The best books about courage and the way of the heart

Who am I?

A few years ago, I asked my friends, family, and colleagues how they would describe me in three words. To my surprise, the word that kept coming back was “courage”. I was not sure what they meant then. I always felt that if I denied the calling in my heart, then I would die inside. I believe that to make the world a happier and better place, it starts with every one of us working toward our own happiness. It turns out the word “courage” originates its meaning in the Latin word “Cor” (heart). It all makes sense, doesn’t it? That’s why the journey of the heart (some would call it courage) matters so much to me.


I wrote...

The Journey of the Heart

By Anna Cley,

Book cover of The Journey of the Heart

What is my book about?

A philosophical tale of courage, freedom, and love. From floating boxes to lifesaving riddles to an enlightened mirror, The Journey of the Heart is a magical tale of two souls who are courageously determined to find a better fate than the one they were born into. Along the way, they learn that their past does not determine their future, and the heart is the best guide of all.

Celebrating the universal statement that our own truth is the best treasure of all, The Journey of the Heart is a beautiful reminder that no matter into what circumstances we’re born, our future is ours to write. Authored and illustrated by transformative artist Anna Cley, The Journey of the Heart inspires children and adults alike to look beyond their own circumstances and bravely seek what they rightfully deserve—happiness, fulfillment, and, of course, love.

The books I picked & why

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The Little Prince

By Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Richard Howard (translator),

Book cover of The Little Prince

Why this book?

As a little girl, I found myself time and again in The Little Prince’s journey. The courageous and caring prince coming from the stars kept opening his big heart. His genuine curiosity never ceased. I felt comforted and nurtured by the caring friendship between the young prince and the pilot. Once an adult, I discovered a wisdom and depth that I didn’t fathom as a child. A universal and ageless tale, The Little Prince addresses profound topics (love, death, difference, origin) with simplicity and poetry. No matter how many times I read it, it still makes me cry. In fact, it is the very reason I wrote The Journey of the Heart: with hopes to bring light into people’s worlds, the same way The Little Prince carried light into mine.

The Little Prince

By Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Richard Howard (translator),

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The Little Prince as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Few stories are as widely read and as universally cherished by children and adults alike as 'The Little Prince'. Richard Howard's new translation of the beloved classic-published to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Antoine de Saint-Exupery's birth-beautifully reflects Saint-Exupery's unique and gifted style. Howard, an acclaimed poet and one of the preeminent translators of our time, has excelled in bringing the English text as close as possible to the French, in language, style, and most important, spirit. The artwork in this new edition has been restored to match in detail and in colour Saint-Exupery's original artwork. By combining the new…


The Alchemist

By Paulo Coelho,

Book cover of The Alchemist

Why this book?

I did not fall in love right away with The Alchemist. In fact, it took a good ten years between the first and the second time I read it to fully resonate with me. I needed to follow my own “personal legend” to begin with. It takes courage to remove the layers of our limiting beliefs and of our expectations. Yet, the greatest treasures await: enlightenment, personal growth, and state of flow. When I read the book again, I had chills. Just like Santiago, I knew to listen to my heart and recognize the signs. Just like him, I had been challenged and doubtful. Just like him, I knew to trust my intuition. But I had forgotten about my own journey. Reading The Alchemist was a beautiful reminder. The Alchemist in two simple words becomes “I remember.”

The Alchemist

By Paulo Coelho,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked The Alchemist as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A global phenomenon, The Alchemist has been read and loved by over 62 million readers, topping bestseller lists in 74 countries worldwide. Now this magical fable is beautifully repackaged in an edition that lovers of Paulo Coelho will want to treasure forever.

Every few decades a book is published that changes the lives of its readers forever. This is such a book - a beautiful parable about learning to listen to your heart, read the omens strewn along life's path and, above all, follow your dreams.

Santiago, a young shepherd living in the hills of Andalucia, feels that there is…


The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

By Charlie Mackesy,

Book cover of The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

Why this book?

Shortly after we became friends, I received this book as a gift from the man who is now my husband and the father of my son. At the crossroads of poetry, art, and life wisdom, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse is beyond categorization, combining depth, beauty, and simplicity.  That’s why it is, to me, such a powerful and moving book. The four unlikely friends are on a journey, like the prince, the pilot, and Santiago. They share with minimal words about the language of the heart: love and self-love, forgiveness, and the courage to ask for help. The book, beautifully illustrated, embodies courage for conveying onto its pages, the vulnerability and naked truth of the author. 

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

By Charlie Mackesy,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A book for all ages, a book for all time.
Adapted into a short animated film, coming this Christmas.

Enter the world of Charlie's four unlikely friends, discover their story and their most important life lessons.

The boy, the mole, the fox and the horse have been shared millions of times online. They've also been recreated by children in schools and hung on hospital walls. They sometimes even appear on lamp posts and on cafe and bookshop windows. Here, you will find them together in this book of Charlie's most-loved drawings, adventuring into the Wild and exploring the thoughts and…


TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking

By Chris Anderson,

Book cover of TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking

Why this book?

Fun fact: public speaking ranks number 1 among human beings’ fears. Before death, heights, or any wild animal. Speaking in public exposes us to shame, failure, boredom, opposition, and so on. And with everything being recorded nowadays, there’s a great chance to leave indelible evidence of our performance somewhere. But regardless of their fear, millions of people want to share their ideas on stage. How to overcome this fear? With preparation. Lots of preparation, lots of patience, and the courage to ask for feedback, question ourselves, and edit our talk at will. Chris Anderson’s TED Talks is a brilliant resource. To anyone who wants to share a meaningful and impactful message, whether through speaking or writing, I can only recommend giving this book a go. It’s changed the way I write and introduce myself. Cherry on the cake: it’s really fun reading! 

TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking

By Chris Anderson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked TED Talks as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the New York Times-bestselling Ted Talks Chris Anderson, head of TED, reveals the inside secrets of how to give a first-class presentation. Where books like Talk Like TED and TED Talks Storytelling whetted the appetite, here is the official TED guide to public speaking from the man who put TED talks on the world's stage. 'Nobody in the world better understands the art and science of public speaking than Chris Anderson. He is absolutely the best person to have written this book' Elizabeth Gilbert.

Anderson shares his five key techniques to presentation success: Connection, Narration, Explanation, Persuasion and Revelation…


Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One

By Joe Dispenza,

Book cover of Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One

Why this book?

I picked this book at a time I wanted to reboot my own brain. For years, I’ve been obsessed with the question of breaking patterns. The fact is that we tend to put ourselves in similar situations to the ones in which we grow up. Those who suffered abuse or abandonment go from being a victim as a child to being a victim as an adult too. But there is no fatality. We can learn to change our deep beliefs and transform our reality. Joe Dispenza’s approach revolves around quantum physics applied to the mind, and transcendental meditations to rewire the brain. Becoming aware of our own patterns and questioning our belief system takes heart and determination, but it really pays off to do the work. Nothing is ever written in stone, and no matter where we’re from, we can always create something new.

Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One

By Joe Dispenza,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

You are not doomed by your genes and hardwired to be a certain way for the rest of your life. A new science is emerging that empowers all human beings to create the reality they choose. In Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, renowned author, speaker, researcher, and chiropractor Dr. Joe Dispenza combines the fields of quantum physics, neuroscience, brain chemistry, biology, and genetics to show you what is truly possible. Not only will you be given the necessary knowledge to change any aspect of yourself, but you will be taught the step-by-step tools to apply what you learn in…


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