20 ‘TIL I’M 20: 20 Lessons Books taught me

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Hello guys!

In my last wrap-up I told you that I was making this series of posts -or whatever you’d like to call it- to celebrate my twentieth birthday coming up in a week, since I’m not really doing anything IRL, I thought I’d take advantage of my little corner of the internet and basically annoy everyone by talking about it non-stop. Anyway. I was thinking about something to tie the main purpose of the blog with life lessons and my huge wisdom as a 20 year old potato and I came up with this not so genius idea.

We can’t deny that being huge readers and books taking up (more like eating up) a considerable chunk of our lives, they are bound to affect us in more ways than one. In the way we think, we see the world, even in the way we act to some extent. So, in that train of thought, I’ll tell you a little bit about the things that books taught ME. I frankly don’t know if I’ll be able to come up with 20, but I’ll squeeze this brain of mine until I do. Shall we, start?

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The whole premise of the book stands on the fact that the twins kept each a secret from each other, which dug a ravine between them. They were so close and then kept drifting apart until they stopped talking altogether and started despising each other. All of this FOR WHAT? Because they couldn’t live with the secrets they were keeping. And I realized that sometimes secrets do more damage than good.

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Now listen up. My sister is 12, so that makes an 8 years gap right there and when I was younger I had a lot of trouble dealing with that, like it was too big for us to have any shared interests, so I bossed her around A LOT (especially when I was having my nasty teenagehood crisis) and so on. Yes I wasn’t always this fluff-ball of a potato. Don’t get me wrong, my behaviour changed a couple of years back but it’s not until I read the book that I realized the years that I wasted. I know Rhy and Kell are not blood brothers but their relationship is as precious, they love each other and would do anything for one another. Seeing how much time they spent together made me want to do the same with my baby sister.

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You know very well I can’t make this post without some HP. Well, the first thing I ever learnt from a book I did from Luna Lovegood. Everybody was saying she is crazy and seeing things, never taking her word on anything and she still was so confident with who she was, she never let it get to her or change her. And because of that she was my favorite character in the series (And I’m sure if you’ve been following me for a while, you’d know that).

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This is pretty self-explanatory if you’ve read the book. Or even, if you just know who the girl is (if you don’t, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN LIVING?). Malala is a true inspiration to all girls -and people- out there. She was shut down, shot, almost killed and NEVER gave up on her fight for girls’ education in her country. And that is such a HUGE motivation to get over minor daily obstacles that get thrown my way and that can sometimes stray me away from my goals a bit.

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I’ve known grief and trust me, I know how easy it is to just close yourself to the world and wallow in pain and sorrow BUT that is never the best solution. Yes, in the process of grieving, there are things you have to learn to do alone, things that no one can teach you or even help you with BUT remember that you’re not the only one that’s grieving and people around you can help you get your closure as much as you can help them get theirs. And I’ve seen that in this book, with Lennie closing herself to her family and feeling like her sister was only hers to grieve and it’s not until she re-opened up to her family that she was able to make progress.

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I know this is a no brainer but back when I was a kid it wasn’t as obvious to me. I was a hard worker and loved studying and as a result to that I was top of my class more often than not and some people tried to shame me for it. Ridiculous, I KNOW. But the thing is, that really affected me and I started hiding it, I avoided participating in class, when I was asked if I studied a certain thing I’d say no and so on… But when Hermione entered the picture and I saw how big of an asset her brains were, and how comfortable she was with being smart, I realized I could be too.

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This is what I struggle with the most to be honest. Like, someone could think we are the closest of friends and pour their heart and soul out to me and I’d still be unable to tell them anything too personal about myself. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just that I CAN’T. And Kaz has that as well… x100. But reading that book, I realized that people are worth it if only they get a chance. And I want to work on that.

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There are a gazillion of lessons one can learn from this book, it is truly a brilliant one. (READ IT!) but what stood out to me the most is to what lengths Miel was willing to go -and went- to protect Sam because she loved him THAT much and could do anything for him. And there are people like that, who deserve the world and for whom you’d risk anything.

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This book isn’t out yet (not until February) but as soon as it is out and if you love historical fiction, snatch it. But basically, a girl and a woman meet working in a circus and form an extraordinary bond over just a few months that people can’t form over a life time, they were truely like this little family who care deeply for each other.

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This is such a lovely but underrated book. A girl dies and she’s a ghost and has to come to term with her death as well as everyone moving on after her. She couldn’t do that because she blamed some people for what happened to her so she just couldn’t be okay and move on to whatever is coming next. So if you translate that in everyday life, grudges basically hold us back and at some point we have to let go to be able to move on.

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I started off being in love with this book but a thing happened that triggered me (yes, really, I’m not using that word lightly or just for show) so I ended up hating it. But, that didn’t prevent me from learning something from it. More often than not, people are more than what you see in them because at the end of the day they only show parts and bits of them they choose to show. Either because they’re ashamed of the other parts or because they don’t trust you enough.

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This is pretty similar to the last but I think mentioning it is important. This is another book I didn’t like but I still learnt something from anyway. A person can seem perky and happy, and like they don’t have a single worry (especially on the internet) but things are not always the way they seem, that day could be the hardest one they’ve ever had, they could be struggling with numerous thing. And this can serve as a reminder to never take people’s state of mind as well as mental health and remember to always be kind.

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This book was my first venture into Magical Realism. Of ever. I did a conscious effort to stay away from it because I didn’t think it would be something I’d like. But I fell in love with it completely and I know for sure that I will read more Magical Realism in the near future because if those other books can make me feel half what this book did it’ll be amazing.

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This book. I don’t have enough word in my vocabulary, all languages combined, to describe how amazing, important and heartbreaking it is. Like really, read it. This is required reading. It follows slavery from the 1700’s until modern days. And even though people thought they were free of slavery, they stil were slaves to a system that could find loop-holes to laws that were theoritically set to protect them. And that was horrifying to read  about.

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I admired Aaron so freaking much in this book. He is one of the best, strongest characters I’ve ever read about in my life and he literally had one of shittiest lives in bookish history but he fought for it, he fought to make his life better, to be more happy than not. SO MUCH. He kept pushing through and that was so inspiring and motivational.

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This book explores the regrets/what ifs of life because the author tells up about the conversations he wished he had with his grand-mother while she was still alive. How he wishe we spent time with her when he was living with her. And that made me think that, if you have a good relationship with your family, there’s no reason whatsoever not to take some time to spend with them. I know that I tend to take my family for granted, I often, find myself thinking: “They’re here! So I can always spend time with them tomorrow.” But what if there’s not?

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Well, I already knew this because my best friend means the world to me and I know she’d do anything for me. But still, the friendship in this book was my favorite thing and it served as a good reminder.

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Patroclus (little pumpkin that’s too precious for this world) loves Achilles unconditionally even when the latter was an ungrateful little bastard. But still, he loved him, thinking that that could be enough to make him better and change some of his decisions which didn’t happen. Love and only love isn’t enough sometimes to fix things and change them for the better.learnt-19

The protagonist in this doesn’t know what he’s doing with his life or what his future prospects will be but by the end of the book he realized that that was a necessary stage he had to go through to find himself, grow confident and find what he likes and where his life was headed. Which is absolutely true. But not knowing is fucking scary, I know it, you know it and we can’t handle it. It is hard, really. But we should learn to be okay with it.

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Well, this is pretty self-explanatory. And the lesson I’m most grateful for, because just this one lesson will teach me a hundred more. Because diversity = More stories to read = More experiences to witness = More lessons to learn.


That’s it until next time.

Now it is your turn to tell me. What are some lessons books taught you? Do any of mine apply to you?

Do you learn things even from the books that you don’t like?

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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30 thoughts on “20 ‘TIL I’M 20: 20 Lessons Books taught me

  1. Now I definitely need to finally read Six of Crows! Have you read Shadow and Bone? If so, would you recommend starting with the Grisha Trilogy or Six of Crows? Anyway, I absolutely love Jandy Nelson; I’ll Give You the Sun was kind of my gateway book into the online bookish community. I’m so glad other people love them too! Loving your background, by the way! -Keira x.

    Liked by 1 person

    • YES PLEASE IT’S SO WONDERFUL 😭
      I haven’t but that doesn’t change anything from your enjoyment of SoC, there are some characters from the Grisha that make a quick appearance but that’s as far as it goes.
      Oh really? That’s so awesome! It’s my favorite contemporary of all times. And thank you 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. These lessons are so, so important, and I love that you highlighted a specific book to read for each lesson. I haven’t read (and probably won’t read) all of them, but I’m bookmarking this post to help me make recommendations for other people. Thank you so much for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This was a really good post! I have to agree your sibling really is your best friend. I feel you, I have a big gap between me and my brother (not as big as yours, we’re 5 and a half years) it’s still a great deal, but now that we’re older it’s like we’re the same age. I still sometimes treat him like a little kid because he will always be 10 to me haha, sometimes I’m like his second mother ha! 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad you think so 😊 yeah that’s true, even if my sister is still pretty young, I tell her a lot of things, we go out together and everything but yeah haha sometimes I feel like a second mom as well, especially since I’m the person who spends most time with her at home!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is such an amazing post Fadwa, and a great way to end your 20 till your 20 series as well! Some of these are amazing life lessons from some of my favourite books as well, although some are quite sad I think. I definitely agree with you about the Crooked Kingdom lesson, how trusting people can be daunting but worth it in the end, and with When the Moon Was Ours, about reading out of your comfort zone. For me what led me to my discovery of magical realism was Bone Gap so I guess that would be the book that inspired me to read more diversely in terms of genres.
    Some of these are my favourite books, and the ones that aren’t have been added to my to-read list! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. All of these lessons are great, Fadwa!
    I also struggle with trusting people, even my friends, with information about myself. It’s something I want to work on too because I feel like I could be so much closer to people if I could just open up more.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this honest post, Fadwa! Books certainly opened a new realm of fictional escape for me but they’ve also taught me so many lessons as well. Harry Potter is a classic and remains as my favorite because it got me into reading. Plus the values and morals it reminds children and adults are timeless. Anyway, thanks for compiling and sharing such a heartwarming post. ^.^

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I LOVE this post Fadwa! I love the idea of reflecting on the books you’ve read and what they have taught you about life. I noticed that I haven’t read many of these books, so obviously I need to pick these up since they seemed to make such an impact on you!

    Like

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  10. I’mma be honest: if I was Rhy, I wouldn’t mind drop-kicking his non-blood brother in favour for his [Kell’s] coat. IT’S SO MAGICAL THAT I’D NE OKAY LOSING A BROTHER FOR IT LOLOL.

    A lot of these are great sentiments but it’s perhaps following through with them that is often where we (or just I) often find difficulty. Good thing literature can be used as vehicles to let us do some of these!

    Like

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