Books can be so powerful, and suck us in by few words. Each lecture has a lesson, more or less profound. They can teach us, give us new perspectives on life. They also bring us in tears or put a great smile on our faces. And the most powerful ones can change our lives forever and shape us to a better version of ourselves.
Life-changing books that might bring you joy
If you are constantly looking for new lectures, novels or motivational books, it doesn’t matter, here are some ideas to consider:
- “What I talk when I talk about running”. Haruki Murakami took me closer to the contemporary Japanese literature. He made me fall in love with his bestseller “The Norwegian Wood.” “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” was the second book I read from Murakami and it was such an unexpected lecture experience. The author made a self-portrait of the writer who cultivates the appetite and discipline of writing by running. Haruki Murakami considers him a usual writer, a more pragmatic one than the others. Who needs to cultivate and take his inspiration by doing something with himself. So that’s why he considers the act of running a good way to find inspiration and gain the power for writing down.
“The most important thing we learn at school is the fact that the most important things can’t be learned at school.”
What did I learn from this memoir? How sport can be therapeutic. For better inspiration, desire for work, emptying the mind of negative thoughts and focus on true important goals in my life.
- “The Elegance of the Hedgehog” by Muriel Barbery, became one of the best books I’ve ever read. This is why this lecture will stay as a favorite for a long, long time.
“I thought: pity the poor in spirit who know neither the enchantment nor the beauty of language.”
The book is a philosophical novel, where the French-based author, Barbery, writes about the hidden lives and the strong, beautiful and smart characters who stay beneath daily stereotypes. I consider this lecture an urban, adult fable, a very light-spirited perspective over the modern world.
Why this book was so inspirational to me? Because it taught me not to judge people by their appearance, but give them a second chance. I’ve learned about beautiful friendships, elegance behind grumpy characters and hurt healed souls.
- “Into the wild” is the story of Chris McCandless, written by Jon Krakauer, a teenager who decided to burn his money, cut off the connection with his family and go into the wild. Behind his crazy gesture of abandoning his old life and find peace and happiness into an unknown world, there are so many subtle meanings.
“We like companionship, see, but we can’t stand to be around people for very long. So we go get ourselves lost, come back for a while, then get the hell out again.”
“I found it very inspiring because it’s a story about a young person who seems to have everything in life, but still has to search for more,” 2013 FSU alumna Katie Haggerty said. “I think most people can relate to that feeling and can learn and grow from Chris’s experience.”
Chris’s craziness costed him, in the end, his life, because human beings cannot compare their power with nature’s one.
What’s the lesson? Never consider yourself invincible. And never think of being lonely like a liberating thing. Chris himself, when being on his deathbed, after poisoning himself with a bacteria from a plant, wrote: “Happiness is only real when shared”.
- “Veronika Decides to Die”, by Paulo Coelho. I remember reading this book a long time ago when I was in high school. And this lecture kept being in my mind as a lesson about how nothing in this world happens by chance. By the way, this is one of my favorite quotes all the time.
As human beings, we never learn anything someone tells us before we find out for ourselves. Veronika decides to die after she feels she cannot leave dictated by society’s rules. She takes an overdose and waits to die.
“If one day I could get out of here, I would allow myself to be crazy. Everyone is indeed crazy, but the craziest are the ones who don’t know they’re crazy; they just keep repeating what others tell them to.”
Paulo Coelho talks about craziness and the need of discovering another way of living, due to people’s judgment. At the end of the day, it’s either us controlling our mind and stay powerful, or become the slave or rules.
- “East of Eden”, by John Steinbeck. I just could not stop reading it, because I needed to know what happens next…mostly needed to see the characters grow up and live their lives. I wanted to know that good existed in them.
I finished the book in one sitting, being unable to let go of the feeling the book left me with for weeks after.
The book tells the story of one family in Salinas Valley California, from the point of view of three generations. The characters are divided in a very strict way, in fundamentally good people and people with more than questionable morals.
“There’s more beauty in truth, even if it is dreadful beauty.”
For me, the most important aspect of the book is the struggle of Cal with his own conviction that he belongs to the later and finally accepting himself for who he is.