I love reading books, all kind of books. I guess that’s one of the main reasons I love writing. I can’t forget my first experiences at reading. My mom used to read to my sister and me everyday. I grew up and kept buying books and going to the libraries. When I came to Beijing I sort of lost the habit. I was very busy learning the language, the culture, visiting so many new places that i couldn’t find a time to read. Soon I realized that I have way to many holidays in Beijing so I could catch up with my reading. I have a few books that I keep very close to me and go with me everywhere. Today I want to talk about some of those books and ask for your opinions.
The first book in my list is definitely the collection “Chicken Soup for the Soul”, I have read already around 10 of them, which is a lot for me considering my hectic life and my limited “offline” time. The first time I read a “Chicken Soup for the Soul” was 3 years ago, I was having one of those really bad moments in my life dealing with broken relationships and home sickness when nothing seemed to help. My friend suggested me to read and I did, it was one of the best decisions in my life. Every time I go to a book store and I find one, I can’t hold it, I need to buy it. I give it as a present to my friends in bad situations, I suggest it to my broken hearted friends and I read it whenever I’m in a really bad moment. That’s the kind of book I only read when I’m feeling depressed or miserable and they never fail to cheer me up. Some of the biggest decisions and turning points of my life have been market, guided and suggested by “Chicken Soup for the Soul”.
The second book in my list is “Embracing the Infidel” by Bezhad Yaghmaian. This book is in this position for very personal reasons, apart from the fact that the writer is my personal friend (I can say almost family), also because I started reading it when I was the happiest person in the world but I ended reading it when I was the saddest person in the world. Bezhad was my boyfriend’s uncle, we met him in China while he was working on another of his books (which he is still working on), we talked a couple of times and I loved his book topic. When I finally got a copy of the book I could read it for hours even during my classes. But then something happened and my life just turned from perfect to the worst ever. I planned to stop reading it but Bezhad insisted in my finishing. I did and it was my really first healing tool in that moment. “Embracing the Infidel” is a very touching book about the journey of Muslim people from different countries to the West for better economical situation and escaping from persecutions and repressions. The author lived among those amazingly strong people who never stop fighting for a better live for a few months and interviewed them. The whole book is about their touching histories in different countries and stages of the journey. This book made me realize that there are many people all over the world with similar problems and contradictions than me, but they never stop fighting and pushing. They would migrate for country to country in search for a better life and they never stopped. So whenever I’m feeling very low or I need some affirmations to help me keep going, fighting, pushing…I can’t find anything better than “Embracing the Infidel”
The third book in my list is “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte. The reason why I love this book is because when I was in high school that was one of my friends’ favorite books but for some reason I never found any appeal to read it. Last year in December I came across an English books collections near my campus and “Jane Eyre” was among them. I made my mind up and went to buy it. At first it was a little bit hard for me to understand, but little by little I was captivated by the history. Lately I haven’t had much time for reading but I always try to read at least a few pages a week and sometimes I find myself a little sad that the end of the book is arriving.
My last of this small list but no least is an Spanish book “Articulos de Costumbres“, by the Cuban writer Emilio Roig. This book is basically about Cuban traditions. The writer is probably one of the most famous Cuban writers, his articles are usually in a humorous way and goes to the roots, to the real origin of Cuban traditions and idioms. This book was a present from my best friend, since I’ve been living in China for so long, she imagined that I’d benefit from a book like this one, to keep me close to my roots. I can’t read it all at a time, I kind of use it as a dictionary whenever I ask the “way” of any Cuban tradition or idiom. This is a very interesting book not only for Cubans but for all Latin American people who want to stay closer to their roots.
This is until now my small list of all time readings, in other words, books I can read all the time. I can talk about many other all time favorite books or most influential book in a certain area of my life but I can talk about it next time. Right now if you haven’t read any of this books, I’d advice you to search it and read it as soon as possible, I promise they’ll change your life.
What’s your all time reading list?