Books are wonderful. They serve as trustworthy guides to other worlds and realities. They educate us and shape our personality. Sometimes nothing can be better than getting lost with a good book. Everybody is aware of the advantages of reading books. By regular reading we develop our verbal abilities, improve imagination and concentration, alleviate stress and discover ourselves. But there is one more benefit from reading books – inspiration. Books are very likely to encourage you to change your life and achieve new goals. In the list below I tried to bring together some works that imbue me with inspiration.
1. Shantaram by G.D. Roberts
When I started thinking about the list of the books that help me stay inspired daily, Shantaram was the first book that came to my mind! I‘ve read many books in the last few years, but none of them produced such an inspiring impression on me. It is one of those exceptional books, which make you think your life over and look at it from absolutely different perspective.
This is a story about a convicted Australian bank robber and drug addict who escaped from prison and fled to India, where he spent 10 years. Based on a true story, this piece of writing is about everything the world has: unknown country and city, love, crime, friendship and human values. Published in 2003, Shantaram immediately became an international bestseller and caused interest in a film adaptation. Don’t be scared away by the 900-page novel since it would be a nonstop reading if you start! This is a literary masterpiece that tops my inspirational list.
2. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
This might become one of those stories you want to read over and over again! Most probably, you have watched the film with gorgeous Julia Roberts but reading a book, as usual, is a must. This is a story of an average woman who has everything in her life. But one day she refuses the stability and responsibilities in order to find herself. Some call this story mincing, while others worship such lifestyle. I can just say that the desire to be yourself is always inspiring, bold and praiseworthy. And there is nothing reprehensible about our aspiration for happiness.
Read also – 10 Wise Ways to Redefine Yourself
3. Martin Eden by Jack London
This is another autobiographical novel and most fascinating story I’ve ever come across. The book tells about a young seaman who pursues his dreams of his beloved, literature success and education. But there is a great gap between two opposite social classes and the main conflict of the book concerns this difference. This book has taught me two things about life. The first is that people and society are two different things, as contradictory as it may sound. Society is often hypocritical and superficial, while people are mostly good by nature. The second thing is that you should be persistent no matter what. Whenever you set a goal, you should achieve it and don’t mind what other people may think about you. The story has a very sad yet realistic end and it’s surely worth reading.
4. All Quiet on the Western Front by E.M. Remarque
An anti-war novel, first published in 1928, describes irretrievable harm, suffering and pain of young soldiers during the First World War. The story is more instructive rather than inspiring, but it leaves a lasting impression. While reading the book, you understand it clearly enough that there is nothing romantic and sublime about revolutions and wars. There is just a conflict between powerful people and the loss of thousands of lives, which doesn’t mean anything. You might find it difficult to read the novel since there are many hard moments and scenes. But this book teaches you to love this life no matter what and that’s why it is on this list.
5. The Old Man and the Sea by E. Hemingway
I cannot but include this masterpiece to my list of the books that help me inspired daily. Everybody is probably familiar with the plot and there is no sense in retelling it. When I was a child, however, I couldn’t grasp the gist of the story, which was quite disappointing. When I read the story again, at the age of 19, it appeared to be a very poignant and highly philosophical. The story is full of symbols and implications. A desperate fight with a marlin is a fight with the nature, with time that comes to the end and the fight with oneself. The story helps to focus on the really important things in your life and cast away everything that is superficial and minor.
6. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
I highly recommend you to read the book before watching the film! Norwegian Wood was published in 1987 and gained Haruki Murakami international acclaim with 4 million copies sold in Japan only! This stunning and sad love story is about a man who looks back on his young days and reflects upon his relationship with two absolutely different girls. This sensual story about man’s first, hopeless and tragic love will not leave you cold!
7. The Collector by John Fowles
I would call this story frightening and thrilling yet inspiring. It tells about a diffident, emotionally troubled young man who collects butterflies. But one day he makes his mind to capture a beautiful girl Miranda and make her a piece of his dead collection. The story is obviously awkward and one-of-a-kind and that’s why it is literary unputdownable! While I was reading I had a constant feeling of silliness and absurdity, but yet such stories are pretty common in a real life. Love has really nothing in common with obsession and appropriation. The story proves that love is all about inner and outer freedom.
8. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Published in far 1951, this book is a literary classic. It’s all about rebellion, isolation and youth. It tells about a 16-year old boy who is expelled from the school. The interesting fact is that the book was banned in many schools. Parents and teachers believed that some indecent scenes could be harmful to teens’ psychics. But the novel depicts the reality of that time in a very precise manner and there is simply no sense in hiding the truth. The book has somewhat edgy vocabulary and it is full of flat characters. Nevertheless, it doesn’t prevent us from enjoying the deep sense and message.
There are much more books that inspire, encourage and develop us and it’s simply impossible to include them all in the list. Since I’m an avid reader I disclose new masterpieces and worthwhile stories merely every day. I think it’s important to inspire yourself daily and books can really help you. What are your favorite books that help you stay inspired each day?