“Books are more than doctors, of course. Some novels are loving, lifelong companions;some give you a clip around the ear; others are friends who wrap you in warm towels when you’ve got those autumn blues. And some…well, some are pink candy floss that tingles in your brain for three seconds and leaves a blissful voice. Like a short, torrid love affair.” – Nina George
Until recently I was unable to answer the “What is your favourite book?” question, feeling a dying-heart-machine-sound in my head every time someone asked me. Well, two weeks ago I found my Bible, at least for now. It is called “The little Paris Bookshop” by the German author Nina George (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23278537-the-little-paris-bookshop ). In it I see my own thoughts about books and their influence on man’s life synthesized in a simple way. Besides helping me to order my own mind, the story of Jan Perdu gives me an excellent idea on how to present new books to someone, but about that later on.
It turns out that books can serve as a homeopathic remedy for your soul pains. In his literature pharmacy Mr. Perdu stores and sells novels for broken hearts and lost dreams and prescribes narratives that boost creativity, cure illusion, or sooth the anger in one’s chest. I felt in love with this idea! It got me thinking that people nowadays spent so much money on antidepressants and other pills that are supposed to help them to deal with their feelings when all they need is just a way to express them. And books can give you that! They can be a shoulder to cry on, a mirror to look at, and a friend to chat with when you feel lonely or confused. If you think about it, reading a novel is like a conversation both with the author and with yourself simultaneously. The stories, no matter whether completely fictional or based on true facts, allow you to contemplate on different situations without having to suffer the real consequences. This could be a valuable (pre)experience. What is more, books can make you see the bigger picture and thus, to get to appreciate your own life and luck. So, for those who are searching to overcome their book hunger , I will follow Jan Perdu’s method of recommending…
Books that help you “see” yourself better
Black Milk: On Writing, Motherhood, and the Harem Within by Elif Shafak – Urges you to meet your inner selves and to learn to find the balance in your soul.
Pavilion of women by Pearls S. Buck – For grown and growing women. The novel discusses the natural role of the woman in the universe, her place and significance in the society and in the family.
The Pilgrimage by Paolo Coelho – For the path to a better-self, the struggles that strengthen your personality and the leaders that guide you in the right direction.
A woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown by Lorna Martin – For those who don’t know how to fight their devils (or can’t really see them).
Books that shake you to your bones and teach you to appreciate the smaller things in life (for people who can’t realize how lucky they are)
Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally – The real story of Schindler and “his” Jews that shows you the contrasting human nature, reveals the extremes of both good and evil . For those who are doubtful about making a real difference if they choose to be moral.
The Kite runner and A thousand splendid suns by Haled Hosseini – For the consequences of war, the inevitabilities in life and the (im)possibility to fight back.
Books that trigger your sensuality and wake up your passion for life
Swift of Desire by Laura Esquivel and The little Paris Bookshop by Nina George – Novels for the nature of love and the joys of the body that nourish the souls.
Books for the beach (currently reading) – The House of the Impossible Loves by Christina Lopez Barrio (this one falls in the previous category too).
I hope I inspired you to have a look at some of those books according to what you need to read now. Before you decide you may ask yourself: “How should the book taste? Of ice cream? Spicy, meaty? Or like a chilled rose?” (Nina Georges).