Book Review #1 – ‘The Boy in the Book’ by Nathan Penlington

In an effort to make sure that I read more in my spare time I have decided to start a book of the month feature! This is where I will talk a little about a book that I’ve enjoyed or found useful over the month. I’d be really interested to hear your recommendations for books that you love or if you have any comments about the books that I talk about here.

So kicking off 2016, is a book that I bought late last year after watching The Choose Your Own Documentary – a highly entertaining and moving show where the audience actually gets to vote on the path that they’d like to show to take. See the trailer (and find out a little bit more about why I loved the show and the book so much) here:

Following the show I was so excited to finally be able to get my hands on ‘The Boy in the Book’ from Nathan, who was kind enough to sign my copy. Buying the book just before the Christmas break was great as I was glad to have time in my schedule to read it, as once I started I was hooked. “The Boy in the Book” is a genuinely funny but touching story, that is at times completely unpredictable! Based on Nathan’s eBay win of 106 Choose Your Own Adventure books, in which he found the diary of the little boy who had originally owned them. The story follows Nathan’s quest to find out what happened to the boy in the book. Not only is it an entertaining read, I was really struck by the impact of the all of the choices that we make in life.

Without spoiling the book too much, and also without sounding blindingly obvious,  the story helped me to realise that life really is a series of choices one after another. The choices that you make today create who you are in the future. If you follow similar Instagram accounts to me, you might not be a stranger to motivational quotes encouraging positive choices in your life such as “Do something today that your future self will thank you for!” or “It doesn’t have to be perfect…just start today!” Ultimately, whatever your choice is at the time, be it should I go to the gym today? Should I choose the healthier option? Should I get an early night? Even if you choose NOT to do these things, that is still a choice in itself. If you’re anything like me (i.e. hideously indecisive at times) then the idea that everything you do is a choice can sometimes get a bit overwhelming.

You might find that you regret the choices that you have made in the past, or that you aren’t making the ‘right’ choices with your life at the moment…but really the idea that there is or was a ‘right’ way to be is a bit of a con. There is no blueprint for life and there’s no prize for following what people might expect you to be doing because of your age or because of your gender for example. Choices are unavoidable, you make hundreds of them a day. But this book taught me that even if you make the wrong choice for you sometimes, that’s ok, it made you who you are. Going forward I am really trying to be as mindful, or as ‘in the moment’ as I can be for as many of these daily choices as possible, so that even if the choices I make aren’t necessarily what everyone would choose, at least I can say that I tried to make the right ones for me.

Overall, ‘The Boy in the Book’ was seriously thought provoking and I felt without being dramatic – quite revitalised for reading it! I would recommend this book not only as an entertaining and heart warming story, but as a story that also reminds us to choose wisely whilst enjoying the adventure.

I’d love to hear from you if you have any comments or suggestions! Comment below or tweet me @makingitmindful.

Chrissy x

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One response to “Book Review #1 – ‘The Boy in the Book’ by Nathan Penlington

  1. Pingback: “Book review” #5 – what to read when you don’t have time to read | Making it Mindful·

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