Tea & Reading. My Favourite Books & Quotes of 2016?

How is it that certain sentences have the ability to seemingly change our direction in life, to nudge your thinking process? Why do we lose ourselves in books, only to discover what surrounds us externally does also do so on an internal level? I'm rather selective which books I read nowadays (as the Internet distracts me way too often). These are my favourite books  of 2016 and quotes which spoke to my heart. 

Woman Who Run With The Wolves

by Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Within every woman there is a wild and natural creature, a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing. Her name is Wild Woman, but she is an endangered species.

The remedies for repair or reclamation of any lost psychic drive are contained in stories.

When we enlarge or extend ourselves to touch the not-beautiful, we are rewarded. If we spurn the not-beautiful, we are severed from real life and left out in the cold.

I will breath into your lungs a wind for the singing of your songs.

Even if one has friends, these friends may not be suns.

Do your art. Generally, a thing cannot freeze if it is moving. So move. Keep moving.

Let your fear pass. In this case, it is better if you meet it head-on, feel it, and get it over with, than to keep using it to avoid cleaning up the river.

A Field Guide To Getting Lost

by Rebecca Solnit

Solnit explores the issues of wandering, being lost, and the uses of the unknown. The result is a distinctive, stimulating, and poignant voyage of discovery. Aren't the following words beautiful?

Instar implies something both celestial and ingrown, something heavenly and disastrous, and perhaps change is commonly like that, a buried star, oscillating between near and far.

The art is not one of forgetting but letting go. And when everything else is gone, you can be rich in loss.

Leave the door open for the unknown, the door into the dark. That’s where the most important things come from, where you yourself came from, and where you will go.

Getting lost was not a matter of geography so much as identity, a passionate desire, even an urgent need, to become no one and anyone, to shake off the shackles that remind you who you are, who others think you are.

Beauty is often spoken of as though it only stirs lust or admiration, but the most beautiful people are so in a way that makes them look like destiny or fate or meaning, the heroes of a remarkable story.

 

All Days Are Night

by Peter Stamm

One night following an argument, a couple has a terrible car accident: Matthias, who is drunk, hits a deer on the wet road and dies in the crash. Gillian wakes up in the hospital completely disfigured, putting her life back together is a slow process. This novel tells the story of a woman who loses her life but must stay alive all the same. 

If it’s reality you want, I suggest you look out the window.

The only driver for his work was desire, a kind of hunger for reality, for presence, and also for intimacy, as opposed to publicity. In a very wide sense, he was interested in transcendence.

That’s the thing with reality, he said, you can’t repeat it to order, you can’t correct it. Perhaps we should read more books.

Selective Writings

by Meister Eckhart


Meister Eckhart achieves a synthesis between ancient Greek thought and the Christian faith, combining the neoplatonic concept of oneness with his Christian belief and fusing philosophy and religion with metaphysical passion.

It can never be true knowledge when something is not known in its productive cause. In the same way life can never be perfected unless it is returned to its productive cause, where life is being.

If the spirit were to know its own pure state of detachment, then it would not be able to incline to any thing but would remain in its own detached state.

That we may find ourselves within in the day and in the season of the intellect, in the day of justice and in the day of blessedness.

The Quest For A Moral Compass

by Kenan Malik


Moral thought as it has developed over three millennia. Stories of the great philosophers, the book breathes life into historic ideas, while confronting our most cherished moral beliefs, asking some of humanity's deepest questions. Where do values come from? Are there absolute moral truths? 

For Homer the prize was honour, for Plato justice, for Aristotle happiness.

True knowledge derives not from scientific investigation of the universe, which results in the apprehension only of the transient and the ephemeral, but through transcending such knowledge, by leaving behind all understanding based on sense perception and inference.

The wise man delights in water; the good man delights in mountains. The wise move; the good stay still. The wise are happy; the good endure.

A philosopher asked the Buddha: 'Without words, without the wordless, will you tell me the truth?' The Buddha kept silent.

Can we establish friendship truer than blood itself.

He possesses the poet's desire to explore the unsayable and the unknowable.

It is admittendly, hard to understand what a timeless action involves.

The Magus

by John Fowles

A young Englishman accepts a teaching position on a remote Greek island, where he befriends a local millionaire. The friendship evolves into a deadly game in which reality and fantasy are deliberately manipulated. A fight for sanity and survival.

The most important questions in life can never be answered by anyone except oneself.

Between skin and skin, there is only light.

Liking other people is an illusion we have to cherish in ourselves if we are to live in society.

Reading is at the threshold of our inner life even though I increasingly notice that the Internet is quite distracting. What I've learned about myself is to have slots in my day where my electronics are banned (apart from the cattle to warm up some tea). It seems like books enable me to travel to horizons where the Internet is not able to take me.  

What books have you read this year, any favourites?

Recommended Reading

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