I love books
When anyone says print media is dying, my heart dies a little too. Of course, as any die-hard book lover would tell you, there is no way that online books will replace the real deal. Is there? There isn’t any feeling quite like turning the pages of a book, or trying to find a comfortable position to lie in while you spend all day devouring the pages of a good old-fashioned book. Over the course of my lifetime I have read too many books to count. Occasionally I meet someone who has never read an entire book from cover to cover and I feel sorry for them. How can you live your whole life without playing make-believe in your head as you picture the story as it unfolds in your head? You assign faces to the characters in your head, you picture their every move, their surroundings, even the way a drink tastes as they sip it. No, there is nothing quite like reading a good book.
I was raised by readers, by age three I had memorised every single page of The Three Billy Goats Gruff and the Three Little Pigs. It’s a story my mother loves to tell and I love to listen to, skip a page at story time and oh no, no such luck, you missed one mom. Yes I have always loved reading and naturally that led to a love of writing too. Some books have influenced my life more than others, some writers have done the same. By the time I was 15 I had devoured everything Stephen King had written until that point. I once spent my entire birthday (my 13th) alone in my room reading. I loved it then and I love it now. So these are some books that have really impacted on my life. It’s not by any means a comprehensive list and it’s not a list of my absolute favourite books either. It’s just a list of books that I love, have loved and carry with me. In no particular order, I give you;
My book list
1.Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts.
“There are no mistakes. Only new paths to explore.”
A story about a an Australian bank robber and heroin addict who escapes prison and flees to India. Okay so the opening line doesn’t sound like much. However as you’ll see if you read the book, the thing I loved about the story, which although written like an autobiography is actually a mostly fictional story, is the transformation that the character goes through. You watch him change along the way from a selfish self obsessed addict into someone who cares about the people he meets and their situations. I love books with a positive outlook and this is definitely one. Although many of the scenes are hard to stomach, it’s a book about how everyone can start over. What’s better than that?
2. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom.
“Dying is only one thing to be sad over. Living unhappily is something else.”
This is a beautiful story about the relationship that develops between a sports columnist and his now dying, 78-year-old college professor. Over a course of 14 Tuesdays, the two meet and discuss life, love and everything in between. The memoir is beautifully written and it’s a very moving read. I loved the wisdom being handed down and I’ve always loved old people and the stories they have to tell, so naturally I loved this one.
3. Veronica Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho.
“Haven’t you learned anything, not even with the approach of death? Stop thinking all the time that you’re in the way, that you’re bothering the person next to you. If people don’t like it, they can complain. And if they don’t have the courage to complain, that’s their problem”
“I want to continue being crazy; living my life the way I dream it, and not the way the other people want it to be.”
The story of a 24-year-old woman, who appears to have everything but decides to kill herself. She fails and wakes up in a mental institution where she is told she only has a few days left to live. The premise of the book is based on the freedom that people experience when they realise that they have nothing left to lose. In a way, Veronica learns to live for the first time in her life while waiting to die. The finality of the situation, where she had just decided to live fully and take risks really inspires you as a reader to look at your own life and perhaps reassess what matters. This book left me with the knowledge that you are only crazy if you live a life dictated to you by the expectations of society.
4.Screw it, Let’s do it by Richard Branson.
“As soon as something stops being fun, I think it’s time to move on. Life is too short to be unhappy. Waking up stressed and miserable is not a good way to live.”
Richard Branson is my hero. There aren’t too many people in this world that I look at and think “you can do no wrong”. He is my ultimate dinner guest wish list although I’m pretty sure I’d be so tongue-tied he’d think I’m a blithering fool. What is inspirational about this book is that it’s all about his own life experiences. He is the number one advocate for trying anything and if that doesn’t work, try something else. He is a self-made man and he remains humble and human. Sir Richard Branson is a believer in loving what you do. What’s not to love about his book!
5. Everything I’ve ever read (not the name of an actual book but literally every book) by Haruki Murakami.
“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”
“Don’t feel sorry for yourself. Only assholes do that.”
Murakami is a writer I discovered a few years ago. Unlike any of the other authors I’ve read, his books are filled with fantasy. There are strange occurrences, talking cats, imagery like none other and just general strange happenings. All of his novels are translated from the original Japanese but I think without knowing exactly what you’re missing, you enjoy the novels as if they are complete.
6. Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote.
“Poor slob without a name. It’s a little inconvenient, his not having a name. But I haven’t the right to give him one: he’ll have to wait until he belongs to somebody. We just sort of took up by the river one day, we don’t belong to each other: he’s an independent, and so am I. I don’t want to own anything until I know I’ve found the place where me and things belong together.”
This is a novella about a socialite before Paris Hilton and the Kardashians were even a part of the world. Holly Golightly, a socialite who depends on the money and luxuries afforded to her by rich men. Being an Audrey Hepburn fan, I’ve always loved the movie by the same name but it wasn’t until I read the book that it became cemented into my mind as a book to remember. The type of attitude portrayed in the story is what I love. Here is young woman who lives her life as she sees fit. She’s so lost in the world, so desperate to find her place or a place that makes her feel like she belongs. Although it’s sad how Holly appears to be waiting on the world to let her in, her character is so relatable. She’s just a girl trying to find a place in the world so that she can finally name that damn cat.
…..and that’s a wrap 😛 As I’ve said already, the list is only a small bite sized taste of the books that I love. Let me know if you’ve read any of these and the impact that they had on your life. Did you hate them, love them, throw them across the room? Tell me in the comments.
I would be ever so grateful if you can share this post so that others can discover these awesome books too! 😉