Right now, more than ever, we need reminders that life if beautiful and worthwhile. Even with a pandemic festering worldwide and immense pain and suffering, life still holds immense joy. No matter what we’re going through right now, despair and grief and anxiety and boredom, there will come a day when we will be able to embrace life fully. But for now, we need to stick with fiction that allows us to travel miles and years while sitting at home. Today, we’ve made a list of 10 books that will remind you that life is amazing, works that best inspire love for life, containing non-fiction, fiction and quite a bit of poetry. (For the beauty of literature often shines the best through poetry.)
10 Books That Will Remind You That Life Is Amazing:
- The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
- The Beauty of All my Days by Ruskin Bond
- Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore
- Lyrical Ballads by William Wordsworth
- Wild Geese by Mary Oliver
- Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
- Sonnets from the Portuguese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
- The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
- The Wild Places by Robert Macfarlane
The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
The apex of Lebanese poet Gibran’s work, The Prophet is a series of philosophical sermons the Prophet gives to villagers. Here, Gibran pours our his philosophies on Love, Marriage, Children, Work, Passion, Beauty, Art and more. When asked to summarize, Gibran said that his book says “you are greater than you think and all is well.” This optimistic and eyeopening view on the nature of life will offer you solace at your darkest. In fact, this book is best described as poetry of hope, because it will teach you about the philosophy of everyday things. It will remind you that within everyday life is embedded the ultimate beauty.
The Beauty of All my Days by Ruskin Bond
The cover of this book, full of deep reds and green leaves, is perhaps the most colourful and vibrant thing I have come across, much like Bond’s writing. His true and pure love for nature reflects in his descriptions of the mountains, in his meditations on birds and trees, in every letter of every word of every sentence. This memoir feels like a love letter to life itself, and to all its beauties that escape the untrained eye. It’s a celebration of all things natural. As Bond talks about the ‘amazing grace’ of nature, you will also be lured into the simple beauties of life we often neglect.
Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore
The first Indian person to win the Nobel prize is also an admirer of life, as seen through his poetry collection, Gitanjali. Gitanjali is his apex of literary brilliance, and a culmination of all of his life’s wisdom. These “Song Offerings to the Creator” were originally written in Bengali, but translated into English by Tagore himself. Hence, they retain the original sentiment and essence of their indigenous version. Addressed to God, these poems use the motifs of Indian culture, such as the monsoons, chariots and more. This is a book that is meant to be poetry, but becomes a philosophy of life and a source of inexplicable solace because of its beauty.
Lyrical Ballads by William Wordsworth
Some of the most wonderful Romantic poetry written, this selection of classic poetry is considered to be revolutionary to English literature. In his brilliantly worded preface, Wordsworth says that the emotion poetry evokes is more important that the words of the poetry. And surely enough, his poetry evokes emotions of sentimentality and idyllic beauty. Like with the simply flowing beauty of the ode to the richness of life, ‘Daffodils,’ Wordsworth will charm you with this yet again.
Wild Geese by Mary Oliver
A brilliant poet, Mary Oliver talks about nature and its facets with elegance and innocence. Her opening poem in this anthology is ‘Staying Alive,’ – a testament to how enriching and immersive it’s going to be. This book will make you fall in love with life itself, it’s as simple as that. Especially if you have lost the connection with nature you once had due to the pandemic of pressure, this book will help you mend it, just with words. This book contains whimsical and adorable imagery such as toads playing Mozart on miniature pianos. Full of tender appreciation for the flora and fauna around us, a Goodreads reviewer rightfully calls it the “Bible of Beautiful.”
Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
This epistolary novel is a collection of letters Rilke wrote to a young poet, on the cusp of a big decision. The young poet, Kappus had to decide whether he wanted to join the military service or forsake it for a career as a poet. Rilke attempts to dissolve his dilemma by offering a philosophy on creativity, art and solitude. This book, may not be a mainstream ode to life, but to a creator, it is sheer beauty. His words, the philosophy they contain, the advice he gives are shimmering with the beauty of the world.
Sonnets from the Portuguese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
One of the surest ways to experience the beauty of life is to experience the beauty of the world. When all else goes to waste, it is love that sustains us, gives us hope and joy. Most poets regard it as the essence of life’s amazing-ness. This collection of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poetry contains 44 poems that she wrote to her husband Robert Browning during their courtship. It is the portrait of a rich and deep love, which reflects he intensity of life. This love poetry will surely remind you why being alive is sublime and splendid.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The Alchemist has been a bestseller for ages now, and his provided an easy doorway into philosophy for millions of people all over the world. This book, at its core, is the story of Santiago, as he learns to embrace the world in its entirety. He is a shepherd who journeys across the deserts of Egypt in search of his destiny. On his journey, he meets several people who teach him the secrets of life and prepare him for his meeting with the alchemist of the desert. With the Alchemist, he learns the language of the desert and the power of omens. This book will teach you to be in tune with the language of life, and to heed to its messages.
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
The essential guide to the law of attraction, this book has created quite a stir in the self-help community since it came out. It teaches you that visualization is key. That the way to receive something is to want it desperately and believe that you will get it. This book is on this list for one simple reason. It tells you that life can be amazing if you let it be amazing. If you consciously attract goodness and positivity, you will have it.
The Wild Places by Robert Macfarlane
An environmental travelogue of sorts, this recounts Macfarlane’s journeys through the wildernesses of Ireland and Britain, and his encounters with the breathtaking beauty of nature. His passion shows in his work. This mixture of love and drive augments the natural beauty of the content of his work. He merges geography with culture, history and personal story to create a masterpiece that moves you. Full of the natural beauty of life, this memoir will urge you to drop everything and become one with the essence of life – the wild.