Must-read books

Have you ever read a book and found yourself stuck within its pages for days, or even weeks after it was done? Found yourself talking about it to anyone who would listen and perhaps even, found it shaping the reasoning behind some of your decisions?
If you have, then you will understand exactly what I mean, and if you haven’t, then here’s a list of some of the books that I call life altering.

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

The Steinbeck classic and my favourite of his books. This is the first book I ever gifted my husband, who only read it 5 years laterland spent weeks after it in a Steinbeck haze.  I’ve read it at least 3 times, using it as a reminder of the power we hold within ourselves. The choice we have in being good, in being kind – in giving up on the idea of perfection, and embracing kindness in its most basic forms. I won’t spoil this book for you, but I’ll leave you with one word that says it all – timshel.

The Third Plate by Dan Barber

This book changed my outlook both personally and professionally. It influenced my daily choices by making me a more informed and conscious consumer. Professionallty, it deepened my interest in sustainability and agriculture – sister topics to my major; nutrition but ones that I never gave much attention to before.
It is written by a renowned chef, who just happens to be a literature major and a phenomenal writer at that.

Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas

I first read this as a teenager, and it stuck with me for a while, but I didn’t really appreciate it till I gave it a second reading during my undergraduate years. There is something so cathartic about how Dumas describes despair and then hopefulness. I have read many books since then, and I still find his build up of the Count to be one of my favourite examples of character development in storytelling. Let us not forget “all human wisdom can be contained in these two words: wait and hope.”

Born a crime by Trevor Noah

The most contemporary of the list – this book is a must read, even if you decided to skip all the others. It is short, memorable, and thoroughly enjoyable. It celebrates the life of Trevor Noah, but more so, his mother – a larger than life person, yet, utterly human and flawed. As a mother, I’ll tell you this book has more parenting guidance than any parenting help book out there – and it is told in the most humorous, least condescending way imaginable. Trevor Noah captures it all: a compelling story, great storytelling, and a happy ending.

Share with me your must read list, what have you read that felt life changing?

T

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