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Cendrine Marrouat -- Night Table Recommendations

Tuesday, Dec 21, 2010 at 10:12am

People have often asked me why I chose to write spiritual poetry. This is what I always tell them: "Poetry is the language of the soul. It is also the only art form that can be used to tackle any topic, even those that we would find difficult to talk about." As a writer, I want to challenge my readers to think differently, to look at themselves in Life's mirror. I want them to re-connect with their inner child in order to experience growth and well-being.

As a reader, I expect nothing less. All the books that I have read have helped me to understand myself. In the list below, you will find the four books that have literally changed my life. The fifth one is a recent discovery that I also recommend warmly.

The Prophet by Khalil Gibran

Khalil Gibran is my favourite author. When I started writing poetry, I tried to emulate his style, but to no avail. The Prophet is my personal Bible; I have read it over 50 times.

"Almustafa, the chosen and the beloved, who was a dawn onto his own day, had waited twelve years in the city of Orphalese for his ship that was to return and bear him back to the isle of his birth." This sentence opens one of the most famous books in human history. Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet was published in 1923 and has sold more than 100 million copies. Read my complete review here.

Jesus the Son of Man by Khalil Gibran

Many consider The Prophet as Gibran's masterpiece. To me, Jesus the Son of Man is even better. This portrayal of Christ through the testimonies of those he met or knew, offers an insight into humanity's most secret and deepest love for him. Simply put, it is one of the most spiritually enhancing narratives I have ever read.

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

At first sight, you would think that you are holding a children's book. The cute drawings and the seemingly innocent language in the first chapter may have you wonder why you even started reading. My advice to you: do not stop! The Little Prince is much more than the story of one child who gets lost and wants to find his way back home. It is the universal story of lost inner childhood, a time when innocence was golden. Starting in the desert, we travel through space and time to rediscover what being a child really means. This deep spiritual reflection on humanity will change your vision of life for ever.

"Here is my secret. It is very simple: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."

Jonathan Livingstone Seagull by Richard Bach

I was ten when my father put this book in my hand, recommending it as a must-read. After more than two decades, I recently re-read it.

"The voice faded, and Jonathan agreed. The place for a seagull at night is on the shore, and from this moment forth, he vowed, he would be a normal gull. It would make everyone happier." Jonathan Livingstone is bored with his life. He just wants to fly faster and faster and members of his flock do not like the idea. As a result, they banish him. Read my entire review here.

High on Life: Stories of Hope, Change, and Leadership by Nejeed Kassam

"It is important to question the way we see the world and not just accept life for what it appears to be." - Azeer Attari, 'Let's get down to it' (High on Life)

I am a picky reader. When I choose a book to read, I always wonder if the story will teach me something about myself. Will I be challenged to read between the lines and catch the lesson(s) on the pages? For the first time in a while, I have found a collection that answered all these questions (and more). Read my entire review here.


Cendrine Marrouat was born in Toulouse, southern France, in 1978, moving to Canada in 2003 where she writes in both English and French. She is the author of five collections of poetry and a spoken word album. Marrouat's poetry and journalism have been published online and in many magazines. A translator by profession and a former teacher, Marrouat has also authored two plays and is an aspiring photographer. She is a member of the Manitoba Writers' Guild and live in Winnipeg. Cendrine launched her latest collection of poetry, Five Years and Counting, at our Grant Park location in September.

Categories: Reviews, Poetry, Authors

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