Books of Inspiration: 16 – 20

Presented in no particular order of significance or importance, here are books sixteen to twenty on my bookshelf of inspiration:

Books 16 to 20

  1. Pleasure by Nikki Gemmell – This is a beautiful book with a gorgeous layout, containing thought-provoking words and stories which are from the heart and yet bluntly delivered. There is much loveliness to enjoy here, and like a very close friend it is able to deliver that which you most need to hear, whether that is what you wanted to hear or not. 
  2. Familiar Studies by RL Stevenson – I love the small presentation of this book, the fact that it is second-hand and holds such appeal in its knocked about hard cover and age-stained pages. Collections of essays take up quite a lot of space on my bookshelves as I find them the most interesting way to learn more about admired authors or to think more on a particular topic. Here Stevenson speaks of Victor Hugo’s romances, discusses Robert Burns and shares thoughts on Thoreau’s character and opinions.
  3. Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote – Probably the most recent addition to my ‘books of inspiration’, this was the first Truman Capote book I’ve read and it really opened my eyes to his talent (and has since led me to open more of his books). I love how he creates flawed characters which you can’t help but love, or at the very least, characters you want to know more of. Without this book I would not know of ‘the mean reds’ as opposed to suffering from ‘the blues’ and that would be a very great shame indeed. 
  4. How To Be Idle  by Tom Hodgkinson – Contrary to the thoughts of many, being idle does not necessarily mean being lazy. This book describes itself as being a ‘manifesto for living’, and I wholeheartedly concur. Hodgkinson presents the ways in which we can reclaim our right to take control of our lives against the demands and busyness of  modern society. While this is at times a funny book, I resent the fact that it is often presented for sale in the ‘humour’ section of bookstores as it actually presents serious ideas and philosophies. 
  5. Out of Sight by Elmore Leonard – This was the first Elmore Leonard book that I read and I have to say that I’ve been hooked ever since. His writing is clipped and succinct and yet he still manages to say so much. This is the story of Deputy US Marshal Karen Sisco and her relationship with bank robber Jack Foley, and was later adapted for the screen in a film featuring Jennifer Lopez and George Clooney. Set against disturbing insights to the seedier, crime-filled side of the streets, I am in complete awe of Leonard’s ability to build chemistry between unlikely characters. Sexy, fascinating and completely absorbing, there is little more to ask for in a really great story.


  1. Mental Mist

    Love your site name 🙂 … ok these are added to my list, although i suspect i already read all RL Stevensons 🙁

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Mental Mist – So glad you like the name…it has just always felt ‘right’.

      I always find the main trouble with being recommended books by others is that you already have such a back-log to get through, adding in more just causes the list to keep on growing and growing and growing…

      I really must read more of RL Stevenson – he is just such a wonderful author…

  2. Ricardo

    The book Out of Site was great but the film got mixed reviews. there are a few other books that got turned into films. While some are good I’m sure the books are far better. But that’s always the case with books turned into films. Much gets lost in translation and it’s because it’s not a perfect science. But it makes loads of money.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Ricardo – I saw the film version of Out of Sight before I read the book and I think they really are two separate entities. I tried to watch Get Shorty, but just couldn’t seem to get behind that movie, I haven’t tried to read the book of that one either yet…

      I agree that often when a book is ‘converted’ into a movie something special can be lost in the process – sometimes it works out and you end up with something different but still good, while other times it ends up being a complete disaster.

  3. Paul

    Elmore Leonard is great. The kind of writer you can just read and read for sheer pleasure. And I see one of the old fashioned orange Penguins in there. Since I was a kid I have had a thing for and will read anything with an orange Penguin cover. I don’t know why, it must be some deep forgotten assocation from my childhood. Maybe I read “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote in orange Penguin or something. You have fantastic taste and perfectly balanced prose with which to express it, Tracey.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Paul – I feel like such a dunce for coming across Elmore Leonard so late in my reading experience, but I’m so glad that I eventually found him. You’re right, he is just a really ‘pleasurable’ author to read – his text is really tight and yet ‘true’ and his characters are often really, really fascinating. Such an author to look up to!!

      I know what you mean about the orange covered Penguins, there is just something about them that drags up distant memories from childhood readings in the school library…or some such experience that I can’t quite seem to remember. I’ve only recently read ‘In Cold Blood’ (also in the orange cover) and it completely blew me away…what an amazing writer!

      Thanks as ever for your kind words Paul, and for your very gracious visit.

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