Happy international book day! And what a day! Because today we commemorate the 400th year anniversary of the deaths of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra and William Shakespeare. Well, in Cervantes’ case it’s 400 years and a day, because, contrary to popular belief that they died the same day, Cervantes died on the 22nd of April and was buried the next day. Still, one day more, one day less, we all remember and admire them for what they did and who they were.
So, today I want to tell you about the three books that have changed my life (up until this point) because that’s what books do. Either because they change the way we see one thing or another, or because they inspire us to learn about something new, some books stay with us forever.
3. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
This book is on this list because it’s the one that made me fall in love with literature all over again. Some of you may know that the first book that I read because I wanted to, was The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde, but you may also know that, as soon as I finished it, I put it on my shelf and didn’t pick up a book until a few years later.
And then my mum gave me The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I haven’t written a review here on the blog because I read it way before I even imagined that I would ever have a blog. However, it’s one of the most enjoyable reads I’ve had. Narrated solely through letters and telegrams between the members of a literary club in Guernsey in 1946, it is a book that I remember dearly and that I intend to re-read soon to share with you my thoughts on it.
There’s a movie out now and it’s really good.
2. Clases de Literatura (Literature Classes), by Julio Cortázar
It was clear that Julio was going to be on this list, but this book is special, not only because it made me fall in love with Cortázar, but also because it made me realise that literature was more than just a nice hobby.
Here I was able to read Julio’s thoughts, ideas, eccentricities and opinions on a field that had always seemed impossible for me. It wasn’t until after I read this book that I realised that writing was not something I dreamt of doing, it was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
1. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, by Donald Miller
The last one is A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, a book that taught me to see life differently. It is a collection of stories seen through the eyes of Donald Miller, who, like many of us, was struggling to give his life purpose.
Nowadays, Miller is a best-selling author, public speaker and founder of Storyline, a sort of life caching service that, through books, blogs and conferences, helps others to see where they’re supposed to go and to understand that their story matters too.