Last night, 4-part series Incredible Journeys with Simon Reeve aired on BBC, in which Simon recalled some of the most memorable humans he’d met on his travels in the past decade or so. This series is very moving because Simon chose to weave in his own stories of personal struggle, admittedly I cried beautiful tears. Anyway, this prompted me to share my top Goodreads reviews from 2020, with Mr. Reeve’s autobiography coming up in first place.
1. Step by Step: The Life in My Journeys – Simon Reeve
What can I say? This book made me laugh and cry! This man is a role model that has inspired people all over the world. His intellect, empathy, and profound optimism for humanity is like no other. This is a very revealing autobiography which covers not just his travels but also his very relatable personal struggles… it helped saved me from the ‘narrow’ view of my own despair. And thank you Simon Reeve for dedicating Chapter 19 of your book to my country of origin – a place that still does not ‘exist’, I have never felt more seen and represented by a person hailing from the West.
2. Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything – Elizabeth Gilbert
It took me 2 years and 2 days to finish this book! Looking back, it kind of feels like I absorbed it at exactly the right pace: in line with my very relatable personal experiences. I have so much respect for writers that share deeply personal stories like this. Understanding how she attempted to make sense of it all offered additional perspectives to me. Liz was like a silent and patient tutor in the background on my journey of self-inquiry. I suspect this will be the first book that I will re-read.
“To lose balance sometimes for love is part of living a balanced life.” – Wayan, Balinese Healer
3. The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple – Jeff Guin
I became curious about cults after the recent case in the news of the downfall of the cult NXIVM. Jeff Guin and his team or researchers did an excellent job at putting together a compelling description of a complex series of events that lead to a horrendous Jonestown massacre in 1978. This is an in-depth read but a truly valuable lesson from history that should not be forgotten, because given the circumstances everyone is susceptible for falling in to to a cult!