Read great stories before bed. It will help settle your mind, release the fears of the day and prepare it for rest. Stories are the most ancient way of teaching wisdom. You’ll even become a better communicator and you’ll slowly build the habit of reading.
For long road trips, commute, house chores, errands and working out, the audiobook versions are a good alternative and my preference, but I’m picky with the narrators.
Three favorites I’ve read several times:
The Old Man and The Sea: Santiago’s thinking and his inner critic is so simple, determined and gentle that it’s refreshing. Didn’t like the audiobook.
My favorite part: “Perhaps it was a sin to kill the fish. I suppose it was even though I did it to keep me alive and feed many people. But then everything is a sin. Do not think about sin. It is much too late for that and there are people who are paid to do it. Let them think about it. You were born to be a fisherman as the fish was born to be a fish.”
Sherlock Holmes – Arthur Conan Doyle: strong, brilliant and quick to action. I’ve always yearned to be like Sherlock Holmes, but I have a lot of Watson in me (#Hufflepuff). I love the small parts where the author explores Sherlock’s dark side that accompanies his extraordinary gifts.
My favorite part: “You’re not hurt, Watson? For God’s sake, say that you are not hurt!”
It was worth a wound — it was worth many wounds — to know the depth of loyalty and love which lay behind that cold mask.
The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman: get the audiobook read by the author if you can.
Archetypal Stories Books:
These are stories that are hundreds and sometimes thousands of years old.
As far as I can remember I’ve been interested in mythology and somehow linked to it. I fondly remember the Disney movie Hercules, which is so different than the “actual” myth. I loved playing Age of Mythology as a teenager. I read and loved the Odyssey in college. One of the companies I’ve worked with was named after a Greek deity.
Heroes, Gods and Monsters of The Greek Myths – Bernard Evslin. My favorite mythology book, it’s written as a compelling story, with dialogue and emotion, not just an overview of the myths. There are a couple of key Heroes like Hercules, Oddyseus, Achilles that aren’t there, those are all different books from the author. The audiobook narrator Todd Haberkorn does a phenomenal job, he reminds me of a young version John Hurt (Olivander in Harry Potter, the High Chancellor in V for Vendetta).
Norse Mythology – Neil Gaiman. What an amazing storyteller he is, the equivalent of the above for Norse myths. Get the audiobook read by the author if you can. That voice… “Surtr’s fire cannot touch the world-tree, and two people have hidden themselves safely in the trunk of Yggdrasil. The woman is called Life, the man is called Life’s Yearning.”
Books that have been made into movies
Guilty pleasure: I love Young Adult. I like to read the book, then watch the movie and criticize it while thinking I could’ve done a much better job of said production.
Most of the Archetypal stories have been made into movies. Here are others:
The Jungle Book
Harry Potter: The Complete Collection (1-7) – J.K. Rowling. No words needed here.
The Hunger Games Trilogy: The Hunger Games / Catching Fire / Mockingjay – Suzanne Collins. She’s a remarkable writer. Reminds me of the Theseus and the Minotaur story, the tributes that Athens would send every year to Crete to remind them who was in charge.
I love sports stories and basketball stories the most. You can find great stories about any sport you like.
Open: an Autobiography – Andre Agassi. Beautifully written and explores hair insecurities, choking in finals, playing not to lose. Amazing recurring messages: “control what you can control”, “hit harder”, “work your woleis”, “stop thinking, start feeling”, “it’s on”, “good things are about to happen”.
Basketball A Love Story – Jackie MacMullan, Rafe Bartholomew, Dan Klores. An oral history of the game of basketball.
Siddhartha: A Novel – Hermann Hesse: death and rebirth of the spirit. Using apprenticeships to gain mastery.