Category Archives: Books

5 Books After Which Nothing Will Be The Same. Ever.

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There are some books that we love. There are some books that are recommended to us or highly rated. There are some books that are classics, or that we think we should read. But there are also some books, after reading which, nothing will ever look the same. Ever. Again. Here are some of them (this choice is entirely subjective and doesn’t pretend to be any ultimate to-read list; however, these are some books with high impact, that you might like too…).

Here goes the list:

1) The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

This. Is. Amazing. I don’t even know where to start. Sometimes silence is so much better than analysis… So I’ll just give some quotes:

- “People have forgotten this truth,” the fox said. “But you mustn’t forget it. You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose.”

- “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

- “People where you live,” the little prince said, “grow five thousand roses in one garden… yet they don’t find what they’re looking for…

Any more words are unnecessary. Try for yourself.

2) The Way of Non-Attachment: The Practice of Insight Meditation by Dhiravamsa

This is a guide to a very useful technique of loosening the grip on what you think needs to happen, and understanding yourself. After practicing for some time, “Clarity gradually comes, suffering is gradually understood, and freedom begins to appear.” (a quote from the book).

This can help tremendously, whatever you’re going through. Especially if you’re going through some hard times. It is easy to get lost in your thoughts, and feed your pain, but there is a simple way out, based on your breathing and looking deeply into your feelings. All the answers are already in you and you may see what happens when you try to uncover them… Firstly, you may find that clinging to something, whatever it is, has harmful effects and can suck. We can only be free if we let go. Then you can take the next steps. It can be very healing and it can bring you deep peace.

3) The Art of Communicating by Thich Nhat Hanh

A lot can be said about mindfulness. This book says a lot more. The way we communicate with our loved ones (and not-so-loved ones) has a huge impact on our relationships and on our state of mind. If we cultivate inner peace and choose words wisely, we can transform even the hardest argument into something constructive. Things that have seemed difficult start to be achievable, as Thay (that’s the Vietnamese word for ‘Teacher’) explains to us the ways in which we can approach conflict and difficult emotions, to create peace and harmony. It is a really useful read for couples, families, individuals, friends, and anyone else who wishes to transform their relationships, and also better understand their own emotions and reactions. Some of the steps are quite simple. They can be practiced by anyone.

Communication is key. And this book is a key to communication.

4) The Secret Life of Salvador Dali by Salvador Dali

An autobiography of the famous surrealist, embracing his late thirties. That’s the craziest book I’ve ever read! It was very hard to hide it under the table during my uni classes, and the fact that I couldn’t stop laughing while reading some passages probably gave it all away… The lecturer must have been very patient with me. This book is HILARIOUS. It also gives you an insight into a mind of an exceptional man, who is extremely creative, and extremely forgetful sometimes. He once opened his door dressed quickly in a bath-robe tied with a cable, at the end of which, accidentally, was a lamp. The kind of stuff you do every day, right?

Apart from peculiar anecdotes and a lot of unpredictability, you will find a lot of creative inspiration here. And a massive amount of food for thought.

5) Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig

If your mind has ever been wandering somewhere far, far away, exploring ideas that you cannot stop thinking about, and you also like travelling (even if just with your mind), this book is for you. A journey through several American states, on motorbikes, over many days, can bring A LOT of self-reflection. Nature plus space plus time, and a companion that unwillingly forces you to reflect on things, is a very philosophical combination. And that’s one side of this book. It cannot be defined in a couple of sentences, it has to be read. Written in the 1970s, it has become a classic. It was quite disturbing at some points. I won’t tell you which ones. It was also very fascinating, engaging and had a high impact. Not something easily forgotten. Oh, and it was non-fiction.

You may choose one of these books this weekend. Or you might remain in your sweet indifference to them, as if this article never happened (which is OK too). If you read some of them, tell me what you think. Whatever you choose to do… Have a great weekend!

 

photo credit: In Awe via photopin (license)

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Positive, exciting, moving, touching, funny, heartfelt and brave. And yellow. My review of ‘The yellow world’ by Albert Espinosa

The Yellow World: Trust Your Dreams and They'll Come TrueThe Yellow World: Trust Your Dreams and They’ll Come True by Albert Espinosa
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Positive, exciting, moving, touching, funny, heartfelt and brave. And yellow.

First of all we get to know some bits from the story of a young boy who gets diagnosed with cancer… From here on it goes unconventionally. No dramatic stories, no tear-jerking episodes of heartbreak and loss, no grieving over lost time and health… Instead, we get discoveries. Various discoveries about life that were presented to him during these times, even though he did not understand some of them back then. Overheard conversations, insights, experiences… They are sometimes eye-opening; sometimes silly; sometimes moving.

Then we are delved into a magical world of yellows. A world that exists but that is not always noticeable, yet it happens to all of us. These people are really important in our lives. Who are yellows? Everyone has a certain amount of them in their life… Do you know how to find them?

This book is positive, exciting, moving, touching, funny, heartfelt and brave. The author clearly has fun writing it and enjoys sharing his deep thoughts, even from a long time ago. You can’t help but resonate with these young guys, ‘Eggheads’ as he puts it with an uplifting sense of humour, who despite their varyingly dire circumstances try to live their normal lives, share joys and jokes with each other, have dreams and best friends. It made me feel we often see a stereotypical, dark-painted picture when we hear the word ‘cancer’. On the other hand, he acknowledged it and befriended it. He even liked the word ‘tumour’. Not unsurprisingly, it rhymes with the word humour.

Trust your dreams and they’ll come true. Trust and true are very similar words, and they are similar because they are actually close to each other, really very close. So close that if you do trust something, it will come true.

Have you seen a yellow around you?

View all my reviews

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