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July 12, 2016

Special Guest Post: 5 Great Books We Could All Learn Something From


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The power of the written word is a magical one; through tales, we are given the opportunity to live vicariously and learn valuable lessons that we could never otherwise be exposed to. However, this is a scale, and some books are by far more enlightening than others.

This is a list of five truly life-changing texts, which will question the way you see the world and give you a truly unique insight into some of the biggest questions that plague our existence.

They’re all available on Amazon, but if you’re an international reader and are having trouble gaining access, then it might be due to geo-blocking in the country you’re in. You can circumvent this by using a Virtual Private Network. Check out this Secure Thoughts review for more information.

1. The Prophet – Khalil Gibran

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The life lessons and ideas are too numerous to summarize in such a short space, but this masterpiece by Lebanese-American writer, Khalil Gibran, harks back to the spiritual poetry of the ancient Persian world. Written in 1923, it’s one of the earliest examples of inspirational fiction.

The story is that of Almustafa, a well-liked yet mysterious outsider who resides in the foreign city of Orphalese. When one day a great ship arrives on the horizon, the townspeople sense that the cherished, enigmatic presence of the prophet might soon be gone. Before he boards to leave, Almustafa serenades the town’s people with some essential life advice, broken down into 26 essays throughout the book.

It’s a unique and succinct format and delves into valuable questions and ideas about love, marriage, giving, work, freedom, pain and much, much more.

2. Wild: An Elemental Journey – Jay Griffiths

There is an ancient wisdom in this world that most of us have forgotten. Indigenous tribes all over the planet hold skills, knowledge and a connection to most wild veins of existence that have been lost in modern society.

This fantastic release by Jay Griffiths documents her epic adventure to all four corners of our planet to stay with some of the world's most remote tribes. It's a passionate search for the true nature of the human spirit and an illuminating reflection on the impact of industrialization on our world and our souls.

Oxford educated, Griffiths addresses history, geography, etymology and philosophy to form an argument that never preaches but merely enlightens readers to the hidden secrets of the social microcosms that exist in the wildest reaches of our world.

3. The Tao of Wu – RZA

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What happens when urban street-smarts meets ancient Shaolin wisdom? Robert Diggs (a.k.a RZA) was born in the projects of inner-city New York but moved all around the country throughout his turbulent childhood. Never finding much luck in his family and home life, he turned to knowledge to free his mind from the strife.

Although an esteemed chess player and mathematician, Diggs still spent much of his youth gang-affiliated and into drugs. Throughout this time he searched the scriptures of many religions and philosophers to escape from this world. Finding solace in the spiritual ideals and morals of Kung Fu films, he finally found his key to freedom in music, cementing international success and forming one of the most well-known rap groups on the planet.

This book structured into the “Seven Pillars of Wisdom” documents his spiritual journey and the valuable lessons that every facet of his life taught him. From Brooklyn to the Wudang mountains in China, Diggs' reflections are a truly wonderful insight into life as we know it.

4. The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari – Robin Sharma

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Ex-lawyer turned self-help writer Robin Sharma is a shining example of practicing what you preach. Somewhat reflecting his experience - although the limits to where it becomes fiction are unknown - Sharma tells the story of John, an over-stressed and uptight lawyer.

One day John’s colleague, who left work recently after suffering a heart attack, makes a surprise return as, seemingly, a whole different man. Appearing at John’s house one night, dressed in traditional orange robes, Julian Mantle divulges that he’s been staying with monks in the Himalayas.

John listens in awe as he recounts the many secrets to good living and long-life that he's learned from the Monks and provides practical examples of how the reader can translate this into their day-to-day lives.

5. The Zahir – Paulo Coelho 

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From the author of the world-famous 'The Alchemist', this equally poignant release also brilliantly explores some of the most philosophical questions of life as we know it.  The word “Zahir” itself is an Arab concept, meaning the external or obvious. In Coelho's book, it refers to his obsession with his wife, who up and leaves out of the blue one night.

Their relationship was not a good one, but without her, his whole word changes. His search to understand why she left and discover just where she is takes him all over the globe and into some of the most abstract echelons of society. From homeless people on the streets of Paris to native villagers on the Kazakhstani steppe, readers are illuminated with a whole host of unique perspectives.

This book has some crucial lessons to teach about marriage, but also how we view ourselves, as individuals, and as part of society.

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Know of any others that deserve a spot on this list? Be sure to leave a comment below. We’d love to hear your ideas.

About the Author: Caroline is an entertainment blogger for Culture Coverage. She loves books and has spent her whole life immersed in their pages. She loves sharing her favorite novels with others and always has a great recommendation on hand, no matter the situation!

{Main image credit: Flickr/See-Ming Lee (CC BY-SA 2.0)}