By Nora Vasconcelos
It’s hard to think on only one book that has influenced or changed my life, as my literary memories go back then when I was just a little girl. So, many titles come to my mind right now. The first one I recall is a children’s version of Thousand and one nights. I still remember picturing in my mind the fantastic scenes of this collection of Middle Eastern stories that talked about genies and merchants, and people discovering new places and travelers going to unimaginable lands! Oh! How much I loved those stories! They certainly cleared my path to writing.
Another fantastic book that marked my reading life is L’Avare (The Miser). I still recall that rainy afternoon when I first got this book in my hands. I went through the whole story while the storm was out there. It was absolutely fantastic! After that, I got the whole works by Moliere, and he’s still one of my favorite authors.
Along Moliere, Alejandro Casona took me to theatre books with his plays that touched really closed the humand condition by describing in a very detailed way his character’s fears, hopes and dreams.
The name of the Rose by Umberto Eco is also included in my “Top 10”. With this Italian author I first discovered what it was to exercise brain gym in order to handle in my mind all the facts and happenings of the story and still being able to keep going on. But I must say that I loved the story so much that I’ve became a huge fan of Eco’s novels.
Another book that changed my life was The unbearable lightness of the being, by Milan Kundera. This book took me into the Easter life, which culture I’ve always liked. Then it came more Czech works to my hands with books written by Jan Neruda and, of course, Franz Kafka.
One more book that comes to my mind that has had a deep effect on me, is Love in the time of Colera, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Besides the love story, I got absolutely amazed by the way the Colombian author works with works, creating with them a unique place where the reader’s mind can travel and stay there regardless of the outside world.
The list of changing lives books could go on and on, but I think the last ones I’ll talk about it’s a group of books I recently bought about Eastern philosophies. I like them so much because they gave me peace in the time when the world around me was upside down.