Reading Time: 5 minutes

Ever since we launched Jasmine Builds on Shifting Sands, we’ve been abuzz with chatter about our favorite reads. We’re particularly fond of works that have driven and inspired self-awareness, and so, decided to draw up a list of all the books that have made a difference to us, and subsequently shaped our lives. We believe these can help you, too! Here are our top choices of inspiration for young and old.

  1. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert



This honest, raw yet fantastical memoir of a middle-aged Gilbert has won the hearts and stirred the lives of many around the world. Her soulful sojourn through Italy, India and Bali whet the imagination as much as it teases your appetite.

What makes this book hit the mark is the fact that Gilbet is unapologetically herself in her narrative. She inspires readers as she demonstrates how to take charge of one’s own destiny without waiting for a grant from the Universe. From the beginning to the end, the author’s quest of finding herself helps walk her readers through a journey of rediscovering themselves.


  1. Life of Pi by Yann Martel




Simply put, the plot would sound like the beginning of a barely funny joke: A young boy and a tiger are lost at sea in a boat. But the plot that the author conjures is far from this poor assumption.

The emotionally gripping story of Pi Patel and his spiritual perseverance is multi-layered and complex, presented through the choicest words Martel put together. Pi says, “Life on a lifeboat isn’t much of a life. It is like an end game in chess, a game with few pieces. The elements couldn’t be more simple, nor the stakes higher.” What does one do in such a situation, you wonder? Have faith. Even in the most unexpected of circumstances and the most difficult situations, all it takes is faith to push you forward. With a brilliant cinematic rendition that followed, Life of Pi is close to the heart.


  1. Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach




This beautiful book represents the challenge that most (if not all) people face. Having to succumb to the demands of society and doing just as one is told, often leads to dissatisfaction and discontent. But that’s not what Jonathan, the seagull settles for in life. His passion for flying supersedes any influence and pressure that his fellow seagulls thrust on him. He doesn’t find happiness in simply foraging for food. He does, instead, in challenging himself to the pinnacle of aerodynamics.

Symbolic of seeking a higher purpose in life, the book sets the tone for those looking to find their true calling. Bach’s fluid writing makes for a relatable and memorable read.


  1. The Monk who Sold his Ferrari by Robin Sharma




How can one forget the book that articulated the 7 virtues of life? Although the principles are no different from guidance found in books of the same genre, it is the narrative and simplicity with which Robin Sharma presents them that hits home.

This story that traverses the corporate high-stress demands of the urbane to the informed, enlightened and contented principles of spirituality, serves as a guide to self-development and personal growth in the harsh realities of the world we live in today.


  1. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho




One of Coelho’s most highly-praised works, The Alchemist sates every ‘spiritual wanderlust’s thirst for adventure. Inspiring readers to follow their dreams, the story touches upon fate, faith, love, spirituality and other aspects of life with an underlying Scherezade-esque theme.

The ultimate and most apparent moral is that one need not seek for the ‘treasure’ of life without. It ought to be sought within – just where one is.


  1. Life’s Golden Ticket by Brendon Burchard





Another page-turner, and a particular favourite, Life’s Golden Ticket is a poignant, yet simply stated work of fiction. It is a story of a man at the brink of losing everything when he is presented with a chance to understand life with fresh perspective.

A day at a dilapidated amusement park turns out to be an eye-opener for the protagonist. He realises that life will give you a second chance, and one must make the most of the opportune moment of grabbing it.