Every novel or short story has lessons to teach. After all, stories are nothing more than problems resolved. Sometimes fiction teaches one how to do it right, and in other instances how to do it wrong–but there’s always a lesson.
But some works of fiction teach more than others (and more effectively.) It’s a great challenge to merge entertaining and thought-provoking story lines into one piece. Below are five books that I found both illuminating and engrossing.
[The hyperlinks in the titles go to my book review.]
1.) Ishmael by Daniel Quinn: Ishmael asks one to reevaluate what one thinks one knows about the world based on a lifetime of viewing it through the lenses of culture and anthropocentrism.
2.) The Journeys of Socrates by Dan Millman: The “Socrates” in question is Millman’s [probably fictional and / or composite] teacher from the “Peaceful Warrior” books–not the Greek philosopher. This book shows us how a person whose life has been scarred by tragedy can attain peace of mind.
3.) The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: The Little Prince teaches one to reevaluate what one thinks is important, and encourages one to see the world through a more child-like lens.
4.) Breakfast with Buddha by Roland Merullo: How can the average Joe reshape the way he [or she] views life so as to live a happier one?
5.) Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho: A young woman who attempts suicide is told by her doctor that she damaged her heart and has only five days to live.