7 inspirational books to read on World Book Day

Anyone that has visited the mindflick barn will know that we’ve got plenty of books for you to peruse. So ahead of this year’s World Book Day, we thought we’d ask our team one of our favourite Innies and Outies questions from the Spotlight course: ‘Which book would you say has had the biggest impact on you, and why?’

This is what they replied…

1. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

Chin says: Norwegian Wood is a Murakami classic. A coming-of-age tale, it explores the familiar theme of negotiating change and transitions in life. Reading this book during a period of transition in my own life, it gave me the opportunity to view (and experience) life through an alternative but yet hauntingly relatable perspective – a recognition that while everyone’s life experiences can be different, we seem to have the universal but somewhat uncanny capacity to empathise; to feel and respond in similar ways to certain situations; and to look within the self.

2. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig

Mark says: On one level this book investigates the question ‘what do we really mean by quality?’, whilst on another level it delves into a man’s relationship with his son. It is a spiritual journey, a philosophical text, an exploration into a man’s psychological state, and a story about the relationship between a father and son, all rolled into one. Interconnecting our emotional world with a world of things, the book takes you on a journey from the world of linear thinking, to an understanding of the complexities of human life.  It really is a piece of genius.

3. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

Liam says: This book gave me a different perspective on life. Reading it whilst studying towards my masters, Frankl’s emotive memoirs not only provided a unique insight into life as a Prisoner of War, but also offered me a new perspective on life – one that highlights the importance of hope, suffering, and choice to our existence. Through his observations, Frankl provides us with an idea that has lived with me ever since: ‘Everything can be taken from a man but one thing – to choose ones attitude in any given circumstances.’

4. The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman

Philippa says: The Way of the Peaceful Warrior is a story of a world champion gymnast who goes on a journey of body, mind and spirit with the guidance of a powerful, charismatic old warrior. Through conveying intense truths and humorous wisdom, the book tells a story of the quest of happiness. Suggesting that life has three rules: paradox, humour and change. Messages of life’s mysteries, the importance of keeping a sense of humour and accepting that nothing ever stays the same are delivered.

5. The Alchemist by Paul Coelho

Pete says: The Alchemist, is a story about destiny. A beautifully written fable, it follows Santiago, a young Spanish shepherd, on a journey as he leaves behind his humble surroundings to take a trip into the unknown. On this journey he meets new people, sees new things, and gathers new wisdom, galvanised at every step by the fact he is following his own unique calling. Santiago’s tale can’t help but offer inspiration to listen to your own heart and follow your dreams. After all, there is only one right path for us all – our own. 

6. Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Tim says: One boy. One boat. One tiger. This was the first story which gave me insight into the complex nature of reality. A tragic sinking leaves behind only a handful of survivors – a sixteen year old boy named Pi, an orang-utan, a hyena, a zebra, and a Bengal tiger. However, following Pi during his 227 days stranded aboard a life boat throws into question the nature of reality, truth, and perception. It shows how narrative can be used to create alternative meaning to our experiences, and illustrates the power of metaphor in helping people to understand difficult situations they may encounter.

7. Things I Have Learned in My Life, So Far by Stefan Sagmeister

Pati says: Since the age of 13, Sagmeister has kept a diary. In ‘Things I have Learned in my life so far’, he brings to life his range of experiences, from design school to studio. Reading his memoirs whilst at university gave me the confidence that even the best of designers make mistakes. There is more to design than meets the eye. And only through being vulnerable and having the courage to experiment can we produce our very best work.

This blog was written for World Book Day 2020. You can find out more about our team by visiting ‘Our People‘.