It’s summer time! All of us enjoy reading novels and books that keep us hooked to the end. However, we must also seek topics that can provide us with life lessons, motivation, inspiration and positive thinking. We’ve listed nine books that will help you relax, get motivated -and might even nudge you outside your comfort zone.
1- The Leftovers
A novel by Tom Perrota showing you how to persevere and cope with grief and also how the loss of people we love can change us -for better or worse. It follows the city of Mapelton where its people suddenly disappeared without a trace and how its mayor tried to bring a sense of hope for his doomed city, despite his own suffering; his wife left to join the homegrown cult and his son dropped out of college to follow a sketchy prophet. The mayor himself was distracted by his growing relationship with a woman who’d lost her entire family and was struggling to move beyond her tragedy towards a new beginning.
2- The Blue Between Sky and Water
A novel by Susan Abulhawa showing how powerful and courageous women are, including their endurance when it comes to heartaches. It takes place in the small Palestinian village of Beit Daras, where a family is forced by Israeli forces to leave their home. Only two siblings in the family survive the long road to Gaza. The brother continues his journey to America, where, upon his death, his granddaughter grows up longing for her family and roots -eventually beckoning her to Gaza. This novel can teach you that you can start over even after you’ve lost everything, and that you can still find love again and laugh through your pain.
3- Saints for All Occasions
J. Courtney Sullivan wrote this moving novel about two sisters who came to Boston from Ireland and the impact of the secrets they kept over a lifetime. One of the sisters, Theresa, gets pregnant, which forces Nora to come to a decision that led to results both sisters were too young to understand. Eventually, Nora became a mom with four children and Theresa became a nun. After decades of silence, a sudden death forces Nora and Theresa to confront the choices they made so long ago. This novel shows that you can struggle and sacrifice for the values of your generation, even away from home.
4- Like The Flowing River
A list of short stories written by Paulo Coelho, author of the Alchemist. He excelled in showing lessons that can be learnt from the simplest things in life. An example of that is the story of grandmother teaching her grandson five lessons from just a pencil. Coelho tried to encourage us to have hope, to face the challenges we pass through, to never take an action in anger, and to love each other without expecting any reward.
5- Love Without Limits
An inspiring book by Nick Vujicic helping you overcome any disability -especially physical ones. It also teaches one to overcome any pain or humiliation from people, stating that this can be achieved through one’s faith in God. The book also talks about the importance of surrounding yourself with supportive people who will help throughout your journey. So don’t stop your journey unless you are proud of it.
6- To Kill a Mockingbird
This story by Harper Lee was filmed in 1962, where the entire plot dates back to Alabama in 1930s. It talks about Atticus, a respected lawyer who defended Tom Robinson, a black man who was accused of raping and beating a white woman. Atticus succeeded to prove the man’s innocence, but the jury slapped him a guilty verdict anyway. The story goes on after the verdict, showing the reader valuable lessons about not discriminating against people, how children should be respected as adults and how morals need to be followed even if it’s against one’s beliefs.
7- Words in The Dust
Author Trent Reedy talks about a 13 year-old Afghan girl with a facial deformity. Her father kept reminding her that she would never marry because of it. The girl’s life changes after the arrival of Americans who decided to build a new school for girls, but the idea of her education was refused by her father. However, there was a glimpse of hope when she met a friend of her mother’s who decided to teach her in secret. This lovely novel will help you believe that your value is in your mind and not your shape -and that a woman’s role in society is about more than just housekeeping.
8- Eat Only When You Are Hungry
This novel by Lindsey Hunter is about 58 year-old Greg and his search for his addict son who had been missing for three weeks. Through the journey you discover the mistakes of the father himself and his belief that he is the only one who can bring his son back. The writer succeeded in allowing us to look at addicts from another perspective, how we should sympathize with them and how we should confront our fractures and failures in life.
9- The God of Small Things
Arundhati Roy wrote this Indian tale about two fraternal twins; Estha, a very serious young man, and Rahel, a smart, impulsive woman. The tale discussed their childhood experiences and how their lives are forever changed by a set of unfortunate events whose roots are deeply embedded in the social and political systems of the town they live in. This book will take you to the exotic land of India and describe the sadness and fear of childhood, as well as the tragedy when a child cannot conquer these ravages.