Put some snuggly clothes on. Light some scented candles. Cuddle up with your favorite blanket. Put some light music on in the background. It’s raining outside, perhaps there will be a storm? Either way, you find yourself something warm to drink, maybe a tee or a hot chocolate. Then you grab a new book out of your shelf; One that you’ve been thinking about reading all summer, but just didn’t find the time to. You turn the page and it says Chapter 1; A new story, a new beginning. A new world to disappear into, so that you can forget your own, just for a couple of hours. You can feel your eyes sparkle with pure delight as you read the first sentence of the chapter. It’s an intriguing one; The kind of sentence that immediately pulls you into another human’s reality, and you want to do nothing more than just stay there, read and let your imagination go wild.
THIS IS WHAT AUTUMN SHOULD IDEALLY FEEL LIKE
Am I right?
So let’s jump into it. Let’s make this autumn your autumn. Let’s fill it with thought-provoking stories and psychological/philosophical theories and ideas. For many, this is the beginning of a new year of University or school. So, why not go all out and add some intellectual books to read on the side, shall we?
“Crime and Punishment” by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
«Raskolnikov went out in complete confusion. This confusion became more and more intense. As he went down the stairs, he even stopped short, two or three times, as though suddenly struck by some thought. When he was in the street he cried out, “Oh, God, how loathsome it all is! and can I, can I possibly… No, it’s nonsense, it’s rubbish!” he added resolutely.
About: Rodin Raskolnikov, an impoverished ex-student in Saint Petersburg struggles with his own mental anguish and moral dilemmas, and, as a result of this, does something highly immoral.
Why: It’s extremely well written, easily read, and the author manages to pull the reader into the story by constantly presenting you the protagonist’s inner monologues with himself. Perfect for an autumn-read.
Dice (1-6): 6! (I would never allow myself to give Dostoyevsky anything less than this!)
2. “12 Rules For Life” by Jordan Peterson
“To stand up straight with your shoulders back is to accept the terrible responsibility of life, with eyes wide open. It means deciding to voluntarily transform the chaos of potential into the realities of habitable order. It means adopting the burden of self-conscious vulnerability and accepting the end of the unconscious paradise of childhood, where finitude and mortality are only dimly comprehended.
About: A psychological study divided into chapters with each title representing a specific rule for life. His profound idea is that “suffering is built into the structure of being,” but although it can be unbearable, people have a choice either to withdraw, which is a “suicidal gesture”, or to face and transcend it. (In my opinion, Peterson and Dostoyevsky are very similar in their philosophies on life.)
Why: Because Jordan Peterson tells you the hard, cold truth. And whether you like it or not, it’s important to hear – especially now that a new school year is starting (for the most of you.) He teaches you how to accept responsibility and how to train to become the better version of yourself = The ideal autumn-book.
Dice (1-6): 6!
3. “The Royal Game” by Stefan Zweig
“Besides, isn’t it confoundedly easy to think you’re a great man if you aren’t burdened with the slightest idea that Rembrandt, Beethoven, Dante or Napoleon ever lived?”
About: By the cause of unfortunate circumstances, Dr. B is forced to maintain his sanity through a book of past master’s chess games, which inevitably leads to a growing passion of his. Many years later, he accidentally stumbles across an inborn World Chess-Champion, Mirko Czentovic. When he challenges him to a game, things get heated; Who is most likely to win? Czentovic Mirko, who’s talent was an inborn quality, or Dr. B who’s talent was trained through books?
Why? For me, autumn is all about raising new questions and challenging our beliefs once again. The same reason to why nature slowly starts decaying, we are meant to kill our old perspectives, evaluate the old and the new during the long months of solitude during winter, and to finally form our own idea of it all when spring arrives with all its joy and glory. This book is perfect for that. Although it’s fiction, it does raise some important philosophical questions; Can one be born a genius, or will trained knowledge always have the upper hand? Stefan Zweig knew the answer, and you will too if you start reading the book:)
Dice (1-6): 6! (I know I gave all the books the highest score this time, but I can’t help it! They’re all my favorites!)
Alright. Those were my top 3 autumn-reads! Hope you enjoy them as much as I did and do make sure to gather some time for yourself this autumn. Everyone needs a bit of solitude and a good book! Especially during this time of the year♥
Aftur S. Nerdrum