Whether you crave an escape from the mundane or just a thrill-filled afternoon, there is nothing books cannot provide you with. As someone who's already crossed a decade of reading, I've gotten the most succinct life advice from some fine papered creatures.
During the roughest phases of my life, or when I felt I couldn't go on anymore, there has always popped up a book that has spoken exactly what my heart needed to hear. Sometimes, human beings and their words cannot heal you as much as the pages of a book,the way it sits snugly in your hands.
These 25 books are now pillars of my inner world and have blessed me with wisdom that every 25-year-old should have access to.
There is no other way to say it: you are going to fall in love with this book. Period. I say this with utter confidence because Dushka's words don't intend to motivate you, they just talk honestly about varied aspects of life. It is her sheer honesty that fills you with thoughtful inspiration.
2. Jonathan Livingston Seagull - Richard Bach
One of the most powerful books I've ever read, and to give you a heads-up, it's just a little over 100 pages. Through the character of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Bach talks about the dreamer and the way he makes his dreams come alive through passion, dedication and hard work.
3. New And Selected Poems, Volume 1 - Mary Oliver
If there is a single collection of poems that has taught me the most about life, about its ordinary-extraordinary magic, about the art of paying attention, it is this one. I am not going to shy away from saying this: everyone should own a copy.
4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy - Douglas Adams
It's time to NOT take life too seriously, because Adams, in any case, will topple your world with some hilarious new perspectives from which to view the world you breathe in. Be it the peculiar meaning of "Thursday" or why it is essential to carry a towel in space while being abducted by aliens, I am sure you won't just stop at book one of this series.
5. Forty Rules Of Love - Elif Shafak
Based on the love story of the 13th century Sufi poet, Jalauddin Rumi, and Shams of Tabriz, the author weaves in the forty golden rules of love. Far from being a piece of religious literature, this book's prose is beautifully human and talks about love in all its shades, not restricted to romance alone.
6. The Buddha Series - Osamu Tezuka
They say words too have their limitations. That's where Osamu's graphic novels floor you. Based on the life of Gautama Buddha, the artist speaks of the issues so conveniently sidetracked by the narrative of the rise of Buddhism.
7. Start Where You Are: A Journal For Self-Exploration - Meera Lee Patel
Maybe you are not a journal person. Maybe you don't like to write things down. But here's one that will convince you to not only pen down your inner discoveries but to doodle them too! This is one of the funnest ways to know yourself better.
8. The Saint, The Surfer, The CEO - Robin Sharma
Robin Sharma has the coolest ways to round up the essential life lessons every 20-something needs. Especially when he narrates them through the minds of a saint, a surfer and a CEO. Just like The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, this one tells you practical ways to channel your best self.
9. Radical Self Love - Gala Darling
Recently there's been an uproar about learning to love yourself, and while that is absolutely important, a lot of us don't know how to start. Enter Gala Darling, with her simple yet brilliantly fun book, with everyday self-love homework that makes you want to add that dose of sparkle to shine up your existence.
10. The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down - Haemin Sunim
This book can be pretty intense for anyone who's just delving into the realm of self-help literature. Having said that, the book comes in with meditative illustrations about daily life, followed by short paragraphs. You need to really sip on the words that speak to you, for this one should not be rushed.
11. O’s Little Book Of Happiness - Editors of The O Magazine
My favorite books are the ones that don't directly tell you what to do. Rather, they let you saunter through the narrative, allowing you to discover all that you find relevant for yourself at that point in time. O's Little Book Of Happiness is just that. A compilation of short essays by some of the most influential minds in the world, it helps you slow down and really connect with who you are.
12. Jaya - Devdutt Pattanaik
The minute I began to read this interpretation of the Mahabharata, I knew I'd come across an author who would open my mind and my heart to the roots of societal conditioning. A splendid piece of prose, Pattanaik's book deconstructs one of the primary pillars of the Hindu religious system.
13. We Should All Be Feminists - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
A direct manifestation of her TED talk, this book is a short but powerful text on what feminism really is, what it stands for and how it transcends gender as a whole.
14. The Prophet - Kahlil Gibran
Gibran's simple but evocative poetry-prose will unearth parts of you that have been asleep through the years. His thoughts on every aspect of the human existence sheds light on how one can not only enrich one's life but also be lovingly present to celebrate it fully.
15. Real Love: The Art Of Mindful Connection - Sharon Salzberg
If you are someone who's constantly been questioning the conditions taught to us about love, this book might just echo your own discoveries. What does it mean to have a connection that nourishes you instead of depleting your inner power? What does it mean to really be in love, the kind that your well-being deserves?
16. Notes To Myself - Hugh Prather
I remember taking deep, slow breaths as soon as I had read the first 3 pages of this beautiful piece of writing. I remember feeling understood, overwhelmed and almost bursting with tears of gratitude. Here is a book that celebrates what it is to truly be all of you, to be purely human.
17. Invisible Cities - Italo Calvino
Marco Polo narrates his travels to Gengis Khan, and through his short narratives, you travel into the dark and light corners of every human heart. A splendid, splendid piece of literature, Calvino's Invisible Cities forces you to look within with every turn of the page.
18. You Can Heal Your Life - Louise Hay
Forget about what they say. Forget about needing someone else to save you, to heal you. Because here's a book that connects you with your own well of power. It urges you to be your own healer, your own hero. And it guides you every step of the way.
19. The Harry Potter Series - J.K. Rowling
There is OBVIOUSLY a very big reason why the Harry Potter books are now a part of school curriculum all over the world. Putting my bias aside, these books teach you some of the best lessons of friendship, owning who you are and fighting for what you believe in.
20. Tao Te Ching - Lao-Tzu
Tzu has a way of ripping open your heart and making you stare at the treasures within. He also has a way of making you feel the deepest of calm with the fewest of his words. This one ranks among the top 10 of the best books I've read in my life.
21. The Buddha Walks Into A Bar - Lodro Rinzler
For anyone who's looking to understand the principles of Buddhism (without actually wanting to sell off their Ferrari), this book is for you. An introduction to the principles that form the basis of mindfulness, love and peace while you live a modern-day lifestyle, this is a pretty funky and fun read.
22. Eat, Pray, Love - Elizabeth Gilbert
The movie was more or less a perfect representation of the book. But, well, there is a world of difference between reading and registering pearls of wisdom from the pages of a book versus trying to remembering catchphrases from the movie screen.
23. 365 Days Of Wonder - R.J. Palacio
A simple, easy read, with one quote a day to make you smile, ponder and reflect further, 365 Days Of Wonder is one of the coolest pocket books to carry around.
24. Wreck This Jouranl - Keri Smith
This one takes recording your inner journey to the next level. It asks you to craft, sew, write, color and what not at every page. But hell, I'd do this all over again!
25. Conversations With God - Neal Donald Walsch
What if there was a book that turned your idea of God upside down, shook your very being and spoke to you of an energy that is pure love - no hell, no heaven? One of the finest and coolest books I read back in the day when I was 18.
Source - Filter Copy