I find that there’s an understated charm in being a homebody. Beyond the external clamor lies a sanctuary: the home. For me, it’s not merely about the physical space but the enriching experiences that unfold within it. This sanctuary serves as a canvas, reflecting roles that are dear to me: a dedicated father, a loving husband, an audiobook enthusiast, and an ardent reader. For some they escape by going out and doing adventures or traveling but I am completely at ease with a nice quiet night reading and relaxing.
After a demanding day at work, stepping into my home doesn’t feel routine. Instead, it’s a cherished ritual. An act that I feel I have completed a thousand times but has yet gotten old. Distancing myself from professional obligations, I seamlessly transition into domestic life. From contributing to household tasks to savoring simple domestic joys, there’s magic in every corner. Whether it’s getting lost in an audiobook or the occasional TV show, home always offers solace. Sometimes just having a few moments to yourself can give you great relief. Working as an IT technician there are many stressful moments but I find many joys in my home life. I hear some coworkers and customers talking about their special plans for the evening but I really enjoy a nice silent night.
However, two aspects truly bring joy to my life: the invaluable time with my wife and daughter (even though they are currently out of the country we always make time to catch up by video calls) and my enduring passion for reading and listening to books. As the day changes into the evening, the shared moments with my family become the day’s highlights. These instances underscore the beauty of being rooted at home. Whether it’s getting the highlight reel about what’s going on at my wife’s work or hearing my daughter tell me about a video game she is playing.
Similarly, books beckon with the promise of new horizons and fresh perspectives. Each title I’ve cherished over the years has been a gateway to diverse landscapes, introducing me to compelling narratives and stimulating thoughts. Below I have listed some books that I have enjoyed and recommend others to read.
In Finding Alaska by John Green, I discovered not just a story but a reflection on life’s intricacies, making me think about how one person can greatly impact our lives and the mysteries that bind us. This is a book that I read in my free time at college and I fell in love with the story. I have watched the Hulu show based on the book but it doesn’t do the book justice. I find it a little crazy that it is on some school’s book ban list but that is a topic for another day.
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles weaves an elegant tale of resilience and camaraderie amidst adversity. The protagonist’s journey resonates, suggesting that happiness can be found even in confinement. This book covers a large section of turbulent Russian history and is a fascinating read. It might take a moment to get caught up in the story but it is definitely worth the read. The best part of this book is the characters. After reading you will feel like you personally know them.
10% Happier by Dan Harris offers an insightful, relatable dive into the world of mindfulness. His candid discourse on finding genuine contentment served as a refreshing perspective in an often repetitive genre. I read this book when I was trying to read some self-help books. This book should be read by anybody who is looking to gain a new perspective. I am not really into meditation but I have tried it a time or two. For me exercising seems to be a good way for me to clear my mind but this book did help put things in perspective. I also love the idea of just making yourself 10 percent happier because getting to 100 seems to be overly optimistic.
Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus is an enchanting blend of fantasy and reality, painting a world of magic, passion, and rivalry, reminding me of the wonders of imagination and the allure of escapism. I got this book during Christmas many years ago and could not put it down. It was a book I bought at Barnes and Noble on sale and I read it at the airport during a grueling 16-hour layover in Vienna. It stands out in my memory because it was the holiday season and I was going to visit my wife’s family in Ukraine. This book was a great escape for me rather than worrying about the layover and delayed flights.
James S.A. Corey’s The Expanse series is an intricate interplay of interstellar dynamics, human relationships, and the age-old quest for a place in the universe. I am currently reading book 3 and find this as a great series. I do admit that I watched the TV series first before I started the books. I find that the book does an amazing job of filling in the details that were missed in the TV series. I am still working on the series including the novelas but should be finishing the series soon.
With The Memory Man series by David Baldacci, I ventured into a world where crime, suspense, and psychological complexities converge, keeping readers at the edge of their seats. Great thriller serious. At first, the premise seemed a bit odd but soon I could not put it down. I finished the series and then started reading the rest of David Baldacci’s books.
Lastly, Erik Larson’s The Splendid and the Vile offers a profound look into perseverance during tumultuous times, emphasizing the power of collective resilience and hope. Great read showing you the complexity of Winston Churchill. There are few people who you can say have changed the world and Churchill is definitely one of them.
In essence, my life as a homebody is enriched by these narratives. Each book, each author’s voice, has subtly influenced my worldview. Amidst the hustle and bustle of the outside world, I find balance, warmth, and wisdom in the cozy corners of my home, the cherished moments with my family, and the profound pages of my favorite books.
What books are great reads for you?