Since I was a child I have always loved reading and I realised that I read mainly to learn something new, that will enrich me in some way. The books that I learn something from are the most memorable for me. Then there are also those books, which I just enjoy, like watching a movie, but that don’t give me anything more then the pleasure from reading a story. These types of books are also good, but are ultimately forgotten and never returned to, unlike the books in the first category. There are also a few books, that have not only taught me something new, but have actually changed the way I think and so changed my life. Here is a list of books that have changed my life and others that have influenced me in some way. They are a random mix, from fact to fiction, but they have all touched me differently.
The books that changed my life
The Power of Now and New Earth, Eckhart Tolle – both incredibly powerful books, about how to live in the present and stop worrying and thinking about the past or future. Tolle advises advises you to be the watcher of your thoughts and in this way be in the present, escaping the constant chatter in your head. Truly life changing.
Darwin’s Black Box, Michael J Behe – “Michael J. Behe, a biochemist at Lehigh University, presents here a scientific argument for the existence of God…he argues, life is “irreducibly complex”. Faced with complexity at this level, Behe suggests that it can only be the product of “intelligent design” (Amazon review).
This book helped me think about the complexity of natural world and reaffirm my belief in God, when I started having doubts. You can read more on this in my earlier blog post here.
Science and Evidence for Design in the Universe, by Dembski, Behe and Meyer
Another book that argues and gives examples to illustrate intelligent design, along with Behe’s book it has helped me reaffirm why I believe in a Creator
The Secret, Rhonda Byrne – talks about the ‘law of attraction’ and how positive thinking can bring about the results we desire in our lives. I saw the film and haven’t read the book, but the book became a best seller after the film was made. The film made me think for the first time about why positive thinking could be good for you. The film argues that the ‘universe’ will help you attain your goal, if you visualise it enough, but in my mind although that might be true, it is simply the fact that we have ascertained what we want and imagined it, that lets us work towards achieving that goal whether consciously or subconsciously. This is not a new idea and has many proponents, but this film was significant for me as it introduced me to the concept and really got me thinking about it and also made me realise that there is not point in thinking negative thoughts.
The Element: How finding your passion changes everything, Ken Robinson with Lou Aronica – this gave me hope and the answer to my question does the ideal job exist? Can everyone find a passion for something? Ken Robinson argues that everyone can find their passion or their element and everybody has one. If they haven’t found it, they just have to keep on searching. I thought about what my element is and realised that it is writing about the things and ideas that are dear to me. You can read more on this in my earlier blog post here.
Skinny Bitch, Rory freedman and Kim Barnouin – this book made me change my lifestyle because I read in detail how animals are terribly and inhumanely treated and slaughtered on mass meat farms. I haven’t become vegan as the book advocates, but I have cut down my intake of meat and other animal products, and I try to stay off white flower and refined sugar as much as I can. If I do eat meat or animal products I try to eat organic produce and mainly fish and chicken instead of red meat and have replaced sugar with natural sweeteners and white flour and grains with wholemeal alternatives.
Other books that influenced me
Alchemist, Paulo Coelho – an inspiring story about a boy who follows his heart. The message I took from it was that, even if we are fearful of doing something we must take the risk and follow our hearts and do it, otherwise we will always live with regrets and dreams unfulfilled.
The Forty Rules of Love, by Elif Shafak – an amazing book about Sufism and the story of Rumi, through the eyes of a bored American Jewish housewife. Thoroughly recommended – it made me learn more, and want to even learn more about Sufism and its teachings.
Why Dirt is good, Dr Mary Ruebush – I learnt why germs can sometimes be good for you and why anti-bacterial products can be harmful. Read my earlier blog post for more information here.