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Twelve Books to Uplift You & Blast the Blues…

14/01/2011
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“A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting.” ~ Henry David Thoreau.

Books, like flowers, add color to our lives...

What books are you reading lately? What uplifting book would you recommend I read? Reading books, new and old, is a favorite winter pastime and I suspect the same goes for many others who, like me, prefer to stay cooped up indoors with a good book when the temperature drops precipitously.  Aside from the usual pressing matters that keep us all busy, the best thing to do on a cold day, in my opinion, is stay indoors and read.

Since my blogging goal of late is to be brief, I have culled a selection of books that will warm your heart, lift your spirit, put a smile on your face, and perhaps make your toes curl with joy; the joy that comes from reading a book pithy with lessons, humor or courage … in some instances with all three. 🙂 Below are brief introductions to each book. Go borrow or buy them and then share the lessons learned. Don’t forget to leave me a comment with your reading recommendation.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Rebecca Skloot, a Science journalist, shares a remarkable story of medical magic and misery… This is the true life story of Deborah Lacks; a 31-year-old black mother of five, from Baltimore, Maryland, who died of cervical cancer in 1951. Her attending physicians, at Johns Hopkins Hospital took tissue samples from her cervix for research without her knowledge. The tissue spawned the first viable cell line—known as HeLa. These cells have since helped the medical community find treatments for a range of ailments from the polio vaccine to AIDS treatments.

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
David shares hilarious vignettes from his life with his family and also about his life as an American living in Paris. Colorful, hysterical and filled with the usual cast of outrageous characters that populate his fictional and, at times, real life…

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (P.S.) by Betty Smith
Francie Nolan, shares her sometimes harrowing story of growing up in turn-of-the-century Brooklyn. Her strength and resilience mirror that of the determined tree growing under her window…

Life of Pi by Yann Martel
This adventurous survival story is told by 16-year-old Pi Patel; a young curious boy raised in Pondicherry, India. A terrible shipwreck finds Pi adrift in the Pacific Ocean, trapped on a 26-foot lifeboat with a slew of wounded animals. Follow his journey…

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
This is the first part of a five volume series of autobiographical narratives. This book shares events that cover a broad period of Maya’s early life with her family.

Nectar of the Grateful Victim by Taran Dhillon
This is the story of transformations and revelations in the life of a young woman who comes into her own after an arranged marriage and life on another continent. It speaks to every woman’s search for personal freedom.

Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) by Jerome K. Jerome
A comic tale of three men in a boat sailing the Thames in London and pondering their lives.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
An inspirational fable by Brazilian author and translator Paulo Coelho; offers much food for thought.

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron
The remarkable tale of a cat discovered in the drop off box at the library of a Midwestern town.  A true tale.

When I Was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago
The warm and funny story of a young girl’s journey,with her mom and siblings, from her small town in Puerto Rico to the USA.

The Opposite of Fate: A Book of Musings by Amy Tan
A collection of non-fiction essays that share insights into her private writing life; her personal philosophy, and tidbits from her literary career.

Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard: A Novel by Kiran Desai
The humorous tale of Sampath a young Indian boy who, in order to escape the boredom of life in his village in India, decides to climb a guava tree and live there peacefully. The resultant charade and cast of characters will leave you in stitches.

If I could add another book that while not ideally a blues blaster (brilliant yet disturbing undercurrent on human cloning) is quite superlative, I would include Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go. Read it anyway. When the weather has you in a bit of a funk, read any of the above listed books to blast the blues… What are you reading?  What hot new book would you recommend to us?  Thank you! 🙂

Positive Motivation Tip: Reading is to the mind what water is to the body; it refreshes and rejuvenates. Read! 🙂

PHOTO CREDITS:  Higanbana/Nirvana Autumn flower by Danuta Lacka via National geographic

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank

Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

20 Comments leave one →
  1. 15/01/2011 12:10 am

    Elizabeth..
    A treasure trove to feast upon!
    Thank you…some of the titles were familiar…but many were not. If there are any minutes left in the day after working and blogging, I will check them out. Perhaps I should choose just one. 🙂

  2. 15/01/2011 1:41 am

    Don’t you ever sleep? 🙂
    Starting with one is not a bad idea. Vivian dear, thank you for stopping by.
    I will begin my rounds shortly… This is quite consuming.
    Reminds me of when I re-created my blogger blog last year; I needed to do a ton of stuff to get it going… Phew
    E

  3. 15/01/2011 1:52 am

    thank you for your Thoreau quotation!

  4. 15/01/2011 7:23 am

    I used to read a lot a few years back. Up until 3 years back, it was one book a day for me. But with job and doing nothing on my computer, I am not able to find the time to read.
    I am going to start again, maybe 1 book a week.

    • 15/01/2011 8:00 am

      It has become harder for all of us to read; especially with the growth of the internet, tons of gadgets and TV stations and all manner of media bombarding us daily with soundbites and tidbits of information.
      Like you, I would love to make time to read even more than I currently do. I used to read a lot more too but when we factor in family time, and other commitments, the hours just fly by. 🙂
      E

  5. 15/01/2011 12:03 pm

    When I want to get completely absorbed I grab a Ken Follett book. Most recently I’ve enjoyed Gretchen Ruben’s ‘The Happiness Project’ and Dominique Browning’s ‘Slow, Love, Life’. Mostly I read blogs and articles online, though. I find it hard to take the time to sit still and read a book. Partly because if I really love it I can’t put it down and then I’m up til all hours and useless the next day. sigh

    • 16/01/2011 6:15 am

      Oh yes, I could have added the Happiness Project and will have to reference it in another post.
      Like you and Sunil, reading has become harder as time and life’s demands weigh in. I didn’t add the Kindle as a reading tool because I still love the touch of a book.
      Quite frankly, I might become one of those dinosaurs… LOL! 🙂
      Thank you B!
      E

  6. 15/01/2011 3:04 pm

    Oh, yay! More books to add to my growing list 🙂 I love discovering new books to read… Winter, summer, I’ve always got a book in hand! (Especially since I commute to work on public transit.. reading makes the time fly!)

    I’ve heard The Alchemist is amazing.. a couple years ago I started reading it but couldn’t get into it.. maybe I wasn’t in the right frame of mind. I should give it another shot 🙂

    • 16/01/2011 6:18 am

      I love discovering new books too and that is why I always ask for new titles so I can stay involved in reading; so much to read… so little free time. 🙂
      Th Alchemist is a haunting and beautiful tale… some people don’t like it but I do; being able to choose what we prefer to read is what makes the world go round.
      Thank you!
      E

  7. 15/01/2011 4:23 pm

    I have been wanting to start reading more and your list gives me a great starting point! thanks Eliz!

  8. kyle permalink
    15/01/2011 10:39 pm

    sign me up

  9. 16/01/2011 6:22 am

    Thanks Rosa, I am enjoying your daily offerings of paintings; visiting gives me a moment to look at something beautiful with no words… My world is full of words and sometimes, silence is necessary. 🙂
    E

  10. 17/01/2011 4:36 pm

    I have the Life of Pi waiting to be read! I got it free on iBooks through the iTunes Twelve Days of Christmas thing they did. I’ve wanted to read it for ages!

    The one about the library cat sounds so intriguing – I’m a huge cat lover so will definitely have to pick that one up. 🙂

  11. 06/03/2012 11:17 am

    You must spend a lot of time choosing all of these fabulous books. Thanks for all this work!

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