Presented in no particular order of significance or importance, here are books eleven to fifteen on my bookshelf of inspiration:
- The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald – I first encountered this book at high school for an English assignment, and have pretty much loved it and Fitzgerald ever since. Gatsby, Daisy and Nick illuminated the world of the ‘roaring twenties’ for me. Fitzgerald presents these characters in an ultimately tragic story which lurks beneath the surface of all the glitz and glamour. Forever more I have found myself believing in the green light.
- The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton – Again this is another that I haven’t read through in completeness (yet), but it’s one that I read from on the odd occasion. I am a very big reader of Alain de Botton and I absolutely adore his friendly, conversational writing tone and the way he cleverly delivers philosophical ideas in an entertaining (and pop culture friendly) way. This book contains input from a range of famous ‘travellers’ such as Flaubert, Wordsworth, Van Gogh and Ruskin who were inspired by travel. While I haven’t travelled too much yet, I hope to soon and I find this book inspires just for being what it is.
- Walden by Henry David Thoreau – I have spoken on the site about my love of this book, time and time again and probably at much length, but I really can’t help myself. This is a soulmate book. I connect with this book in so many different ways, and often reflect on Thoreau’s thoughtful words. If there was one book to carry with me always, this would be it. I love it so, and as we know, ‘true love lasts a lifetime’.
- The Music of Chance by Paul Auster – This is a strange, wonderful, completely fantastic book which I’m still thinking about a couple of years after I first read it. The characters are slightly ‘off’ and the situations they find themselves in are almost unbelievable, and yet Auster’s words make anything possible.
- Footsteps: Adventures of a Romantic Biographer by Richard Holmes – As mentioned earlier in my book listing, I love a good outdoorsy walking adventure with a literary cast, and this book is no exception. Holmes retraces the steps of Robert Louis Stevenson’s journey through the Cevennes. Holmes is a wonderful biographer, he has an ear for an entertaining story and is adept at connecting the present with the past, bringing a cast of real-life characters expertly to life. This is wonderful, wonderful stuff and inspires as much with its words as with its content.