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Once upon a time, I fell in love with reading. I went to Hogwarts with Ms Rowling and I laughed so damn hard with Ms Kinsella. Mr Sparks made me the hopeless romantic that I am now and Mr Paterson made me think so damn hard exhausting every single brain cell I have. Then I met Mr Coelho. He is no doubt one hell of a wordsmith but my happy-go- lucky soul couldn’t fully absorb his words. I guess I wasn’t well acquainted with depression and I have yet to launch the search for meaning and purpose. I lacked the depth of an experienced adult. I was a child. For 30 years, I was a child.
31 years later, I wonder why I bought his entire book collection and gave the books away one by one as birthday presents. But I guess fate wanted me to do that.
31 years later, no single author makes my hair stand on its end and no one seemed to soothe my longing soul for the assurance it needs.
31 years later, my journey to self-discovery started.
When I left my job, I couldn’t fully explain why. All I knew was I didn’t want it anymore. I didn’t have enough words to express what I was feeling. It was only when I got addicted to reading again and started hoarding books that I bumped into all the right words to name what I was going through. I was relieved that there are actually people who experienced what I have been going through and that no matter how alone I felt, I was never really alone. Someone has successfully put into a book the blow by blow account of those hard-to-explain phenomena called spiritual awakening.
I thought I wanted to travel. I’ve always wanted to run as far away, go to where I will not be haunted and start a new life again. I was wrong. Later on I realized that it was actually my thoughts that I have always been terrified of. Wanting so much gave me anxiety I couldn’t get rid of. I needed to learn how to calm down. I needed to learn to control my thoughts and make it shift to see the positive side of things. These books made it easier for me to let go of things I can’t control and be excited for the best ones that are yet to come. And now, no matter how broke I will become, I will never scrimp on books.
Here’s my top 10 pick and I will try my best to be able to write a weekly book review.
10. A Thousand New Beginnings
Solo female travel blogger, Kristin Addis, left her stable job as an Investment Banker and a boyfriend behind to travel Southeast Asia. During that one year, she has experienced thousand new beginnings, started new friendships and got to know the world outside. This is actually a collection of her diary and blog entries during the time when she found out that exploring the world alone makes a huge difference.
9. It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be.
At first glance the book looks like a compilation of easy-to-understand motivational statements, ideas and advises. It encourages out-of-the-box thinking to succeed in life, career and business. During those days that I tend to forget what I want in this life, I take a look at this book and I will surely be motivated again.
8. The Alchemist
I remember having this book maybe some eight years ago but I gave it as a gift to my friend when I started reading other Coelho books and got terribly bored by them. I wanted to steal this book from my favorite coffee shop in the Philippines but I somehow felt guilty so I just stole an old magazine instead with the help of a college friend. Maybe if I had stolen this book and read it earlier, I would have been clear in what I want my life to look like. Regrets. But actually, no. The timing is just right. I wouldn’t have understood it then like how I do now. This is for the daydreamers. “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
7. Reasons To Stay Alive
When my life lost meaning, I questioned every single second why I’m alive. This book just gave me more reasons to be thankful that I am and helped me stop asking the world why I am still here. My story is not supposed to end yet. Life is indeed beautiful.
6. Mastering Your Mean Girl
That book that reminded me that no matter what, I should make my inner bitch shut up and I shouldn’t think twice about flexing my self-love muscle. That I shouldn’t do things that aren’t aligned with my truth.
5. What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding
I love fiction and chic lit soooooo much. But when I challenged myself to read at least one non-fiction book per week, I fell in love with autobiographies and memoirs. This book is one of those page-turners that made me laugh but knocked me some sense. It is okay not to marry early. It is okay not to do what others are doing. It is never okay to have somebody just to be able to say that we have somebody. It is never okay to settle.
4. What I Know For Sure
I found myself crying while reading this book. Oprah’s written words have the power to touch my heart in such a way that it felt like she was beside me and was personally assuring me that it is normal to have ups and downs in this life in a voice that has warmed my the cockles of my heart. This is one of those books that put a stop to my panic attacks.
A book written by a French woman who has been living in Japan for 30 years. She fell in love with the simplicity of Japanese life that she never left and started applying this wellness approach in her daily living. From minimalism to self-care to naming every little changes a person who has left her country and learned a different way of life. This book has the power to influence a lifestyle that invites slow living.
A book that has inspired me to the bits of my bones. She is the perfect example of creating something from scratch and making it billion times bigger through determination and hardwork. She doesn’t have a University Degree but she employs those who have MBAs. Her tips, cleverness and no BS approach to life is so on point. Everything about women empowering is in this book.
- Becoming Myself
A book written by a Psychiatrist about his path to becoming himself. He wrote the book at 85 when at 32, I couldn’t remember that happened to me two years ago. His openness and vulnerability after all those years of helping his patients gave him more understanding of himself. Though written by a doctor, the book is surprisingly easy to understand, very honest and made me want to understand more about human behavior and more about myself.
That one book that made me fall in love with winter. The book that taught me how to fall in love more with candles, wool socks, fireplace, books and hot chocolate. It’s the book whose every page is filled with coziness.
What books changed your life? I’d love to add it to my book list. =)
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