5. GOG by Giovanni Papini: Each story from this book is a profound meditation about what we take for granted, from eating to money, showing us their absurdity and/or wonder. Papini strips the ordinary and, in a Joycean way, threshes its trascendent, multiflavored pieces. In Gog I've found the underlying poetry, philosophy and symbolism of the apparently day-to-day ennui, and the multiple ways to see them. Each moment in life has a meaning, if we learn to look for and feel it.
4. THE GOLDEN BOUGH by Sir James George Frazer: Before I found this book, mythology and religion were to me cultural stuff belonging to history and anthropology, alien to daily life. Then, Frazer came to enlighten and teach me to see the complex relationships between the tales and life experiences of our ancestors worldwide, and how their symbols give meaning to our culture and our daily lives. This book is my reference to not forget where I come from, and that every tale and story are there waiting to be heard and read.
3. DICTIONARY OF SYMBOLS by Jean Chevalier: I have always considered the Symbol as the fundamental, timeless and ever present structure to understand Reality; and for a long while I was looking for a reference book to understand it. Levi-Strauss taught me the mystery of why lots of symbols repeat between unconnected cultures alongside history and geography. Chevalier gave me more than the answers to these questions; nowdays, his dictionary is my personal guide to look "beyond the samsara" in many books, films, and even in dreams. What can I do, I'm a convinced Jungian.
Which books inspire you? Do any of them changed your way of thinking about life? Feel free to comment!