Tag Archives: Life of Pi

My Top 10 Books to Inspire You

Tzivia Gover Author PicksThis post was written in response to a question posed by the librarians at Boston Public Library, where I’ll be speaking about my book Joy in Every Moment: Mindful Exercises for Waking to the Wonders of Ordinary Life Thursday, January 14, at 6 p.m. as part of the Boston Public Library’s Author Talks Series. 

Q: What are the 10 Books that Inspire You Most?

It wasn’t easy to come up with my “Ten Favorite Books to Inspire You”—but it was fun to give the question some thought. As a writer I have an entire village of favorite books that inspire me on my shelves. (I live in a relatively small space, otherwise I’d have an entire metropolis of favorites!) But which ones might inspire you as well? To narrow it down, I began by flipping through the pages of Joy in Every Moment, my latest book, which includes quotes from many of the books that have inspired me to live my best life—one moment at a time. Then I added a few more to come up with a highlights list that includes books of poetry, philosophy, self-help, psychology, and fiction. I hope you find something here to inspire you! Enjoy.

  1. The Life of Pi, by Yann Martel: The fictional character, Piscine Molitor “Pi” Patel, inspired me to “choose the better story”—a reminder I turn to again and again.
  2. Leaves of Grass, by Walt Whitman: I re-read this book-length poem with a group of friends almost every year on the Fourth of July (the anniversary of the book’s publication). It takes us about two hours to read the entire poem aloud, and each time I feel inspired to try to do my part to live up to Whitman’s vision of true equality and democracy.
  3. Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl: A psychiatrist imprisoned in a concentration camp comes away recommitted to his belief that we can live positive and purposeful lives filled with meaning—no matter what the circumstances. Now that inspires me.
  4. You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise Hay: As a young woman, this classic self-help book inspired—and empowered—me, to wake up to the role our thoughts play in manifesting our lives.
  5. Memories, Dreams, Reflections, by Carl Jung: My dreams are a constant source of inspiration to me. Jung’s work helps me to explore them, trust them, and find meanings within them.
  6. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo: With joy as the organizing principle for getting one’s house in order, this quirky little book inspires me to experience my surroundings in a richer way!
  7. From Where You Dream, by Robert Olen Butler: This book inspires me to grab my pen, nearly as soon as I open my eyes in the morning—and start to write.
  8. Active Hope, by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone: I turn to this book again and again when I need to be inspired to live from my heart in a time of great challenges to our magnificent planet.
  9. Tiny Beautiful Things, by Cheryl Strayed: Pearls of wisdom wrapped in humor and humility and delivered with gloves-off, gut-wrenching candor—that’s what I call inspiration.
  10. Comfortable With Uncertainty, by Pema Chödrön: I have this book in paperback and in an MP3 file on my iPod so I can read or listen to it any time, including at 4 a.m. on nights when I can’t sleep. This book inspires me to face difficult situations and emotions with a loving heart.

May these books inspire you, too. Or better yet, may you be inspired to share with others your ten most inspiring books!


[Originally Published by Boston Public Library http://www.bpl.org/press/2016/01/08/author-picks-tzivia-govers-top-ten-books-to-inspire-you/]


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The Greatest Story Ever Told…by your Inner Author

Life of Pi, novel by Yann Martell

Image by SoniaT 360. via Flickr

 “Art is the lie that tells the truth.”

–Pablo Picasso

I recently re-read one of my favorite works of fiction: Life of Pi, by Yann Martel. The main character narrates 94 chapters about his life and death struggle as a teenage boy lost at sea in a lifeboat with a Bengal Tiger. When he is finally safely ashore after 227 days adrift on the Pacific, his interrogators disbelieve his riveting tale. Pi then tells them a much briefer story that is dry and yeastless, as Pi himself would say, but very believable. He then asks his interrogators to choose the better story.

Who wouldn’t choose a story of adventure, keen wits, spiritual heroism and physical courage –over a story of base human instinct and brutal survival?

As Martel also points out in this novel, the Bible itself, the best-seller of all time, is a literary work that expresses deep truths that simple facts, no matter how correct, cannot convey.

Our dreaming mind, I would contend, is among the greatest artists: literary and visual, of all time, creating riveting, often-hair raising tales, in a matter of minutes.

My bookshelf

Like great works of fiction, dreams too take a slice of life and record it in narrative form, using metaphor, dialogue, character, symbols, and other literary and even cinematic devices.

By day we live the facts—that is, the nonfiction of our lives. By night we “read” the fictional versions that our minds create.

The careful reader can surely extract the deepest of truths from these nightly fictions.


Get more views on the dreamy art of fiction at these Corner View blogs from around the world: Jane, Dana, Bonny, Joyce, Ian, Francesca, Theresa, Cate, Kasia, Otli, Trinsch, Isabelle, Janis, Kari, jgy, Lise, Dorte, McGillicutty, Sunnymama, Ibb, Kelleyn, Ninja, Sky, RosaMaria, Juniper, Valerie, Sammi, Cole, Don, WanderChow, FlowTops, Tania, Tzivia, Kristin, Laura, Guusje, Susanna, Juana, Elsa, Nadine


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