Not To Be Overlooked introduces a variety of a wonderful but lesser-known books to assist readers in finding their next great reads. This week we cover fiction and nonfiction, with reviews by Katie (The Water Cure) and Alicja (The Path to Positivity).
The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh
Published by Anchor Books, December 2019 (paperback edition)
Sophie Mackintosh’s The Water Cure is unlike anything I’ve ever read before. It’s eerie and baffling, yet it’s probably the most beautifully written book I’ve read so far this year, if ever.
‘Grace, Lia and Sky live in an abandoned hotel on a sun-bleached island, beside a poisoned sea.’ That poisoned sea comes from the men beyond the shore. The three girls have spent their lives watching their mother welcome sick and distraught women into the hotel for refuge and recovery. They’ve heard tales of what the men in this world can do, how they can possess you and make you sick.
The girls are safe on the other side of the water until, one day, three men are washed up on the beaches of the hotel. Without their pedantic mother to influence them, the girls begin to explore how much damage these men can really do.
The concept is astonishing: these girls perform rituals, they don’t allow themselves to feel emotion and they put the importance of sisterhood above everything, all because of a toxic world beyond the water that they have never experienced, only heard about.
The whole narrative is driven by fear and this is exactly what Mackintosh instils within the reader, too. It felt as if every single page was laced with tension. I was reading it not realising that I was holding my breath.
If you pick it up, you’ll constantly wonder why these men pose such a threat and why everything is so secretive in their world. I’m sure I’ll continue unpacking this incredible narrative for a long time yet.
The Path to Positivity by Caitlin Margaret
Published by Rockridge Press, January 2020 (ebook edition)
With the pandemic still heavily affecting all of our lives, I wanted to recommend a book that may help some to focus on positive aspects of life and change some habits for better. The Path to Positivity: Proven Positive Thinking Techniques for Getting Motivated and Living Your Best Life by Caitlin Margaret is full of useful tips and resources.
I will admit freely, I am not a fan of self-care books, often finding their advice vague, unhelpful or coming from too privileged place to allow the application of most of their tips to average people’s life. Caitlin Margaret’s The Path to Positivity, however, was one of those books that made me stop and think and consider approaching certain aspects of my life or problems I endure differently.
Positive thinking is at the heart of Caitlin Margaret’s book, but the guide offers more down-to-earth, realistic and defined advice than most self-care books, focusing on numerous strategies from different fields as well as highlighting the importance of well-known S.M.A.R.T. goals. That can be useful to apply not just to positive thinking and changing your view on life, but to anything else we do, at work and in free time. Most importantly, The Path of Positivity offers many exercises that can be useful in decreasing the overall stress level, something we all could use.
As many other self-help guides, The Path of Positivity teaches the reader about what the positive thinking entails, but it also talks about the recent research on the subject and how it can transform different parts of our lives. Caitlin Margaret’s book is filled with useful tools that help with living your life more positively. With many quotations and references to philosophy and psychology, the book is a helpful guide for anyone trying a different approach. You can find several other useful resources at the end of the book, urging you to explore the topic further and helping you change your attitude to life and the manner you conquer problems and face everyday issues. And positive thinking is definitely something we need this year!