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Resources for living ... recommended fiction books and movies

 

 

In navigating this very complex and rich - and often terrifying - journey of being human, I've found great help and relief, and even joy and awe in writings that somehow give meaning to the struggle and pain and hope and delight of this crazy journey of life on earth. (Of course there are many other forms of creativity, in music, and visual art, dance that contribute profound meaning and wisdom and delight, but for this entry let's focus on writing!).

 

The books listed below are some of my favourites. The links are to sites like Good Reads or reviews that give a sense of what the books are about. If you don't already know the booko site, it's fantastic, and provides a real-time comparison of the price of books from a big range on online booksellers (including the total price with postage separately so you can make a true comparison). And I find my kindle fire a good way of having my whole library available, plus it's a tablet and shows colour.

 

This is a screenshot from the Booko website to give you an idea of what it provides.

 

 

Screen Shot 2019-08-25 at 5.36.20 pm

 

 

And here are some authors and books of intelligent fiction that I've particularly enjoyed and that have helped me to discover measning and joy in life. I hope they may also speak to you. 

 

Astonishing the Gods by Ben Okri: apart from being beautifully, poetically-written, it's an allegory about learning to trust.

 

The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger: a heart-wrenching and hearty-opening story about a deep love.

 

The Earthsea Quartet by Ursula Le Guin: a profound and deightful tale of ... well, so many aspects of becoming a full human being. The first book, The Wizard of Earthsea, is a great psychological thriller about integrating our shadow. Tehanu (book 4) has won many prizes, and is considered one of the first feminist works of fantasy / sci-fi. The Farthest Shore (book 3) is an amazing tale of journeying to the depth of the underworld (and much more). If you get the Complete Earthsea it also contains a book of stories, Tales from Earthsea, plus The Other Wind, which is almost my favourite of all. If you fall in love with Le Guin, as I did, 3 other books of hers I particularly recommend are: Gifts, Voices and Powers. 

 

A more recent discovery is the writer Robin Hobb. I started with The Liveship Trader series, which is a brilliantly-written and deeply-interesting world in itself. Hobb is one of those people with a vastness of imagination and understanding that shows true genius. The richness of her characters and mining of the range of human experience is a great delight. It has some of the best descriptions of the meeting of two beings in love that I've yet come across. The Rain Wild chronicles take up the story of the dragons. And the books about Fitz and the Fool (I'm currently reading the Tawny Man series) are wonderful. (George Martin was very influence by Hobb ... imagine if Game of Thrones was actually heartful!).

 

Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels is a story of love and healing. Set during WW2, an archeaologist befriends a boy hiding from the Nazis and adopts him. The film is also very good.

 

And speaking of movies, this is just the very beginning of ones I'd recommend (to be continued):

 

Healing

Whale Rider

The Lives of Others

Never Look Away

Himalaya

Green Book

The Great Beauty

Jesus of Montreal

The Rainbow (Ken Russel)

 

(to be contionued ....)

 

Another great source of recommendations is to both enjoy and to support healing Krish and Amana's list of books and movies.