WE LIVE IN THE AGE OF THE INDIVIDUAL
‘Selfie’ a book by Will Storr … read by Zoe
We are supposed to be slim, prosperous, happy, extroverted and popular. This is our culture’s image of the perfect self. We see this person everywhere: in advertising, in the press, all over social media. We’re told that to be this person you just have to follow your dreams, that our potential is limitless, that we are the source of our own success.
But this model of the perfect self can be extremely dangerous. People are suffering under the torture of this impossible fantasy. Unprecedented social pressure is leading to increases in depression and suicide. Where does this idea come from? Why is it so powerful? Is there any way to break its spell?`
To answer these questions, Selfie by Will Storr takes us from the shores of Ancient Greece, through the Christian Middle Ages, to the self-esteem evangelists of 1980s California, the rise of narcissism and the selfie generation, and right up to the era of hyper-individualistic neoliberalism in which we live now.
It tells the extraordinary story of the person we all know so intimately – our self.
Words by Zoe.
Big Magic by Elizebeth Gilbert – Read by Emma
Parts of the book are really about creative living (i.e. living as a creator of things author / artist) whereas in many instances this book could have the word “creative” omitted from its subtitle as it is simply about living without fear. Or perhaps not strictly without fear as is explained from the get-go: fear is there; we acknowledge its presence and let it come for the ride but we do not let it take control of the steering wheel or even twiddle or fiddle with any knobs, buttons or gear stick! I Loved it!
“With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work, embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy”