Which book has taught you the most valuable life lessons? What did it teach you and how has it influenced your life?
If I have to pick one, maybe Life Strategies by Phillip McGraw, more known as “Dr Phil”, is it. In it he describes ten laws of life. One is you can’t change what you don’t admit. Another is people does what works. If we want them to change, we have to make what used to work not work anymore.
Understanding that people treat me and everyone else in a way that works for them, has helped me many times. If they behave in a way I don’t like, I have to behave in another way than I used to. When they see that their behavior no longer has the desired outcome, they will change their behavior to something else that works for them.
Best regards, Niklas 🎈
A book I haven't read yet but I wanting to buy is 'Lagom: The Swedish Art of Balanced Living' by Linnea Dunne. I think it will not only be a great souvenir for when I complete my studies here in Sweden, but a great way to learn some life lessons. Has anyone else read this book?
Hm, I would have to say: Living Well With Pain & Illness by Vidyamala Burch . While the book may not be for everyone since it is written for people with chronic pain, it has helped me a lot with my migraine condition. It helped me separate my pain from the act of suffering. 🙂
You have to read this book in Swedish because I don't think you can get it in another language:
Lilian Ryds första uppmärksammade bok var Kvinnor i väglöst land (1995).
About the author:
It is the best book I have ever read. It teaches us about what we lost especially the kids of today.
My choice would be Primo Levi's " If this is a man?" (se questo e un uomo in the original Italian which I've not read). I think this is one of the classics of the 20th Century and one that everyone should read. I am usually a slow reader, often not completing books but this one I coukd not stop reading for a couple of days until I had finished. On the face of it, it should be depressing the story of how a train full of Italian Jews are taken to Auschwitz with only a handful surviving. Surprisingly I (and many other readers) found it uplifting. Surely the best book ever written by a paint factory worker in his spare time. What the book taught me is how quickly humans adapt to even devastating changes in their situation. That you can get through even the most dire of situations as long as you just survive.
Like you wrote, it sounds depressing. I'm not sure I would make it through the whole book. On the other hand, long ago I read Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's ”One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich”. It's just what it sounds like. Ivan Denisovich was sent to a gulag work camp as a prisoner. The book is about one day of his life there. Depressing as it sounds, it also gave a bit of hope. Not unlike Nelson Mandela's time in prison, I guess.
Best regards, Niklas 🎈
If you're looking for something similar but shorter I would really recommend reading The Complete Maus, by Art Speigelman. It's a graphic novel and while I don't normally read comics, I found myself like MaxImpact, I just couldn't put it down. It tells the similar tale of the Holocaust and how humans adapt to even devastating changes in their situation.
I believe if you can even get a free PDF of it just by searching it on google.
#7 thanks for the tip. #6 I can certainly understand your perspective as it's exactly my thought when I was first recommended the book. I was glad to be proved wrong. Levi's book rather than being depressing is strangely uplifting. If you read the reviews on Amazon /Goodreads you will find that many readers agree with me. The book is an exploration of human nature in an extreme situation but perhaps reveals important facets of human nature more generally. I've tried to read some of Primo Levi's other work but been underwhelmed. Sometimes as with Joseph Heller's Catch 22 and Max Beerbohm's Zuleika Dobson, an author has a single masterpiece inside them and that's it.
#9 Do you mean Catch 22 and Zuleika Dobson? Yes they are both great books. Catch 22 is of course very well known and would rank in many peoples top 10 of the century. It is astonishing to me that someone could write such a book and yet I found his other books so disappointing. Catch 22 also illustrates and of course has come to signify an all too common dilemma that we encounter often in life. Trump may want to hire honest and competent underlings, but honest and competent people would tell him he's an idiot and so get fired. Etc etc. Zuleika Dobson is a more controversial inclusion in the top 100, but I enjoyed it greatly. Beerbohm has an impressive turn of phrase and its great for extending one's vocabulary and I was far from home at the time I read it and nostalgic for Oxford. I think it adds to a novel if it is set in a place you are particularly familiar with.