Severus Snape Why? Sort me into Gryffindor House and Hermione Granger and Ginny Weasley are best girls!
I got Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Book 1 at end of January, because a friend had told they were rewatching the movies and I was just like I’ve never seen or read Harry Potter let me give it a try on Audible. And I did. I finished book 7 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at the start of April. And the only reason I didn’t finish the series earlier was because I was listening to others books as well.
All 7 books are narrated by Stephen Fry and he does a fantastic job, I enjoyed this experience more because he was reading it to me. The story literally came to life in my head in the most real way, I was transported into Hogworts and I could see the scenes so clearly.
These Harry Potter books changed my perspective on relationships and community. One connection that Harry has with the main villain Voldemort is that they saw Hogworts as a safe place and home; it was the start of acceptance for both of them. For me it was reinforcing something I have been thinking about for a while, which is Where You Are Matters, The Environment Is Important. Sometimes there really is nothing wrong with you, the problem might be you are not in the right place. Harry grew up with his Aunt and Uncle who bullied him because he had magical powers and they looked down on this; he spent his childhood unaware of what was inside of him and was starved from love. However, when he started attending Hogworts my boy began to flourish, confidence joined the chat, laugher became a second language and adventure found him. However, there is only so much a good place can do, and sometimes the problem is you. Voldemort had the same opportunity to embrace this good place; but his heart was too cold and closed off. Instead of genuine growth he was about power and control, he was obsessive and he used people. This made become even more intentional about Healing my soul, if I am not working on myself and dealing with past hurt it can block me from receiving good things.
I hope to share more about my thoughts on Harry Potter in another video once I have watched the movies; as I want to compare them and talk more in detail about characters and the storyline.
The next book I want to talk about is Zikora, which was actually the first Audible book I purchased and the reason I signed up. I was looking at up books and I saw that Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie had released this short story as an amazon original. I am a huge fan of her work and read nearly all her books, so this was an easy yes. The only options for purchase was ebook or audible; and I find it hard to focus on ebooks because of the screen, so I signed up to audible.
This book is humbling, it reminded me to be slow to judge and if you haven’t gone through what someone else has simply be kind. Zikora had some negatives beliefs in her head about her mother, and her cousin and about how women lived theirs lives. In the words of Justin Bieber Never Say Never, or That Will Never Be Me in terms of hard life decisions. I am trying to choose my words carefully because if I gave an example from the book it will be a spoiler and I want you to go listen to it for yourself. But basically relationships are fragile, people change, scarifies need to be made to maintain things and it will look different when you remember the situation. I also thought about womanhood, family and romantic love as well Nigeria the motherland.
Now I am going to give a trigger warning for The Midnight Library because it starts with suicide and continues to mention wanting to die throughout the whole book. There are mixed reactions to this book, people agree that it is at least a good book; but it is a sensitive topic and can be overwhelming to think about some of the ideas Matt Haig has put forward. The main character Nora is given the chance to relive aspects of her life that she regrets; Nora is told if she finds a life she loves then that will become her new life.
The first take away from this book for me was that we can create regrets based on what others wanted from us, and it’s not even something we wanted for ourselves. I did want I could in that situation, what was right for me so I do not regret this memory that is coming to my mind. This is something that I had to learn to say with my therapist, I could not forgive myself for somethings because really I thought I had let people down or because I thought everyone else does it another way and there was something wrong with me.
Life does not go in a straight line upwards of constant acceleration; there will dips and times when nothing changes at all. However, holding on to regrets is heavy, and it stifles people. There is a difference between being aware of your mistakes and then fixating on regrets. I can reflect on my decisions and note when something didn’t have an outcome I desire because of my actions. However, once I have acknowledged it, I need to allow myself to move forward believing I will try to do better whenever I can. As being sacred and stuck in my past mistakes does not allow me to be present. To put it simply be intentional about being present in the moment and living sincerely for yourself; be kind to yourself and hug yourself.
Before I end, I wanted to share some pros and cons of using Audible. I will start with the con as I only have one, which is that if you don’t like the narrators voice you might find it hard in engage with the book. So far all the books I have had great narration, but I look at reviews first so I avoid books were listeners have complained or mentioned the voice didn’t fit the story.
Moving on to the pros, the first one is that you can listen to Audible whenever, you don’t need wifi as once you have downloaded it the books work offline as well. Also you don’t need to concentrate hard compared to when reading, you can multitask, go for a walk or lay in bed. Another reason why I enjoy it so much is because it gives me the opportunity to finish books I might have avoided reading, such as some of the Harry Potter books because they are thick! Audible has become a way for me to reconnect with books, as for the past 2 years I’ve had trouble concentrating on words on a page, I even tried ebooks and looking at the screen for too long hurts my eyes. It honestly was taking me a long time to get through books and there were so many on my list, but now thanks to Audible I have been able to get through my book list.
We have come to the end, those were the 3 books that have changed my perspective and I am so happy to have experienced them on Audible. If you are interested, sign up for a 30days trial and get one book for free. I have linked my books down below; let me know in the comments if you have read any of these or have anything else to add about some of the points I mentioned.