The end of 2016 has come and, as everybody else, I make my reflections. I’ve seen people showing their pictures, generic Facebook videos and even lists of visited countries! I decided to show a list of books that I’ve read and to select some quotes of them. Since I’ve read books in Spanish and Portuguese as well, I’ll translate those quotes when necessary. 2016 was defined for me as a change process and personal growth. These books somehow walked me on that change process.

To whom is interested, here is my goodreads link to see my read lists.

The Why Cafe – John P. Strelecky

This book was recommended by a person that I met in Rio de Janeiro. It is a self-help book but it has a series of questions that everyone should make themselves at least once in life.

Life is an amazing story, John. It’s just that some people don’t realize they are the author, and they can write it however they want.

Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

This book I found in a used book store in San Diego. Book of my favorite US writer. Even if this is a book where not much quotes can be found, it shows a little bit human nature, of good and bad.

 

Whatever we ain’t got, that’s what you want. God a’mighty, if I was alone I could live so easy. I could go get a job an’ work, an’ no trouble.

The power of Myth – Joseph Campbell

This book was a birthday gift from my cousin. It is an interview to Joseph Campbell where importance of myths in human life is discussed.

 

If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living.

Cem Dias Entre Céu e Mar – Amyr Klimk

This book was recommended by a person that I’ve met in a meetup group of Portuguese conversation in Sunnyvale, California. The author, afterwards, became one of the people who has inspired me the most in 2016.

“To transform fear in respect, respect in confidence. I discovered how good it is to get there when one is patient.”

A transformar o medo em respeito, o respeito em confiança. Descobri como é bom chegar quando se tem paciência.

El Hombre en Busca del Sentido – Viktor Frankl

This book was recommended by a friend and former coworker one time that we were philosophizing. It helped me to understand a lot of things of my own person and people who I related to in that moment.

“It is the search of happiness what ends up frustrating it”

Es la persecución de la felicidad lo que acaba por frustrarla.

Dona Flor e Seus Dois Maridos – Jorge Amado

This book was recommended by my youngest sister, when I told her I was going to visit Salvador of Bahía. Afterwards it became a door to discover other books of the same author.

“The husband asked so little in exchange of so much love and devotion. But the other one… I would not even want to think in the bad-thing, the evil. Why our heart is so contradictory?”

O marido lhe pedia tão pouco em troca de tanto amor e devoção. Enquanto o outro… Nem queria pensar no coisa-ruim, no maligno. Por que o coração da gente é assim de contraditório?

Ficciones – Jorge Luis Borges

This book I found searching for Argentinean literature. It is the first time that I like an author’s way of writing more than the contents of what he writes.

“Truth is that we live delaying every thing delayable; maybe all of us know deeply that we’re immortal and sooner or later, every man will do all and will know everything.”

Lo cierto es que vivimos postergando todo lo postergable; tal vez todos sabemos profundamente que somos inmortales y que tarde o temprano, todo hombre hará todas las cosas y lo sabrá todo.

Los Amores Difíciles – Italo Calvino

This book was recommended by my cousin. It is a tales book, regardless of not being my favorite Calvino book, it has great stories, I like particularly one about the life of a photographer.

“The mask, because it’s firstly a social product, historical, has more truth than any other image that pretends to be ‘true’; it carries itself a number of meanings that will be unveiled little by little”

La máscara, por ser ante todo un producto social, histórico, contiene más verdad que cualquier imagen que pretenda ser “verdadera”; lleva consigo una cantidad de significados que se revelarán poco a poco.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera

This book, the last I decided to read this year, was a present from a person that casually also helped me to complete the process of renovation that I went through in 2016. This book is a classic and has a lot of depth in the subjects it talks about.

 

But is not an event in fact more significant and noteworthy the greater the number of fortuities necessary to bring it about? Chance and only chance alone has a message for us. Everything that occurs out of necessity, everything expected, repeated day in and day out, is mute.