Books are a reflection of our lives and the society we live in. They make us laugh, cry, question our principles and prejudices. Sometimes, they have the key we are waiting for to unlock our knowledge and move forward. In this article, I present you with 10 books that have influenced and given me a much richer perspective on life.
Amkoullel, l’enfant Peul (Amkoullel, the Fulani child), Amadou Hampâté Bâ
It was thanks to this book in particular that I was able to learn more about Fulani culture. Amadou Hampâté Bâ describes his journey as a young boy and then as a young man in Mali in the early 1900s. We learn more about the Fulani’s way of life and the Malian society under the French colonial empire. He tells the story of the first twenty years of his life in this touching, funny and full of truths book.
Demain (Tomorrow), Guillaume Musso
This book presents a modern vision of love through the 2.0 encounters that the internet allows us to make. Suspense, intrigue, questioning about love and the right to happiness, Guillaume Musso gives us food for thought about our current society. I like the fact that the author makes us discover New York City and in particular Manhattan district, through the (mis)adventures of his characters.
Second chance summer, Morgan Matson
It is the story of a teenager who runs away from her problems rather than confronting them until they catch up with her. Indeed, her father was diagnosed with cancer and has only a few months to live. So, this is the last summer her family will spend together. The last chance to tell each other what we’ve never dared to say and to live with our loved ones. A book about death, grief and the hope of reconstruction.
Your second life begins when you realize you only have one, Raphaëlle Giordano
A lot of self-derision and great lessons to be learned from this book. Camille is a woman like so many others who at 38 years old realizes that she is missing out and decides that this must change. It is easy to identify with her character and think about the actions you can take to live the life you want.
Une fois dans ma vie (Once in my life), Gilles Legardinier
The author invites us into the journey of three women of different ages: the first one is married and subjected to the routine, the second one is a single mother and lover of a married man, the third one jumps from one relationship to the other but is nonetheless unhappy about her life. The three friends lead together a theater that is like a representation of their respective lives.
The alchemist, Paulo Coelho
Very well-written book that reminds us that even as an adult, it is important to keep dreaming. It is the story of a Spanish shepherd named Santiago who meets an alchemist: a man who will guide him towards his quest for happiness. I believe that in each of us lives an alchemist, who is in fact our intuition. Life puts us through painful yet essential experiences sometimes. These lessons enable us to realize our potential and destiny.
The power of Now, Eckhart Tolle
First personal development book I have ever read. It is concise but requires to pause or even reading it a second time, after a few months, in order to better understand the concepts stated by the author. One of the key concepts is the distinction he makes between the “clock time” (our day divided by convention into 24 hours) and “psychological time” (the difference our mind makes between the past, the present and the future). What I enjoyed was the practical aspect of the book, which is punctuated by different exercises to learn to meditate and to appreciate the present moment, for instance.
The miracle morning, Hal Erold
Being a morning person, this book that talks about the “secret” formula to wake up before 8 a.m. and achieve your goals intrigued me. I don’t believe in miracles and I think everyone should respect his biological rhythm. However, I always notice a difference when I start my day with positive thoughts and by doing first the tasks that are the most important. What makes sense is to realize that life is too short to laze in bed and snooze your alarm. This only causes a feeling of guilt and wasting part of your day. It is therefore necessary to start off on the right foot and some practical exercises in the book can help the most reluctant to become morning persons too.
The 5 love languages, Gary Chapman
According to Gary Chapman, there are 5 languages of love and each individual has a more or less important propensity to communicate via one of them. He reached this conclusion after interviewing and studying many couples who had been married for several years. I find the book useful in attempting to understand what can create a happy and long-lasting marriage, but also to comprehend how an individual loves based on his/her emotional language and the social relationships he/she maintains as a result.
Rich dad, poor dad, Robert Kiyosaki
This book is a best-seller in money management. Robert Kiyosaki has deliberately chosen an evocative title and describes in this book the reasons why the rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer. One of these reasons is that school does not teach us how to manage our money. I find it interesting that this book was published in 1997 before the bursting of the internet bubble and the subprime mortgage crisis in the United States. It sets out concepts that are still true today in our capitalist societies.