Top 10 books that will inspire you
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10. Catcher In The Rye – J. D. Salinger
I’ll start off with the easy one. The one that you all either rave about or absolutely detest- generally because you were forced to study it at school one too many times. However, it is the quintessential coming of age novel. It follows Holden Caufield, a young boy who faces many complicated life issues whilst he grows up, and his quest to make sense of the world that constantly changes around him.
9. The Perks Of Being A Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky
The Perks Of Being A Wallflower is a powerful, and truly amazing story about, well, growing up. It is about introversion, abuse, drug use, homosexuality and all of those awkward, angst, teenage moments. The reason this book is so powerful is because we have all, at some point in our youth, experienced at least one of the topics discussed in this book. It can really help you figure out just ‘who you are.’
8. The Right Stuff – Tom Wolfe
This is a story about the Mercury space programme and the great space race of the 60s. It is brilliant, it is funny and it is undoubtedly the best book written about the American Space programme. Now I am not really one for books about space, but I am glad I read this. You will be too.
7. Yes Man – Danny Wallace
Though not one of my favourite books, and a little annoying in parts, I cannot deny how it made me feel when I finished it. Danny Wallace’s Yes Man is all about saying yes to absolutely everything as it can only lead to good things – even if they initial outcome is less than desirable. As a reader, it makes us realize the power of optimism and although it would be inadvisable to follow the formula exactly, it does make me think twice before saying no.
6. Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for All and None – Friedrich Nietzsche
The title is somewhat of a mouthful and if I’m honest, I’m not even sure if I can pronounce it right. Still, this is a truly incredible book. The book follows the travels of Zarathustra. This name comes from the ancient Persian prophet. Zarathustra questions morality in no way I have ever known – or read – before.
5. To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee
It came number one in a poll ran by The Telegraph and, even though it is not this lists top runner, I can see why. This book shows us just how important it is to believe in oneself. It takes a long, hard look into the world of racism and with it, it teaches up to stand up for what we believe in.
4. Down And Out In Paris And London – George Orwell
Down And Out In Paris And London is probably one of the books that gave birth to the whole beat generation of literature. It is so much more than just a travel tale, it is a piece that investigates the world of poverty through Orwell’s own experience. It is without a doubt my favourite Orwell book and widely considered to be one of his best. The first half of the book is Orwell’s experience as a washing up man in French kitchens, working 100 hour weeks. The second half is about his return to London, where he lives on the streets for six, difficult weeks until he finds work. Not nearly as depressing at it sounds, I promise.
3. Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand
Atlas Shrugged, as the author describe it, is “the role of man’s mind in existence.” The book delves into a whole host of philosophical themes. I will not bore you with terms like ‘objectivism’ and ‘individualism’, instead I will tell you, this is a must read. A very long read, but a must read none-the-less.
2. On The Road – Jack Kerouac
On The Road is an account of Kerouac’s time spent travelling across America, East to West and down into Mexico. His unique style of writing, which he called ‘spontaneous prose’, is exciting, gripping and incredibly easy to read – so even if you are not a big reader, this is something for you. An encapsulating read that will make you want to up and leave so you can experience life to ‘the fullest.’
1. Into The Wild – Jon Krakauer
Into The Wild is probably the most inspiring book you will ever read. It tells the story (the true story) of Chris McCandless, a young graduate, who decides to give up all the luxuries of his comfortable life, his home, his car and even his entry into an Ivy League college, in order to go on the road, in search of himself and true happiness. The minute I finished (or maybe it was began) reading this book, I wanted nothing more than to pack it all in and follow in Chris’s footsteps. A truly inspirational, thought provoking and, dare I say it, ‘life changing’ read.