A book must be an ice-axe to break the seas frozen inside our soul. Franz Kafka

My friend sent me the link to a thought provoking post on For Book’s Sake‘s website, I had somehow missed the post myself so am very grateful I was pointed in its direction. Not only is the article in itself a worthwhile read but it got me thinking about firstly my own writing, which, other than my occasional oversharing blog post, is still firmly kept for my eyes only (having shared it with some souls who have since moved out of my life – not because of my writing I hasten to add) but more than this it got me thinking about the writers who not only inspire me but save me from myself. The fiction, the poetry, the non fiction, the cookbooks; the Kafka quote above applies to all. There is a book for whatever mood and a good book can completely change that mood.

A book really can get right in there and chip away to get the seas within the soul moving, when reading you feel the warmth growing within and the occasional shiver as a block of the icy soul breaks off in one. Every book I have read has contributed to my life; some just to make me aware of what I don’t like from a book, some have shaped my wholebeing. A few of these are listed below.

I read am homes’ This Book Will Save Your Life sometime ago but the plot stays with me and gives me hope about my life changing, no matter how bleak or lost things seem that I can turn things around and no matter what I can always have a doughnut.

I love finding an author whose writings I want to just absorb completely, the work of Neil Gaiman draws me in so deeply and wraps me so tightly in its words that I fall into whatever world his brain has dreamt up. I totally lose my own thoughts and sense of self, which is not a bad thing.

I trawled the internet looking for recommendations of books that cheer people up and found a few good reads this way; Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris and A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle are two stellar examples, however, as much as I enjoyed these books and do recommend them it made it clear to me that you have to find your own books that touch your soul. I feel like I’m an ever changing jigsaw piece and I can try different books through my life and although I can appreciate the picture it doesn’t quite fit, then one book comes along and matches me exactly so that I feel whole and can see everything clearly.

Sometimes I can do this with a simple cookbook and be inspired to create a meal for my friends or family, which I know will make them happy and in turn me. Sometimes my soul is searching for more and I recall the first time I read Plato’s Symposium and the idea of two souls being united and feel the need to gain this from literature.

There are just too many good books out there and as I have found with UKBookTwits there are always so many more to read. I’m going to aim to add more to my mental health reading list so if you have any recommendations please let me know.

If you feel inclined you can have a look at some of the books I’ve already read on Shelfari.

Thank you for sticking with me during Mental Health Awareness Week. I know we all have developed our own ways to deal with what life has thrown at us and I have found this week incredibly helpful even if it is just because I have been pouring my heart out. The fact that some wonderful people have been reading it is remarkable.