Three Books For Inspiration

guidebooks

Whilst I do love my fiction and fantasy, I also have a huge passion for inspirational guidebooks. I’m really interested in psychology and the human mind so these kind of books fascinate me and have helped to shape my personality and views of the world. These three books have had a significant effect on me so far and I find myself going back to these words when in need of a little confidence boost.

Dr Wayne Dyer: Living an Inspired Life 

I think that this book was written purely from the heart and you can see it on every page. Reading this work in a way opened my eyes a bit more about the idea of God and spirituality, and how it all is tied to your actions. I find spirituality extremely fascinating and this book explains a very interesting way to incorporate it into your everyday life. The main idea behind this book is that there is this Spirit that lives within all of us and when you truly live an inspired life, you live in spirit. This is the message that is being explored through Dyer’s own experiences in life, and ways of practicing this kind of living are introduced alongside the examples.

Even though you don’t believe in God or any kind of spiritual being, Living an Inspired Life is still worth the read as behind everything is generally the act of kindness and showing that towards other people, and noticing the signs of generosity that we face in life, that might easily go totally unnoticed. There is so much that the reader can take from this book and incorporate it to their own life, because this book is just full of good intentions and inspiration on how to live your life in a way, that you feel like you get something good out of it.

Brené Brown: Darin Greatly 

When I read this book for the first time, I found myself constantly having moments when I just went “yes, this is so true” or “I definitely need to work on this” or something along these lines. This book explores the concepts of shame and vulnerability which are such an important human emotions and we often tend to underestimate them in our lives. At least I have done so quite a long while, and for that reason I found this book to be really helpful on how to show my vulnerability in situations rather than keeping everything hidden inside.

This book introduces ways in which to express vulnerability in different situations in life and also explores different examples that are very close to many people’s daily life. Daring Greatly is divided into different sections, each expanding the topics of life, love, children and leading. This was such a quick work to read as the writing is very eloquent and easy to understand, but still complex enough for it to have this certain kind of credibility. The core message of the book is that by showing up with vulnerability and being in the “arena” you show your worth to the critics instead of never entering the arena and conforming to shame. This is a idea that I find to be very intriguing and I definitely want to explore it more in my life, and try to really take it to my heart.

Elizabeth Gilbert: Big Magic 

Eat Pray Love is one of my ultimate comfort books and I like to go back to it to find a bit inner strength whenever needed, so I was extremely excited to read Big Magic when it came out as I enjoy reading Gilbert’s works tremendously. This books is all about creativity and how to lure it back in when it is lost. Gilbert covers her own relationship with creativity in the book, and she introduces the idea of this specific Genius that ultimately leads to inspiration and creativity. The main idea of the book is that we all have this Genius that comes to us during creation and gives us the inspiration that is needed. I personally really like the idea that we all have this kind of gift that we can use if we need, but that it can only be accessed when you are open to it.

This book gives great guidance on how to get over time periods when the creative work doesn’t seem to flow and how to listen to this Genius to regain inspiration and creativity. I think this book is a good read even though you don’t consider yourself as a creative person as the idea can also be applied to your life in general, and it’s a really interesting take on the creative process and it’s pros and cons.

Even though I don’t go following blindly everything these kind of books say you should do to get a better life, I think it’s important to read them as they offer different kinds of perspectives to life. These points of view can be used as influences to your life choices or they can help you realise something about your lifestyle, that you haven’t given a lot of thought before. It’s fascinating to read about things that you wouldn’t normally read but ultimately it’s all for developing wider perspective of the world and it’s people.

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Recently Read #9

sherlock

Sherlock: The Essential Arthur Conan Doyle Adventures Volume II

I’m a huge fan of the TV-series of Sherlock so it was about time I read some of the original work the episodes are based on. I’ve been meaning to read the works of Arthur Conan Doyle for a while actually, since I first discovered the show and now that I finally came around going it, I’m even more in love with the world of Sherlock Holmes.

This book is a selection of the short stories picked and introduced by the showrunner, writer and executive producer of the show; Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, who alongside acting is also the co-creator. The book itself contains eleven stories as follows:

  • Silver Blaze
  • The Yellow Face
  • The Musgrave Ritual
  • The Greek Interpreter
  • The Final Problem
  • The Hound of Baskervilles
  • The Empty House
  • Charles Augustus Milverton
  • The Adventure of The Bruce-Partington Plans
  • The Adventure of The Devil’s Foot
  • The Adventure of The Dying Detective

My personal favourite from the adventures is definitely The Hound of Baskervilles. I found it to be a bit darker than the other stories and there were slight elements of horror included, which I especially enjoyed. The Hounds of Baskerville is actually also one of my favourite episodes in the series and I’m glad that I really enjoyed the original one as well. In this adventure we get to follow Dr Watson a bit more, while Sherlock performs his own investigations in peculiar ways behind the scenes. There is a lot of tension and uncertainty around the mystery and I love how it unravels very slowly. The Hound of Baskervilles is also the longest story in the book which might be why I enjoyed it so much as it didn’t feel rushed and there were many interesting side plots to uncover as well as the main mystery.

At first I wasn’t so sure if I liked the style of writing that Doyle performs but the more I got into the book, the more I started enjoying the writing which is very eloquent and keeps the reader really interested. It also truly feels like reading the articles of Dr Watson which I liked as we get a really close look on how Sherlock works from the point of view of Watson. I found it quite nice that there were also lots dialogue included in the stories instead just telling what happened and I also enjoyed the use of letters, telegrams and Watson’s personal journals as a way of telling the stories.

Another favourite of mine was The Adventure of The Dying Detective, which just gave a glimpse of the classic Sherlock Holmes and his unbelievably clever ways of catching the murderer whilst doing a bit of acting. I felt that this was a really good story to end the actual book as it shows the true friendship between Holmes and Watson and the trust that lies between them even in a matter of life and death.

I’m really happy that I picked this book from the bookstore as I’m now acquainted with the works of Mr Doyle and I adore them just as much as the TV-series or maybe even more, as I’m a lover of a good historical period book with a couple of murder mysteries and a super intelligent private detective with his clever companion.

 

 

My Favourite Classics

classics

I enjoy reading classics very much and I definitely have barely scratched the surface with the ones I have already read, but I’m excited to see what’s there still to discover. Classics are classics obviously because they are greatly written and contain a lot of important messages that were true to the time they were written but are still relevant today. I really like mixing classics in between of my reading list every now an again as they feel very grounding to me and in a way really comforting. Every classic I’ve read so far I’ve tremendously enjoyed, but these three have been my absolute favourites.

Victor Hugo: Les Misérables

This is probably the longest book I’ve ever read in my life and it’s actually one of the reasons why I enjoyed it so much. It took me quite a while to read this book and I definitely did read some other books at the same time as the writing of this book can be a bit heavy in points, but at the same time extremely beautiful. I especially love how Hugo writes about France as it is probably my favourite country even so it just makes me really happy. I actually found a specific quote that I had written down on my phone as an example when I read this book:

“The grandeur and beauty of France lies in this, that she cares less for the belly than other peoples; she knots the rope about her loins more easily. She is first awake, last asleep. She marches in the lead. She is a pioneer. That is because she is an artist.” 

The book is divided into five volumes that each focus on a certain character or the setting which I found really nice, as all of these characters bring a lot of depth to the plot and they all come together to form this absolutely beautiful and wistful story.

  • First there is Fantine, a young woman in love that is left alone while carrying a child and she really has to fight through her life before her sorrowful end.
  • The second volume focuses on Cosette, the child of Fantine who has been left to live with an innkeeper and his wife and treated miserably. She eventually finds happiness when rescued from the innkeepers.
  • Then there is Marius, a young man from a rich family that has gone off to Paris to seek more meaning to his life and works as a translator to earn his keep. He is involved in a revolutionary group called Les Amies de l’ABC and falls in love with Cosette the moment he sees her.
  • The fourth volume is named The Idyll in the Rue Plumet and the Epic in the Rue St. Denis, it outlines the romance between Marius and Cosette and involves action in the barricades as the spark of revolution is put in action.
  • The final volume is of course Jean Valjean, the main character of the book whose development from a prisoner to a generous, loving man has been followed through the previous volumes.

I think everyone knows how much misery is in this story as it can easily be guessed from the title. Nevertheless this book is stunning and I know that I shall be rereading this book many times during my lifetime. This book holds a really special place in my heart and it will always be one of my all time favourite books. I think it is has such an important message about morality, love and inequality especially, and we can still apply these messages to our lives today. Even though it is a time-consuming read, it’s definitely worth it!

Jane Austen: Emma

First I have to say that I absolutely love Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion, but somehow Emma just stands out for me from the three of them. I find Austen’s way of writing really eloquent and beautiful, and this book really heightens these qualities that I personally enjoy the most.

One of the reasons why I love the protagonist, Emma Woodhouse, is that she is quite an independent woman, who is not actively seeking a man and only living for a marriage, but instead she is willing to help other people to find love. Indeed, she even states at some point that she would be perfectly happy to not marry during her lifetime which I found to be quite a strong feminist message. Emma is also considered to be quite supreme compared to the other female characters, and is constantly praised to be very pleasant and intelligent, but it is still often questioned why she isn’t willing to marry. Even though the story focuses on Emma helping her friend Harriet to find a suitable man, there is still some kind of romantic plot for Emma too. Although her romantic feelings toward men are not explored much as she is trying to think what would be good for Harriet and not her.

I do love a good old-fashioned love story with this kind of a little hesitance and more of a mental rather than a physical attraction. I also enjoy the realisation that Emma has when she discovers her feeling towards a certain Mr. Knightley that has been in her life for a while. She has to question her original thoughts and values in order to figure out her true feelings which I found beautiful. Austen has done a great job of creating this strong female protagonist who isn’t just stone cold, and is able to explore her thoughts and feelings whilst doing the same to other people.

Austen’s books are like a safe place to me and I like to go back to them whenever I need a break from the real world. They have this really comfortable atmosphere that I enjoy and they convey a sense of tranquility from the era which makes me extremely happy.

Charlotte Brontë: Jane Eyre

This is the most recent classic that I’ve read, and I actually wrote about my thoughts on this book already in this post but I’m going to write a few words in this post too as it is one of my favourites.

As it might be clear, I adore a strong female protagonist and Jane Eyre is one of the greatest I’ve encountered so far. This book is all about independence and using brains instead of looks to achieve purpose in life which I absolutely love. There is also a really complicated but beautiful love story involved which again, is what I enjoy in a book. The book is all about personal development as a woman and especially during that time when it wasn’t really acceptable to be independent.

I definitely want to read more from the Brontë sisters and from other authors too that have written such beautiful classics as these three. As I said in the beginning, these are my favourites so far but I’m sure that my list will grow in size during the years.