My german copy of „The Perfume”:
Archives For Reading
“Those who will not govern themselves are condemned to find masters to govern over them”
-Steven Pressfield , “The War Of Art”
I hope you like it! 🙂
Here are 10 brilliant fiction books that are exceptional in style, story and ingenuity!
Let me know if you have any further recommendations (fiction as well as non-fiction!)
1. The City Of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers*
My absolute favourite book. When I was 11 or 12 one of my best friends recommended Walter Moers to me: Never having heard of him, I rushed into the closest library and asked the man working there whether they had any of his books. He looked at me as though
I had just confessed to eating my own poo, and replied, ‘Do we sell the books by the greatest German author of all time?’.
The City Of Dreaming Books is written from the perspective of a lindworm (a dinosaur), who inherits a manuscript so breathtakingly brilliant and powerful, that he sets out to find its anonymous author.
If you enjoyed J. K. Rowling and Neil Gaiman, Walter Moers should be your next stop: He is the greatest story-teller I’ve ever read.
2. Flight Of The Storks by Jean-Christophe Grangé*
Probably the most suspenseful thing I’ve ever read. Story line: Young man called Louis is tasked with finding out why the storks aren’t making their return to Europe lately. He starts following them on their journey and finds himself in a world of greed, murder and maggot-infested corpses.
This book is a tornado of gruesome violence, beautiful language and disturbing insights into the merciless law of the Congolian Jungle: I cannot recommend it highly enough.
3. Wilt by Tom Sharpe
I started reading this book whilst on a plane and had to stop because the other passengers were getting annoyed with my almost hysterical laughter. I’m not usually a big fan of my father’s book recommendations, but this was brilliant.
It’s about Henry Wilt, a middle-aged teacher who plans his obnoxious wife’s murder… with a sex doll. Everything goes horribly wrong and Continue Reading…
“Happiness is the only good,
The place to be happy is here.
The time to be happy is now.
The way to be happy is to make others so.”
I realise that most people don’t have the time or patience to read long novels. Starting a 900-page-novel from the 18th century is a daunting experience even to book-lovers like me, so here is my selection of short books that have profoundly changed, touched or helped me, and may do the same for you:
1. The War Of Art by Steven Pressfield
This is the single most motivational book I have ever read. If you want to become an artist, or an entrepreneur, or simply follow your calling (whatever it may be), read this book. It doesn’t give you a detailed account of what you have to do to succeed, but I guarantee that it will motivate you to get off your arse and make your move.
2. Lying by Sam Harris
Sam Harris’ essay is a brilliant ode to honesty. It helped me see that there are problems not only with evidently harmful lies, but with ‘white lies’ (“Aww, thanks, Aunt Minerva! I love this jumper!”), too. If you care about becoming a better person, you should definitely read this. I look it up every few weeks to remind myself of the importance of being honest.
3. What’s God Got To Do With It? by Robert G. Ingersoll
To me, Robert Ingersoll is one of the greatest people ever to have walked this planet: A fierce fighter against oppressive forms of religion and ideology, a titan of thought and love and honesty. His speeches filled stadiums in 19th century America, and this book will show you why. I still get goosebumps reading it, as I do often, and tip my hat to a character that had “all the attributes of a perfect man” (Thomas Edison).
This is a collection (edited by Pulitzer Prize-winner Tim Page) of some of his talks, interviews, letters, etc.
4. Writing That Works by Kenneth Roman & Joel Raphaelson
The best book I’ve ever read on writing: If you’re young and want to learn how to write crisply and effectively, I cannot recommend this highly enough. Whether it’s e-mails, memos or presentations – this little guide will drastically improve your communication skills and empower you to get stuff done. It gets straight to the point and leaves out all the bullshit you often see in similar works.
5. Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott
If I were ever make a list of (who knows?) “Books That Completely Miss Their Point But Are Still Mind-Blowingly Wonderful”, this will easily make the top. Its subtitle is “Some Instructions on Writing and Life”, but you will find 100 books that are better at teaching you how to write (and how to live, too, I presume).
That said, I should mention that it’s nonetheless aimed at writers (or introverts in general) – I just don’t think that the writing advice is greatly useful if you’re looking to improve your technique.
And here’s why you should read it anyway: It’s an awe-inspiring cocktail of humour, wisdom and tragedy, so tightly whirled together that you won’t find an ounce of boredom anywhere. It’s the most humane thing I have ever read.
Buying this book was the best book-buying-mistake I’ve ever made, and I think it’s one you should make, too.