Book Week 2021 ~ 'Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds'

Updated: Apr 14

It is Book Week 2021, a time for passionate bookish people to unite and celebrate the power, magic and simple joy of reading.

While I write and read a lot of fiction, which can be dismissed as escapism or mere fantasy, diving into stories from authors and characters whose lives are so far from my own, has been one of the most significant mind-opening, heart-opening and compassion-igniting gifts to me over my life.

Books spark connection, wonder, curiosity, ideas about the world and social structures we live in, and empathy for our fellow human beings.

While reading, we are transported into other places, cultures, worlds. We think and feel and experience the world through a different lens, and in this age of increasing self-obsession and division, this is powerful. So many of the world's issues would solve themselves naturally if more humans developed true empathy and honest, heartfelt compassion for the multiplicity that lies within every living being. Books bridge all the gaps that many sectors of society are currently fighting to bridge. They do so eloquently, gracefully, without rallies or pitchforks or fights.

When we read good, multilayered books about multilayered characters, we see that while on the surface, it is easy to label and wrap individuals up in boxes based on race, gender, personality, job description, ect. But inside, we are a fountains of unlimited possibility.

I feel like I have travelled to many places, met many different kinds of people, and lived many lives because books have taken me there, at least in glimpses.

Books also demand presence. You cannot think seperate thoughts while reading and imagining the world that is painted on each page by words. It demands silence. Undistracted attention. In these moments we lose ourselves and drop into a deeper space of being. We cannot judge the characters when we are the characters. We are forced to remain open, curious, present.

The theme of this year's Book Week is 'Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds', which is so fitting for my debut novel Maya of the In-Between, I couldn't have dreamed up anything better myself! It has been featured in a few different reading lists, including this one titled 7 books by West Australian authors you should be reading. Here's the link if you are interested in seeing what the other 6 are :)

An Except;

Maya of the In-Between

Sita Bennett | South West

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mysticism & Spirituality

Right on theme for 2021, this novel has a slow-burn love story that explores two extreme versions of Earth’s future through contrasting inter-dimensional worlds.

One is Dystopian—in which humans ignore the repercussions of industrialisation on nature, and the other Utopian—where humans live in harmony with nature and each other.

Maya is shy, quiet and insecure. She doesn’t feel like she fits into her world and dreams of the utopia she sees through her visions and paintings. Embarking on a journey of self-discovery to find her utopia, Maya embraces her personal power as life unfolds around her.

Find the rest of the list here;

In conclusion, whether you are a passionate reader, or one who hasn't picked up a novel since high-school, I encourage you to find something interesting, on a topic that is close to your heart or about a character that might not be a part of your usual tribe but may broaden your perception of the human experience, and read it this week in honour of the often underestimated power of sharing stories :)

With so much Love,

Sita x

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