Aren’t books a wormhole to divine intelligence? It’s amazing how they hold universe in them. Books are our friends and our mentors. It’s incredible how mere words have the capacity to transform our lives. They guide us through good and bad phases of our lives.
Most of us would agree that people find comfort in books. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is what I run to when I am feeling low as it teaches me to never lose hope whenever I am running out of it.
So, all that said, here are 10 amazing books of all times and the life lessons that they teach us:
1. Lord of the Rings By J R R Tolkien
Life Lesson: We all have a part to play in the greater scheme of things. We just need to get out of our comfort zone. To live by the gospel that never giving up is the greatest strength.
One conversation between Frodo and Gandalf says it all:
Frodo: I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.
Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.
Frodo with all his regrets embarks on the most tumultuous journeys anyone could ever think of. But it is in the impossibilities that he finds all the strength and hope that is within him. When the storm of this chapter of his life gets over, he realizes that this perhaps was the purpose of his life and that he had successfully accomplished it.
2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Life Lesson: To err is to human. It’s okay to be not perfect. Most importantly being true to yourself and being comfortable in your own skin.
Elizabeth Bennet is completely okay with the person she is and stands firm on what she wants from life and from other people. She stands up for herself and her family whenever there is a need. That does not mean she has problems accepting her follies. Truly a woman of substance.
3. The Little Prince By Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Life Lesson: To not to adult so much so as to thwart the child within.
“In the course of this life I have had a great many encounters with a great many people who have been concerned with matters of consequence. I have lived a great deal among grown-ups. I have seen them intimately, close at hand. And that hasn’t much improved my opinion of them.”
Let your heart be the compass and choose the matters of consequence that really need attention. After all, “one sees clearly only with the heart.“
Adults, along the way, stop questioning their beliefs and intentions and accept whatever is told to them. They learn to camouflage their choices in the expectations that world has set for them. This is what leaves little prince perplexed every time he meets an adult. Little prince in his own pursuit of answers gives some very important insights on life to us adults.
4. Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
Life Lesson: Attitude is everything. Also, a meaningful life is a life well lived.
“Even though conditions such as lack of sleep, insufficient food and various mental stresses may suggest that the inmates were bound to react in certain ways, in the final analysis, it becomes clear that the sort of person the prisoner became was the result of an inner-decision and not the result of camp influences alone. Fundamentally then, any man can, under such circumstances, decide what shall become of him – mentally and spiritually.”
Viktor Frankl served in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany. After his liberation, he set out to write this book on the unimaginable atrocities and suffering he endured as a prisoner at Auschwitz, Dachau and other camps. The book aims to explore the extent and sources of strength of human spirit in times of adversities, using his own experience as a case in point.
5. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Life Lesson: Always remember what you stand for. Never stoop to other people’s standards.
“Listen. I don’t like to preach, but here’s some advice. You’ll meet a lot of jerks in life. If they hurt you, remember it’s because they’re stupid. Don’t react to their cruelty. There’s nothing worse than bitterness and revenge. Keep your dignity and be true to yourself.”
I have always believed that wars are fought because of a few men with inflated sense of pride. Wars are absurd and futile, and pitiful. This book is an affirmation to this. Persepolis is an autobiographical account of author’s growing up years in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In the comic strip images, Satrapi makes it clear that even as a kid, she absorbed gravity of the years that had the devastating effects on Iran. The book is beautiful representation of how life goes on even amidst war and little joys of life never fail to touch upon it.
6. Alchemist By Paolo Coelho
Life Lesson: Universe is working in your favour. You already have the answers, just need to pay attention to your own instincts and the signs that universe lays down for you along your path.
The life lesson is too dramatic and spiritual to be believable, right? Wrong. The power to change and shape your destiny does lie within you, in your thoughts and your actions.
Santiago, a young shepherd boy, travels to far off lands in pursuit of material treasure. In his journey, he runs into many obstacles and each of them teaches him a lesson or two. He learns to overcome his fears and meets exactly the people he needs in his life. He eventually comes to learn what real treasures are in life. It’s a magical book and if there is just one book that you intend to read in your life, let it be this one.
7. Jane Eyre By Emily Bronte
Life Lesson: Be true to yourself. And your needs. No relation, no situation is worth your self respect and sanity. And along this journey of loving yourself, be compassionate and kind to the world. Oh, and how can I miss this, never stop dreaming big.
“I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.”
Jane Eyre is one hell of a woman. I wish I was that when I was 18 years old or even now. Such understanding of the world and herself, maturity beyond her age, intelligence and humility in her character is truly enchanting. She is firm and decisive, and knows what she wants from life. Her relationship with Rochester shows the emotional yet strong headed side of her personality. With all the setbacks she’s got in life and despite having no family, she still manages to keep herself going and that too with some passion, some compassion, some humour and some style. Long live Jane Eyre!
8.The Perks of Being a Wallflower By Stephen Chbosky
Life Lesson: Befriend your past and live in the moment. Life will keep moving forward and it’s best to keep pace with it, without getting (emotionally) stuck in the challenges that it throws. And most importantly, accept yourself as you are and love yourself with all intent and emotion.
Well, I felt this book like I’ve never felt any other book. Charlie is a young high school-er who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and who has a lot of emotional baggage as a result of lot of traumatic experiences in life. His journey through fighting all that emotional burden and making friends that he actually likes, to coming in terms with life is touching and soulful. The best part is that the book portrays an undramatic, unbiased and practical side to psychiatry and mental conditions.
9. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry By Rachel Joyce
Life Lesson: Whatever life stage you are in, take time out to see life for what it is. Forgive people and accept them as they are. And most importantly, the world is thy stage, go explore.
Harold is 65 years old and uncomfortably settled in his comfort zone. An unexpected letter is all it takes for him to take on a 500 miles journey that changes his life. The beauty of the book is that his journey is both physical and metaphorical. Along the journey, Harold meets many new characters, who teach him life lessons that changes his view on life and his relationship with self and others.
10. To Kill a Mocking Bird By Harper Lee
Life Lesson: Be kind, understanding and just to people from all walks of life. Always have the courage to stand for what is right.
Scout, the most beloved narrator of all times, is looking back on her and her brother’s childhood. At the start of the book, she seems more interested in telling us about other characters and events that catch the attention of her six-year-old mind. It’s adorable how she and her brother look up to her dad. It is only gradually that she begins to describe the incidents that changed everything for her and her brother. Even then, she describes these episodes in a way that shows she is too young to understand their true significance. And finally, the lessons on racial discrimination have been presented very realistically, effortlessly and sensibly in this book.
Did you like this list of books with life lessons? Do you think I missed out on any book that you think falls in this category? Then kindly comment. In case the list resonates well with you, please like, share and subscribe.
Keep Reading. Chao!