These are my top 5 inspirational books for our journey. These books helped me escape from the reality of life and opened my eyes to the world we think we know.
5. On the Road – Jack Kerouac
My friend Angelo lent me this book. It was one of them, “Here read this you will love it” It’s set in 1940s America, where you follow Sal and his mate Dean, who are effectively two guys driving through the North American continent searching for sex, drugs and music while on the run from their conventional families, conventional employment, conventional responsibility and a normal conventional life. Where it does drag on slightly and become predictable, it makes you want to pack up everything time travel to the 40s, stay up all night and chat to strangers who you will never see again, then do it all over again the next day in a different city, whilst undertaking spiritual journey to find belonging and meaning in life. Oh by the way, the film is shocking never watch a film after reading the book!
Best quote –“Better to sleep in an uncomfortable bed free, than sleep in a comfortable bed unfree”
4. Falling Uphill – Scott Stoll
Whilst working at the bank 2 years ago I read this book, this made me contemplate quitting my job and doing what he did. It tells the story of Scott Stoll and his ‘quest for happiness around the world on a bicycle’. He lost his job, his best friend, his girlfriend and his confidence all in one week and consequently thought “If I only have one life, one chance, if I could do anything, what would I do?” So he cycled for 4 years clocking up 25,742 miles. The set up of the book is quite unusual where each chapter is a question that citizens of the world have asked him along the way, serving as a metaphorical map for the spiritual path that he travelled; the answers are his memoirs. His simplistic philosophy of life is what draws me to it – incredibly open with just a bicycle and a map.
Best quote –
“I’ve had enough requited and unrequited romances to help me realise that the love I was missing was simply love for self or love for live, and that I was using lust or romantic love like an emotional supplement for my own being”
3. The Moneyless Man: A year of Freeconomic Living – Mark Boyle
Roberto lent me this book, knowing that I would be intrigued. It follows Mark Boyle and his drastic response to the question what really matters in life. By deciding to live for a year without money. Money dictates everything and has done for years. Whereas some people think he is crazy, its is a heart-warming journey of how people rally behind him and how he alone copes with the concept of having zero cash and gives you some great tips on how to be more economical from ‘skipping’ supermarket bins (great idea!) to foraging for food that is in season. The book is a lot deeper than the title, it makes you sit and look around you and realise what you actually need in life rather than what you want. Even in the room you are sitting in reading this drinking your cup of tea; for Mark that was luxury, taking him half an hour to make! Obviously living like that in the 21st century is near enough impossible, however it does provide a refreshing outlook on life.
Best quote –“Those who always want something more will always live in poverty, regardless of how much they earn.”
2. Coming back to me – Marcus Trescothick
My dad who is a huge cricket fan probably reads 3 books a year; 2 of which are on holiday, told me this was one of his greatest reads. He was right. Probably one of the hardest books to read in terms of the emotional aspect yet easiest as it flows chronologically, it’s well written you don’t get lost in cricket stats and cricket lingo. Trescothick was and still is probably one the greatest opening batsman England has ever produced (needed him for this Ashes test!), but had to end his England career due to depression. The story is much more than a generic sport autobiography about a cricketer who likes to travel the world and smack a ball around a field, it is as it quotes ‘a ground breaking journey to hell – and a redeeming journey back’. To be so open about the taboo of mental-health in professional sport goes beyond cricket and can translate to any human being, the book becomes a manual of how to cope with depression and beat it.
Best quote –“He or she will have the following characteristics; moral strength, reliability, diligence, strong conscience, strong sense of responsibility, a tendency to focus on the needs of others before one’s own, sensitivity, vulnerability to criticism, self-esteem dependent on the evaluation of others. This person is the sort of whom you would turn if you had a problem to sort out upon your house depended, a safe pair of hands you can trust with your life, though often somewhat taken for granted. People are usually very surprised when he gets ill, indeed he is the last person you would expect to have a break-down”
1. The Man who Cycled the World – Mark Beaumont
I randomly bought this book from Waterstone’s as the title popped out to me! I was curious.This books tells the story of Mark Beaumont and his quest of trying to break the world record of the fastest circumnavigation round the world on a bicycle. Sorry for the spoiler but he succeeded. Taking him 194 days and 17 hours to cover 18,297 miles. Mark engages the reader in a simplistic way, where you physically feel you are part of his journey – an easy read. It left me inspired on a personal level to go and do my own challenge and just experience the parts of the world at slower pace and visit places that you wouldn’t if travelling in a more conventional way e.g. plane.
Best quote –“When hurt is the greatest it is essential to carry on because at least then you are processing”
Feel free to comment and share your top 5 inspirational books.