Thursday, 23 August 2012

Literature to hold your hand

Being a man of letters, I'm probably biased when I say books are the best thing since sliced bread. If I'd been a number cruncher, I'd have said it was algebra, a scary thought to anyone's mind (except mathematicians, of course).

And I said so because of the power of books to educate us not only with facts and figures, but about life itself.

You know how just when you're going through a break-up or other painful experience, the radio plays the most crushingly relevant song possible (for me it was the Human League's Don't You Want Me every day after I got the elbow! Ouch!). It occurred to me that books do the same.

I was reading one of my beloved Orhan Pahmuk's novels a month ago, when I suddenly found myself nodding my head. I paused, put the book down for a moment and thought 'This guy knows what it's all about.'

Pahmuk isn't the only one who's had this effect on me. Paulo Coelho has also offered timely words in the past. It's as if they've both lived before, have seen all of life's pitfalls and now, following this dressed rehearsal, can show us how to live a happy - or happier - life.

Have you discovered any fiction writers who you felt could steer you through life? I'd be interested to hear what both you and they had to say.

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